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List of Best Milk Tea and Coffee Shops in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Two things are overflowing in Taiwan: the sea of scooters on the road and milk tea shops. I’m not kidding when I say there is at least one milk tea shop on every single block! After all, Taiwan is the birthplace of bubble tea. Righteously, Taiwanese are milk tea snobs. And just like  beef noodle soup, everyone has an opinion about which one is the best.

When you visit Taiwan, it’s almost mandatory to try as many milk tea as possible. Only then, you can decide your own best milk tea.

Xing Fu Tang Kaohsiung

With the recent craze over brown sugar bubble tea, Xing Fu Tang (幸福堂) is here in Kaohsiung! Xing Fu Tang is a new bubble tea brand that already has more than 60 stores in Taiwan alone since its launch in 2018.

It’s best known for its “stir-fried” Brown Sugar Pearl Milk (黑糖珍珠鮮奶; NT $55 for iced, NT $65 for hot). The bubbles are made in the traditional way and steeped in caramelized brown sugar. When you order your drink, you will get to see the server scoop the stir-fried brown sugar bubbles directly from a giant wok in display at the store.

Address: No. 168, Xintian Road, Kaohsiung 800 Taiwan.

Tiger Sugar Kaohsiung

Originated from Taichung – the birth city of bubble tea, Tiger Sugar (老虎堂) is currently one of the most hyped brands in the bubble tea industry. It has been expanding its footprint to Southeast Asia – including Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Kaohsiung also got one store, too.

Dark brown sugar syrup is first poured along the side of a cup, then fresh milk cream (instead of regular milk or powder milk) is added. This process creates the brand’s iconic tiger stripes inside the cup, hence the name.

Jen Ju Dan Kaohsiung

Jen Ju Dan (珍煮丹) is the latest addition to Kaohsiung. While Jen Ju Dan’s Brown Sugar Bubble Milk looks plain without the tiger stripes, it is my favorite because this is the only brand of its kind, letting me adjust the sugar level.

Other than its signature Brown Sugar Bubble Milk (黑糖珍珠鮮奶; NT $50 for M or NT $70 for L), Jen Ju Dan offers many unique brown sugar drinks that its competitors don’t provide. While taro milk, winter melon lemon tea or pudding milk are all common in Taiwan, Jen Ju Dan turns them into their specialty drinks by brilliantly adding brown sugar.

There is also a range of tea lattes, matcha with red beans (宇治抹茶紅豆; NT $65 for M, NT $85 for L) and honey chrysanthemum tea with lemon (蜂蜜檸檬菊花茶; NT $50). Toppings like bubbles, red bean, pudding, coconut jelly, and grass jelly can be added to any of the drinks at an additional fee (NT $5-10 each).

Address: 1st Floor, No. 152, Xintian Road, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City

Shuang Fei Milk Tea 

Shuang Fei Milk Tea (双妃奶茶) is probably the most famous locally-owned milk tea shop in Kaohsiung. This shop has its own unique system to prepare beverages. Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are brewed and made in barrels. Then, they add fresh milk (instead of creamer) and boba to the customer’s liking. They don’t add ice to keep the flavor consistent. Each tea has four different menus based on the sweetness; you can choose from these menus to adjust your drink’s sugar level.

Address: No. 173號, Xinyue Street, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 803

Lao Jiang Milk Tea 

Lao Jiang (老江紅茶牛奶) is the place for people who like an “old-school” milk tea. Since 1953, this place has been serving milk tea. For some locals, this is a nostalgic place from their youth.

What makes this shop even more special is that they are open for 24 hours and serve breakfast all day long, except for omelet only available until noon My favorite menu here is Omelet with Dried Pork Floss (肉鬆蛋餅), but other omelets and butter toast taste great. To keep the flavor consistent, this shop insists on its own milk tea recipe with a fixed amount of sugar and no ice.

Address: No. 163號, Dalian Street, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 807

Kaohsiung Milk King 

Since its establishment in 1966, Kaohsiung Milk King (高雄牛奶大王) has been a local staple. Papaya Milk is the best in town!

This shop uses fresh seasonal fruits instead of the frozen kind with flavored syrup. Once the fruit is out of the season, it is off the menu. But not to worry. The selections are extensive from papaya to mango to watermelon. If nothing at all, peanut milk is always “in season.”

Address: No. 65之5號, Zhonghua 3rd Road, Qianjin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 801

Milk Shop

With the green grass-theme interior, Milk Shop (迷客夏) has a fresh, healthy vibe. Milk Shop only uses fresh milk in all of its drinks, sourced directly from their own farm. Their specialty drinks, such as Taro Milk (大甲芋頭鮮奶) and Strawberry Milk (出雲抹茶鮮奶), are made with fresh ingredients and delicious! Milk tea here is tasty as well.

Address: No. 455, Ruilong Road, Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 806

Chun Shui Tang 

Originally from Taichung, Chun Shui Tang (春水堂) is the most famous milk tea shop brand in Taiwan. Many say this is the brand that first created the original boba. Their boba pride is so great that sometimes the staff refuses to serve the drinks without boba.

Unlike many other take-out shops, table service is available, as well as snack foods. The store is always crowded with locals and tourists. It’s worthwhile to visit to experience its famous original Pearl Milk Tea (珍珠奶茶).

Address: 806, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Qianzhen District, Zhonghua 5th Road, 789號1F

50 Lan (50蘭)

50 Lan (50蘭) is the largest milk tea chain in Taiwan and has 20+ stores in Kaohsiung. You can’t miss this shop. 50 Lan is like Starbucks here. It seems to pop up everywhere and can’t really go wrong. But if you appreciate more unique places, this might be too boring for you.

