It’s pretty rare to meet someone in the Bay Area that doesn’t like boba. In fact, you’re probably more likely to run into people who are loyal to a particular boba shop even if they have to drive a long way to get there. No matter where you fall in the boba enjoyment spectrum, for years pretty much all boba shops were generally the same. Sure, some offered a handful of unique drinks and flavors, but they all had nearly the same menu. In recent years, there has been more differentiation, but it wasn’t until the last couple years that some new shops have popped up that are really raising the bar with boba and creating truly beautiful and unique drinks. It’s about time people thought about the esthetics of the drink, as well as the taste and quality of ingredients. If you want to try some of these shops from the new era of boba, check out our recommendations below!
The new kid on the block is TeaCub, which is located in Mountain View, and the presentation of their drinks reminds us of high end cocktails. There’s so much attention to detail, and they often use two tones (like the red and white in their Pink Drink below). They also use top quality ingredients like fresh fruit, matcha powder, fresh mint leaves, and more. The Pink Drink was our favorite, which blends fresh strawberries and cream together to make the perfect creamy smoothie.
2. Urban Ritual
Urban Ritual has been around for a few years and has locations in SF, San Mateo, and San Jose. They were the first boba spot we found in the bay that really tried to do something different, and if you check out their menu, you’ll quickly realize that it doesn’t resemble your typical boba shop menu in the slightest. They combine flavors you probably wouldn’t think of, such as in their Matcha Toffee, which includes matcha green tea, milk, and toffee brittle bits that are made in house. We also love their specialty drink, Creme Brulee, which is crafted with their housemade creme brulee, honey boba, classic milk, and topped with crackling torched raw sugar.
Coco^3 (pronounced Coco-cubed) is an awesome Asian drink and dessert shop in South San Francisco that puts their own spin on their original recipes by using coconut milk in the majority of their menu offerings. If you’re into milky, heavier boba drinks, this place is 100% worth a try! Our favorite drink – although super filling so go in hungry – is their Coco for Avo, which is a slushie drink made with coconut milk, fresh avocado, basil seeds, and boba.
4. Tea & Others
Tea & Others makes a bunch of fun drinks, but they’re probably most known for their dirty boba drinks. Our favorites are the dirty matcha and dirty strawberry, pictured below. If you’re a fan of sweet and creamy boba drinks, these are definite must-tries!
For more awesome Bay Area recommendations, check out our San Francisco Bay Area Tab HERE