A Rock Queen’s Guide to Hipster Taipei

The founder of White Wabbit, Taipei’s most influential indie record label and shop, KK Yeh finds inspiration in the city’s controversial art galleries, revolutionary teahouses, and red-light district temples.

No. 1, Section 2, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
“When bands are in town, I send them to the instrument shop ST Music, which is a five-minute walk away from the calligraphy tool shop, Geng Yen Jai. They sell an instrument called the pipa, which is like a Chinese guitar, plus Chinese flutes and very tiny Chinese hand cymbals.” —KK Yeh

This appeared in the November/December 2017 issue.
83 Section 1, Kaifeng Street
“This small mom-and-pop shop is famous for its Taiwanese fruit. The selection is seasonal, of course. In summer, try the mango, pineapple, or bananas. In winter, pears, melons, and grapes are best.” —KK Yeh

This appeared in the November/December 2017 issue.
No. 1, Lane 16, Section 3, Xinsheng South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
“In the 1980s, this teahouse was a gathering spot for artists, writers, thinkers, activists, advocates, and revolutionaries to talk about political reform and the ideal future. These days, it’s more symbolic—a tourist spot like the Café de Flore in Paris.” —KK Yeh

This appeared in the November/December 2017 issue.
No. 26, Lane 64, Section 2, Chongqing North Road, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
“Founded in 1890, Wang is the best place to experience tea culture in Taiwan. It’s in an elegant building that has red wallpaper and an old-timey Oriental atmosphere. Order a green tea and enjoy the live performances of nanguan, a type of traditional Chinese music.” —KK Yeh

This appeared in the November/December 2017 issue.
No. 18號, Alley 2, Lane 410, Minzu East Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491
“Most seafood restaurants in Taiwan have big fish tanks up front. People choose what they want to eat and the chef catches and cooks it. One minute, you see the fish, lobster, or crab in the tank; one minute later, it’s on your plate. Addiction Aquatic Development is a younger, cleaner, more modern restaurant, market, and bar that blends Taiwanese and Japanese styles. People dine in, but they also buy sauces, seasonings, and seafood to go. I’m old-fashioned and like to order the sashimi.” —KK Yeh
1 Section 1, Roosevelt Road
“From the outside, this looks like a regular Taiwanese restaurant and bar, with traditional furniture and decoration. But upstairs is a performance area that accommodates around 100 guests. There are at least three or four performances a week; my band Aphasia has played here. The shows start very late—typically 9 p.m.—and go as late as 2 a.m. You can party all night!” —KK Yeh

This appeared in the November/December 2017 issue.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: South America
Journeys: History
Journeys: Canada
Journeys: Canada