The Best Places for Boba in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is bubbling over with great boba places

Little Fluffy Head Cafe | Instagram by @littlefluffyhead
Little Fluffy Head Cafe | Instagram by @littlefluffyhead

There’s nothing like adding a little texture to your tea, thanks to a good helping of slightly sweet and gummy tapiocas. While it may not be appropriate to call them “boba” in the tea drink’s native Taiwan due to its translation, that’s predominantly how it’s referred to here in the U.S. Enjoy this treat by pulling each pearl through the oversized straw inserted into every cup.

The chewy treats at the bottom are like a little snack that comes with your drink. The tea shops with the best boba soak their tapiocas every few hours so that they achieve just the right texture - a good gummy bite without any sogginess. Quench your thirst with this fun, caffeinated cocktail of whimsy.

Alfred Pink Drink at Alfred Tea Room | Instagram by @alfredtea

Alfred Tea Room

This elegant shop off Melrose Place is the perfect, quaint getaway for a modern take on the tea house featuring natural sweeteners. They’ve got a tasty matcha tea and tea latte to which you can add your boba - available hot or iced - as well as the signature Alfred Pink Drink, and it looks exactly how it sounds. It’s infused with beetroot and sweetened with strawberry and pomegranate and one of their best boba flavors to try.

Milk Teas at Boba Ave 8090
L to R: Messy Purple Sweet Potato, Cheese Rose Green, Brown Sugar Boba at Boba Ave 8090 | Instagram: @michleats

Boba Ave 8090

Founded in 2014, Boba Ave 8090 has expanded to five locations in the San Gabriel Valley. The company touts the Arcadia location as "the first Drive Thru Milk Tea Shop in the United States." There's nothing better than fresh fruit puree, which is what makes the Mango Yogurt Blended so refreshing. Other favorites include the Messy Purple Sweet Potato, with real sweet potato chunks; and Cheese Foam Latte with high-grade Uji Matcha from Kyoto.

Matcha Latte at Boba Guys Culver City | Instagram by @thestaceysun
Matcha Latte at Boba Guys Culver City | Instagram by @thestaceysun

Boba Guys

The bi-coastal boba tea phenomenon, Boba Guys opened its first L.A. location at PLATFORM in Culver City in May 2018. A second location followed in Historic Filipinotown. Since launching in 2011 as a pop-up in S.F., founders Andrew Chau and Bin Chen have garnered national acclaim for their artisanal, “third wave roasting” approach to boba. The Boba Guys only stock high end ingredients including Straus Family Creamery organic milk, house-brewed heirloom premium tea, house made syrup (no powders or artificial syrups), Grade A balls, and almond jelly and grass jelly made from scratch.

Passion Green Tea with Lychee + Oolong Milk Tea with Boba at Bubble U | Instagram by @kat.eats_
Passion Green Tea with Lychee + Oolong Milk Tea with Boba at Bubble U | Instagram by @kat.eats_

Bubble U

If a good Taiwanese boba tea house in the middle of Chinatown is what you need, then Bubble U is just the place for the best bubble tea in Chinatown. They’ve got teas, icees, smoothies and all the toppings you could ever want, besides boba, of course. Bento boxes as well as snacks such as popcorn chicken, squid balls and flavored french fries are perfect for washing down with your tea drink.

Half & Half Good Old Time

Half & Half is a longtime San Gabriel Valley favorite with several Tea House / Tea Express locations and especially good tea and freshly soaked boba. Just when you thought tea house menus couldn’t get any more extensive, the Half & Half Good Old Time menu offers yogurt drinks, slushes and smoothies as well as brick toasts and dry noodles.

Little Fluffy Head Cafe |

Little Fluffy Head Cafe

If you’re looking for unique boba, this tiny tea shop in the heart of Downtown LA will have you rethinking what it means to have cheese on your tea. Though other places offer milky toppings, Little Fluffy Head has a variety of “cheeses” with which to top whichever tea you desire - resulting in a variety of interesting combinations that will have you coming back for more. The to-go cap that allows you to sip your cheese tea is essential!

