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10+ Thirst-Quenching Bubble Teas in New York City (Local’s Guide)

Taro Bubble Tea from Yaya Tea in Chinatown NYC, Best Bubble Tea in New York City

As a dedicated bubble tea aficionado and a seasoned NYC, I’ve embarked on a delightful quest to uncover the New York City’s best bubble tea. In this post, I’ll spill the tea (pun 100% intended) on where to find the most tantalizing tapioca pearls, the creamiest milk teas, and the most innovative bubble tea concoctions that will satisfy even the most discerning boba enthusiast’s cravings. Let’s jump in!

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The (Quick) History of Bubble Tea

Bubble tea, also known as boba, originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. Created by mixing sweet milk tea with chewy tapioca pearls, its popularity quickly spread globally. Invented by tea houses looking to enhance their offerings, bubble tea has evolved to include a diverse range of flavors and variations. Its name refers to the frothy bubbles created during the shaking process.

Best Bubble Tea in New York City

Table of Contents: Best Boba in New York City

Biao Sugar Best Bubble Tea NYC

Biao Sugar

Website: Biao Sugar
1271 Broadway, New York, NY 10001

Embark on an exhilarating bubble tea adventure in the heart of NYC with Biao Sugar, where a fake golden tiger guards a sweet secret (a statue where this NYC bubble tea serves their drinks). The Instagram-worthy spot has conquered social media platforms with its irresistible egg-shaped cups, creating a frenzy of posts and stories.

Beyond the aesthetic allure, Biao Sugar excels in taste, especially with their brown sugar bubble tea that rivals the best boba in NYC. Plus, you can bring back the coveted tiger egg for a discounted refill, adding a playful touch to your next visit.

Taro Bubble Tea from Yaya Tea in Chinatown NYC, Best Bubble Tea in New York City

Yaya Tea Garden

Website: Yaya Tea
Seven bubble tea shops in NYC

Yaya Tea is well suited for nipponophiles as its cartoons and snacks are a focal point of its aesthetic. They serve made-to-order Onigiri and imported Japanese treats along with their iconic NYC bubble tea.

If you grow to love Yaya Tea be sure to check out their merchandise featuring cartoons, boba, and Lunar New Year themed items. A distinguishing characteristic of Yaya Tea is the creative names they give their innovative drinks. It’s not every day you walk up to the counter and order a “boyfriend” or a “Hulk.”

best bubble tea NYC, Teazzi
Image courtesy Teazzi Tea | Best bubble teas in New York City

Teazzi Tea

Website: Teazzi Tea
Three bubble tea shops in NYC

Teazzi Tea offers a delightful fusion of tradition and innovation. With a commitment to quality ingredients, their teas are meticulously brewed, ensuring a rich and authentic taste. What sets Teazzi apart is their dedication to customization, allowing patrons to tailor their bubble tea experience with an array of tea bases, flavors, and unique toppings. Teazzi Tea elevates the bubble tea scene in NYC, creating a haven for tea enthusiasts seeking both classic indulgence and innovative twists.

Best Bubble Tea New York City, Coco

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice

Website: CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice
13 bubble tea shops in New York City

CoCo is an interesting follow on Instagram considering how many giveaways and discount codes they promote online. If you’re a regular consumer, CoCo quickly becomes one of the most affordable bubble tea options in New York City. It’s also worth adding that for the true techie they offer an app with reward programs and order ahead options.

most popular bubble tea in New York City, Gong Cha
Image courtesy Gong Cha | Best NYC bubble tea

Gong Cha

Website: Gong Cha
More than two-dozen bubble tea shops in NYC

Combining rich history with a commitment to quality and innovation, Gong Cha originated in Taiwan in 2006 before opening its first milk tea shop in New York City in 2014. It’s rise in populairity has been astronomical, they have more than two dozen bubble shops in NYC (and 11 in Manhattan alone!).

Renowned for its rigorous selection of premium tea leaves and top-notch ingredients, Gong Cha delivers a superior taste. The menu boasts classic milk teas and avant-garde flavors, enticing locals to keep returning for some of the best bubble tea in New York City. Notably, their signature “milk foam” topping adds a delightful creamy texture.

