Cafes in Hualien, Taiwan
Taiwan may be known for its night markets, shopping and outdoor activities. But if you frequently head there for holidays, you might be looking for new places to explore that aren’t in hotspots like Taipei and Taichung.
Enter Hualien, a laid-back county on the east coast of Taiwan that’s just a 2.5-hour train from Taipei. The area is most famous for Taroko National Park’s gorgeous mountainous landscape and Qixingtan pebble beach. But while you’re in between activities, it’ll be worth your while to grab a cuppa at one of the town’s many aesthetically-pleasing cafes.
Check out the ones we sussed out during our trip there below:
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1. Do-Zai Cafe & Bar – Shiba Inu themed cafe
The moment we found out Do-Zai Cafe & Bar (斗。宅商社) had a Shiba Inu-themed menu, we knew we had to pay this place a visit. You can’t find it on Google Maps unless you type in the cafe’s Chinese characters, but we discovered that it’s actually located within the compound of the local attraction, Hualien Railway Culture Park.
When we were, there were 2 more doggos visiting the cafe, so it was super lively.
That’s not all – the cafe is also home to 2 adorable Shiba Inus, who serve as the inspiration for the cafe’s concept. They aren’t shy either – they’ll plop themselves next to you while you’re having a dish like a cheese burrito (NTD100,~$4.45) or a bacon, cheese and peanut butter toast (NTD95,~$4.25).
The themed menu items are crafted to resemble the resident doggos
Star items of the menu include the Shiba Inu cheese and red bean buns (NTD80,~$3.55), and a chocolate lollipop (NTD60,~$2.65). We washed it down with a caramel latte (NTD160,~$7.15) topped with a Shiba marshmallow, and their popular Watermelon Mount Fuji Drink (NTD160,~$7.15) which is a fruity sweet and sour punch.
The cafe’s pretty cosy too. It’s housed in a traditional building that comes with wooden shutters, with a small potted tree in the middle.
Address: No. 460號, Fujian Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 2PM-12AM (Closed Mondays)
Telephone: +886 916 440 811
2. Soave Plan – coffee tailor-made to your preference
Image credit: @belleyen__
Stark white walls, cacti and an old-school bicycle out front: these are the 3 ingredients that make Soave Plan an Instagrammer’s haven for photos. The cafe’s interior follows suit with its charming decor of trinkets like pottery, teacups, and dried twigs and florals.
They have a simple menu where they tailor their coffee (from NTD80,~$3.55) to your preference, whether you prefer lighter or stronger coffee, with less or more milk. Tea-lovers can opt for Taiwanese teas like Lishan Mountain Tea (NTD200,~$8.90) and Jin Xuan Oolong Tea (NTD140,~$6.25).
Image credit: @travoodlife_hl
If it’s too late in the evening for caffeine, order a glass of milk with matcha or caramel (NTD120,~$5.35) for a nightcap. Pair these with their desserts like their popular Lemon Tart (NTD140,~$6.25), Caramel Pecan Pie (NTD110,~$4.90) and Caramel Almond Pie (NTD130,~$5.80).
Address: 280號1樓970, Chenggong Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 1:30PM-7:30PM (Closed Thursdays)
3. 回春 Vivify – have coffee surrounded by plants
Image credit: @chenlalala.2019
If you love being surrounded by greenery but aren’t the outdoorsy type, head over to Vivify, where you’ll catch a glimpse of leaves from a multitude of potted plants no matter where you sit. Finding this cafe may be a challenge though, as it’s lays hidden on Guangfu Street. Just look out for their logo and follow the trail of ferns to find the cafe’s entrance.
The cafe doubles up as a nursery and shop where you can grab light bites, buy plants, and get customised leather goods.
Image adapted from: @thailovestoeat
If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you’ll want to try their variety of roasts from Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea, to name a few – each cup costs between NTD120 – NTD200 (~$5.35 – $8.90). They also serve desserts like cakes and brownies for TWD160 (~$7.15).
Look out for the cafe’s friendly resident doggo while you’re here
Image credit: @mariepone
Address: No. 91-1號, Guangfu Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: 1:30PM-6:30PM, Daily
Telephone: +886 3 833 1303
4. Qiu Chao Cafe – elegant traditional interior
The cafe is concealed by a manicured garden and a wooden fence
At first glance Qiu Chao Cafe looks like an old house that belongs to someone of high social stature. Head inside and you’ll see that the cafe’s interior is equally elegant. It’s filled with decorative trinkets, artwork, and books that line polished wooden shelves.
