Got a tinder date in Taipei, Taiwan? Or anything romantic for that matter… For ideal dating spots, it didn’t take me long to figure out that Taipei isn’t the most typically ‘romantic’ city; think quirky, fast-paced and yeah, concrete, rather than violins playing in the background. BUT don’t let that fool you; there are some AWESOME dates just waiting to happen here in these dating spots in Taipei.
Picking a place to go is hard work though there are endless reviews of hundreds of cool cafes and bars, but which ones are great for dating? But, don’t worry, I’ve prowled the pavements to compile the ultimate list of badass dating spots in Taipei – from kitschy cafes to night markets. Every single one is rated by me as above 4/5 on my personal romance meter. Now all you need to do is get your Marvin Gaye on?
*A note on prices: 1 USD = 30.27 NTD at the time I’m writing this.
Coffee? Screw that. Taipei is famous for quirky cafes – Go check these out and add them to your list of dating spots ~
1. Alice Is Coming
Yes she is. Sorry, I just had to. Ahem… Here’s their Tripadvisor
Vibe: Fall down a rabbit hole and be transported into the curious world of Wonderland. As far as themed cafes go, this is an awesome job. The fake rose trellis-lined staircase up to the café immediately transports you away from the hustle and bustle of the streets outside and the story-themed décor is top notch with lots of attention to detail, from the teacup table to the Alice in Wonderland songs playing in the background (some were a bit weird though).
Food and Drink: Desserts and fancy milkshake teas. I stuffed my face with a cream tea and chocolate brownie waffle. Afternoon tea in a tea stand also look truly scrumptious.
Price: $$/$$$ – My waffle and tea cost 380 NTD
Romance Meter: 4.3/5. Great for a chilled and quirky afternoon/early evening date with a Disney fan.
Location: No. 111, Yanping S. Rd., Zhongzheng district, Taipei.
2. Wisteria Tea House
Vibe: If you’re looking for refined dating spot in Taipei, you’re in luck. Wisteria Teahouse is the epitome of a sophisticated cultural experience with its Japanese style, Wisteria vines and 1930’s décor. It’s also very quiet and peaceful, despite being busy – everyone speaks softly. Did I mention the tea? It’s exquisite and even a tea noob like me knows that. There’s stuff like ‘Cloud Mountain Jade‘ and ‘King of the Wild‘ alongside loads of other options.
Mine arrived with a glass kettle on a tripod, a small teapot with tea leaves inside, a tiny cup and some other bits and bobs. The waiter gave me a demonstration of how it is prepared and my leaves lasted about 7 refills of the teapot. The whole procedure of preparing the tea was really relaxing. So, one of my favorite dating spots? Yes!
Food and Drink: I had the Wistaria Hong Yin Puerh Tea. The menu highlights how tea leaves for each type of tea are selected and prepared extra-specially. Tasted good.
Price: $$/$$$ – 280 NTD for about 21 cups. So while it’s not cheap, you get what you pay for in terms of refills and quality.
Romance Meter: 4.3/5. People like me laugh a lot on dates, so I’d have to be careful not to be too loud. Other than that, the classy Japanese experience and relaxing atmosphere will never want to make you visit a Starbucks again.
Location: No. 1, Lane 16, Section 3, Xinsheng South Road, Da’an District, Taipei.
3. Modern Toilet
Vibe: Weird, disgusting and maybe romantic in a twisted way. Out of all potential date spots in Taipei, this is probably the most famous. Everything is toilet themed, from the chocolate ice creams served in squat bowls to the toilet seats you can sit on. Everything you eat is shaped creatively like a turd. However, it tastes nice. Service is also super-fast and accommodating; the place is usually busy but staff make an effort to seat without bookings and ask whether you’re ready for the next course as soon as you’re done with one. So it’s arguably worth it on my list of dating spots.
Food and drink: OK it wasn’t Michelin starred, but yummy enough and has all the crowd pleasers (spaghetti or burger, anyone?) I had sausage fest spaghetti with mango juice (served in a urinal!) and chocolate ice cream (that came free). I was happy with these.
Price: $$ – All of this was $290 – really impressive. I think it was fantastic value for money. Tea and chocolate ice cream is included in a lot of main courses (upgrade for other drinks) and the price is reasonable, considering that it’s so popular.
