Recent research indicates that Philadelphia has over 70 places to enjoy boba tea. While many options exist, not all boba tea spots offer the same quality.
In this article, we will explore the top 10 boba tea spots in the city. We’re not limiting ourselves to traditional bubble tea shops; we’ll also spotlight cafes that serve exceptional boba tea.
Nestled in the heart of Philadelphia’s Chinatown, Chicha San Chen presents an authentic tea experience distinct from many of its contemporaries. Revered for its focus on quality and tradition, Chicha’s offerings provide a taste journey that prioritizes the essence of tea itself.
Their menu, though concise, is thoughtfully curated, showcasing a range of boba teas such as Dong Ding and Osmanthus Oolong. Their tea is crafted using a method reminiscent of espresso-making in coffee shops, ensuring a rich and robust flavor in each cup. The Osmanthus Oolong Tea with Mango stands out, offering a refreshing blend where the sweetness of mango complements the oolong’s aromatic undertones. Another notable mention is the Lemon Tart, a drink that juxtaposes tartness and creaminess, much to the delight of the palate.
Complementing the tea, their boba, when chosen as an addition, has a satisfying chewiness. While the teas celebrate a strong natural taste, those who prefer sweeter profiles might consider adjusting sugar levels according to their palate.
The interior of Chicha San Chen is minimalist in design, featuring a bright and clean ambiance. This setting, combined with their modern approach to traditional tea brewing, offers patrons a unique experience – a fusion of tradition and contemporary tastes. Though it may get busy during peak hours, indicating its popularity among locals and visitors alike, it remains a notable destination for those seeking a genuine tea experience in the city.
- High-quality tea.
- Strong tea flavor.
- Good service and organized staff.
- Boba is chewy and fresh.
- Simple and customizable menu.
- Brewed to order.
- Clean and modern ambiance
- The prices are on the higher side.
- Wait times can be long.
- Limited seating.
Location: 932 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
2. Mi ‘N Tea
Situated in the heart of the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, Mi ‘N Tea is a blend of familial dedication and culinary passion. Established in 2020 by siblings who sought to merge their family’s love for Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches with the refreshing allure of Taiwanese bubble tea, the cafe reflects a confluence of two distinct cultures and traditions.
The story of Mi ‘N Tea is woven with dreams carried from Vietnam by the parents of the founders, Kim Tran and Dan Dieu. Although they initially set aside their aspirations upon settling in South Philadelphia, their shared dream was eventually realized in the form of this charming establishment. The cafe is built upon their combined 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry, and the expertise of their children in sales, customer service, branding, and marketing.
Mi ‘N Tea offers a comprehensive menu that champions bubble teas. Patrons can choose from a myriad of options, ranging from traditional milk teas and fruit blends to innovative concoctions. Notably, the teas stand out for their authentic and fresh ingredients, with the flexibility to customize according to personal preferences, including adjustable sweetness levels.
Moreover, the cafe pays homage to Vietnamese culinary traditions with its bánh mì offerings. These sandwiches, characterized by crisp exteriors and soft interiors, are filled with flavors that strike a balance between savory and tangy, highlighting the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.
The ambiance is characterized by a sense of coziness, reminiscent of a small-town cafe. Visitors can expect a warm welcome, attentive service, and an environment conducive to relaxation or work.
Concludingly, Mi ‘N Tea is an embodiment of two generations’ aspirations, offering patrons a taste of Vietnamese heritage paired with the refreshing simplicity of Taiwanese bubble teas.
- Wide and interesting selection of drinks.
- Authentic and homemade taste.
- Good value for price.
- Customizable bubble tea options.
- Good food menu besides bubble tea.
- Quick service.
- Friendly staff.
- Good ambiance and seating.
- Cleanliness and hygiene.
- Reasonable prices.
- Large portion sizes.
- Boba pearls too soft for some.
- Some drinks may taste artificial or watered down.
- Confusing customization pricing.
Location: 4229 Main St, Philadelphia, PA 19127
Situated near Temple University in Philadelphia, Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea offers a serene space for those seeking a traditional Taiwanese tea experience. The cafe’s menu features a diverse range of bubble teas, including the distinct Brown Sugar Pearl Oolong Tea Latte, which balances a strong tea base with sweet pearls. Another notable mention is the Mango Pomelo Sago, an intriguing mix of creamy and citrusy flavors.
