With its soft jelly balls and rich milky texture, drinking bubble tea may seem off-putting to those trying it for the first time, but the fun presentation and unique flavors have won over its many fans. Originally invented in the city of Taichung of Western Taiwan in the ’80s, bubble tea (a.k.a boba tea) houses can be found across L.A.
From Downtown to West Hollywood, Los Angeles has a large variety of boba houses offering both customizable teas and classic favorites. To help narrow down the possibilities, these are the best places to go for bubble tea in the West Coast’s entertainment capital.
This authentic, buzzing tea house exclusively serves EasyWay tea, the largest and most popular boba milk tea company in the world. It offers traditional boba tea alongside signature drinks and specialty snacks. For something a bit different, try the Shaved Ice or Blended Boba with a variety of add-ons, including Green Apple or Mango Jellies. Offering bites such as fried zucchini and spicy chicken wings, Volcano Tea House is also a great stop after or during a night out.
Located in Little Tokyo, Twinkle Brown Sugar is a tea bar concept offering boba favorites and tantalizing tea smoothie cocktails. Also serving boba alternatives, such as the Brown Sugar Tea Float and Thai Iced Tea, there is something for everyone at this small shop near Downtown L.A. With free wi-fi and plenty of plugs, this is a perfect spot to get some work done, whether studying for a final, working on a project or updating social media.
Both a tea room and a coffee shop, Pearl’s Finest Teas is an upscale café that lives up to its name by offering a range of high-quality teas centered around customizing drinks. Create a perfect boba experience or choose from a variety of signature drinks, including the Frosted Milk with Boba and Pudding. With no artificial coloring, this busy shop offers a more natural and refined product in a hip indoor setting. Located in the heart of the Fairfax shopping district, stop in for a boba tea fix you will not soon forget.
Find this no-frills but all-flavor tea house in the heart of L.A.’s Koreatown. The friendly staff is always available to give recommendations to the confused first-timer or to simply help create the perfect concoction. If milk isn’t your thing, try a juice-blended boba instead.
The laid-back atmosphere is an ideal setting for an Asian-inspired lunch coupled with an authentic hand-shook milk tea. For a real taste of Asia, have the fried squid ball to accompany your beverage. With a healthy portion of boba in every drink, Bubble U is the best stop for bubble tea near Downtown L.A.
What began as a simple love for boba turned into a passion for all things tea at It’s Boba Time. Located just off of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, this small chain has flowered into the popular tea house it is today. With over 140 menu items, including a nutty Pistachio Frappe and an antioxidant-rich Acai Cup, this energetic establishment is constantly evolving its choices to satisfy its diverse clientele.
Two young entrepreneurs, Beyah and Stacey, entered the boba business as L.A.’s first self-serve boba food truck. The determined duo, who made a quick name for themselves, signed a lease for their first storefront in 2017. Offering all natural ingredients, lactose-free options, and single-batch handcrafted syrups, this health-conscious approach to traditional boba tea has quickly become one of the most popular spots in the city. Striving for a complete waste-free model, Milk + T pours their drinks into glasses instead of plastic bottles. So, keep the cup as a gift, and bring it back to refill at a discounted price.