When you ask for milk tea, this shop serves the drink with creamer as default (奶茶–奶精). If you prefer fresh milk, be sure to choose from their Tea Latte menu (拿鐵–鮮奶). You can adjust sugar level to from no sugar at all to 30%, 50%, 70% or 100%, and ice level from no ice to regular amount.

Address: No. 43, Zili 1st Road, Qianjin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 801

Coffee Culture in Taiwan

Taiwan has a strong tea culture, and it is deeply integrated into the daily lives. Nevertheless, coffee is also a popular choice of drink.

In other cultures, people drink coffee for the caffeine boost in the morning. Interestingly, I noticed that not many coffee shops open in the early morning, especially in Kaohsiung. Maybe it’s a reflection of the laid-back southern lifestyle. But my theory is that Taiwanese go to a coffee shop to meet people during the day, rather than grab one on the go for the caffeine fix. It’s a good idea to check business hours before you hit the road.

Gavagai Cafe

Gavagai Cafe is our new favorite cafe in Kaohsiung. And here’s why.

First, their coffee is excellent. Gavagai has a great selection of coffee beans and does in-house roasting. The aroma of coffee in this place is fantastic! The moment I saw the barista, I had a feeling that he knows what he is doing. (It’s a very subjective observation.)

Second, their baked goods are delicious. In Kaohsiung, I’ve had difficulty finding a coffee shop that does both coffee and cakes right. Gavagai’s pound cakes are yummy.

Lastly, the zen environment at Gavagai makes me feel calm. I love the natural wood bar, tables, and chairs. In the back, there is a seating floor where you can read books. If it wasn’t for the hot weather, I wanted to check out the cute outdoor garden behind the seating area.

Address: No. 11, Lane 80, Dunhuang Road, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 80794

Stain (漬)

In the heart of Kaohsiung’s Museum District, there are many excellent cafes I like. But they are almost always busy and crowded. If you need a moment of inner peace, check out Stain. This quiet, secluded cafe is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.

Stain is a modern, cozy coffee house, serving specialty coffee and desserts. The baristas provide excellent service and coffee. Desserts are carefully displayed in a glass case like the ones you see in a high-end jewelry shop.

Address: No. 48, Meishu South 5th Street, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 804

CandyFloss Flower & Cafe

When flowers meet desserts, the result is every girl’s dream come true. Candyfloss Flower & Cafe (棉花糖花藝·甜點) is a flower + desserts hybrid shop by a Taiwanese florist who learned flower arrangements in Germany.

This dreamy place is elaborately decorated with flowers. From the floral arch and a giant flower wall to over-the-top unicorn merry-go-round, and desserts garnished with edible flowers, everything in this shop calls for Instagram. Their super cute desserts, paired with coffee or tea, are yummy for the tummy as well.

At the flower shop, you can purchase flowers. They also offer wedding decorations and other flower-related services. One time, I participated in a one-hour dry flower arrangement class (at a fee) to craft a mini dry flower bouquet card.

Address: 830, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Fengshan District, Lane 105, Wujiaer Road, 8-3號1樓

Booking (Cartoon Cafe)

Do you like a bookstore? How about cartoons? Brunch? It might sound a bit quirky to put all of the above together, but they best describe Booking.

At first sight, Booking looks like a book store. You will soon realize it’s more a cozy cafe where you can read books over coffee. You can order a drink or food (minimum NT$120) and read all the magazines, comic books, and other books.

Be warned, though. The shop has a limited range of books for Chinese illiterates. On the other hand, Booking is an ideal place to work or read. After all, you don’t need to read Chinese to scan through the collection of lifestyle magazines. Or, bring your own book.

While this place is not a library and chatting is completely ok, it is not a coffee shop to chat and laugh loud with friends. Most of the people here are reading something – whether that’s cartoons or books.

My Cofi (3D Latte Art)

Who cares about the boring leaf when you can have your dog art in 3D on your latte? This tiny shop takes it to the next level with the customizable 3D latte art. The award-winning barista takes time to design your latte with skillful hands.

As if this cute art is not enticing enough, the coffee here is excellent! For non-coffee drinkers, 3D latte art is also available with other drinks such as Japanese brown rice tea or hot chocolate.

You can choose from their two designs for an additional 100 NT, or a customized 3D latte drink for 600 NT total. The store also has a wall of the 3D latte art gallery to inspire you!

Address: No. 19號, Xiamen Street, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 802

Cuiqu Coffee 

Cuiqu Coffee (奎克咖啡) has a modern and westernized vibe. Entering through the frameless glass door, the open-floor concept feels airy and clean. One can choose to chat on the comfortable couch, work on the communal table with plenty of power outlets, or chill-relax in the garden area. The coffee selection is excellent. Salad and other cafe foods are available. This cafe attracts many expats and locals.

Address: No. 236, Bo'ai 2nd Road, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 804

Miao To Go (Cat Cafe)

You may have heard about animal-themed cafes in Asia. This one is for cat lovers. The entire cafe is designed with cats in mind. There is a long “skywalk” across the room all the way to the ceiling. Cats freely roam across the worn-down couch, on which they probably sharpened their claws. They are not shy and come to greet customers. Whenever they feel like to eat, they nibble on the cat food.

This cafe is super cute with a pink neon sign and chandelier; coffee is served in a pink mug. Boys, you’ve been warned!

Address: No. 6, Guangfu 1st Street, Qianjin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

Q Garden Cafe

Located in the Kaohsiung’s Museum of Fine Arts area, Q Garden looks like an arboretum from the outside. The vibe continues inside with the Baroque-style garden theme. The cafe is so unique and eclectic that you either love it or hate it. At the end of the day, you really go here for the ambiance. But girls need at least one of those places on her list. Why not?

Address: No.111 Qinghai Road, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan


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