Inside, the cafe presents a modern and straightforward design, making it suitable for various activities, from studying and working to casual conversations. The available seating caters to different preferences, be it couches, chairs, or bar stools. A consistent highlight is the cafe’s commitment to fresh ingredients, ensuring an authentic taste in every drink. The staff, while being approachable, assists customers in navigating the menu and adjusting sweetness levels to individual tastes.
The convenience of Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea extends to its location, with a neighboring plaza providing ample parking. It offers an alternative for those wanting to experience quality tea without navigating the busy streets of Chinatown. If you’re in the area and have a penchant for traditional teas, it might be worth a visit.
- Fast and friendly service.
- Clean and comfortable ambiance.
- Plenty of seating.
- Diverse drink menu with fresh ingredients.
- Authentic taste.
- Convenient parking.
- Offers options for sugar and ice levels in some drinks.
- Use of real ingredients (e.g. real taro).
- Expensive pricing.
Location: 1501 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Located in the bustling neighborhood of South Philly, Sharetea distinguishes itself as a purveyor of authentic Bubble Tea. Rooted in tradition, the cafe traces its beginnings back to 1992 in Taipei, Taiwan, where it began with classic to-go black and pearl milk teas. Today, this legacy has expanded, with Sharetea boasting over 450 branches across 18 countries, making its mark as an ambassador of the genuine Taiwanese tea-drinking culture.
Sharetea’s menu is comprehensive, emphasizing its renowned Bubble Tea. With ingredients sourced directly from Taiwan, patrons can expect an array of over 50 bubble tea flavors and toppings, promising both quality and variety. Beyond its standard offerings, Sharetea often introduces unique, limited-time seasonal beverages, ensuring the experience remains fresh for regulars.
The ambiance inside the South Philly branch is inviting and clean, making it a suitable spot to unwind with friends or family. Many of its loyal customers have found favorites among its vast selection, with notable mentions including the Thai milk tea, Black milk tea, Oreo shake, and Mojito lime juice. The option to customize sweetness levels adds a personal touch to the experience, catering to diverse palates.
The menu also boasts unique concoctions, such as the “Golden Retriever” and “German Shepard” drinks, both packed with an array of toppings that ensure a delightful mix of textures and flavors in every sip.
In sum, Sharetea in South Philly offers an authentic Bubble Tea experience, seamlessly blending traditional roots with modern tastes, all set within a comfortable and welcoming environment.
- Large cup sizes.
- Clean and aesthetically pleasing ambiance.
- Customizable sweetness levels.
- Fresh boba/tapioca pearls that stay soft and chewy.
- Offers mini boba.
- Convenient location with parking.
- Quick and friendly service.
- Parking can sometimes be troublesome.
Location: 600 Washington Ave, Unit 5, Philadelphia, PA 19147
5. S&P Boba Tea
Located in Upper Darby, near the H-Mart food court, S&P Boba Tea offers a selection of beverages and desserts. This establishment is known in the area for its variety of bubble tea options.
The menu at S&P encompasses a range of bubble tea flavors. Some of the frequently mentioned choices include black sugar bubble tea, strawberry green tea, coffee caramel milk tea, and taro milk tea. The drinks are crafted with care, and the boba pearls are often highlighted for their soft texture. For those who like customization, the establishment allows adjustments in ice and sweetness levels.
In addition to the teas, S&P also provides a selection of desserts. Patrons can find items such as cake slices, egg waffles, tiramisu, and a distinct matcha crepe cake, among others.
The ambiance at S&P Boba Tea is characterized by its straightforward, cozy setting. The staff is known for being attentive and courteous, adding to the overall experience of the place. For those shopping or dining in the area, especially around H-Mart, S&P Boba Tea is an option to consider for a beverage or dessert stop.
- Delicious and fresh tea.
- Variety in drink and dessert options.
- Good customer service/friendly staff.
- Reasonable prices.
- Adjustable sugar and ice levels.
- Freshly made soft and chewy boba balls.
- Clean and organized shop.
- Fixed size of cups.
