[This post will be updated if new information about places around the station comes available. 🙂 ]
Dear Tea (迪茶)
Info added on March 27, 2020.
One of Taipei’s oldest neighborhoods, Dadaocheng, was a center for trade in the late 19th century, with many shops exporting tea, camphor, and dried goods overseas. Some of the tea operations are run by fourth- or fifth-generation tea-sellers today, and newer tea-theme businesses have also moved into the old shophouses sporting Baroque and other Japanese-introduced architectural influences.
Opened in 2019, Dear Tea is one such tea shop. It sits in a quiet section of Dihua Street – a street perhaps best-known for its Lunar New Year market – with a characterful gin bar, craft brewery, and stationery and craft stores as its neighbors. The shop has an airy interior space with red-tile floors as the visual foundation. There are a few seats around the sleek counter, and behind the counter large aluminum canisters containing tea leaf are proudly displayed.
The giant vanilla ice-cream statue outside the narrow gray-concrete building gives a clue to their specialty, the bubble tea sundae. It’s as sinful as it sounds. A towering sundae overflowing with syrup and luscious tapioca pearls, it’s absolutely delightful. Other favorites include the honey-flavor black tea, guanyin oolong, jinxuan tea, and four seasons tea.
Dear Tea (迪茶)
Add: No. 10, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Datong Dist., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2549-0188
InBlooom mainly sells everyday lifestyle items, specializing in printed fabrics featuring quintessential local Taiwan elements, creating such practical-use items as T-shirts, bags, placemats, book covers, and much more.
Add: No. 28, Minle St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2555-1026
The Great ArtYard (大藝埕)
One of Dadaocheng’s great charms is the old heritage residences down along its lanes and alleys. One group of entrepreneurs has, one by one, conducted “micro cosmetic surgery” on local traditional townhouses. Starting with what’s now called the Small Arts Courtyard, ArtYard, United Artists Art Yard, and other locations have been added, creating collections of shops selling Taiwan designer goods, local specialty agricultural products, etc., and giving old buildings new life.
Inside the Small Arts Courtyard is BUWU, a Taiwan design-brand outlet featuring bags made with fabrics imprinted with colorful minimalist geometric patterns that match all attire.
UBook creates customized laser-engraved goods; in addition to notebooks and cards, it engraves desired graphics on chopsticks and other wood items.
Taiwan Bussan is a specialty vendor offering premium-quality local agricultural products, produce, and handicrafts.
Small Arts Courtyard (inside the A.S. Watson & Co. Building)
Add: No. 1, Ln. 32, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2552-1853
Inside ArtYard is Hakka Blue, purveyor of fashion-crafted Taiwan Hakka-theme daily-use items, such as the Hakka Mug set, combining ceramics with traditional Hakka floral-fabric and blue-dye shirt/blouse motifs. Another bestseller, the Dumpling Set, consists of cute condiment containers shaped like Chinese dumplings.
Add: No. 67, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2552-1367
United Artists Art Yard is home to Twine, a fair-trade store focused on attire, accessories, and lifestyle sundries. Fflavour sells fruits of all kinds and processed products from small farmers in Taiwan.
United Artists Art Yard (聯藝埕)
Add: No. 195~199, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Taipei City
Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum
Formerly the Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theatre Museum, on the first floor is the Puppet Workshop. On the second, third, and fourth floors are display spaces dedicated to Chinese shadow puppets, marionettes, traditional glove puppets, Golden Ray puppets, etc., plus the Nadou Theatre. There’s also an irregular schedule of puppet exhibitions and puppet-operation classes. Visit the website to learn more, and arrange a special puppetry-experience tour.
Add: No. 79-1, Xining N. Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2556-8909 (closed on Mondays and public holidays)
Taipei Xia-Hai City God Temple
Enshrined in this city heritage site is the Xia-Hai City God, plus the Old Man Under the Moon, famed for Cupid-like effectiveness and a favorite with unmarried visitors. After worship, savor “happiness” sweets and “peace and safety” tea made with Chinese jujube and goji berries, bringing warmth, contentedness, and good fortune.
Add: No. 61, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2558-0346
Yongle Fabric Market (永樂布業商場)
In days past, Dadaocheng was northern Taiwan’s key wholesale and retail market for fabrics. Today, Yongle Fabric Market is still home to 100-plus fabric shops on its second and third floors, Taipei’s largest cluster of such sellers. Here you can find traditional Taiwan floral fabrics, fashionable simple-line woven fabric, and also flannel and even tarpaulin and myriad other fabric types. There is a wide variety and prices are very reasonable. Experienced shoppers will buy fabrics on the second floor and have them made into custom-tailored qipao, curtains, carpets, and other items by master tailors on the third.