Sip N' Dips at MILK+T in Little Tokyo
Feelin’ Salty and Guilt Trip at MILK+T in Little Tokyo | Photo: @milkandt, Instagram

MILK+T - Little Tokyo

Launched as "the world's first self-serve boba truck" in December 2015, MILK+T opened a flagship location in Little Tokyo in October 2017 and has since expanded to Portland and Chicago. MILK+T touts its all-natural ingredients, including real fruit and sugar for syrups and lactose-free milk teas. The signature Sip N' Dips are Instagram-ready and include the Feelin' Salty (black milk tea, salted caramel, topped with vanilla ice cream) and the aptly named Guilt Trip with "milk snow" and vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate and caramel.

Mini Monster at Universal CityWalk Hollywood
Mini Monster at Universal CityWalk Hollywood | Photo: @snowmonsteroc, Instagram

Mini Monster - Universal CityWalk

Located at Universal CityWalk Hollywood, Mini Monster offers some of the most Instagram-ready drinks in LA. Order your drink in a giant upside-down light bulb or an etched mason jar, topped with a spun-to-order cotton candy cloud for that perfect shot. Don't miss the Mini Macarons filled with ganache!

Just Peachy and Matcha Royale at Percolate
Just Peachy and Matcha Royale at Percolate | Instagram: @percolate_tea


Named Best Boba/Bubble Tea Company at the 2023 World Tea Conference + Expo, Percolate has become an Instagram darling thanks to eye-catching bestsellers like the Matcha Royale, made with whisked ceremonial matcha, 100% fruit puree and creamy oat milk. Another winner is the Blue Mango - cold-brewed butterfly pea flower tea with hints of lemongrass and lychee paired with mango fruit puree. Served iced latte style (organic whole milk only), the Figgy Smalls features house-made mission fig puree with a touch of earl grey tea. Don't miss cheese teas like the Just Peachy, a sweet and savory blend of ice cold peach oolong tea with a cheese foam float.

Percolate is available for delivery and takeout at Sprouts on La Brea; Colony in West LA; and the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance.

Chamango at Pearl's Finest Teas | Instagram by @pearlsfinestteas
Chamango at Pearl's Finest Teas | Instagram by @pearlsfinestteas

Pearl's Finest Teas

Priding themselves on using all natural sugars while creating visually appealing teas that span the rainbow, Pearl’s Finest Teas is a gem on Fairfax that serves drinks pretty enough to hydrate a unicorn. They serve a trim menu of refined options to which of course you can add boba, including horchata boba milk tea, chamango and orange yuzu.

Sunright Boba Milk Tea at Sunright Tea Studio in Little Tokyo
Sunright Boba Milk Tea at Sunright Tea Studio in Little Tokyo | Instagram: @davs.favs


The mantra at Sunright Tea Studio is "Shake 17 Times!" which is the chain's tried-and-true technique to enjoy the perfect blend of flavors and textures. Sunright locations span LA and OC, Northern California, Texas and Washington state. The Little Tokyo outpost is conveniently located next to Shin-Sen-Gumi for post-ramen refreshment.

The top-selling Sunright Boba Milk Tea features Ceylon black tea blended with their signature house milk, drizzled with freshly made brown sugar syrup, and topped off with a scoop of deliciously chewy brown sugar boba. The fruit tea is sunshine in a to-go cup, made with high-mountain Four Season tea from Taiwan; freshly squeezed orange juice, passionfruit and garnished with orange and lemon slices. The playful Oreo Brûlée Boba Milk combines sweetened fresh milk and boba, topped with creme brûlée foam and crushed Oreos.

Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea in Koreatown
L to R: Sweet Taro Sago Latte, Mango Pomelo Sago, Brown Sugar Pearl Latte at Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea in Koreatown | Instagram: @hungrybubblesaur

Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea

The global chain Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea is famed for the signature Brown Sugar Pearl Latte, which takes two hours of prep to serve. Described as one of its world's best selling items, the drink includes creamy organic Straus milk and is available with fixed sweetness and ice level. The Fresh Taro Latte uses real taro from Taiwan Dajia - renowned for the best taro in the world.