Welcome to our Best Boba series! In these posts, I will be inviting foodies and bubble tea lovers from different cities around the world to give us their favourite boba spots in their city. San Francisco/Bay Area, California!
1. Tea Top
6158 Bollinger Road San Jose, CA
Tea Top is one of our favorite boba places where the tea is consistently brewed well, tastes amazing, and reminiscent of true Taiwan flavors. Favorite things to get here: high mountain oolong, sun moon lake tea, and grapefruit tea!
2. Boba Guys
1522 Fillmore St San Francisco, CA
Boba Guys is one of the OG places on this list. They first started out as a pop-up shop and now have stores all over California and New York. Their drinks are always pushing the boundaries of what we think “boba” is and they pride themselves in carrying milk alternatives like almond milk and oat milk (Oatly!). Our favorite drinks are the strawberry matcha latte, classic milk tea, and muscat oolong.
3. Happy Lemon
605 E El Camino Real Sunnyvale, CA
When Happy Lemon first opened in Cupertino, we drove 30 minutes there just to try it. Now, a few years later, there are stores all over the Bay! If you haven’t tried a Happy Lemon yet, get yourself here and get the real deal cheese foam. They also have mango-flavored boba, which we love getting in any of their fruit tea drinks. And if you’re into smoothies, mango matcha is the way to go.
4. TP Tea
10787 S Blaney Ave Cupertino, CA
If you’re not afraid of long lines, TP Tea is THE place to try. TP Tea stands for Taiwan Professional Tea and they really are professionals. We typically don’t like mini boba (called pearls here), but find ourselves getting it here because they’re famous for it! If you like heavy flavored teas, try the tie guan yin tea latte. Their other drinks are great too - we especially enjoyed their classic milk tea and taro tea latte!
5. Little Sweet
3836 Geary Blvd San Francisco, CA
There are so many options in SF, but Little Sweet is one of the best! It’s a small shop in the middle of the city and has a lot of classic flavors. Their pudding is also soooo good.
6. Gong Cha
46827 Warm Springs Blvd #101 Fremont, CA
We love going to Gong Cha for our boba fix. Their Earl Grey with 3J (grass jelly, tapioca, and pudding) always hits the spot. It’s also one of the most consistent chains on this list.
7. Feng Cha
7372 Thornton Ave Newark, CA
Feng Cha is one of the newest boba shops on the scene. We enjoy their fruity drinks and sponge cakes (you can get one topped with boba). If you’re a fan of milk foam, definitely come here because they have different flavored foam like taro, matcha, cheese, and durian!
8. One Tea
46809 Warm Springs Blvd Fremont, CA
This is one of the most unusual spots on our list! One Tea has lots of fun drinks like fruity pebbles and flying monkey. They also have more classic drinks as well, so we definitely recommend trying them out if you’re in the neighborhood.
9. Asha Tea House
2086 University Ave Berkeley, CA
Asha is one of the most beautiful shops on this list - they have a hipster and upscale vibe. Since people usually like this vibe, it’s usually crowded and difficult to find a seat so we get our Asha to go. They have the best matcha on this entire list, so if you’re a matcha fan definitely go check Asha out.
10. Ten Ren's
10881 N Wolfe Rd Cupertino, CA
It’s hard not to give Ten Ren's a shout out when rounding out our top 10 list. Ten Ren is one of the last-standing originals in the Bay Area when Fantasia, Tapioca Express, and Quickly’s were the big 3. We love their consistently cooked boba and strongly brewed tea flavor. They also are probably one of the only boba shops where you can still get a drink for under $4.
About the Author
Hi there, we’re Kendall & Shannon and we run @thebobalyfe! If you couldn’t guess.. We’re all about living the bobalyfe. We started TBL, because we wanted to share our love for boba/bubble tea/tea. We typically find ourselves looking for the hottest boba shop nearby whenever we’re in a new country or city. With the community we’ve built on Instagram, finding new places is always just a few clicks away.
Creating this top 10 list was a little hard, because you could really make a top 10 by city. The Bay is so big and the boba scene has really exploded these last couple years! New places are opening up every few weeks, which is really exciting as a boba lover. Anyway, don’t hate us if your favorite didn’t make our list - there really are just too many to choose from!
Join our boba adventures and check us out on Instagram at @thebobalyfe! :)