They have a relatively small menu that only has beverages. You can get cafe staples like lattes and cappuccinos (NTD280,~$12.50) and drip coffees like Honey Iced Coffee (NTD230,~$10.25). On warmer days, head for their icy drinks like Passion Fruit Ice (NTD200,~$8.90) and Summer Spell (NTD200,~$8.90) that’s a sparkly citrus concoction.
The Passion Fruit Ice is perfect for cooling off on a hot day
The prices are a little steeper than other cafes, but each drink comes with a free homemade dessert. Ours came with small slice of creamy cheesecake and mini chocolate lava cake.
Visitors are free to browse through the books
Address: No. 5, Huagang Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: Tues-Sat 1:30PM-6:30PM (Closed Sundays & Mondays)
Telephone: +886 3 833 0880
5. 小巷茉莉 MôLi Café – garden-like cafe with fluffy souffle pancakes
Hidden behind a row of shop lots, MôLi Café along Sanmin Street can only be identified via its subtle signboard and pastel blue gate that looks like it leads into someone’s home.
Image credit: @molicafe2017
Once inside, you’ll find yourself in a quaint cafe that overlooks a backyard filled with shrubs. There’s also a patio where you can fully enjoy a cool day under the sun.
Image credit: @deer_dove
Their fluffy souffles are a must-try, and you can choose from 3 different flavours: honey vanilla (NTD250,~$11.15), chocolate (NTD260,~$12), and matcha (NTD280,~12.50).
The matcha souffle comes with whipped cream, ice cream, and red bean.
Image credit: @1.0.0.zx
You’ll also be able to find savoury Asian dishes like Thai pork rice (NTD220,~$9.80), and mapo tofu (NTD200,~$8.90). Wash these down with their organic teas (NTD150,~$6.70) that come in flavours like lavender and mint.
Image credit: @teddy_liao__._
Address: No. 62號, Sanmin Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 12PM-8:30PM (Closed Mondays)
Telephone: +886 3 833 3562
6. KŌHI 宅 – cosy living room-like cafe with cats
Nestled among shophouses on Chenggong Street, KŌHI is the epitome of cosy. Not only is its space snug, but it also looks like a living room that’s been well lived-in. Mismatched settees and casual tatami mats aside, it’s filled with shelves and ladders displaying random trinkets, books and magazines.
Cat lovers will find themselves right at home here too. During our visit, we spotted at least 4 kitties quietly snoozing around the cafe. They happen to be the stars of the cafe’s social media accounts, so don’t be shy to snap photos of them.
Image credit: @miachingching
KŌHI specialises in coffee, and they have a rather extensive menu of exotic imported coffee (from NTD180,~$8) from countries like Honduras and Costa Rica. For a sweet accompaniment, choose between their Yellow Lemon Pie (NTD130,~$5.80) and Passion Fruit Light Cheese Cake (NTD130,~$5.80).
Address: No. 298號, Chenggong Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 2PM-10PM (Closed Tuesdays)
7. Giocare 義式.手沖咖啡 – hidden pottery cafe
Image credit: @yangtao1130
Giocare may be difficult to spot if you aren’t looking out for it, since it blends into the residential neighbourhood on Shuren Street. Just look for house no.7 with a large wooden door and you’re all set.
The cafe’s proud display of handmade pottery sits right in the middle of the courtyard
Image credit: @S810909
Perfect for those who love having their coffee amid fresh air, the cafe offers an entirely al-fresco experience. Hot summer days aren’t a concern here either, as the courtyard is shaded by trees while its stone and wood accents give it cool zen vibes. You’ll likely spot a couple of cats lounging around here too.
Image credit: @alvin.travelog
Their speciality coffees (from NTD70,~$3.10) are worth a try, as they have a range of lattes and off-beat variations like black sugar coffee. They feature daily desserts too, and one of their most popular is an almond-topped that’s drizzled in caramel.
Image credit: @chienchien0108
Address: No. 7號, Shuren Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: Fri-Tues 2PM-7PM (Closed Wednesdays & Thursdays)
Telephone: +886 980 917 424
8. 花蓮 1709 Café/ Bar – music cafe with open mic sessions
1709 Café/ Bar is a vibrant little establishment near Hualien Station, and you can easily spot it on Guolian 2nd Road thanks to the colourful wallpaper on its exterior.
We dropped by on a sleepy afternoon, and as we were observing the guitars displayed in a corner, the cafe owners told us we were free to play them. After all, they hold open mics on weekends, as well as live performances each night from 8PM-10PM. They explained that the name 1709 means “drinking together” in Chinese (一起饮酒).