Romance Meter: 4.2/5. Not typically romantic, but funny and full of lots of conversation starters and talking points.
Location: 108, Taipei City, Wanhua District, Lane 50, Xining South Road, Taipei.
Or you could opt for the more ‘traditional romantic restaurant’. Check out these date spots in Taipei…
4. Xiang Se
Go. Like seriously. This is the most romantic place I found in Taipei and if you have one tinder date/other date/anniversary, make sure to go here. Here’s their Facebook
Vibe: French romance on steroids. I went with the Tattooed Consultant. We sat outside and it was like a walking into a fairy-tale illustration with dim lights, a pebble-dash floor and delicate white chairs. The most picturesque of the date spots in Taipei. The service was really thoughtful with staff telling us in detail about the wine and suggesting food. I felt special to be there. Make sure to book it in advance.
Food and drink: Delicious. Rich and you could taste the quality ingredients. We had pizza bread appetizers, beef gnocci, chicken breast and a salted caramel dessert and drank rosé. It was perfect.
Price: $$$$ – This is one for the special occasion. Our combined bill was around $4000 NTD but worth it.
Romance Meter: 4.8/5 – Must visit
Location: No. 1-2, Hukou Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei
Number for booking: +886 2 2358 1819
Vibe: A classy taste of Portugal. Tuga has an impressive wine collection on display and the menu is full of authentic Portuguese dishes. They have a collection of their delicacies available to buy in a little on-site shop. Service is fantastic and I liked the old-fashioned Portuguese music. They also have nice cutlery. This place inspired my travel bug to consider visiting Portugal.
Food and drink: Umm… Portuguese! I had a delicious chorizo and bean stew which was everything I wanted it to be; spicy, hearty and flavoursome. Try the wine – I didn’t, because I went in the afternoon (I’m not the biggest wino), but there was so much of it…
Price: $$/$$$ it was around 750 NTD – but I was so full and satisfied.
Romance Meter: 4.4/5. The only thing I had a tiny issue with was that the AC was a bit too strong and I was a little cold by the end of dinner. But if I had told the staff I’m sure they would have turned it down.
Location: No. 12, Alley 11, Lane 216, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District, Taipei.
6. Wulao (Zhongshan branch)
Vibe: Perfect for the perfect hotpot. The atmosphere is formal but chilled out and each group has their own corner with a set of benches and a table for privacy. You can also help yourself to the towels, napkins and toothpicks provided in your private booth. I went there with The Kinky Brown Girl Hater and it went really well – cooking the hotpot itself is a great dating activity, because it involves interaction and teamwork. Make sure to book this in advance.
About their service…
Only thing I’d say is that the service was a bit weird; the receptionist told us to wait outside for ages even though we had reserved a table. Staff upstairs also kind of disappeared when we needed to ask for stuff. But they weren’t rude – just not as efficient as you’d expect for a place like this. This isn’t unusual for date spots in Taipei though – also happened in Bianco (see below).
Food and drink: Very very delicious. The hotpot was more than big enough for two people and all the different types of meat, tofu and balls in it were perfect, as was the broth. We also had mango beer, which was yummy and a complimentary dessert shot of ice blended calamansi that was very refreshing and palette cleansing; this was a really nice touch.
Price: $$$-$$$$ We got excited and put loads of meats and fish in the hotpot so it came to 1900. For 2 people I’d expect it’s usually around 1700-2000 NTD. But then I took home half of what we left and it lasted me 3 breakfasts (yeah, I’m cheap too and what?)
Romance Meter: 4.2/5. Great for teamwork and conversation and the food is awesome.
Location: Zhongshan branch: No. 36-1, Section 2, Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei.
Number for booking: +886 2 3322 5529
7. Bianco Taipei
Vibe: Warm, nice dim lights and white furniture – perfect for an Italian. A little bit formal but not too stiff – perfect for a first date. Tables far enough apart for privacy. They got the ambiance spot on.Lots of people, so booking in advance is necessary – The Quantum Physicist did when we went on our date. Service was good, but we were pushed a little at the end to pay, because they were closing at 10pm and the kitchen closed at 9.30pm (our date was at 8.45pm). But overall, great.
Food and drink: Excellent. I was really impressed with my Japanese risotto that had chicken and an egg; the rice was moist, chicken nicely done – it hit the spot. He had a veggie pasta thing that was OK for vegans to eat.
