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Ranking 13 Boba Places in Boston

Reviewing some of the most popular boba places in Boston for your next visit.

Photo by Rosalind Chang on Unsplash

Boston is a lovely and diverse international hub littered with a plethora of restaurants and hidden food gems ranging from fancy, high-end bars and grills to authentic, ethnic foods of various cultures.

Over the last couple of years, bubble tea has become increasingly popular in the United States for both tourists and locals, thus resulting in many new boba shops popping up all over Boston. It’s a great place to grab a sweet and filling drink especially with friends or a date.

As someone who loves boba and often commutes to Boston, I’ve had the opportunity to try many of these places — some more than others. I’ve compiled all the ones I’ve been to within the city below rating them based on taste, variety, pearl quality, and aesthetic.

If you’re a boba lover in the area or just someone looking to try it out, definitely keep reading.

1) TeaMoji — Rate: 10 / 10

Photo from TeaMoji’s website

With its variety of unique and flavorful drinks, this place has never disappointed in quality and always has me wanting to go back. I love that they always serve drinks with a generous amount of toppings and the drink itself is has always been the perfect sweetness and is concentrated with flavor — not watered down and no too milky. The ambiance inside is very cozy and cute with couches and adorable plushies. Highly recommend the grass jelly special series, first love (especially if you like red bean), and oreo mudslide.

Price: $

Address: 3 N Beacon St, Boston, MA 02134

2) Tea-Do — Rate: 9 / 10

Photo taken by me

Tea-Do, situated right in the heart of Chinatown, has always been one of my top boba places for any of the classic boba flavors such as taro and black milk tea. Their drinks always have a strong flavor and have maintained consistently good every time I’ve gone. The indoor space is small and dark, but they have some nice seating areas — just be sure to grab a spot quick because Tea-Do is often crowded with customers.

Price: $

Address: 8 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

3) Royaltea — Rate: 8.25 / 10

Photo taken by me

Hidden amongst the more well-known boba chains in Chinatown is Royaltea. Despite going to Chinatown so many times, I hadn’t heard nor tried their boba until very recently. Nonetheless, their signature roasted oolong milk tea topped with cheese foam earned them a pretty high rating due to its flavor and quality cheese foam. If you end up checking Royaltea out, definitely give their cheese foam a try — I was never really a fan of cheese foam due to its saltiness but theirs had just the right amount of salt that added a nice, creamy kick to the sweet, nutty milk tea. I think the milk tea could’ve had a stronger roasted oolong taste, but otherwise, I felt that the drink was pretty great and many of my friends love this place.

Price: $$

Address: 23b Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

4) Gong Cha — Rate: 8 / 10

Photo from @gongchatea

If you like boba, you’ve probably heard of Gong cha. This popular boba chain lies in Chinatown on the same street (right across from Tea-Do) as many other boba shops yet are pretty popular and you may often find long lines leading inside. It’s a classic boba spot and you can’t really go wrong with any of their drinks. For the most part, their drinks have pretty good flavor and are made consistently well at pretty good quality. I like that their milk teas aren’t watered down, however, depending on the location sometimes the flavors aren’t as great. If you do end up coming here, I definitely recommend going for a lower sugar percentage especially for their sweetened teas (not milk tea!) like winter melon tea.

Price: $

Address: 40–44 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111

5) TBaar — Rate: 8 / 10

Photo taken by me

I’ve never tried their milk teas, but their fruit drinks and teas are by far the best I’ve ever had. The picture above is of their favorite passion fruit tea which is filled with an assortment of toppings such as kiwi, coconut jelly, etc. The tea itself wasn’t too sweet, yet it had a very strong passion fruit flavor. The indoor aesthetic wasn’t too great along with the very small space and no seating, but the prettiness of the drinks and cups definitely makes up for it.

Price: $

Address: 32 Kneeland St, Boston, MA 02111

6) Kung Fu Tea — Rate: 7.5 / 10

Photo taken by me

One of the largest, more well-known boba chains, Kung Fu Tea (KFT) is never a bad option. Similar to Gong cha, I’ve found their drinks to maintain pretty good consistency. Their flavors can be a bit out of touch at times and not as strong as I’d like, not to mention their milk teas can feel watered down at times. Their fruity teas, such as mango black tea, are very refreshing and I highly recommend them. KFT also changes up their menu quite often and has a lot of seasonal drinks which are fun to try out and are often pretty good as well. I will say that KFT drinks are very sweet, so definitely go down to 50 or 30 percent on sugar if you don’t like your drinks too sweet like me. If you ever go for a milk tea, definitely try out my favorite: oolong milk tea with grass jelly topping.

