No. 26, Ren Ai Rd, Sec. 4
MRT: ZhongXiao/FuXing or ZhongXiao/DunHua
website: bread.com.tw Chinese and some English and Facebook page
hours: 6AM - 11PM
kid friendliness: lots of fun cookies and snacks, as well as supplies for DIY projects at home
visits reviewed: 4/25/2011 & 4/28/2011
I don't know what took me so long to check out Florida Bakery. Last Christmas, when I went to a cookie decorating session at a friend's house, I commented on the bright and vibrant colors of her royal icing. She told me that she ordered them from Florida Bakery and that option stuck with me. When I finally spotted the sign on Ren Ai Road and had some time to spare, I wandered in to browse.
Besides a huge store offering the typical breads and Taiwanese pastries, there's also a whole row of handmade, frosted cookies in adorable shapes and colors like pink elephants, polka dotted hearts and rabbits making funny faces. The colorful ones are NT$130/g and the ones with just chocolate decorations are NT$90/g. While it's kind of pricey, anyone who's ever made and decorated cookies with royal icing knows that it's a lot of work, so it's worth it for a special occasion and it's one of the only places I've seen them in Taipei.
There are also bridal themed ones with heart shaped cookies decorated with black and white tuxedos and wedding cakes that would perfect as a bridal shower or wedding favor. They also do custom order cookies, like for baby showers, but there's a minimum order and advance time requirement. For the holidays, they also do various themed cookies- for Easter, there were painted easter eggs and chicks; for Christmas, there are candy canes, Christmas trees and stockings. Browse their website for more of their designs.
So of course I couldn't resist and had to pick up some to share with friends. The cookie is crispy rather than chewy, while the royal icing is very hard and a thick layer of sugary sweetness.
There are also jelly candies and other cookies like chocolate chip (on the hard rather than soft chewy side).
At the back of the bakery, you can spot the busy bakers hard at work, as well as a shelf full of familiar looking goods from the US- salad dressings, jams, mustards, sweets. If you've ever wondered where to get Spam or Jello or food coloring or tortillas in Taipei, then you have to rush to Florida Bakery.
To the right of the store is a refridgerated section where you can find tortillas, cheese and deli meats. This is a good option for tortillas if you don't want to buy the supersized bag from Costco (that I never end up finishing and sticking in the freezer). Florida Bakery also has tortilla chips by the bag, and corn tortillas with an advance order. The store is open very early to very late, making it very easy to stop by before or after work.
Now I don't have lug back so many things from the states anymore. If only a Trader Joe's would open up in Taipei, then I'd be so happy.
No. 23-5, Zhongshan North Road, Section 3, #23-5, 4F