Bubble tea has been around the streets of San Francisco for quite some time, but in the past few years it has really taken off. Boba, which came to us from Taiwan, is a sweet chewy ball of tapioca that mixes into milk tea and fruit-flavored drinks. For a fantastic selection of boba drinks for both die-hard fans and newcomers, check out our favorite places below.
This place started out as a small shop in San Mateo and has now branched off into San Francisco, Foster City, Burlingame and even LA. They serve a multitude of different flavored boba drinks from all sorts of fruits (blackberry, green apple, pomegranate) as well as flavors like peppermint and almond. Tpumps brew their own tea before mixing it in with flavoring, giving it an authentic tea taste to your drink. There may be long lines but it’s well worth the wait.
Tpumps, 1916 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 510-398-8499
Looking for a classic Taiwanese-style boba milk tea? Look no further than ShareTea. Besides their classic milk tea, they have a section called ‘Creama’ which is milk tea mixed with a layer of thick cream. If that sounds too adventurous, take a look at their fruity flavors and ice blends. Plus, boba isn’t the only thing that can be added to drinks. Ice cream, various jellies and pudding can be combined with any drink. With locations in Berkeley and San Mateo, their milk teas taste as if they’re straight from Taiwan.
ShareTea, 5336 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415-813-8296
On the outskirts of Chinatown, Plentea thrives with its reusable glass containers and fresh boba tea. It’s one of the few boba places that has a soy milk option for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic. Their prices are a bit on the steeper side, but if customers bring back the reusable glass bottle, they get 10% off their next drink purchase. Plus, if you’re looking to enjoy your drink leisurely, go upstairs to the sitting area and relax.
Plentea, 341 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415-757-0223
The Boba Guys surely know how to whip up a great drink. They pride themselves on serving quality milk tea, brewing their own stuff, and many of their drinks actually contain a good amount of caffeine to help their customers stay awake. One of the best things about Boba Guys is that they use neither powder nor artificial syrups in their drinks and also have the option of freshly made jelly.
Boba Guys, 3491 19th St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415-967-2622
Wonderful Foods Co.
Smack dab on Irving Street with tough boba competition all around, Wonderful Foods Co. continue to prove that they’re one of the best boba places around. They sell regular milk teas but one of the best things they do is offer to blend real fruit for their fruit smoothie bobas instead of using powder. The tapioca balls are soft and chewy and there’s a huge selection of jellies to throw into all their drinks. While visiting, customers can also choose from a huge selection of candy (both American and Chinese) and savory snacks.
Wonderful Foods Co., 2035 Irving St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415-731-6889
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