Bubble tea, also known as boba tea or pearl-milk tea, is the international drink phenomenon originating from my hometown of Taichung, Taiwan. The “pearls” — called zhenzhu, if on the smaller side, and boba, if a bit larger — are traditionally made from brown sugar and tapioca, providing a bouncy, chewy surprise amidst a delicious blend of milk, sugar, and tea. The drink first debuted in the 1980s using black tea, but nowadays can be found in a variety of flavors. Here are some of our favorite places to find the sweet treat in Westchester.
11A S Moger Ave, Mount Kisco; 914.666.8882
5Spice Tea House serves a decadent and frothy bubble tea in the traditional Taiwanese style (the “bubbles” in bubble tea originally referred air bubbles from shaking, not the tapioca pearls). Along with a solid milk tea with boba, 5Spice also provides an extensive list of floral and fruit teas.
365 Central Ave, Scarsdale; 914.723.1120
This solid bubble tea shop has an extensive menu that’s open to customization for the ratio of sugar and ice. Extra generous with the boba, it makes an excellent quick stop on your way to the Chinese grocery store next door.
19 Washington Ave, Pleasantville; 914.495.3232
Flour & Sun’s bubble tea is popular, so call ahead to make sure they haven’t run out. In addition to serving green or black tea with various fruit syrups, the milk tea is available with whole or skim milk. Special flavors include Piña Colada, Hibiscus Dream, and Creamsicle.
1 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry; 914.231.6161
1109 Central Ave, Scarsdale; 914.713.8693
Go Greenly has a long list of bubble teas, including unique flavors such as papaya, red bean, almond, banana, and honeydew. In addition to the traditional tapioca pearls, they also offer strawberry jelly and strawberry, mango, or lychee juice poppers.
1789 Central Ave #1787, Yonkers; 914.652.7773
Along with tasty Filipino food and an Insta-worthy halo-halo, Hapag also serves bubble tea, including jasmine and the original black milk tea (matcha, too). Those who prefer coffee may want to try the cappuccino bubble tea. Taro, a purple tropical root, is a popular choice.
496 Main St, New Rochelle; 914.999.4242
Korean BBQ has some interesting flavors to add to Westchester’s bubble tea scene. In addition to classics like milky black, green, and Thai iced tea, there’s also guava, pomegranate, and traditional, zesty, Korean citron tea, also called yuja-cha.
245 Main St, Ste 110, White Plains; 914.948.4950
Noodle+ is a small oasis of boba, offering the pearls in milk teas, flavored teas, and brewed teas. Patrons can also swap out boba for coffee, lychee, mango, or green-tea jellies.
371 N Central Ave, Hartsdale; 914.358.4130
There’s almost always a line at Tous Les Jours located inside of H Mart, but it’s worth the wait for their bubble tea (available in creamy, fruity, and flavored black/green tea), the perfect accompaniment to their selection of delicate yet decadent pastries.
8 Anderson St, New Rochelle; 914.740.3770
YUM Ice Cream and Bubble Tea has both milk tea and dairy-free options, as well as different jellies and popping pearls to sub for boba. They also serve a coveted matcha green tea, as well as the less common coffee latte bubble milk tea.