(02) 2377-1772
26, Lane 38, ChongDe Street
Hours: 7 pm-2 am
MRT: LiuZhang Li
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.
Smoking accepted.

Cool wireless hangouts
Looking for free wireless, and tired of sitting in the stairwell outside your neighbor's apartment? This month's Taiwan Fun brings you four comfortable hang-outs where the Wi-Fi is free.

---By Charles McHale and Shanzi Chen Translated by Mei Lee


Bobwundaye is a laid-back neighborhood bar. The name, often mistaken as Bob 'n' Dave's, is actually "bo bwun daye", Taiwanese for "no problem". Even the owners call it Bob's, though. It's one of the few places where the mix of foreign and Taiwanese customers speak all of the MRT's four languages, with some Italian and Japanese thrown in. The music is just as eclectic, with Chicago Blues, Afro Cuban and Indy Folk making a presence. It's a little hard to find, the kind of spot friends take friends for a quiet drink and conversation.
Bob's bar is two car lengths of wooden slab as thick as a can of Taiwan "pi jiu". There's plenty of room for your laptop, drinks, snacks and, of course, your elbows. The snacks, including curries, chips and salsa, and sandwiches, are always rotating by availability and the whims of the manager. There's tea and espresso and other drinks. Though prices at Bob's make a happy hour seem pointless, there are always specials. Owners Katrina Ku, Conor Prunty and Paul Cox opened Bob's to enjoy and meet with friends, and they hope you'll do the same.

(02) 3365-2775
91, WenZhou St
Hours: 11 am-12 am
Credit cards not accepted

Cafe Bastille

"You can find everything you want here," says Irene Hsu of her Cafe Bastille. Irene is a gourmand, particularly when it comes to coffee. She studied the art of espresso from Vivace Cafe's David Schomer in Seattle. Due to distribution, she serves Italy's best Illy-brand beans, noting that the coffee bean is a fruit and Illy's roast captures its sweetness.
Bastille has two locations, the first opening in ShiDa area four years ago, with the second launching last April in GongGuan. It was Irene's European travels that gave birth to Bastille. The European-style cafe offers coffee and tea, delicious meals and desserts, and "adult" beverages. Bastille's claim to fame is a vast selection Belgian beers, Trappist ales. They import around 200 different kinds, some exclusively, and have about 70 on hand at any given time. Cafe Bastille provides an escape from Taipei to the culture of Europe.

(02) 2367-7714
20, Lane 60, TaiShun St
Hours: 2 pm-4 am
MRT: Taipower Bldg exit 3
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.
Smoking allowed.

Mo!Relax cafe

Think of this as your living room, with more tables, a hip music collection, PS2, a wall of comics and art magazines, and a full service cafe. Owners Shi Qi and Dizzy wanted Mo!Relax to be more than just a coffee house, not as wild as a bar and more relaxing than anyplace else you go out to. For the past three years, Mo!Relax has been just that. After 4 o'clock, this place fills up with laptops, readers and friends looking for quiet conversation.
The cafe serves coffee from Judy, one of Taipei's best small roasters. There's tea and stronger stuff, too, with snacks and, of course, desserts (really, really good!). Dizzy was a record buyer for Tower years ago and does CD art design for 1976 and other bands. The music is always hip, and local indy CDs are on sale. There is also book arts, postcards and crafts, plus quirky things you won't find elsewhere like 1950s Japanese vintage toy robot reproductions. If all that wasn't enough, Mo!Relax is also a design studio, constantly perfecting the art of "laid back" without lying down.

(02) 2357-6659
167, HePing E Rd, Sec 1
Open: 24 hours/day
3rd floor smoking area. Credit cards not accepted. No service charge.
Special holiday menus.
English menus available.

Shui Tian Di Culture Teahouse

Near the ShiDa area, Shui Tian Di is housed in a three-story, Chinese teahouse-style building that is full of interesting vintage attractions. When entering, you'll see a steadily-flowing, artificial waterfall on the right wall. The sound of flowing water gives the feeling of being distant from the city's uproar. There are several attractive features here, including low prices starting at NT$45, a spacious setting (5,400 square feet), round-the-clock hours, and 120 dishes to choose from. Customers will enjoy the abundance of high-quality delicacies, prepared by a chef who used to work at Les Sens. These include a juicy, Italian-style chicken leg mixed herbs and beautifully presented on a plate, plus a side dish of mashed potatoes and lemongrass rice, which are all very delicious. Among over 50 drink varieties, longan milk tea, and cranberry and apple tea are very popular specialties. On the third floor, there are 12 seats with plug-in outlets available for connecting notebooks. If you want a place with comfortable atmosphere and reasonable prices, this is a good option.