As someone who loves to drink coffee, it was obvious that I love spending ‘me’ time in cafes during my stay in Kaohsiung. I found a few that were quite suitable for me; they were quiet, the menu was good, Wi-Fi was available, and most importantly: the price suits my student budget. However, despite all that experience, my mind kept going back to Oceanside Cafe 海岸咖啡, a cafe that I had been eyeing since sophomore year. Finally after many delays and excuses, I took three of my juniors there on (literally) my last day in Kaohsiung.
If I had any regrets about my period in Taiwan, it would be not going to Oceanside Cafe 海岸咖啡 sooner. I fell in love with that place in an instant, and so did my juniors. Reading about the cafe is one thing, but actually being there was something else. I made the bad choice of not going there as soon as possible, but I can help you avoid making the same mistake.
Oceanside Cafe is basically a very laid back cafe at Chai Shan Village, a small village located near the famous Zhong Shan University. When I say ‘cafe’, don’t imagine small coffee shops with cute furniture. Oceanside Cafe has a very different vibe; think of it as more of a local coffee shop in a remote area. It’s an outdoor cafe (so no AC) with colorful murals on the wall. The owners are Jose and Anna; they were the ones who turned this Taiwanese house into the booming business it is today.
There are plenty of seats for everyone at Oceanside Cafe, but the all time favorite seatings are those that face the marvelous Sizihwan view. The staff knows about this huge demand, so they try to accommodate as much as possible. When you arrive, a waiter will seat you at an empty table. If there is an empty spot near the edge, they will move you there later on. They don’t really let incoming customers to immediately fill up the favorite spots, you will have to ‘wait in line’.
When ordering food at Oceanside Cafe 海岸咖啡, it is a must to order the 1000cc coffee in a bowl. That is their specialty, and the basic reason of why everyone is sitting at this cafe (a part from the view). The coffee in a bowl will cost 250 TWD, but they will give you small espresso cups according to the number of people in your group. Trust me when I say that 1000 cc is a lot of coffee, so there is enough for everyone. In the end, everyone can just split the bill. Non-caffeine drinks are also available on the menu. For food, I recommend getting some desserts, such as the homemade cheese cake or chocolate muffin. But if you’re hungry, their quesadillas are filling and super delicious too!
When I talked about going to Oceanside Cafe 海岸咖啡, most of my Taiwanese friends asked me whether or not I had a scooter. However, I discovered that you could actually take a bus there. So, for all of you who don’t have a scooter or are in town for a short time.
Take the MRT to Sizihwan Station –> get on bus 99 (this ride takes about 45 minutes, so plan your day) –> get off at Hai Shan Gong 海山宮, which is right in front of the coffee shop.
Oceanside Cafe 海岸咖啡 is open from 1 PM-8 PM on weekdays and 1 PM-11 PM on weekends; the cafe is closed on Mondays. Although I prefer otherwise, smoking is allowed there. Do note that Oceanside Cafe is still located on Monkey Mountain, with actual monkeys around. So, be careful when eating because monkeys do come around and steal your food (the cashier actually warns customers about this). I personally think this is interesting and it adds quite a touch about the cafe, and we can’t really get mad because we are on their turf.
Interested in going to Oceanside Cafe yet? I sure hope so, because this coffee shop definitely stole my heart in an instant. This non-mainstream cafe surely deserves your attention, whether you are a resident or a traveler. Pay this coffee shop a visit, and don’t forget to share your experience on social media and tag me in your photos so I get to feel nostalgic. Happy travels!