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Although I generally hermit away in my apartment to write, there’s a point at which one needs to take a shower and go out into the world. I’ve been searching and searching for the perfect writing cafe in Taipei, and I still haven’t found exactly what I want.

The Quest for the Perfect Writing Cafe

Cafe Showroom @Eslite Songyan, Taipei

As I write this, I’m sitting at one of the top contenders, but it’s not quite right (the music is too loud, and there’s a lot of foot traffic walking by, even if the cafe isn’t crowded). The problem with writing in Taipei is that cafes are so popular, and Taiwanese people don’t like to stay at home. Malls and brunch places are packed on the weekends, and because I still have a day job, the hours I can write are generally at prime time meal times. Some of the popular cafe/restaurants require that you spend a certain amount, or limit you to a 90 minute seating time. It’s not conducive to creativity, especially when the waitstaff are hovering and you feel packed in like a sad little sardine.

A perfect cafe should:

-Be quiet. Ambient noise is fine. Screaming people and children, not so much

-Have outlets. Otherwise, when the laptop battery dies, it’s time to go home.

-Have comfortable seats and roomy tables. No one wants to relive those wretched folding desks from college. We already have slouchy computer posture.

-Be low pressure. I don’t want to feel rushed to clear out or keep ordering food.

-Not be packed. It’s too hard to work with a million and one people moving around.

I can usually find places that hit 3/5 of these, but I’m always searching for the perfect 5/5.

The quest continues!