Best of SF: Top 4 Bubble Tea Shops in San Francisco

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It’s no secret that San Francisco is one of the best places to live in the world. The city has it all, including some of the most beautiful sights, an amazing food scene, and – who knew?! – a great bubble tea scene.

But how do you know which bubble tea spots are the best? Is there really such a thing as “best tasting” bubble tea, anyway? Rather than debating the topic, let’s move on to our recommendations so you can go check them out!

1. ChaTime

It may not look like much from the outside, but – on the inside – ChaTime is quite charming with cute, vintage Chinese decor. They offer delicious boba teas in both blended and drink-style options. Prices are reasonable, averaging $3-$4 for “small” sizes. We personally recommend their lavender milk tea with tapioca pearls!

2. Gong Cha

Gong Cha is one of the most popular boba shops around San Francisco. You can’t beat their classic milk tea served with fluffy boba. Although there are other shops that serve the same thing, Gong Cha has a really inviting atmosphere and offers amazing service! They even have a loyalty card program for frequent customers with half off on all drinks after reaching 20 stamps.

3. Boba Guys

Boba Guys is another one of San Francisco’s famous bubble tea shops. It’s located in Hayes Valley, near Civic Center. This shop is sleek on the outside but cozy and artsy indoors. You can order all sorts of drinks here, depending on which level of sweetness you prefer – from subtle to deathly sweet! Prices vary, but most average around $3-$5 dollars for small or medium sizes. There are additional charges for adding boba. Boba Guys really shine in their ability to combine Asian ingredients with Western flavors. They have unique drinks such as the Creamed Matcha Latte, which combines matcha with cream and tastes amazing!

4. Ten Ren’s Tea Time

Ten Ren’s Tea Time has been around for more than 50 years and they’re on top of all the latest trends in bubble tea creations! This shop specializes in toppings (fruit jellies, grass jelly) along with blended boba teas featuring some of the most classic flavors like taro or chocolate milk. Like Gong Cha, they also offer loyalty cards that reward customers with free drinks after multiple purchases. You can also customize your drink here, a feature which sets Ten Ren apart. You can request more ice (or less), or ask to double the amount of syrup that goes into your tea. Ten Ren’s Tea Time is by far one of the best boba places in San Francisco and we’d recommend giving them a try if you’re on the hunt for something new!

Happy boba drinking! And let us know if you have a favorite place that isn’t on this list.

Photo Credit: Jason Leung


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