It’s true – everyone loves to be in on the secret. So when speakeasy-like bars started popping up all over the bay, people were ALL about it. I mean, for months, people stood in line for more than an hour at Single Barrel in downtown San Jose. To get into one of the speakeasy bars in San Francisco, you have to pay an additional $2,500 membership on top of your Giants season tickets. Like what? No.
I think the only time I was really excited about going to a speakeasy-like bar was when I was in Seattle (Bathtub Gin and Co.) with Tina. But then, I almost fainted in there. So clearly, speakeasies and I don’t mix well together. (At least there were hot dogs outside of Bathtub Gin and Co.! Hot dogs make everything better.)
Although secret drinking places aren’t my jam, the secret Starbucks located on the 35th floor of the Taipei 101 definitely is! It’s so secret that not only do you have to make reservations in advance, they have someone specifically lead you from the ground floor to the store.
Wanting to grab breakfast before our coffee date with Welma, Steph and I went back to Yong He Dou Jiang Da Wang (永和豆漿大王).
My bracelet from Long Shan Temple!
Back in the day, they let you get an access card to visit the Starbucks on the day of. But because of the huge number of tourists, they changed their policies. Now, you need to make reservations at least a day in advance. To do this, all you have to do is call them, which might be hard if you’re a tourist and don’t have a cell phone. If you’re staying at a hotel, you can ask the front desk to do this. We were lucky Welma booked our reservations! The reservations allowed you to stay at the Starbucks for 1.5 hours.
This is the entrance you’re supposed to go into! It is the SongZhi Street entrance, which is located at the corner of SongZhi and XinYi Street. They have security guards outside, so just mention you have reservations for Starbucks. Make sure you come a little before your reservation time!
Once you’re inside the building, there will be a corner that all the people with reservations will be waiting at. A Starbucks employee will check everyone’s reservation before taking the group upstairs.
Pro tip: When you get into the elevators, stand closest to the doors. That way, you’ll be one of the first ones out aka you get first pick on where you want to sit inside the store. We were one of the first ones out and got window seats, woohoo!
With your reservations, each person needs to spend at least NT$200 ($6). This was pretty easy because you can hit that amount with a drink and a snack. Or you can purchase Starbucks merchandise. The cake selection here is so freaking awesome. The Starbucks in America needs to step up their game in the cake department…
Since this Starbucks is located in a professional working space, they expect you not to come in shorts or slippers. During our 90 minutes there, we saw a lot of professionals coming in for coffee to go. They’re pretty lucky to be able to get some coffee with such fabulous views all the time!
If you’re looking to check out the beautiful view of Taipei, but don’t want to spend the NT$500 ($17) to go all the way up to the 88th and 89th floor (Indoor Observatory) or 91st floor (Outdoor Observatory), the secret Starbucks is a cheaper alternative.