This post is for all you brunch fans out there!
Today’s find, Humble beginnings cafe, is located in the beautiful area of Tianmu (天母).
Compared to the rest of Taipei, Tianmu is a relatively quiet and residential neighborhood, with streets lined with trees and free from much of the human and vehicular traffic that clogs up much of the city. Besides its greenery, boutique shops and high standard of living, Tianmu is also known for its large international population and is home to two international schools, one American and the other Japanese. Hence, there are also many local restaurants offering ethnic cuisines to be found here.
When I arrived, there were already some people seated both inside and outside eating breakfast. My first job was to flip through the extensive menu, and I finally decided on an organic egg-on-toast sandwich with ham and a small side salad, and chose an Americano as my included drink. After I ordered, I was asked to sit at one of two tables since, as I learned later, they had a reservation for eight.
But I wasn’t too bothered, since I landed a pretty sweet spot right in the middle of the store behind the self-service area, where I had a clear view of the entire place and could people watch as I please, without feeling like I was sitting at the center of everyone’s unwanted attention.
I could tell that the owner had taken a lot of care with furnishing and decorating the coffee shop, which was pretty spacious without feeling too roomy. Hanging on the wall where I was sitting were a few coffee bean sacks, with tiny little props–toy benches and even a petite crate filled with real coffee beans–spaced along a small ledge at intervals. The miniature theme continued along the back wall of the cafe, where an upright piano sat, its top completely covered by an assortment of decorations and scaled-down models. Here and there, quiet Christian references could be found in framed verses and on pins and signs.
Directly across from the piano was a huge teddy bear, who looked like a sort of fluffy gatekeeper, sitting there in front of the entrance to the very nice-looking bathroom.Along the side of the cafe opposite the two-person tables were small enclaves that allowed for group seating around low tables.
The front of the coffee store consisted of an area that almost looked like a sunroom, surrounded as it was on all sides by large windows that allowed in quite a bit of natural lighting and which I greatly appreciated. An island counter dominated the center of the cafe (as can be seen in the first picture), and pillars and ledges of exposed brick added to the quaint, rustic feel of the place.
And now, for the food!
My breakfast was, in a word, delicious. Even though it was a little pricey, the sandwich was incredibly substantial and filling and even the egg on top was done just right (you can request it be runny or fully cooked), although the side salad was admittedly smaller than even I expected. On the upside, the coffee was fairly large and tasted good. As I lounged there, eventually more families and couples came in, and although it didn’t get that loud, it did get pretty busy, to the point that I felt a bit guilty staying longer than I needed. Seems like more people knew about this place than I thought!
Although it didn’t turn out to be the study/reading spot that I was hoping for, I really appreciated the consideration put into the decor and the food, as well the overall light-hearted, pleasant ambiance of the place. In short, perfect for brunch!
- Charming get-together spot for (Sunday) brunch
- Food is a bit pricey, but substantial and delicious (and organic)
- Lovely decor, comfortable, brightly lit, lots of windows
- Family friendly
- Free wifi – Yes
- Outlets – Here and there
- English menu
Humble beginnings cafe
Address: No. 36-1, Section 7, Zhongshan North Road, Shilin District, Taipei City, 111
Hours: 8:30am – 10pm