As a Starbucks fan, I have visited many Starbucks specialty stores in Taiwan.
The eight Starbucks stores listed below are all based in traditional buildings in Taiwan. Some of them have beautiful architectural exterior;s some possess long historical stories; and some integrate coffee with local culture.
As I browsed through Instagram, I found out that that many of these specialty stores are popular with foreigners.
People were impressed by the design of the buildings and really liked the “old fashioned” style of Starbucks.
Why not visit one or more during your next trip to Taiwan?
Photo: asubon__ on Instagram
Xinxing Xinfeng – Hsinchu (新竹新豐門市)
Instead of just being based in any old building, Xinfeng Starbucks was transformed from the nostalgic old Xinfeng railway station that was first built in 1893, and thereafter
rebuilt several times over the past century.
This railway station meant a lot to the local citizens.
Photo: weiwei1913 on Instagram
In order to keep the original appearance of the railway station, the whole store was
designed based on the concept of a train station.
For example, the wheel-shaped totem on the wall symbolizes trains waiting at the station, which demonstrates the rustic charm of the site. The windows were also specially designed like those on the trains that used to stop here.
Photo: doreenpeng on Instagram
Drinking a cup of coffee in this store is like immersing oneself in the old railway station hall.
If you enjoy watching trains passing by, there are also some seats featuring this activity.
Address: No. 202, Xinxing Rd., Xinfeng Township, Hsinchu County, 304
Bao An Datong (保安門市)
Bao An Starbucks was originally an old mansion of the ‘Yeh’s’ located in the bustling Dadaocheng area of Taipei.
Yeh was one of the richest merchants in Dadaocheng at that time, a fact seen in which the luxurious architecture. This building was thus preserved by the government, and
in order to keep the Baroque architecture in place, Starbucks designed this store based on the concept of “New and old fusion”, emphasizing elegance, comfort, and a layered design technique. The high arch structure and arch windows have made Bao An Starbucks distinct from other Starbucks.
Address: No. 11, Bao’an St., Datong District, Taipei City, 103
Photo: alonhuang1215 on Instagram
Yi 14 – Keelung (義 14門市)
The origin of Yi 14 Keelung Starbucks was as a Renaissance style old building constructed in the 1950s. This Starbucks is located on the arterial road of Keelung, and is also close to Keelung Port. The unique design of the original building has made this Starbucks both vintage and elegant.
Photo: Bill Lin
As we can see from the side, the top of the building curls at both ends. The shape looks like a hat, thereby symbolizing the dignity of gentlemen in the past. The bay windows on the side also add a retro feeling to the building.
Photo: Bill Lin
Yi 14 is the only Starbucks in Taiwan with a postbox. You can buy postcards here and send them to your friends and family. Whoever receives the postcard can take it to any Starbucks in Taiwan and enjoy a “buy one get one free” offer.
Address: No. 14, Yiyi Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Keelung City, 202
Fancy a cup of coffee in a fire department? The predecessor of Huwei Starbucks was a
government building during the Japanese occupation period.
It was a four-story observation loft building, and once the tallest building in Huwei, but after World War 2, this building became the joint station of Huwei police and Fire Brigade. The building is also a Grade III historical site.
Many historical rudiments, such as firefighting poles and “Fong An Ku” (similar to imperial edicts) are found in the store.
Address: No. 491, Section 1, Linsen Rd., Huwei Township, Yunlin County, 632
Photo: jacklsy on Instagram
Yuying Yingge (鶯歌門市)
Yuying Yingge Starbucks is located in the well-known Yingge Old Street, which is famous for ceramics.
The exterior of the building is very eye-catching.
One of the most distinctive features of this Starbucks is the construction material used in the building. Local materials such as ceramics, circle terracotta, kiln pottery, diamond panes, and terrazzo tiles are all incorporated into the design of the building.
Besides using local materials, Yingge Starbucks also collaborated with local craftsmen. Many ceramic works can be found in the store.
Starbucks here has successfully created an emotional bond with the local citizens.
Plenty of seats are available. You should definitely have a look at this magnificent
architecture when you visit Yingge Old Street.
Address: No. 67, Yuying St., Yingge Dist., New Taipei City, 239
Photo: alonhuang1215 on Instagram
Han Zhong (漢中門市)
Han Zhong Starbucks is located in Ximending – one of the busiest areas in Taipei. It was the first “Old Building Starbucks” store in Taiwan.
To be honest, I have passed by this Starbucks several times but did not appreciate how beautiful it was until I wrote this piece.
The building was built in 1982.
Originally it was a study center called “Lian Yuan”. It then turned into a steak house and different kinds of restaurant before it became the Starbucks we see today.
This building features a strong local feeling. The canton tile exterior design and wooden
indoor decorations have created a pristine atmosphere for this Starbucks.
I guarantee that you will be stunned by the spaciousness created by the strut structure from the rooftop to the bottom.
Address: 1F., No. 51, Hanzhong St., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City, 108
Chong Qing (重慶門市)
Chong Qing Starbucks was the first image store that featured “Art Space”. The origin of this building was a tea shop constructed in 1899.
Starbucks did not refurbish the shop too much.
Instead, they just did some minor adjustments. Pictures of the old building and street views can be found in the store. The light color arcade, wall lamps, white arcade window and door, and vintage doorknobs together with the Roman style cloister create a pleasant atmosphere for the customers.
Address: No. 104, Section 1, Chongqing South Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City, 108
Photo: ryan.history on Instagram
Bangka – Xiyuan (艋舺門市)
The predecessor of Bangka Starbucks was a historical site – the Wanhua Lin House.
The concept of this Starbucks is to revitalize old buildings and to promote community development.
If you are interested in the history of the building, there is also a tour (timetable can be found on the official website) that will guide you through the premises.
Many of the original features of Wanhua Lin House were preserved.
For example, the red brick exterior and the old-fashioned double door. This is a four-story building. The first and second floors are places where people can enjoy coffee, and the third and fourth floors are Lin’s private space, which will only open to people at a specific time.
Don’t miss the “Starbucks Mermaid Embroidery Artwork” on the second floor. Famous
attractions from around the area are incorporated into the artwork.
Address: No. 24, Lane 306, Section 1, Xiyuan Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City, 108
All photos by the author unless otherwise stated.