Add: 2 & 3F, No. 21, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Taipei City
Beimen is the closest MRT station to the southern end of well-known Dihua Street in Dadaocheng District.The focus for this vibrant, heritage-rich neighborhood in Taipei City is Taipei history. Dadaocheng is known for its dense cluster of traditional Chinese shophouse retail and wholesale outlets, selling regional specialty items from around Taiwan and further afield, notably Chinese medicines, traditional fabrics, and food treats. The community, founded as a Tamsui River riverport in the 1850s, is today home to what is the best-preserved and most complete “lived-in” architectural museum in Taiwan.
Dihua Street is the community’s heart and main tourist destination. It was long the most important traditional-goods wholesale market on the island, and is still thriving after well over 100 years. The street becomes joyfully, uproariously busy in the run-up to the Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year and Spring Festival) period as locals stock up on New Year celebration necessities.
Urban Regeneration Station
As part of the city’s URS (Urban Regeneration Station) campaign, old residences along Section 2, Yanping North Road and Dihua Street have been renovated, becoming homes for entrepreneurs and creators or used as public spaces, injecting new cultural vitality into the old community.
URS 44 – Dadaocheng Story House
The first floor here is now home to a full-service tourist info center; the second and third floors are used for lectures and other activities.
Add: No. 44, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2555-8484
Yao de Herb
This business started in 1946. During a thorough renovation of the shop, the old medicine cabinets were preserved while the space was given a complete new look. Here you can enjoy some traditional natural drinks in a relaxed atmosphere. During a hot day, order a refreshing slightly sweet herbal tea or a bitter tea with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Aloe vera tea is especially popular with those concerned about their beautiful appearance.
Add: No. 55, Minle St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2558-9510
Taipei Fazhu Gong Temple
Fazhu Gong was originally the home-region patron saint of people living in Quanzhou, and this temple became the believe center of Anxi tea merchants. His annual birthday celebrations (on the 23rd day of the 9th lunar month) are a major event, with countless devotees praying and receiving auspicious “red turtle cakes” symbolizing peace and safety.
Add: No. 2, Ln. 344, Nanjing W. Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2556-2964
North Gate (Beimen) (北門)
Originally called “Cheng’en Gate,” in earlier times this was the key portal for travel between the old walled City and Dadaocheng. Outer walls covered with red brick, this is a rare surviving example of a south Fujian-style blockhouse city gate. With the Zhongxiao Bridge approach road now dismantled, unobstructed views of the gate can be enjoyed.
Location: Zhongxiao W. Rd., Yanping S. Rd., and Bo’ai Rd., Taipei City
Futai Street Mansion (撫臺街洋樓)
This heritage building is one of the few commercial buildings in Taipei left from the Japanese colonial era. The steeply slanted roof, dormer windows, stone arcade pillars, diamondback mosaic created in wood on the portico ceiling, and other intricate façade elements are a showcase of the era’s commercial-store architectural aesthetics. After renovation in 2009 the edifice became a repository and display space for Taipei old-city history, providing tourists with a deep look into the city’s past.
Add: No. 26, Yanping S. Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2314-8080 (closed on Sundays)
Beimen Camera Commercial District
Located in the Bo’ai Road area from near the North Gate to the Hankou Street intersection, this district has Taiwan’s densest concentration of photography-equipment outlets. Many of the shops have been in business for decades. Everything’s here – traditional to digital cameras, lenses, peripheral gear … you name it, you got it in this photography buff treasure-hunting paradise.
Location: Intersection of Bo’ai Rd. and Hankou St.
In days gone by a favorite gathering spot for government officials, literati, and celebrities, the décor at this heritage café has a classic European look, with nostalgic leather chairs, wood window frames, and colored lighting. Former President Chiang Ching-kuo’s Russian wife, Chiang Fang-liang, had a passion for the fresh, distinctive taste of Astoria’s Russian-style jellied fish. Other classic specialties include the rich, savory Russian borscht, made with beetroot, vegetables, and tender beef, and Russian soft candy.
Add: 2F, 7, Sec. 1, Wuchang St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2381-5589
Sheng Yuan Pharmacy (生元草本)
Add: No. 181, Nanjing W. Rd., Datong District, Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2555-5070