By the end of summer, all your hot weather go-tos are feeling a little stale. If you’re looking for a fun alternative to the same-old blended and iced beverages you treat your kiddo to during those quick runs to the coffee shop, you may want to consider something different: boba. Kids love it because the straws are super-size and it’s chewy and slurpy and icy.  Bubble up to the boba bar at the best spots in town for a tapioca treat.

lovetea

photo credit: Meghan Rose

I Love Sweet Tea
Referring to themselves as “Miracle Miles Premium Boba Bar Café,” indecisive kids and parents alike will be able to appreciate the friendly staff at I love Sweet Tea. Not only are they happy to elaborate on the various menu selections but they’ll even let you sample flavors.

Sip this: The Taro Milk Tea and if you want to sneak in the greens, try their “Mighty Avocado.”

Make a note of this: Consider coming for an after dinner treat. During the week between 6 and 8 p.m. if you purchase one beverage you get a second for 50% off.

318 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-City LA
Phone: 213-290-4832
Online: ilovesweetea.com

boba

photo credit: Will Merydith via Creative Commons

Boba Studio
Boba Studio is a hip “studio” located in close proximity to the Beverly Center. They boast a menu that features flavored milk and ice teas, smoothies and slush. What better way to end a day of shopping than with a special treat to enjoy on the way home (especially if you’re taking the 405!).

Sip this: Melon lovers will love the honeydew smoothie. Or stick with a classic blend and get strawberry banana and add fresh strawberries on top.

Make a note of this: This place is cash only; however, they do have an ATM.

8474 W 3rd St., Mid-City LA
Phone: 323-951-0847

Boba my Tea

Boba my Tea
Known for their generous portions by way of “super sized” boba cups, Boba my Tea offers more than just boba tea. They also specialize in frost drinks and frappes. Customer favorites include their variations of Milk Frost with Wild Honey boba and the Cookie and Cream Frap. (They also have a Red Velvet one that is delicious – and a pretty color.)  And don’t worry – boba can be added to any of their drinks.

Sip this: Milk Frost with Carmel, House Pudding and Wild Honey boba – all sweet ways to get kids to dig a new treat.

Make a note of this: Boba my Tea is located near the Cal State Northridge Campus which means sometimes it can get pretty crowded. Fortunately there is seating inside and on the patio outside.

18429 Nordhoff St., Northridge
Phone: 818-280-5671
Online: bobamytea.com

 

Cafe Home Boba

Cafe Home
Patrons love this place for their Dole Whip but long before that, they made their mark serving boba. Located in Koreatown, Cafe Home is a great place to stop at and grab a drink before heading to a local museum or to sip while you wait to eat at a neighboring restaurant.

Sip this: There’s tons to try, but you can’t go wrong starting with their Chai and Milk teas.

Make a note of this: This place can get crowded, as they allow people who order from The Boiling Crab to dine there with a drink purchase. But if you’re looking to order a drink to-go on the double, you can order from the counter located in the back.

3377 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown
Phone: 213-383-0102

 

Fruttino
This place offers a variety of frozen treats, among them Bubble Tea Slush. In addition to regular boba they also offer “boba poppers” which is a juice filled boba ball. And if savoring a tasty boba filled drink isn’t enough they also have games and puzzles on hand to keep littles occupied.

Sip this: Thai Bubble Tea slush or the Watermelon slush – a tasty summer treat.

Make a note of this: There’s limited seating here but if you can snag a seat, order your drinks and stay and play a quick game. “Guess Who” anyone?

10369 Balboa Blvd, Granada Hills
Phone: 818-366-5658

 

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice
This Boba (aka “pearl”) franchise has locations across the globe. Known for a more customizable experience by making it possible for customers to indicate how much sugar (allowing you to curb the sweet factor for kids) and ice they want, CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice offers a nice selection of milk teas, lattes, slushes, smoothies and traditional teas.

Sip this: It only seems right that a place called Coco Fresh would have a chocolate drink. The Chocolate Coco is a must try for a kid who prefers their milk with chocolate. Just don’t forget the boba!

Make a note of this: There is often a line but regulars report that it tends to move fast. There’s also a $10 minimum if you want to use your credit card.

11301 W Olympic Blvd., West LA
Phone: 310-312-8937
Online: coco-tea.com

 

The Boba Truck

Boba Truck Café
The Boba Truck Cafe reigns supreme when it comes to boba. While they don’t offer the smoothies and fraps that many other places do, they have perfected their milk and regular teas to have just the right amount of sweetness. Even so, if it’s not to your liking they will happily adjust it for you. The regular size is perfect for newbies and kids.

Sip this: The Original Milk Tea is a classic flavor with just the right amount of sweetness. Or, opt for the Candy Apple Green Tea, great for kids who love to sneak sips of your Green Tea at the sushi bar; this one is kid-kosher and delicious.

Make a note of this: If trekking to Winnetka feels a little out of the way, then check out their website to find out where the Boba Truck will be. It’s their café on wheels.

8316 Winnetka Ave, Winnetka
Phone: 818-772-6900
Online: thebobatruck.com

 

Half and Half Tea Express
Another place with wide sized cups (car cup holders beware), Half & Half Tea Express is known for their Honey boba and great tasting teas and iced milks.

Sip this: Strawberry lovers will enjoy the Iced Milk with Strawberry and Honey boba

Make a note of this: Grab a reward stamp card (after 10 your drink is free) and remember to bring cash as this place is cash only.

3007 Huntington Dr., Pasadena
Phone: 626-844-1889

-Krishann Briscoe

Additional photos by Krishann Briscoe.

Boba lovers – where’s your favorite place to go?