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The 7 Best Bubble Tea Spots in NYC

Bubble tea, which is also known as boba tea, is a fun Taiwanese drink that comes in lots of exotic flavors. For those just getting acquainted with this fun, unique drink, look for a tea base along with some delicious fruit or milk. And here’s the extra-fun part—chewy tapioca balls and other toppings can be added to the mix. The “bubble” in the name refers to the foam that's created by vigorously shaking the tea. Read on for the best bubble tea spots in New York City. 

Best Bubble Tea NYC: CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice


A range of bubble teas, milk teas, and fruit slushes are offered at this string of colorful, compact, counter-serve cafes. Among the most popular choices here are the bubble milk tea, taro milk tea, exotic mango green tea, matcha latte, and pudding milk tea. Manhattan boasts several branches, which include the East Village, Chinatown, Lexington Avenue, and Grand Central. Midtown: 1384 Broadway, 212-302-2225,

Best Bubble Tea NYC: Tea Magic

This intimate Upper West Side cafe serves up a variety of bubble teas and other tasty treats in a contemporary space. Several flatscreen TVs are on hand to entertain guests, often students from nearby Columbia University. Tea Magic offers a long list of flavors and lots of varieties of boba teas, with toppings that include green jelly, red bean, and pudding. 2878 Broadway, 212-666-3665

Best Bubble Tea NYC: Vivi Bubble Tea

Vivi Bubble Tea This ubiquitous bubble tea shop offers both hot and refreshingly cool versions. Its signature drinks include the ViVi signature fruit tea, blue galaxy, red bean matcha milk tea, and beyond. Milk tea flavors include oolong, Thai, and ViVi’s very own black/green milk tea. ViVi uses ingredients that hail from Taiwan—all of which are FDA-approved. There are many Manhattan locations including Little Italy, Chelsea, Union Square, and more.

Best Bubble Tea NYC: Bar Pa Tea

Bar Pa Tea invites bubble tea drinkers to unwind in its serene Nolita space, which is awash in a palette of white with accents of blush and soft gray. You’ll also find pops of color in the lineup of elegant looking bubble teas being sipped inside. Here, flavor takes precedence over sweetness—the tea drinks offer more health-conscious versions of the original bubble tea beverage without compromising taste. Customizable drinks means that guests can adjust sweetness levels. Drinks are sweetened using pure cane sugar. Preference is key. For most drinks, guests may designate hot or cold. This sipping spot's delish, health-conscious tapioca pearls are free of additives.  The menu includes Bar Pa Tea’s signature “miniature bubbles”—an alternative to the traditional tapioca pearls. The menu of flavors includes grapefruit green tea with umeboshi (pickled fruits); lemon green tea, and beyond. In addition to bubble teas, Bar Pa Tea serves caffeine-free drinks, tea lattes, and more. 85 Kenmare St., 917-261-5550,

Best Bubble Tea NYC: Boba Guys 

Boba Guys

The seeds for Boba Guys were planted when founders Andrew and Bin were colleagues at a fashion company in California. After spending time together, they realized that regardless of their geographic and cultural differences, they shared a similar upbringing. They often bonded over lunch excursions to the local boba shop. When it shuttered its doors, the duet switched into entrepreneurial mode and began exploring the art of crafting the perfect cup of boba milk tea. The menu is ever-evolving, but everything served atBoba Guys has one common trait—it’s all made with quality ingredients such as organic milk, oat milk, and almond milk. The premium tea used is sourced from Tea People—their very own tea company. The Boba Guys also use housemade syrup, all-natural fruit purées, and almond jelly or grass jelly balls, which are made from scratch. Flavors include lavender black decaf, Indian chai, coconut green, and beyond. They have three New York locations, including Greenwich Village, 11 Waverly Pl.,

Best Bubble Tea NYC: Gong Cha

Gong Cha traces its history back to 2006. One of the most recognized bubble tea brands worldwide, its drinks are crafted with fresh tea that hails from the finest Taiwan tea estates. Gong Cha, which translates to “tribute tea for the emperor,” has expanded to more than 15 countries and 1,500 locations across the world. The US buzz is in its specialty milk foam, which offers a slightly salted, cream topping atop the freshly brewed tea. Beyond the milk foam series, there’s a milk tea series, a slush series, and even a creative series. It features a lemon wintermelon basil seeds offering; a taro, and a lemon ai-yu white pearl among other exotic flavors. Gong Cha is available at many New York addresses including 925 Lexington Ave., 646-876-1020,

Best Bubble Tea NY: Yaya Tea Gramercy

YaYa Tea Gramercy

Beyond delivering great tasting bubble teas and other fun drinks, Yaya Tea Gramercy yearns to save the planet—one bubble tea at a time. When environmentally-aware guests reuse Yaya’s glass bottles, they’re granted a 10 percent discount off any small drink. This sweet deal is available at all locations. The menu includes fruit teas such as the chrysanthemum and jasmine, as well as milk teas such as the taro milk tea. It even lets teetotalers get creative—they can craft their own teas. First select black white, oolong, or green and then choose up to three flavors—they include green apple, kiwi, blueberry, and peach among other options. Several Manhattan locations abound including 51 Chrystie St., 212-226-8803,

About the Author

Regina Molaro is a freelancer writer whose work spans from luxury to fashion, art, lifestyle, and beauty. Her work has appeared in Modern Luxury Hawai‘i, as well as Bespoke Magazine and In Season—the in-house magazines at the St. Regis and Mandarin Oriental New York.

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