By day, Sidebar serves up coffee and also has clothing sales from time to time. However, when the sun sets, you’ll want to head through the discreet password-protected metal door to find the dimly lit speakeasy bar with industrial chic that attracts a crowd of local hipsters and expats.
Sidebar isn’t far from Bar Pun so I recommend combining them together into one trip for a speakeasy-filled evening.
Instead of serving cocktails like the other speakeasies in Taipei, Sidebar is a Gin bar with an eclectic selection of gin brands from across the world. Soso, the founder, is an expert on the topic and his staff have excellent knowledge of taste profiles too.
Whilst there are some wines and cocktails on offer, this is aimed at Gin enthusiasts. Depending upon who you speak to, they claim to have anything from 300 to 600 different gins on location, either way, that’s more than enough to keep you going.
The bar is very exclusive and gets full very quickly. Solo travelers and small groups might get in, but you’ll definitely need to call in advance if drinking in a larger group.
A few drinks worth checking out are the silver gin fizz, Cotswolds Gin, and Mary le Bone Cask Aged Gin. If you’re not such a fan of Gin, the staff are more than happy to suggest alternative cocktail bars nearby.
I particularly love that there’s an onsite gin museum called Museu Del Gin, this showcases lots of gin bottles made into lamps and other everyday items.