No drink indulges the senses quite like boba. From the sweet flavored teas to the soft and chewy tapioca balls, this literal dessert in a cup is more popular than ever before. And few regions in the USA capture the craze better than Southern California. The only question is, where to start?
A quick search online will leave you stumped because boba tea shops are practically everywhere. Even just within hotspots like the San Gabriel Valley or Irvine, there are dozens of choices to contend with. But not to worry because we’ve sipped and sample our way through boba after boba to identify some of the best milk tea shops in Los Angeles and Orange County. In fact, we’ve narrowed it down to just 10.
In the list you’ll find shops offering a wide selection of milk teas, blended creations, fresh fruit drinks and endless topping options including boba that’ll leave you never bored. Our advice: Try them all!
T To Tea (Arcadia)
T to Tea uses whole tea leaves and infuses their drinks with natural and healthy ingredients. On the menu are freshly squeezed juices infused into green tea, Uji matcha drinks and a variety of milk tea flavors. Toppings here are unique, aside from boba and aloe you’ll find activated charcoal, agar boba and peach resin. For full on cuteness ask for the cheese foam topper it’s a sweet and salty touch to your drink, with a cute character printed right on top of the foam. → More information
Half & Half Tea Express (Multiple Locations in San Gabriel Valley)
The originators of hot honey boba, Half & Half is one of the busiest boba shops in the San Gabriel Valley. Try their signature Iced Milk Drink, a multi-layered drink with flavored icy milk paired with toppings like pudding, coffee jelly, red bean, grass jelly with hot honey boba on the bottom. The mix of textures, sensation of the ice milk with the hot boba will convert you into a major fan of this place. → More information
One Zo (Pasadena, Monterey Park & Garden Grove)
One Zo are boba innovators who make all their boba in-house. In fact they were the first drink shop to do this. Offering multiple unique types of boba daily, the flavors are constantly rotating and can include chrysanthemum, matcha, strawberry, black sesame and more. If more than one flavor of boba stands out, you can even mix and match multiple bobas into your drink. → More information
Unknown Tea House (San Gabriel)
Get your boba with a whole blooming rose inside of the cup. At Unknown Tea House it’s all about the aesthetics and fresh fruit forward drinks. The seasonal drink named “Unknown Status” is a sparkling grapefruit creation topped with a rose. Not only is it refreshing, but of course you’ll want to snap a photo of it for the gram. There’s also an entire slush menu where all drinks come topped with cheese cream. Putting cheese on a drink sounds odd but it actually really works. A fan favorite is the Cucumber slush. → More information
Alfred Tea Room (Melrose Place)
This extra chic and very pink tea room is on everybody’s Instagram bucket list. Located in Melrose Place, the cafe offers matcha and tea lattes where you can add boba. Their signature #AlfredPinkDrink is a pink wonder made of beetroot, strawberry and pomegranate. They also make a great Classic Milk Tea infused with a blend of black teas from Thailand and Colombia, raw Demerara sugar and milk. → More information
Tea Brick (Monterey Park & Rowland Heights)
Tea Brick is known for their adorable reusable jars and wide variety of sweet drinks. On the menu are flavored milk teas made hot, iced or slush in which you can add an insane amount of toppings. The options are limitless, from honey boba to honey sea salt cream, eggnog pudding, ice cream and more. → More information
Boba Guys (Culver City)
Boba sensation Boba Guys have fans in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. They pride themselves in using high quality ingredients that are never artificial. A boba-rista first steeps a loose leaf tea of your choice and then infuses it with real fruit or a house-made brown sugar syrup. The boba is constantly being cooked so customers get a soft and chewy constancy, one of the best parts of the boba experience. Premium milk options are offered from organic Straus Family Creamery cow’s milk, to Califia Farms almond milk, and Oatly oat beverage. The most popular drink on the menu is the Strawberry Matcha Latte where matcha and Straus Family organic milk is delicately layered with a house-made strawberry purée. –> More information
Omomo Tea Shoppe (Irvine & Chino Hills)
The lines at Omomo are kind of legendary but our advice is to be patient, it’s totally worth the wait. Omomo’s staff goes above and beyond when making their drinks. The most ordered item on the menu is the Omomo Matcha made with organic matcha from Japan, ice blended with sweetened house milk and ribbons of brulee cream. Take it to another level and get the drink with pudding and boba. They also have Yakult yogurt teas and fresh fruit teas both have real fruit blended into the drink. → More Information
RedStraw Teabar (Irvine and Century City)
This place goes against the stereotypical idea that boba drinks are unhealthy. They use organic milk, have non-dairy options too, plus raw cane sugar, fresh seasonal fruits and avoid artificial powders and fructose. On the menu specialty teas are all inspired by cocktails, you’ll find the Rose Garden made with Jasmine green tea infused with rose and lychee super aromatic. For the ultimate coffee kick order the Organic Matcha Latte made with organic cream and pair it with honey boba. → More information
R&B Teabar (Multiple Locations in Orange County)
R&B is known for their Candy Milk Tea with a cheese cream foam topper. It’s made with oatmeal milk and adding boba is a delicious way to enjoy the already unique drink. For something on the refreshing side try their fresh fruit teas, the Hawaiian Fruit Tea includes watermelon, oranges, kumquats, lemons and passionfruit. → More information
*** This is a sponsored collaboration between Hilton and We Like L.A. ***