One of the great things about Taipei is that you can walk down a random alley and find an oasis from the hustle and bustle of city life. The Da’an neighborhood is especially awash with with great places to eat & drink.
I was walking down the alley looking for a place to get some writing done and spotted “杂志图书馆Boven Cafe & Library.” Boven in Dutch means “above” or “at the top.” Bold claims for a cafe so I decided to walk in. Often with shop names in Asia, it’s always a crapshoot as to the reason a western name is chosen. I thought perhaps it was a transliteration, but in fact it was not. In Chinese, the cafe name is literally: Magazine Library (Zázhì túshū guǎn). The Library portion of the cafe is located in B1 using a separate entrance from the cafe.
Boven Cafe is yet another example of local businesses rebelling against the the mass market coffee shops (that’s you Starbucks!) that inundate Taipei. It exudes peaceful minimalist Japanese chic. People converse in hushed whispers out of respect for the other patrons. Cool jazz plays just loud enough to mask surrounding tables. People actually do get up to take their phone calls outside on the patio.
I am relieved that their expresso making equipment is nearly silent. The constant screeching of a milk steamer annoys me to no end.. The use of warm wood throughout the cafe’s decor wipes away the concrete’s coldness. It what Blue Bottle used to be but with Japanese flair (but without the Instagrammers)
Boven offers a number of single origin coffees, fresh croissants that are super flakey, a limited menu of sweet and savory snacks. Their cointreau cake is a solid selection. It is served warm with just the right amount of fresh Chantilly cream.
It would be remiss for a coffeeshop in Taipei not to serve the incredible tea grown in Taiwan. Boven has that neatly covered, with a fine selection of single-origin teas.
If you need a break from shopping, tired of being in a co-working space, or looking for a quiet place to chill with your significant other, this is great place to hangout.
B1, No.18, Alley 5, Lane 107, Sec. 1, Fuxing South Road, Taipei, Taiwan
+886 2 2778 7526
Kent is a management consultant who has spent years traveling for work. His refuge is looking for the perfect meal so that he can reproduce it at home with his wife and friends.