508, ChangChun Rd
Hours: 5:30 pm-12 am daily
Credit cards not accepted. No service charge.
Like overbooked operas or sold-out matinees, Taipei's Standing Room is exactly what it sounds like. Though the concept of going to a bar or pub with absolutely no possibility of sitting down might turn a few people off, this trend is catching on in Japan and some Western countries. Without chairs, more people can fit into the club, the party can get bigger, and you never need a reservation. Open since mid-October, Standing Room attracts people from all walks of life and is owned by Japanese expats. The menu offers traditional izakaya Japanese food, as well as Western and Chinese dishes. After a long day at work, Standing Room's Ipponyari Kohaku Mugi-Shochu (NT170/glass; NT2,300/bottle) can ease your tensions; try it straight, on the rocks, or with a little water in it. For a starter, try the Vinegar Mozuku Seaweed (NT$60), Spring Onion Rice Bowl (NT$120), Japanese Style Fried Tofu (NT$120), Fried Mushrooms (NT$60), Fried Smelt (NT$90), or Fried Lotus (NT$70). Standing Room's upcoming Christmas Special includes a glass of red wine, a glass of white wine, and Broccoli with White Sauce (NT$280). If you're craving comfort food, ask for Japanese ramen. It is an off-menu special that's sure to keep you warm. --Written and translated by Diva Yang, photos by Andy Lin