Machi Machi Bubble Tea, Best Bubble Tea NYC

Machi Machi

Website: Machi Machi
33 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

Originating in Taiwan in 2019 and rapidly expanding globally, Machi Machi landed in NYC with a splash. What sets Machi Machi apart is its dedication to the artistry of tea-making, combining fresh ingredients with innovative presentation. The iconic “Godiva Dark Chocolate Pearl Milk Tea” is a standout, blending premium chocolate and silky milk with chewy pearls.

The attention to detail extends to their eye-catching packaging, resembling laboratory glassware. With a focus on quality and aesthetics, Machi Machi offers a uniquely immersive bubble tea experience, bridging tradition and contemporary flair in the heart of the city.

Tiger Sugar Best Bubble Tea NYC

Tiger Sugar

Website: Tiger Sugar
Eight bubble tea shops in New York City

Tiger Sugar has emerged as one of the best bubble tea shops in New York City, drawing enthusiasts with its unique approach and distinctive beverages. Originating from Taiwan in 2017, this global phenomenon swiftly gained popularity for its renowned Brown Sugar Boba series.

Tiger Sugar’s signature drink features chewy tapioca pearls coated with a caramelized brown sugar syrup, creating a delightful gradient effect reminiscent of tiger stripes. With its innovative concepts and a dedication to quality, Tiger Sugar has become a standout among NYC’s best bubble teas.

Ionestea in Chinatown, milk tea nyc


Website: Honestea
173 Hester St, New York, NY 10013

Established in 2020, Honestea swiftly became a rising star among New York City’s bubble tea shops, carving its place with unique branding and a commitment to fresh, organic ingredients.

This pandemic-born gem takes pride in sourcing raw materials like organic yogurts, coffee beans, and teas, ensuring a refreshing and health-conscious beverage experience. Their innovative presentation, served in clear cans and mock perfume bottles, adds visual appeal to your drink.

The Boba Guys

Website: The Boba Guys
Locations: Three bubble tea shops in Manhattan

Hailing from San Francisco in 2011, the Boba Guys have brought a next-level game to the New York City’s milk tea scene. What’s the secret? Well, these guys are all about quality. They source their teas straight from Taiwanese and Chinese farmers, giving you a legit taste experience.

And let’s talk about innovation – their “Dirty Horchata” is a game-changer. Traditional meets modern, and it’s a flavor explosion. Plus, they’re all about keeping it real – real milk, no powders. Add a sleek, modern vibe to the mix, and you’ve got Boba Guys, some of the best bubble tea in NYC.

best bubble tea in NYC, xing fu tang
Image Courtesy Xing Fu Tang | Popular bubble teas in New York City

Xing Fu Tang

Website: Xing Fu Tang
Three bubble tea shops in New York City

Xing Fu Tang has asserted itself as a standout in New York City’s bubble tea scene, infusing authenticity and innovation into every sip. Originating in Taiwan in 2018, the brand swiftly expanded globally, making its mark in NYC. Their commitment to crafting fresh, handmade pearls on-site ensures a delightful chewy texture.

The signature stir-fry process, done right in front of customers, adds a theatrical element to the experience. With an emphasis on quality ingredients and an immersive preparation ritual, Xing Fu Tang delivers a genuine taste of Taiwanese bubble tea in New York City.

tapioca tea New York City, best milk tea nyc
Image courtesy M Tea | Best bubble tea in New York City

M Tea

Website: M Tea
Two bubble tea shops in Queens

M Tea has two locations in Queens, but the Flushing location is a pink paradise for enthusiasts of the rosy hue, complete with pink walls, balloons, and seating. Ideal for a sweet photoshoot, this charming spot features an array of Instagram-worthy settings, including an arched phone booth, rope swings, and a custom hot air balloon couch.

Beyond the aesthetic allure, M Tea caters to the sweet tooth with delectable cakes and treats, including some of the most Instagrammable bubble tea in NYC. A go-to recommendation, M Tea promises not just a snack but a memorable experience captured through snapshots with friends in this pink-themed haven.

New York City Best Bubble Tea (Post Summary)

In sum, here’s the best bubble tea in New York City, let us know if we missed a place and we’ll check it out!

  • Teazzi
  • Gong Cha
  • Tiger Sugar
  • Yaya Tea Garden
  • CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice
  • Honestea
  • Boba Guys
  • Machi Machi
  • Biao Sugar
  • Xing Fu Tang
  • M Tea

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