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The Green Steps

---By Claire Tyrell Translated by Ann Lee

(02) 2392-3719
27, Lane 243, JinHua St
Hours: Sun-Thu 12-11 pm
???/Fri/Sat 12 pm-12 am
Credit cards not accepted. Smoking area outside.
Menu Language: Chinese/English
MRT: GuTing, CKS Memorial

It is true that the streets of Taipei are positively brimming with coffee shops, but while many are just a convenient stop-off, there are those few where the coffee and the ambience are really worth savouring. As soon as you come across The Green steps, just off YongKang St, you can tell it belongs to the latter category.

Foliage creeps through the wrought-iron railings, and the quaint lamps placed around the small outside patio add that special touch. The inside of the cafe is also a very open plan, with two cosy overhanging areas upstairs, and the huge windows giving the place a very airy feel. The plants and trellis continue along the side windows so, with the slightest imagination, you can believe you are out in nature. Add the subtle music, and the wind down begins!

Food-wise, offerings are a variety of cakes or cookies (NT$120), and desserts that range from NT$150 to NT$200, including the old faves like Tiramisu, and the good, slightly nutty Chocolate Brownie with cream. Bagels and waffles are NT$160, or you can choose from tuna or chicken for the filling toasted sandwich (NT$160).
Plenty of good teas and coffees are available, including more unusual choices like Lavender Latte (NT$200/300 pot), or the house special coffee (NT$200), which is also a latte, with a subtle and intriguing herby flavour. Lavazza and Illy black coffees are available; two well-known, quality names in Italian coffee. Also available for take away are packets of Taiwan's oolong tea. These start at NT$380/150g and go up to NT$750 for the Alishan leaves.

Outside patios are still somewhat of a rarity in Taipei and, with some cover from the elements, this is a great place to while away the time. Once it's dark and the lamps are lit, the atmosphere is one that will certainly add a touch of romance to the night.


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