Narrow Door Cafe
Narrow Door Cafe (Zhǎi Mén Kāfēi 窄門咖啡)
There is a wonderful new movement in Tainan to turn old buildings into funky bars and cafes, as opposed to the previous trend of letting old buildings get torn down and replaced by nondescript new buildings that lack any history or character. In the West, we love our hole-in-the-wall cafes that spring out of yesteryear’s discards. Recently sprung up in Tainan is a new cafe that is every bit a hole-in-the-wall. Literally. The Narrow Door Cafe gets its name from the narrow opening between buildings that allows access to the second floor cafe. While this lends novelty to the place, one could easily rename the place the “No Fat People Allowed Cafe” as this is a de facto discrimination policy that comes from having an approximately 40 cm entrance. American building code officials and fire wardens would have a fit over this place. For me, though, it is exactly these little quirky places that bring life and character to the city.
The Narrow Door Cafe is in a wonderfully old building on Nanmen Road right across from the Confucian Temple. Its multi-paned wooden windows offer wonderful views of the temple grounds. Both the floors and high ceilings are old, dark wood. The decor is rustic and appealing. Its a fairly spacious and dark establishment with twin dining areas separated by a doorway. The atmosphere is comfortable enough to while away several hours on a Sunday afternoon.
The menu is a bit overdone for a cup o’ Joe guy like me, but the specialty coffees and juices are of good quality. This is a good offset to their we’ve-gotta-pay-our-rent-with-this pricing:
- cocktails NT$180 – 200
- juices NT$120 – 150
- specialty coffee NT$120 – 180
- tea (fruit, black, green, etc.) NT$120 – 150
They offer a few desserts and snacks such as croissants, dumplings, toasts, and cookies for NT$60 – 100. Meals like Thai pork curry or vegetarian hot pot go for about NT$260. On Saturdays and Sundays they offer western-style breakfasts during brunch hours.
There is an NT$120 per person minimum charge.
They have English menus and the owner, Jessica, speaks English well.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 11:00AM ~ 11:00PM; Saturday and Sunday, 9:00AM ~ 11:00PM
Phone: (06) 2110508
Location: No. 67 Nanmen Road (南門路), West Central District, Tainan City (across from the Confucian Temple)