Price: $

Address: Multiple locations

7) Möge Tee — Rate: 7 / 10

Photo taken by me

This place screams aesthetic as soon as you walk in and see the setup and their menus. They certainly have a lot of unique and elegant-looking options that are pretty different from what you’d find in a standard boba shop. As opposed to regular milk teas, they’re popular for their fruit, cheese, Yakult, and dirty milk teas. I’m not a huge brown sugar boba fan but the one here tastes amazing. I also highly recommend their purple yam bubble milk tea as well. The one caveat I have is that I find the pearls to sometimes be slightly undercooked and they often clump together making it difficult to get them in the straw.

Price: $$$

Address: 164 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

10) Vivi — 6 / 10

Photo taken by me

Vivi has some pretty interesting drinks that are definitely made for those with a sweet tooth. I like that their menu has a pretty good variety of options and has both classic and unique options. I’ve often found their pearls to be undercooked and too chewy, but I do like their milk tea texture and flavor minus the sweetness. They also have some pretty good food options available if you’re looking for a quick bite or snack with your drink. Definitely would recommend their popcorn chicken and egg puffs, which are their most popular.

Price: $

Address: 182 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

9) Chatime — 5 / 10

Photo taken by me

Also in the heart of Chinatown on the same street as Gong cha and Tea-Do, Chatime is very mediocre in comparison to its neighbor competitors. They have all the classic milk teas and some other varieties, but a lot of their flavors have tasted very artificial in the past and very sweet. The drinks aren’t as smooth as others — you can feel the graininess from the powder that they use for their drinks. It’s not bad, but I just feel that there are better options available.

Price: $

Address: 31 Harrison Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts

10) LimeRed Teahouse — 5 / 10

Photo from menu

LimeRed is one of my favorite places to study as the inside is super cozy and I love the ambiance of the greenery and bright-lit wooden tables. Unfortunately, their drinks are only sub-par: I’ve noticed their milk teas to be so watered down and lacking in flavor not to mention the small boba cups in comparison to other places. I find that their pearls are often overcooked and too soft and also clump up a lot at the bottom.

Price: $

Address: 1092 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

11) Ten One Tea House — 4.5 / 10

Photo from @TenOneTeaHouse

I’ve only had the green milk tea from this boba stop once, but it definitely did not leave a great impression on me. The drink itself looked and tasted like a regular black milk tea and lacked in flavor. The inside is actually very pretty and clean, and they have some pretty-looking drinks on their menu. I do know people who like this place, however, so perhaps I just tried the wrong drink. If you’re ever strolling down Newbury street and start craving some boba, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to try it out — just maybe not the green milk tea.

Price: $

Address: 279 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116

12) Pin Ming — 3.5/ 10

Photo taken by me

I have mixed feelings about Pin Ming from the two drinks that I had tried. The photo above is of their mango slush, which I liked a lot. You can taste the fresh mango and it tasted very natural and not overly sweet. Their taro milk tea, however, tasted extremely artificial and not like taro at all. Despite liking their mango slush, I wanted to base my rankings more on traditional bubble tea-like drinks and so I felt that the quality of their taro milk tea is more representative of Pin Ming as a boba stop. Definitely a 10/10 for their music taste inside!

Price: $

Address: 5 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

13) OneZo — 2 / 10

Photo taken by me

At the very bottom of my list is OneZo, another fairly common boba chain in the area. Like Pin Ming, my opinions of OneZo are solely based on the brown sugar bubble tea that I tried recently which is supposedly their signature best drink. For the most part, it felt that I was drinking plain whole milk, occasionally getting a tang of brown sugar syrup when eating the pearls. The brown sugar flavor itself also was disappointing as it tasted overly medicinal. That being said, this was just one of their many drinks so take this review with a grain of salt. In fact, the interior aesthetic was one of the nicest ones I’ve seen by far — I love the green backdrop with their logo paired well with the white marble and gold furniture.

Price: $

Address: 83 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111

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