The areas surrounding Taichung Train Station and the old City Hall used to be the most bustling districts.
Due to the ever-increasing traffic volume inside the city, the center focus of city development has been shifted to the re-planning district near Taiwan Blvd.
Business establishments in the old city district still follow their own rhythm and pace harmoniously; some are following the city renewal trend;
some are keeping their original styles, exuding the old community aesthetics. Old Tree Cofee and Miya-hara Eye Clinic are such examples.
Old Tree Cafe
Old Tree Coffee was initially established in Kaohsiung in 1997. The cafe was later relocated to the owner's hometown Taichung. It was in Taichung where Old Tree Cofee became a success.
There is one chain store opened in Taichung and another one opened in Taipei.
The original store has maintained its appearance and even store hours for over 30 years. It closes around 5 o'clock in the afternoon, which is about the time the Taichung city nightlife begins.
Everything from the menu cover to various types of furniture, including tables and chairs, are made of genuine teak wood.
The interior is very understated and European. There are myriad coffee flavors to choose from the menu. We ordered Brazil Coffee, Chocolate Coffee and their signature Vienna Coffee. There is a very rich taste to their coffee that we really wanted to order another cup!
Unlike most cafes that offer meals and desserts, the only food item they provide is Honey Toast. Old Tree Coffee is located on No. 35 Pingdeng Street, Central District, Taichung City.
Miya-hara Eye Clinic
In the vicinity of the train station is the Miya-hara Eye Clinic. Contrary to the name, this is not an eye clinic, but an ice cream, pearl milk tea and pineapple cake specialty store.
The store name originated from a Japanese ophthalmologist Dr. Miya-hara, who established his eye clinic here in 1927.
The clinic later became the Health Bureau of Taichung City Government and then became an abandoned building due to disputes over its property ownership.
Eventually, a business group took over the property and revamped the place to become a dessert specialty shop attracting crowds.
With a spice of originality, the brick walls and the cemented sign with "Health Bureau of Taichung City Government" written in Chinese are kept intact to exhibit a contrast with the remaining architecture .
All the dessert items that you will find in Miya-hara Eye Clinic are delicately made. The building is divided into several segments, selling ice cream, pearl milk tea and various local products.
Perhaps the hottest selling item is their ice cream. There is a whole range of ice cream selections on display. Every flavor imaginable for ice cream from chocolate, coffee, fruit, tea and just about anything is there.
Something interesting worth mentioning is that some of their signature flavors sound very romantic and you wouldn't be able to figure out exactly what the flavor is from its name.
Once you select the flavors for your ice cream bowl, depending on how many scoops of ice cream you get(you can get 1-3 scoops per bowl), you also get a number of sides for free, such as cakes, pineapple cakes and more.
We ordered a bowl with one scoop of Oriental Beauty and another bowl with one scoop of Dark Chocolate. With two one-scoop bowls, we get one free side item for each. Their ice cream is very rich without being too sweet.
Perhaps you will notice that everyone is eating while standing around the pedestrian arcade. Surprisingly, they do not provide seats for the ice cream buyers, and it's customary for buyers to enjoy their ice cream bowls that way!
Miya-hara Eye Clinic is located on No.20 Zhongshan Road, Central District, Taichung City.