Location: 7050 Terminal Sq, Ste 217, Upper Darby, PA 19082
6. Mr Wish
Nestled in the heart of Philadelphia’s bustling Chinatown, Mr. Wish offers a diverse range of delectable boba teas. The menu, carefully curated, boasts a variety of traditional and innovative flavors, with boba teas taking center stage. The chai latte and honey lemon green tea are popular choices, with the latter known for its light and refreshing taste. Additionally, the oolong milk tea stands out for its robust tea flavor, particularly when ordered with a reduced sugar level.
Mr. Wish doesn’t stop at beverages. Their custard waffles, reminiscent of mochi batter and with just the right hint of sweetness, make for a delightful accompaniment. As a testament to the freshness of their ingredients, the boba is consistently noted for its soft, chewy texture, likely benefiting from the cafe’s steady flow of customers.
The cafe also prides itself on using real fruit in their fruity beverages, making them especially refreshing during summertime. An added touch of authenticity comes from the oolong soft serve, a unique blend that harmonizes perfectly with their boba offerings.
Inside, the cafe offers a cozy and clean atmosphere, punctuated by a few small tables for patrons who wish to sit and savor their beverages. The staff is attentive and considerate, fostering an ambiance that’s both inviting and comfortable.
For those seeking a genuine tea experience with a touch of innovation, Mr. Wish in Chinatown, Philadelphia, emerges as a noteworthy choice.
- Fresh and chewy boba.
- Good tea quality/flavor.
- Friendly staff/service.
- Use of real fruit in drinks.
- Customizable sweetness levels.
- Quick service.
- Lots of drink options.
- Clean atmosphere.
- Inconsistent boba quality.
- Service/staff not always friendly.
- Long waits and busy periods.
Location: 216 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
7. Tea Do
Tea Do, situated in the heart of Philadelphia’s Chinatown, offers a bustling environment with a distinct ambiance. The interior evokes a blend of casual comfort, akin to an after-school hangout, coupled with the atmosphere of a trendy club or bar. As a popular destination for both older teens and young adults, the cafe often resonates with a youthful vibe.
The boba menu at Tea Do is commendably extensive. Classic favorites like the regular milk tea with boba, Jasmine milk tea, and the Thai milk tea stand out. More adventurous patrons might appreciate the Tropical Twister or the peach tea with popping boba. Those with a preference for unique flavors can explore options like the “Green Coconut Milk Tea” or the “Pandan Milk Tea.” Notably, the tapioca boba is recognized for its sweet flavor, complementing the variety of tea offerings.
In addition to their beverages, Tea Do provides a selection of snacks that pair well with their drinks. Takoyaki and Onigiri have garnered positive mentions for their delightful taste.
The cafe also offers features that enhance the overall experience, such as board games for customers looking to unwind and enjoy their drink in a relaxed setting. With its central location in Chinatown and diverse menu, Tea Do provides a solid option for those seeking a bubble tea experience in the city.
- Reasonable prices/cheaper
- Extensive/large menu
- Variety of flavors
- Great service
- Convenient location
- Plenty of seating
- Offers snacks
- Ambiance (fun casual atmosphere, games, etc.)
- Boba consistency sometimes too soft
- Often crowded/busy
- Quality inconsistency between locations
- Some drinks too sweet
- Service mishaps (e.g. forgotten orders)
Location: 132 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
8. Tiger Sugar
Nestled in Philadelphia’s bustling Chinatown, Tiger Sugar stands as a testament to the authentic art of boba tea. Established in 2017 in Taichung, Taiwan, the cafe’s unique approach to creating their signature beverages has earned them recognition and respect amongst boba enthusiasts globally.
What sets Tiger Sugar apart is their meticulous attention to detail, particularly their proprietary 8-hour method of crafting syrups and tapioca pearls. This painstaking process ensures a harmonious blend of tea, milk, and syrup in every serving. Moreover, the aesthetic “tiger stripes” in their beverages, resulting from their unique hand-poured syrups, not only make the drinks visually appealing but also encapsulate the brand’s identity.
Their menu prioritizes boba teas, especially those infused with brown sugar. Favorites include their classic brown sugar boba varieties, with mentions also going to the lychee tea with clear jelly and the intriguing black sugar milk tea option. Though Tiger Sugar has a particular emphasis on their brown sugar drinks, they do offer a range of other flavors and toppings to cater to diverse preferences.
