Exploring Bubble Teas With A Twist

The bubble tea competition is fiercer than ever with more quirky drinks and new flares from different shops across North America.

The boba game is strong. And businesses are doing more by adding creativity to their drinks in hopes of setting themselves apart from the multitudes of bubble tea places out there.

Here are our favourite bubble tea shops that are wow-ing BBT drinkers by doing things just a little differently.

LABOBATORY

Photo: kcet.org

Los Angeles, US
labobatory.com
IG: @labobatory

Feeling experimental? Check out this spot in downtown Los Angeles. You’ll be entertained by the menu with their not-your-average bubble tea complemented by some creative names. Several of their most popular drinks include “Fifty Shades of Earl Grey” and “Asian Boba Girl”. They also offer dairy alternatives and caffeine-free options!

THE BUBBLE TEA SHOP

Vancouver, CA
thebubbleteashop.ca
IG: @thebbtshop

Not sure what to get or want to order more than one option? The Bubble Tea Shop allows you to literally get two flavours in one drink! They also offer catering services if you’re hosting an event. Be sure to try out their famous waffles, which are available in a variety of flavours.

FAT STRAW

Portland, US
fatstrawpdx.com
FB: @fatstrawcafe

For those looking for bubble tea but also have dietary restrictions, don’t worry! Check out Fat Straw in Portland and their vegan bubble teas, which are made entirely with coconut milk. They also serve Stumptown Coffee and Portland Roasting Coffee, so if you have a coffee-snob friend, you can bring them too!

HAPPY LEMON

Various locations across US and CA
happy-lemon.com/en/

Ever heard of ‘cheese tea’? It’s a popular bubble tea craze from Asia that has finally hit North America. You can try it at Happy Lemon; an international chain with multiple locations across North America. Their Salted Cheese menu is a savoury twist on the world of teas!  

SD BOBA TEA

Photo: picgra.com

San Diego, US
sdbobatea.com
IG: @sdbobatea

If you have a sweet tooth, you’re in for a treat. This San Diego-based boba shop combines your favorite childhood (or current!) snacks, such as Lucky Charms and Kit Kats, with your favorite BBT. If you’re looking for a super Instagrammable drink, it’s time to pay SD Boba Tea a visit.

PASSION TEAROOM

Photo: purplechives.com

Vancouver, CA
passiontearoom.com
IG: @passiontearoom

Not in the mood for an extensive bubble tea menu? Passion Tearoom is the place to go. This hidden gem is found in downtown Vancouver, featuring some of the best bubble teas around town made with fresh ingredients — including fresh milk and cream instead of the powdered versions. The menu may be basic, but their drinks will make you fall in love with the fundamental flavours all over again.

MILK+T

Photo: milkandt.com

Los Angeles, US
milkandt.com
IG: @milkandt

Want an environmentally-friendly option? This Los Angeles-based bubble tea shop is known for their self-serve bar to go with their glass jars instead of plastic cups to reduce waste.  Along with their creative approach with a powder-free drink menu, there are also new drinks released every week so you won’t get bored with the options. Oh, not to mention that their syrups are 100% handcrafted!  

Next time you drop by one of these cities, be sure to check out their awesome selection of the not-your-average BBT shops!

No matter your taste, there’s a bubble tea out there for everyone.

Making Asian American media

We believe that our stories matter – and we hope you do too. Support us with a monthly contribution to help ensure stories for us and by us are here to stay.

accessible

The future of Cold Tea Collective depends on you.

People chatting at the Making It documentary screening.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top