The nightlife of Taipei, while not particularly renowned, has a surprising amount of variety to it. From top-class speakeasies and lounges to friendly sports bars, there is a place for anyone to chill out and sink a few drinks, be they elaborate cocktails or pints of craft beer. You can find any kind of atmosphere to suit your needs, including quiet relaxation and high-tempo live music. A lot of the spectrum is represented in the list of the 10 Best Bars & Pubs in Taipei.
The most popular Taipei bars are often friendly, social places, graced by the city’s extensive expatriate community as well as locals. The top places on our list are taken by the sorts of venues which are popular with the local high society, so be sure to pack your glad rags if you’re planning to check them out.
Found in the same building as the popular Room 18 nightclub (and part of the same group), Barcode is the place to be and be seen in Taipei. The fifth-floor bar enjoys a great view of the Xinyi district from its spacious balcony as well as a wide range of music played inside. The chic, modern room jumps to classic house, acid jazz, funk, new wave and other beats. This, and the London-trained expert mixologists serving a unique range of champagne cocktails, makes sure there is a lengthy queue to get into Barcode most nights. Top-grade appetizers are also available, including squid bacon rolls with green onions (NT$300) and lamb brochette (NT$420). Read More...
- Opening Hours: Sun – Thu 21:00 – 02:30, Fri – Sat 21:00 – 03:00
- Location: 5F, No. 22, Songshou Road, Xinyi
- Tel: +886 (0)9 2016 8269
Widely regarded as one of the top high-class lounges in Taipei, Brown Sugar is well-known for its live jazz performances and is considered the best place in town to enjoy the smooth beats. The extensive wine list and Italian and international fine dining menu are also major draws. There is plenty of elegant, comfortable seating to choose from in the chic, classically-styled venue, which is modelled after the jazz bars of New Orleans. Brown Sugar makes for a refined, romantic night out, although such quality naturally comes at an appropriate cost. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 02:00
- Location: No. 101 Songren Road, Xinyi
- Tel: +886 (0)2 8780 1110
A very different live music venue to Brown Sugar, Revolver leads the way in Taipei’s underground music scene. Covering three floors (none of which, ironically, are below ground), there are regular live bands and DJs playing on the second while the third has a cool lounge bar and the first has a trendy street bar, all with a friendly rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere. All of them are also great places to enjoy a beer, including craft ales and imported European lagers from about NT$180, or local brews from as little as NT$115 for a pint.
- Opening Hours: Sun – Fri 11:00 – 03:00, Sat: 11:00 - 0500
- Location: No. 1-2, Section 1, Roosevelt Road, Zhongzheng
- Tel: +886 (0)2 3393 1678
Carnegie’s Bar & RestaurantDaan
The Carnegie’s brand started off in Hong Kong, where the large expat community enjoyed the English pub experience. In Taipei, Carnegie’s is also very popular among expats and tourists, with a food menu including traditional pub grub as well as some Indian curries. The expansive drinks menu is what makes it one of the favourite watering halls in Taipei, with over 300 shooters to choose from. It has a lively, fun atmosphere, with guests invited to dance on the bar to the popular music playing.
- Opening Hours: Mon, Tue and Thu 11:30 – 02:00, Wed and Fri 11:30 – 04:00, Sat 10:30 – 04:00, Sun 10:30 – 02:00
- Location: No. 100, Section 2, Anhe Road, Daan
- Tel: +886 (0)2 2325 4433
Taipei’s first and finest speakeasy-style bar takes its recreation of the 1920s US Prohibition era very seriously. From the outside, the venue looks like an innocuous espresso bar, with the discrete cocktail bar accessible through a ‘hidden’ side door. Once inside, the skilled bartenders can throw together a collection of unique drinks from the extensive raw ingredients with an impressive display of skill. Ounce has a dark and cosy décor and friendly atmosphere to match its speakeasy theme, making it a cool place to socialise.
- Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 19:00 – 02:00
- Location: No. 40, Lane 63, Section 2, Dunhua S Road, Daan
- Tel: +886 (0)2 2708 6885
Marquee Restaurant & LoungeXinyi
With its elegant Victorian-era style and top-quality western cuisine, Marquee is the nightspot of choice for many of Taipei’s high society and celebrities. The spacious lounge has a long bar with tenders preparing even the simplest beverage with care and skill, proved by the fact that a number of them have taken top spots in the Diageo World Class Bartending awards. With an extensive range of premium liquors available, the drinks menu is long and filled with exuberant highlights. The atmosphere is kept classy without becoming pretentious, partially thanks to the talents of the resident DJ.
- Opening Hours: 20:00 – 02:00
- Location: 1F, No. 16-1, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi
- Tel: +886 (0)2 2729 5409
Taipei’s rainy weather means that the skyscraper-studded horizon does not feature many rooftop pools and bars. Woo Bar, on top of the W Taipei hotel, is practically the only one and is a popular party place as a result. The home of regular pool parties, Woo Bar features a modern, colourful style, with a number of signature fruity drinks including citrus-infused vodka. The food offerings are likewise unique and include vanilla vodka with premium chocolate crème. The poolside location gives the place a laidback tropical atmosphere in the middle of the city.
- Opening Hours: Sun – Thu 10:00 – 02:00, Fri – Sat 10:00 – 03:00
- Location: No. 10, Zhongxiao E. Road, Section 5, Xinyi
- Tel: +886 (0)2 7703 8887
Boldly claiming to be ‘Taipei’s Only Real Pub’, On Tap is a detailed recreation of the British-style drinking spot, to the extent that the logo resembles a London Underground sign. A popular place for watching and even taking part in live sports, it is the home of a darts league and several amateur football teams. Popular with the expat community, it has a very social, friendly atmosphere and, as you would expect, European draft beers, first-rate pub grub, a pool table and regular popular party nights.
- Opening Hours: 17:00 - late
- Location: No. 21, Alley 11, Lane 216, Zhongxiao E. Road, Daan
- Tel: +886 (0)2 2741 5365
The Brass MonkeyZhongshan
Styled along the lines of a western (particularly American) sports bar, The Brass Monkey is well-liked among the city’s expat crowd, but draws a mixed and lively bunch. The place is popular for its numerous flat-screen televisions showing major sporting events from around the world, as well as fussball tables, dart boards and fairly cheap drinks. The quiz nights are fun, the DJs keep up a lively vibe and the owners are friendly and popular, keeping the place pretty busy most nights.
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – late
- Location: No. 166, Fuxing N Road, Zhongshan
- Tel: +886 (0)2 2547 5050
Beer & Cheese Social HouseDaan
It’s not difficult to imagine what Beer & Cheese Social House specialises in. With a great convivial atmosphere in an industrial-style setting, they serve up a wide range of unusual craft beers, such as Lemon Tea Beer, Tankhouse Ale and many more. These are often served paired with flavoursome cheeses, though you can also ask for simpler cuisine like grilled cheese sandwiches or cheesy nachos. The place has a hipster vibe and is particularly popular with English-speaking students in Taipei.
- Opening Hours: Mon – Thu 18:00 – 01:00, Fri – Sat 18:00 – 03:00, Sun 12:00 – 01:00
- Location: No. 169, Jianguo S. Road, Section 2, Daan
- Tel: +886 (0)9 1654 9373