While the cafe in Philadelphia’s Chinatown might be compact, primarily catering to takeout orders, it offers an intimate glimpse into the world of premium boba preparation. The commitment to quality and consistency is evident in every drink, making Tiger Sugar a worthwhile visit for both boba aficionados and newcomers alike. However, those with specific sweetness preferences should note that the cafe follows preset levels, with limited customization options in certain drinks.
- Authentic flavors.
- Brown sugar boba is popular and delicious.
- Pearls/boba are soft and chewy.
- Consistent taste across different locations.
- Quick service.
- Offers unique drinks like the strawberry mochi drink.
- Generous with boba quantity in drinks.
- Drinks are picturesque/attractive.
- Drinks are too sweet for some customers.
- Cannot adjust sugar levels in many drinks.
- Some drinks have too much ice.
- Limited menu.
- Small store with limited seating.
- Pricier compared to some other boba places.
- Some issues with order mistakes and customer service.
Location: 122 North 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
9. Moge Tee
Situated on Arch Street in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, Moge Tee is a venue where traditional tea meets modern tastes. Established in 2012, the cafe aims to introduce a broader audience to the Asian bubble tea trend, combining elements of traditional tea drinking with contemporary flavors and styles.
Moge Tee offers a wide range of beverages, with boba teas taking center stage. Using high-quality handcrafted loose-leaf tea and fresh ingredients, the cafe ensures a fresh and genuine taste in every cup. Their cream cheese drink series is notable for its unique flavor profile and the option for customers to adjust ice and sugar levels to their liking. The menu also includes distinct options such as Purple Yam, DaHongPao Bubble Milk Tea, and Creme Brulee Uji Matcha. Additionally, Moge Tee experiments with different ingredients, evident in their offerings like creme brulee tea and the orange green tea with cheese foam.
The cafe’s interior is thoughtfully decorated, reflecting a blend of contemporary and traditional design elements. From time to time, Moge Tee has also collaborated with KPOP fan groups, creating a dynamic and inclusive space for all visitors.
In a busy part of the city, Moge Tee stands as a quiet nod to both the heritage and future of tea, serving as an accessible spot for those curious about bubble tea or seeking familiar flavors.
- Variety of drinks and toppings.
- Ability to customize sugar and ice levels.
- Good quality taste.
- Creamy and unique drinks.
- Friendly staff.
- Good boba texture.
- Quick service.
- Cute interior and design.
- Clean environment.
- No rewards card.
- Boba sometimes inconsistent (e.g., too chewy or hard).
- Drinks can be pricey.
- Service can be slow.
- Lack of non-dairy milk options.
- Challenges in communication (due to masks and ambient noise).
- No restroom.
Location: 1025 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
10. Boba King
Boba King, nestled in the heart of Philadelphia’s midtown village on Chestnut Street, offers a tranquil space with a vibrant aesthetic, characterized by warm lighting and tastefully curated decor. As one steps into the cafe, the ambiance is further enhanced by soothing music that accompanies the cafe’s modern yet welcoming design.
The cafe’s mainstay is its array of bubble teas, which have garnered a reputation for their balanced flavors and high-quality ingredients. Noteworthy mentions include the robust Thai tea, a delightful matcha and dark chocolate chip milkshake named Matcha Bear, and the refreshing Mango Tango – a harmonious blend of mango and grapefruit. The bubble teas come with an option of customization in terms of sweetness, ice, and the choice of milk, ensuring that each drink suits the palate of the individual.
Boba King goes beyond just teas. Their taro cream croissants have been described as deliciously unique, making them a must-try. The self-ordering kiosk is a modern touch, though it might require a bit of familiarization for first-time users. Efficient service is one of the hallmarks of this establishment, with the staff often praised for their friendliness and speed.
For those who appreciate loyalty programs, Boba King doesn’t disappoint, offering special discounts for counter orders during certain promotional periods. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing place to unwind or a quick boba fix, Boba King in Center City is a notable destination.
- Cute, vibrant aesthetic and warm lighting.
- Polite and quick service.
- Bubble tea flavor is strong and pleasant.
- Clean and consistent quality.
- Rewards program available.
- Milk alternatives offered.
- Friendly and accommodating staff.
- Fast service.
- Decorative and appealing ambiance.
- A bit pricey.
- Air conditioning issues in the store.
- Complicated self-ordering menu.
Location: 1232 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107