The Best Places for Boba in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is bubbling over with great boba places

Little Fluffy Head Cafe | Instagram by @littlefluffyhead

There’s nothing like adding a little texture to your cup of 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 Taiwanese 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. Fortunately for L.A., top notch tea shops have recently opened throughout the city, so there are plenty of places where you can quench your thirst with this fun, caffeinated cocktail of whimsy.

If you're wondering where the closest boba near you might be, here’s our list of some great boba tea houses in the L.A. area you can check out.

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.

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

Boba Guys

This spring, the bi-coastal boba tea phenomenon, Boba Guys opened its first L.A. location at PLATFORM in Culver City. 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 menus 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_

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.

2 Ladies (Milk Tea with Pudding and Pearl) at CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice in South Park | Instagram by @bobafordays

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice - South Park

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice is a prolific drinks purveyor straight from Taiwan to Downtown L.A., West L.A., 3rd Street, Arcadia as well as Alhambra. They’re so convenient, many of their locations also deliver via Postmates. One of their unique offerings worth a try is sago, made from the starch of the pith from palm trees - itself worth exploring for its texture other than boba.

Milk foam winter melon tea and Earl Grey milk tea at Gong Cha in Koreatown | Instagram by joiedefood

Gong Cha - Koreatown

There is never a lack of great bubble tea places near you in K-town becausGong Cha takes customization to a new level. Specify how sweet you like your tea - in 20% increments - as well as how much ice you take in your drink. They also have milk foam toppers available as a “mustache series,” perfect for those craving a creamy, savory note with each sip. Gong Cha is conveniently located for grab-and-go, thanks to its location at the Metro Wilshire/Western Station as well as one-hour validated underground parking.

Oolong milk tea with grass jelly and honey boba at Half & Half Tea House in San Gabriel | Instagram by @funfactfoodie

Half & Half Tea House - San Gabriel

Half & Half boba is a longtime San Gabriel Valley favorite with eight 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, Half & Half’s menu offers yogurt drinks, slushes and smoothies as well as brick toasts and dry noodles.

Kung Fu Tea | Instagram by @girlseekingboba

Kung Fu Tea - Koreatown

Kung Fu Tea is a New York import that comes with a lot of options for customizing your drink - but they’ve also got seasonal items for your evolving tastes. Some unique takes include their slushes, Yakult (the Asian yogurt drink) infusions and a snow cream topper - all perfect for enjoying with your boba.

Little Fluffy Head Cafe | Instagram by @littlefluffyhead

Little Fluffy Head Cafe

If you’re in DTLA and looking for some unique boba nearby,this tiny tea shop in the heart of downtown 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 to return for. The to-go cap that allows you to sip your cheese tea is essential!

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.

Honey tea with boba and “rainbow cloud” (cotton candy with fruity pebbles) at Snow Monster | Instagram by @kdavs

Snow Monster - Koreatown

Located in the heart of a well-known, vibrant Koreatown courtyard, Snow Monster is a small tea shop with the most Instagram-ready drinks, which are also super-sizeable. Order your drink in a giant upside-down light bulb or a mason jar for that perfect shot, but not before you top it all off with a fluffy cloud of cotton candy. Something else you won’t find in other tea shops? Ice cream-macaron sandwiches.

Twinkle Brown Sugar | Instagram by @char_rawr_rawr

Twinkle Brown Sugar - Little Tokyo

Go to Twinkle Brown Sugar for a fully customizable tea drink. Pick your tea - whether it's milk tea or not - before choosing your fruit flavor and toppings. Or you can go with one of their popular prescribed teas. Besides boba, they’ve also got ice cream as an available topping, so you’ll more than satisfy any sweet tooth, as indicated by their name.