Ximending (West Gate District)
Taipei and Taiwan’s Key Youth Entertainment and Fashion Center
Text: Vision Int’l
Photos: Vision Int’l
Ximending is the key youth sub-culture center of Taipei, a colorful and pulsating emporium of clothing and accessories, food and drink, and entertainment and art. It is at the same time a Taipei attraction that has its finger on the pulse of international fashion, oft compared to Tokyo’s Shibuya and Harajuku districts, its vivacity also attracting large numbers of overseas visitors. Here are a few of the many Ximending shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Shopping and Entertainment
Wannian Commercial Building (萬年商業大樓)
A shopping and entertainment mecca for young people, Wannian Commercial Building has an ice palace (skating), MTV (private-room movie viewing), pool hall, and other entertainment and leisure facilities. There is also a Japanese comic/anime and model exchange center. This is a favorite Ximending spot for fans of all things Japanese.
Add: 70 Xining S. Rd., Wanhua District, Taipei City (台北市萬華區西寧南路70號)
Tel: (02) 2381-6282
Hours: Tue~Sun 11am~9pm; Mon 2~9:30pm
The Red House (西門紅樓)
This two-story, red-brick Western-style building is a national Grade 3 historical site that has been transformed into a cultural-creative design space and arts/performance venue. It has a café, exhibition space, and cultural-creative designer boutiques, along with an indie-designer creative market on weekends and holidays.
Add: 10 Chengdu Rd., Wanhua District, Taipei City (台北市萬華區成都路10號)
Tel: (02) 2311-9380
Hours: Tue~Sun 11am~9:30pm
|eslite Bookstore Ximen Branch (西門誠品)|
This bookstore is on the 3rd floor of the oldest shopping center in Ximending. The superior reading environment makes the bookstore a popular place for locals, as well as for foreign tourists exploring Ximending.
Add: B1-3F, 52, Emei St., Wanhua District, Taipei City (台北市萬華區峨眉街52號B1-3F)
Tel: (02) 2388-6588
|Chengdu Carambola (Star Fruit) Soup (成都楊桃湯) |
This renowned ice-treat shop, established in 1966, is famous for its carambola, plum, and pineapple ice creations. The preserved fruit is covered in crushed ice. Sweet, savory, and sour flavors can be tasted in a single mouthful, a rather unusual ice experience.
Add: 3 Chengdu Rd., Wanhua District, Taipei City (台北市萬華區成都路三號)
Tel: (02) 2381-0309
|Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle (阿宗麵線)|
This is a small eatery with a big reputation. One of the most popular dishes is aromatic rice-noodle thick soup with chewy sausage, fish shavings, and shredded bamboo shoots. Eaten with a sprinkling of Chinese parsley or Chinese basil and with a splash of Ay-Chung’s own hot sauce, this dish is highly flavorsome.
Add: 8-1, Emei St., Wanhua District, Taipei City (台北市萬華區峨眉街8-1號)
Tel: (02) 2388-8808
|Lao Tien Lu (老天祿滷味)|
This is a renowned, long-established soy sauce-braised food restaurant. The braising liquid is a mix of water, soy sauce, and Chinese medicinal herbs, lending a rich and delicious taste to the food items. The tasty dishes, including duck tongue and duck wing, attract gourmands from around Taiwan, and even from abroad.
Add: 55, Sec. 2, Wuchang St., Wanhua District, Taipei City (台北市萬華區武昌街二段55號)
Tel: (02) 2361-5588
Ah Tsai Milk Fish (阿財虱目魚)
This well-known Taiwanese-cuisine eatery is open until the early hours each day, drawing a steady stream of hungry night-owls. Its dry-fried milk fish, seafood congee, and three cup clam are especially renowned.
Add: 53 Neijiang St., Wanhua District, Taipei City (台北市萬華區內江街53號)
Tel: (02) 2370-3378
Hours: Mon~Sat 10pm~6am
|This granddaddy of Taipei coffee houses is a Taiwanese-style business established in 1956. As well as selling coffee and old-style biscuits/cookies, it also offers coffee bean and coffee accessories.
Add: 42 Chengdu Rd., Wanhua District, Taipei City (台北市萬華區成都路42號)
Tel: (02) 2371-9577
Chin-Hsiang Foods Guangdong Shantou Satay Hot Pot (清香廣東汕頭沙茶鍋)
This famous and long-established satay hot-pot restaurant uses stock pork bones as the base of its soup stock. The other ingredients, such as meat slices, vegetables, and various unique Taiwanese-style selections, are ordered individually.
Add: 5, Lane 82, Xining S. Rd., Taipei City (台北市西寧南路82巷5號)
Tel: (02) 2331-9561
Hours: 5pm~12 midnight
|America Street (美國街)|
Shops in this area sell a wide variety of fashionable US clothing and accessories. Another special feature is that the walls on both sides of the lanes and alleys, and the iron doors of the shops, are decorated with graffiti.
Area: Lane 120, Sec. 2, Wucheng St. (武昌街二段120巷) / Lane 74, Kunming St. (昆明街74巷) / Lane 96, Kunming St. (昆明街96巷) / Lane 90, Sec. 2, Hankou St. (漢口街二段90巷)
Movie Street (電影街)
Among the long-established movie theaters operating on Ximending’s famed “Movie Street” are Lux Cinema, VieShow, and in89 Digital Cinemax. This is a prime place to catch the latest flicks from Taiwan and Hollywood.
Area: Sec. 2, Wuchang St. (武昌街二段)
|Party Supplies Street (派對道具街)
This street is the place to head to if you need to rent or buy costumes and props for a party.
Area: Hankou Street (漢中街)