Skip to Content
Food

The 10 Best Boba Tea Shops In Los Angeles

Using artificial powders to flavor tea is a sin, especially in a town where there are so many natural options built on individually-brewed teas, fresh-cut fruits, and homemade delicacies like these...

11:58 AM PDT on August 14, 2023

    These are L.A.'s best boba shops.

    And this is why...

    Using artificial powders to flavor tea is a sin, especially in a town where there are so many natural options built on individually-brewed teas, fresh-cut fruits, and homemade delicacies.

    All of these cafes take the art of making boba and tea to new dimensions, crafting each and every drink meticulously, with thorough research and care. Each business masterfully creates intricate beverages, while also bringing something unique to the table.

    So let's revel in the fact that we live in a region with such a fierce, strong boba culture by scoping out L.A.'s 10 best boba shops, in no particular order.

    Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea

    Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea is justly beloved for powerfully refreshing fruit teas, although it is something of a milk tea destination, as well. From the grapefruit green tea to the kiwi fruit tea, the drinks come loaded with fresh fruit for bright and vivacious flavors. Their selection of mango-based drinks, like the mango latte and mango smoothie, are delicacies that must be tried. Their agar crystal boba has a rigid earthiness that adds unique texture to what is already an enchanting experience. Yi Fang also offers the traditional Taiwanese green grape smoothie, which is served with a stunning homemade whipped cream on top and exists in a class of its own.  

    Locations in Pasadena, Rowland Heights, Sawtelle, Koreatown, Torrance, Arcadia, Glendale, San Gabriel

    Feng Cha 

    Feng Cha is a destination for undeniably satisfying tea in a relaxing, open atmosphere that invites a casual hangout or productive meeting. One of their signature drinks, the crème brûlée dirty boba milk tea, features a freshly torched cheese foam on top. When you begin sipping, you crack into it, the shards in your mouth feeling like lightning striking the clouds. The menu here is not overwhelming in size, but has plenty of classics and proprietary oddities both, including the chrysanthemum ginger honey tea. The kiwi basil green tea is one of its best-selling iced refreshers, and you can blend up your drinks to get more of an airy, smoothie feel with their "Breeze" series. These drinks are decadent and delightful. There are quite a few Feng Cha locations across California and the U.S. but there's just one in LA.

    Various L.A. and O.C. locations

    Hey Hey

    There is no other boba cafe quite like Hey Hey. Each drink at this tea house-inspired lounge feels like more than just a recipe, but a concept unto itself. Rather than overpowering sweeteners, the multitude of fresh ingredients shines through each sip. "The Chai Boy" contains spiced chai with chunks of earthy ube, while the "Mango Tango" is a classic iced tea refresher with a mango compote sitting at the bottom. Hey Hey also opens its doors early in the morning, well before most boba cafes, thanks to its lineup of coffee-based drinks, including the cafe seda, a Vietnamese iced coffee with dark, bold flavors. That comes topped with a pungent espresso powder sprinkled on top of a homemade salted cream, alongside a sprig of mint. Hey Hey goes above and beyond with presentation. Most notably with drinks like "the Matchstick:" a green frappe layered like a parfait, adorned with a tiny Kit Kat on top like a wand waiting to ignite magical matcha flavors into the drink. 

    1555 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 4 - “Sunset/Echo Park.”

    Westfield Topanga, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, CA 91303. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 150, 164 or 169 - “Victory/Owensmouth”, Bus Line 601 - "Owensmouth/Canyon Creek", Metro G Line - "Canoga Station."

    Motto Tea Cafe

    An afternoon spent at Motto Tea Cafe is a special occasion outing with the power to warm your soul. Known for its matcha, you can customize your drinks here in more ways than you can imagine. Try adding a mochi puree to the bottom of your drink for a gooey little miracle to arise in your straw to accompany your chewy boba. Or maybe you’d like to get a taro puree swimming in your yuzu jasmine green milk tea, the whole thing topped with a salty cream cheese-based mousse. Or go simple and enjoy the pure, authentic teas with their balanced flavors. A trip to Motto Tea Cafe would also be incomplete without an order of their famous Japanese souffle pancakes, the fluffiest treats we ever did eat.

    100 W. Green St. Pasadena, CA 91105. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 180 or 256 - “Colorado/De Lacey”, Bus Lines 260, 267, 660 or 686 - "Fair Oaks/Colorado", Metro A Line - "Del Mar Station."

    250 W. Valley Blvd. San Gabriel, CA 91776. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 76 and 487 - “Valley/Abbot.”

    Wushiland Boba

    Wushiland is one of the most beloved boba cafes in SoCal and for good reason. The drinks are loaded, nearly halfway up their cups, with the toppings you choose. So there’s no doubt you will have a mouthful of boba with each and every sip. Wushiland’s “secret menu” drink is a multi-sensory rave in your mouth, mixing regular-sized boba pearls, miniature pearls, and lychee jelly. The signature scoop of vanilla ice cream crowning many of their drinks adds a rich consistency that complements the smooth milk tea. You’re not going to find a crazy amount of flavor choices on the menu here, so don’t expect to order matcha or fruit teas. Wushiland generally leans on classics like black, green, and oolong tea for the bases of their most consummate tea drinks. 

