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Shuang Cheng St.

The Shuang Cheng area’s hay days began in the 1970s when it was an R&R area for soldiers in the Vietnam War (one reason behind the moniker “Combat Zone”). The peak period was the 1980s through mid-1990s, with foreign businessmen and local expats providing the main fuel for business. Since then it’s been on a steady decline, but it retains some of the interesting grittiness of the old days.

 

Some of the bars can gauge on pricing, but if you are looking for a bar where you can sit on a stool and chat with a local waiter/waitress or bar owner (after buying them a drink), this area remains a viable option. But... caveat emptor, if the staff seems pushy, you’d be best advised to move on down the road. Prices in this area can be higher than you might think is warranted by the age of the facilities. As a rule of thumb, if someone invites you into a bar, don’t go in.

 

The Zone is a bit out of the way in an older part of town. It’s between Chungshan N. Rd and Linsen N. Rd. Near De Hui St. The main portion is on two lanes extending out from Shuang Cheng St.

The Manila Bar

Shuang Cheng St., Lane 32, #4

Taipei

Tel: (02) 2599-6039

An institution in “the Zone”, this is a good place to start if you’ve decided to trek to this part of town. It’s one of the more crowded places, and tends to have a lively atmosphere. Drink prices are reasonable, and the wait staff won’t push you for drinks (although you can buy them drinks). It’s a bit rough-and-tumble, and often accompanied by noisy Taiwanese dice games being played by the patrons. But if you’d like to see a bit of old-style rough-and-tumble Taipei, this is where you might be able to find it.

Malibu West

Shuang Cheng St., Lane 25, #9

Taipei

Tel: (02) 2592-8228

This can be a quiet place, but it’s easy going and offers food and a pool table that is actually used by patrons. It’s larger than most of the Zone venues, so you shouldn’t feel cramped. The food is usually OK, drink prices are reasonable and this can be a nice place to relax.

My Place/My Sports

Shuang Cheng St., Lane 32, #3-1

Taipei

Tel: (02) 2591-4269

As the name implies, this is two former pubs that have been connected. It The My Sports section is geared more to sports, but both venues have good wide screen TVs. Both offer the old-style feel of Taiwan. Drink prices are reasonable, and two outdoor tables are available.

Patina

Shuang Cheng St., #24

Taipei

Tel: (02) 2597-5475

Joy and her team have been operating various versions of this bar over the years, and have a good track record for attracting customers. It’s a bit small, and can be a bit busy, but it’s a well-run place and has a steady customer base. It has active darts activity, as well as a foosball table.

Please remember not to drink and drive. Take a taxi if you’re going to drink. Taxis are inexpensive and widely available.