Bakeries in Taipei

When I moved to Taiwan over a decade ago, finding good bread was hard. The first loaf of bread I bought was in a supermarket and although it looked quite normal, it ended up being filled with rousong, which is an experience you might not want to have. As such. I’ve thrown together a list of bakeries that are worth shopping at that have more western style breads. There are a lot more bakeries in Taipei and in the past couple of years, there are also a ton of patisseries and let’s not forget Japanese style cheese tarts and cheese cake shops.

My current favourite bakery has to be Rise. The selection is fairly limited, but they make an excellent sourdough loaf. They also have things like croissants, focaccia (not quite the real deal, but close), scones, baguettes and Pain au Lait. They also sell things like cinnamon rolls, hazelnut croissants and various other sweet treats. It’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area, or even a detour, just because.

While on the topic of croissants, we have MyCroissant by Guillaume, which as the name implies, mainly makes various types of croissants. They’re possible the best croissants you’ll get in Taiwan and they offer a wide range of varieties. There’s also some bread on offer here and some other French style sweet baked goods. I highly recommend the yuzu filled croissants, when available, as they make your tastes buds tingle of joy.

Paul was as far as I’m aware the first French bakery chain to open up in Taiwan. Although several others followed, most of them failed, but Paul is still around, even though they have fewer locations now than they did at their peak. Be warned though, it’s expensive. Their strawberry millefeuille used to be very nice, although I haven’t been here in a few years, so I can’t say what it’s like now. Note that his is a big international chain, so don’t expect anything really standout here.

Mr. Mark is an old school “western” bakery in Taiwan and has been around since 1998. Most breads are very localized, but they have some plain rye and oat based breads that aren’t terrible. I would steer clear from anything that looks like cake here, as healthy is apparently this bakeries middle name. They also sell some other food items, like jam, yoghurt, nuts and some other things.

Oma’s German Bakery is another bakery that’s been around for quite some time and it’s focus is on German style baked goods. They have a few branches and also some restaurants that sell their bread. They have a pretty decent selection of bread, although as with Mr. Mark, the focus is on a lot of healthy bread. However, they do also sell a selection of decent cakes and other sweet treats. Pricing tend to be pretty reasonable for what they sell. Keep in mind that they have limited stock and do sell out. They also sell some other food items online.

Wendel’s German Bakery & Bistro was the most famous German bakery when I moved to Taiwan, but at the time they only had a location in Tienmu and I have still not ventured there. They have since opened a location near the Sun Yat-Sen memorial hall which is much more convenient to get to. Personally I’m not a huge fan of their bread or their food, but they make excellent and affordable cake slices.

Gontran Cherrier Bakery is another French style bakery that obviously offers croissants, but also has an excellent French country bread. A lot of their products are quite local and they have some odd items on offer too. Their main location is near the Sun Yat-Sen memorial hall.

Lugar was one of the early French/Italian style bakeries that I’m aware of. I haven’t been for years, as after expanding a lot, something seemingly went wrong and all their outlets closed and they moved to a peculiar location. They used to have very decent bread and cakes though, but I can’t really say what it’s like now.

GinoPasco is a Japanese/Taiwanese bakery that has some decent bread, especially a kind of very pale, but fluffy white bread. These days they only have five locations, of which one is in Taoyuan.

Flavor Field is another local bakery that you would find in the Fuxing Sogo. They have a decent rye bread and some better quality toast, as well as a lot of local items.

Saison Du Soleil is another local chain bakery that you’ll find in some of the malls. They have some decent bread by western standards.

Lugar home bread bar

Bread, it’s so easy to get good bread in Europe (not counting the UK), but once you go elsewhere in the world, you quickly find that good bread is one of those things that is actually not very easy to find. I’d seen the Lugar home bread bar in the food court in the 101 building just outside of Jasons before, but I hadn’t really paid attention to it, as most bakeries here are not all that special. Sure, there’s Mr Mark which is ok, better than most stuff I ate in the UK, but still quite far off the stuff you can get back home.

So today I was wasting some time in the 101 waiting for my girlfriend to get something in the office so we could grab a bite to eat in the food court and spotted a few things in Jasons I wanted to buy that was on sale. Once she turned up we had some food and then got the stuff I wanted, but when we left we took a different route than normally and walked past Lugar home bread bar. Their shop in the 101 looks more like a cafe than a bakery and maybe this is why I gave it a miss before and the poor English on the menu didn’t help either.

However, today they had little bits of their bread cut up for people to taste and I picked up a piece of something that looked like rye bread. To my surprise this tasted very close to something I could’ve bought from a German or maybe Austrian or Swiss bakery. It was slightly chewy and the more you chew it, the more flavour was released. A really tasty bread of a kind I’ve never had in Taiwan before and a real surprise. We also tasted some other kind of rye bread with raisins and we bought a loaf of each, the plain rye was a mere NT$90 while the one with raisins was NT$120. They also have focaccia, rye and chocolate (go figure), some kind of cumin bread and a whole bunch of other stuff.

The main shop is on Anhe road and it looks like they have more stuff on sale there, although I haven’t been there so I can’t really say. They also sells all sorts of cakes and other sweet baked goods, soup, sandwiches and various types of condiments. This is easily a place I’ll get more bread from and it’s the best bakery I’ve found in Taiwan so far and hopefully things will go well for them and they’ll open up more branches. You can find their website here, although it doesn’t seem to be working that well. The exact address of the main shop is No 3, Lane 49, Section 1, Anhe Rd, Da-an district, Taipei and you can call them on 02-2771-7577.

Update: Ok, so we’ve been back a couple of times already. We tried a sort of southern European style bread and it had a really nice and crispy crust it was soft and tasty inside. It was quite expensive, but it was a bigger loaf than the two we tried the previous time. I also had breakfast there and bought something that had a baguette shape, but shorter, but was made with whole grain flour and was very soft and tasty. It was called a smoked beef sandwich, but turned out to be pastrami with salad and pickles as well as a dijon dressing, very tasty and not too pricey at NT$100 with a large cup of tea. Sure, it’s not every day breakfast, but it’s nice as a treat. They serve breakfast from 8.00-10.00 at their shop in the 101.

Update 2: Lugar is still around, although not in the locations above and according to their website they should have a shop in Sogo, but we checked and it’s not there. So make sure you check their website for their locations, both which appears to be not too far from the 101.