    Locations in Arcadia, Century City, and San Gabriel

    Chicha San Chen

    As soon as you walk into Chicha San Chen, you already sense how beautiful the Taiwanese tea will be that you're going to be served. Even when the place is busy, there is a zen ambiance that reflects the same serenity you feel in sipping these drinks. The cafe offers seasonal beverages in their pineapple, taro, and peach collections. The "Dong Ding" oolong with peach mousse is luxurious, with an ever-so-slight hint of stone fruit that hits your lips, foreshadowing the sweet peachy flavor that's brewed into the nutty oolong. The simple list of toppings offered here, like boba, crystal boba, and mousse, are made with a finesse that perfectly complements the rest of your drink. 

    Locations in Alhambra, Rowland Heights, San Gabriel

    Tea Maru 

    One thing that makes Tea Maru unique is a variety of housemade boba, including bobas made from sweet potato and mango. You can do crazy things like add their strawberry boba in with your strawberry puree topping (perfect with matcha) for an extra flavor burst. These specialty boba are made with prime natural ingredients, so the flavors don’t require extra sugar to stand out. Other toppings like herbal jellies and different foams and purees are incorporated into these drinks to simply serve as companions, allowing the tried-and-true teas to show off their natures. Tea Maru is also known for their "frothy matcha" series, which creates a fusion of an airy, yet also creamy, matcha drink.

    Arcadia, San Gabriel, Downtown L.A.

    Latea

    Latea is Culver City's premier boba cafe and we’d only be so lucky if they expanded throughout LA. The family-run business is known best for their lineup of crème brûlée milk teas, notably the taro crème brûlée latte, both a visual and textural feast. The colorful swirls lure you in, but the creamy homemade custard floating throughout the vibrant taro milk tea is a treat that everyone deserves to try. Whether you choose the brown sugar or honey boba, the pearls at Latea are made in a special way that gives them a subtle, smokey accent without disregarding the classic gooey, chewy texture. The teas, smoothies, and eclectic signature drinks here have deep flavors that could easily turn this into your go-to spot for satisfying and unique beverages. There is also a cute window in the back of the cafe where you can peek in to see where the boba is made, from start to finish. 

    3851 Main St. Culver City, CA 90232. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 33 - “Venice/Bagley”, Metro E Line or Bus Line 617 - "Culver City Station."

    Sunright Tea Studio

    You can’t go wrong with a drink from Sunright Tea Studio. It’s no surprise that the concept has expanded so widely around the L.A. area. Their signature Sunright brown sugar milk tea makes the perfect introduction to the wonders of boba tea, with homemade creamer and warm, syrupy boba. The Sunright fruit tea has parallels to an Arnold Palmer, and will spoil you, making you never want a canned one again. There is pretty much every option for the boba tea lover found here, from cheese foams, brulees, Oreo drinks, crisp fruit teas, matcha, and everything else imaginable in between. 

    Alhambra, Arcadia, Artesia, Chino, Diamond Bar, Eastvale, Gardena, DTLA, Monterey Park, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, Rowland Heights, San Bernardino, San Gabriel, Upland, Sawtelle

    Tan-Cha 

    Tan-Cha has a unique menu with a wide variety of flavors and drink styles. Perhaps most unique to this shop is the Hami melon milkshake: fresh, crafted with precision, and highlighted by its simple, but quirky, texture. Its flavor is familiar yet distinctive, almost as if a papaya and honeydew had a baby. With its unparalleled consistency, the "Berry Slushie" is the strawberry refresher you need on a summer day in L.A., particularly when you pair it with lychee jelly for an added treat. You can treat the top of your drink with a puff cream (perfect for the tiramisu drink) or a classic salty cheese foam to really take your drink to the next level. The drinks, even with their indulgent flourishes, always end up being comforting and never overbearing.

    Koreatown, Arcadia, Rowland Heights, San Gabriel

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from L.A. TACO

    What To Eat This Weekend: Cannabis-Infused Boat Noodles, Thai Smashburgers, and “Grass & Ass”

    Plus, a pizza festival and a respected chef from Toluca, Mexico comes to Pasadena to consult for a restaurant menu, including enchiladas divorciadas, and more.

    April 12, 2024

    Facing ‘Immediate Layoffs,’ L.A. TACO Launches Membership Drive to Save Our Publication

    After Sunday, we do not have enough money to make another payroll. We need 5,000 members to become sustainable. Our deadline is April 26th to hit this goal.

    April 12, 2024

    The Final Round of TACO MADNESS 2024 Is Now Open for Voting! It’s Highland Park vs. San Fernando Valley

    It was an incredible comeback to deny last year's winner and bring a first-timer from the San Fernando Valley to the finals. They will have an uphill battle against Villa's Tacos, who lead all teams in total votes so far in the 2024 competition. L.A.'s favorite taco will be decided on Sunday, April 14th, at 11:59 P.M. 

    April 11, 2024

    This New Koreatown Onigiri Spot Is Unlike Any Other in Southern California

    Supamu, which started as a food truck and a series of pop-ups, brands itself as Southern California’s first Okinawa-style onigiri. What sets its onigiri apart from competitors? All the details are in the post, plus where to find it.

    April 10, 2024

    When ‘Tomorrow’ Never Comes: The Saga of a DTLA Bar Staff’s Struggle To Get Paid

    A barback recalled a time when he had to use a payday loan app to cover a dinner bill. “How can you, with a straight face, hand someone a check knowing that there isn’t money in the account,” the barback questioned.

    April 10, 2024
    See all posts