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Californians welcome genuine Taiwan breakfasts

Opening of first Cafe Mei outside Taiwan keenly anticipated in Fremont

Mei & Mei ranked most popular breakfast chain in Taiwan (Facebook, Cafe Mei photo)

Mei & Mei ranked most popular breakfast chain in Taiwan (Facebook, Cafe Mei photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Cafe Mei, one of Taiwan's famed breakfast stores, has opened its first outlet outside Taiwan in California, with a 20% discount on all purchases for the soft opening that ended Saturday (July 24).

Taiwan's breakfast bars are ubiquitous in its villages, towns, and cities. The total number of breakfast stores is estimated to be 11,465, more than four convenience store chains combined. Cafe Mei, also called Mei & Mei, reigns as Taiwan's favorite breakfast chain, according to a survey released by online big data explorer DailyView.

Wang Huei-yi (王慧怡), owner of the store in Fremont, said that Americans do not usually dine out for breakfast like Taiwanese. Even so, they were up at 3 a.m. and ready to serve overseas Taiwanese with some home cooking, World Journal reported.

Californians welcome genuine Taiwan breakfasts
Cafe Mei menu. (Facebook, Cafe Mei image)

Overseas Taiwanese showed their appreciation with comments on Cafe Mei's Facebook page. Cafe Mei also came up with a website to introduce its dishes and take online orders.

"Though the waiting time is too long, the food is authentic and delicious," said a comment from Lin Yu-sin (林語新), sharing her experience of visiting the store.

Back home in Taiwan, meanwhile, netizens held heated discussions about the high prices at the U.S. Cafe Mei. An egg pancake roll costs US$5 (NT$140) and milk tea sells for US$4, which is many times more than Taiwan prices. Wang Huei-yi said the breakfasts are exactly the same as in Taiwan, using original Taiwan ingredients, and are always freshly prepared, which explains the prices.