L’ Occitane Cafe is located in one of Taipei’s older neighborhoods, right near Sun Yet Sun Memorial Hall. What I love about this neighborhood is that it’s pretty accessible on foot. This is rare in city neighborhoods. Usually, you are fighting for foot space with scooters and cars. There are also lots of pretty little shops and restaurants in this neighborhood. My favorites are Mazendo (麻善堂）which has in my opinion, one of the best beef noodle soups and fried rice in Taipei. There’s always a line out front, so I don’t eat there very often, but I’ll make sure to write a review the next time I get a chance. In one corner of Mazendo’s shop space, there is a cute outdoor florist called botanica. I love how it adds such a fresh burst of color to the neighborhood. The L’Occitane Cafe is located just nearby. From the outside, it looks just like one of their retail locations. The cafe is located towards the back. It’s a lovely, warmly lit, high ceilinged space. If you go a bit early on Saturday morning, it’s pretty quiet and you can do a bit of reading and daydreaming in a pleasant silence. The cafe is filled with several thoughtful little touches, such as these pretty straw baskets to stow your purse, underneath the chair. (I absolutely hate putting my bag down on the floor in public spaces, so I always appreciate this touch).
The menu used to have watercolor illustrations of their food items, but the current menu has photographs. While I thought the illustrations were pretty, in all honesty, I would actually rather see photographs in a menu~ it gives me a better sense about what I’m ordering. This time, I ordered a chicken sandwich on freshly toasted whole wheat bread. The sandwich was hearty, and made with fresh ingredients (chicken breast, egg, bacon and tomato) I was surprised to see that the sandwich arrived with a small mount of mashed potatoes; they were warm and buttery and quite delicious. The salad was crisp and topped with a light vinaigrette dressing. Perfect food for a warm and humid day. I finished my lunch off with a cafe au lait~ it’s quite light in flavor and caffeine content, so if you want something stronger, I would order a regular coffee or a latte. But this was perfect for my lazy Saturday mid-morning. By the time I was ready to leave, the place was starting to fill up. There are several different sized tables at L’Occitane Cafe, and I think it’s a good place to celebrate a birthday, or to get together with a group of friends. There is plenty of space and the food is simple, but made with fresh ingredients. On a completely separate note, the other thoughtful touch that L’ Occitane Cafe has, is their bathroom. It’s actually one of the most spacious, and loveliest cafe bathrooms in Taipei. Of course, their hand soap and hand lotion is their in-house brand, and it’s small, but luxurious treat too. Enjoy! Information: L’Occitane’s website can be found here.