Price: $$-$$$ Risottos cost 420-450 NTD and other stuff is a bit cheaper.
Romance Meter: 4.4/10 – great first date spot in Taipei. Started an awesome conversation here that you can read all about soon.
Location: No. 19, Lane 112, Section 4, Ren’ai Road, Da’an District, Taipei.
Number for booking: +886 2 2325 3655
Orrr be a bit crazy and spice things up at a Night Market
Any visit to Taipei is incomplete without trawling the night markets, tasting weird, wonderful and crazy-cheap food and getting caught up in the electric atmosphere. Why not put them in your list of dating spots in Taipei? There’ll be a lot to talk about with your date.
8. Shilin Night Market
Vibe: The biggest and most famous night market there is in Taipei. Crazy exciting with food, colors and lights everywhere. Also, is is a great place to walk around on a date – there’s no shortage of things to talk about here. Yeah, there are lots of crowds but it’s not overwhelming. Loads of food stands with weird and wonderful concoctions will ensure you aren’t stuck for something to eat.
Food and drink: Anything. Burgers, sate, bubble tea, octopus, you name it. I was adventurous and had a BBQ-ed octopus skewer that looked nicely marinated.
Price: $ Cheap and cheerful. Small things are around 30 NTD and larger things (like my octopus skewer) are about 100 NTD
Romance Meter: 4.2/5. Awesome opportunity to walk and talk and eat all at the same time. Also, you could go after visiting a restaurant as well just to walk around in, as that would set an exciting tone to the evening.
Location: No. 101, Jihe Road, Shilin District, Taipei.
9. Raohe Street Night Market
Vibe: Ultimate foodie heaven. Everything I walked past was delicious and it’s one of the oldest night markets in Taipei, so is a must-visit destination in itself. while Shilin is almost futuristic, this feels a bit more ‘traditional’ despite same level of excitement and crazy amount of games and stuff to do. Go dating when you’re hungry and grab 5 or 6 different things. Then sit outside on one of the benches in the open space, as it gets crowded inside, especially near the entrance. Out of all the dating spots in Taipei though, this has the best value for food.
Food and drink: Honestly, I had the best meal ever here. I had a famous pork bun, little fried seafood balls with spicy mayonnaise, mini custard egg tarts and a pudding bubble milk tea. My stomach rumbles from just thinking about it.
Price: $ So so cheap. I got six custard egg tarts for just 100 NTD
Romance Meter: 4.1/5 – OK, it is crowded I know. But take a date purely because of the food, it’s a conversation starter I swear.
Location: Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei.
10. Taipei Expo Park
Vibe: Buzzing and electric! Taipei Expo Park is a hipster market, yummy looking restaurants, food stalls, live shows and kid-friendly attractions all-in-one. Out of all the dating spots in Taipei, this has something for everyone. I went there at 8pm on a Saturday night and there were loads of families having fun, but then I heard an expat say “Maaan, I’ve never been here this early before, like I don’t know what to do; there are like families and sh*t here” – so I have a sneaking suspicion that it turns into a party place with all the fast food stalls later.
I settled at La Querida, a Spanish restaurant to watch a performance of a guy dancing with fire on the main stage, which was pretty cool. All the restaurants look great though; ‘Masala Art’ is Indian (win), ‘Brickworks’ is Lego themed but closes at 8pm and the pub ‘The Three Lions Inn’ is directly opposite the stage. But then, halfway through my meal, a magician came and asked if I wanted to see magic. I was alone and not in the mood so declined; but basically, there’s no shortage of entertainment here. Ideal choice to pick from when it comes to datings spots.
Food: I had some patatas bravas, which are spicy Spanish potatoes and a coke. It was yummy.
Price: $$ 330 NTD – so not too bad
Romance Meter: 4.3/5. The whole place has a great vibe, so the score is really for Taipei Expo Park as a whole.
Location: No.1, Yumen Street, Zhongshan District, Taipei.
Closing Thoughts On Dating Spots In Taipei
Yeah, Taipei isn’t as cheap as Southeast Asia and yeah, it’s a bit of a concrete jungle, but it’s exciting, quirky and dynamic – that’s what makes it special. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities for romance with these dating spots –
Have fun and enjoy these dating spots in Taipei responsibly… *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*
Updated: January 18, 2017 – Taipei.Expats