Spend an evening here and you can either have a pint of beer (from NTD150,~$6.70) or wind down with a cup of coffee or tea (from NTD150,~$6.70). If you’re feeling peckish, head for their savoury Tuna Waffle With Corn And Baked Cheese (NTD350,~$15.60) or Grilled Chicken Wings (NTD250,~$11.15).
Address: No. 40號, Guolian 2nd Road, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: 9AM-1AM, Daily
Telephone: +886 975 494 851
9. Caffe Fiore 珈琲花 – hidden in greenery
Image credit: @superericstar
It may be located on a commercial street, but Caffe Fiore can easily be mistaken for someone’s home. Head to the intersection of Shanghai Street and Zhongxiao Street and you’ll spot this hard-to-miss wooden hut that’s covered with plants.
Image credit: @sarah_chenlalala
The cafe’s interior follows suit, with dated wooden panelled walls and a ceiling that’s decorated with dried flowers. The cafe’s packed with books too, and if you’re lucky, 1 of its 2 resident kitties will accompany you.
Image credit: @nieveshuang
Their beverages range around NTD150 (~$6.70) for a variety of matcha lattes, coffees, teas, and beer. These can be paired with a selection of cheesecakes (NTD130,~$5.80) that come in flavours like lychee and strawberry.
Image credit: @gd8652518
Address: No. 79號, Zhongxiao Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: Thur-Tues 1:30PM-9PM (Closed Wednesdays)
Telephone: +886 3 832 5172
10. 奇幻地咖啡館 Wonderland Cafe – pancakes and brunch dishes
Pancakes with ham and salad (NTD240/~$10.70)
Image credit: @ryeelidz
Those with an appetite would find Wonderland Cafe worth a visit. They have a rather diverse menu filled with beverages, mains and desserts so you can get a complete meal here.
Image credit: @wonderland.tw_cafe
Fill up on dishes like pasta (from NTD180,~$8) and savoury pancakes (from NTD200,~$8.90), and scour their dessert (from NTD100,~$4.45) counter that displays delicious-looking parfaits, pies and cakes topped with fresh fruit.
Image credit: @hoony_yellowkies_
Try to chope a spot near the cafe’s whimsical centrepiece of dried lavender hanging from the ceiling. This area has a communal table and classic tile motifs on the ground, which serves as the perfect setup for that golden IG shot.
Image credit: @mili88_34
Address: 597號2樓, Heping Road, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: Fri-Tues 9AM-6PM (Closed Wednesdays & Thursdays)
Telephone: +886 3 832 1883
11. Edison Coffee – bachelor pad vibes
Edison Coffee (艾迪生咖啡館) oozes bachelor pad vibes, with its dark walls, Union Jack table, and shelves that display superhero figurines, books, and alcohol. Drop by for a tea break and your drinks will usually be prepared by the owner himself, Edison. He can usually be spotted behind the counter chatting with his customers.
Pictured: Hualien Black Tea & Matcha Latte
The cafe has a decent range of coffees, from regular Americanos (NTD130,~$5.80) and Hazelnut Lattes (NTD160,~$7.15) to liqueur coffees like Cointreau Coffee Latte and Bailey’s Coffee Latte (both NTD170,~$7.55). They also offer some local teas like Hualien Black Tea and Hsinchu Oriental Beauty Tea (both NTD150,~$6.70).
Check out their dessert menu too – they have New York cheesecake (NTD100/~$4.45) and waffles (about NTD60,~$2.65) to go with the beverages.
Address: No. 12, Xuanyuan Road, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 12PM-9PM (Closed Thursdays)
Telephone: +886 3 831 0003
12. Ngchus Cafe Cake – tarts in all sorts of flavours
Image credit: @ngchus_cafe
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to stop by Ngchus Cafe Cake on Jianzhong Street to sample their menu of desserts. Their tarts are a speciality here, and you’ll be able to feast of decadent flavours like lemon meringue, walnut and apple yoghurt. Each slice costs just NTD100(~$4.45), and you can even get an entire pie for NTD750 (~$33.45).
They sometimes offer seasonal desserts as well, like their lychee tart that goes for NTD140/slice (~$6.25).
Image adapted from: @ngchus_cafe
Dessert aside, the cafe’s cosy interior is worth a mention too. Their colour scheme is grey, paired with driftwood panels and hanging ferns that give it a breezy atmosphere. Be sure to look out for the cafe’s resident cats too!
Image credit: @ting.02.17
Address: No. 11號, Jianzhong Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10AM-6PM (Closed Mondays)
Telephone: +886 3 833 0902
If you can appreciate some quiet time on your vacays, mark Hualien down for your next trip. This underrated city has its fair share of night markets and outdoor activities, but with so many chio cafes with speciality coffees and delicious desserts, it’s definitely worth a visit.
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