Gipsy Folk Song
By Daniel White
Translated by Anna Yang
115, LuChuan W St, B1, Central Dist
Hours: 1 pm-9 pm
When you walk into Gipsy Folk Song, you're not just walking into a great bar with great music, you are walking into a living piece of Taiwan's musical history and heritage. Open for 30 years, Gipsy Folk Song has seen hundreds of great musicians pass through these doors, and a great many of Taiwan's most famous and talented musicians have gotten their start here. To this day you can find excellent young musicians playing every night from 7:30 to 9 p.m., with folk music often featured.
From the outside, Gipsy Folk Song is easy to miss, with a small door with steps descending into the bar proper. The walls are lined with stone, and wooden beams and vintage posters and memorabilia decorate the room. In homage to their storied past, there are signatures along the stairs from some of the more famous singers that have graced the bar. The owners are friendly and the atmosphere is quite comfortable, especially when the live music starts and pleasant melodies fill the space.
The menu, which hasn't changed in 30 years, has lots of great food and drinks on offer for very reasonable prices. From the cocktail menu there are lots of great drinks to suit any taste or palette. If you like the sweeter drinks, Blue Dream (NT$180) and Love Sea (NT$180) are the most popular, with the latter being fruity and a little tart with undertones of wine. If you prefer less-sweet drinks, then the Long Island Iced Tea (NT$190) or the Travel Around the World (NT$180) might suit you better. Travel Around the World is particularly good, with gin, brandy, whiskey, vodka, tequila, homemade wine and a splash of cola. For those who don't like alcohol, there is also a wide selection of tea to choose from. The Mixed Fruit Flavored Tea (NT$150) comes in a pot with ample amounts of chopped fruit and has a pleasantly balanced taste.