There is a charm about dining in vintage restaurants as vintage houses are becoming rarer in modern days.
With modern renovations, vintage restaurants become unique attractions while preserving their retro appearances.
Da-dao-cheng and Di-hua Street in Taipei and those vintage cafes and homestays in Tainan are such examples.
English4TW team brings you some of these abundant vintage restaurants within 1 kilometer radius of Chai-yi Train Station that complement the alleys of this relatively rural city.
Old Young Fun 1931
Starting from the train station, you can see several bicycle and scooter rentals nearby.
If you are up for a walk, the restaurants aren't too far away from the train station. Go to the big street Zhong-shan Road in front of the train station. Walking on Zhong-shan Road, you will see many different types of stores along the way.
Once you come across the first big street Min-sheng North Road, look to your left. There is the Old Young Fun 1931 restaurant located on No. 228 Min-sheng North Road.
The baroque-inspired facade is quite eye-catching especially at night. Upon walking inside, you'll the notice the pleasant lighting contrasting with the vintage interior.
Walk up to the second floor, and there are plenty of seats and some interesting vintage soda bottles. Looking up at the ceiling, you'll see the originally unpainted wooden beams that are in stark contrast to the painted wooden compartments.
There are many items on the menu to choose from, including Hot Pot and combos. We picked the Chicken Hot Pot that came with two vegetable sides, a curry potato side and a bowl of rice.
The water cup has "Old Young Fun" and its Chinese characters laser engraved. "Young Fun" resembles the pronunciation of "townhouse" in Chinese.
水杯有雷射雕刻的[Old Young Fun] 與它的中文字體。「Young Fun」發 音與中文字「洋房」發音相似。
"Young Fun" actually means "townhouse." Therefore, the name of the restaurant "Old Young Fun" means "old townhouse."
Hand on the Pizza
From Old Young Fun, make a right onto Min-sheng North Road. Make a right when you come across Zhang-rong Street, and then continue going east until you come across Zhong-yi Street.
When you reach Zhong-yi Street, make a right, and Zhong-zheng Park is around the corner. You'll come across some shops, including a Japanese Oolong Noodle shop and Toast Specialty shop.
Keep walking on Zhong-yi Road until you reach No. 129 on your right. Hand On The Pizza situated here is only a little over ten meters away from Zhong-shan Road.
This is a refreshing vintage house with modern interior renovations. There is also another chain store located on Wen-hua Road across from Zhong-yang Park.
What makes this pizza restaurant unique? You can see the restaurant crew making pizza from scratch on the other side of the bar from kneading the bread, to putting on seasonings and sauce, to putting the pizza in the oven.
There are many toppings and flavors on the menu to choose from. You can also customize the toppings and flavors to your liking.
Another interesting aspect of this restaurant is that the pizza comes out on its homemade bamboo sieve instead of the porcelain or wooden plate that you would expect.
Chai-yi is a prime location for bamboo production. Bamboo wares used to be the most commonly used local household items. Their use of bamboo accentuates a part of the local culture.
From Hand On The Pizza, make a right to go back to Zhong-shan Road. Make a left onto Zhong-shan Road and keep walking until you come across Chai-yi Central Pond ahead. Go to the Wen-hua Night Market to your right.
Continue going on Wen-hua Road until you come across Lan-jing Road. Make a right onto Lan-jing Road and then walk for about 20 meters until you reach LuLu Cafe located on No. 223 Lan-jing Road.
Coming from the crowded and bustling Wen-hua Road, you can hardly expect to come across a quiet courtyard restaurant with large floor-to-ceiling windows, a white facade and blue sign, perhaps giving you a little taste of the Greek Islands!
The houses around the area are quite small, making the presence of the restaurant quite striking. This courtyard restaurant is not a vintage house, but it's built from the ground up to be vintage inspired.
With bright lighting and ample space, LuLu makes for a perfect place to relax or have great conversations.
They have a selection of pork, fish, beef and chicken combos. We got ourselves Japanese Roasted Chicken Drumstick with Sauce and some freshly squeezed lemonade. They tasted good!