Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4 1/2 Fantasmic Bubble Tea Spots in NYC


Love me some bubble tea. Thanks TimingAndDelivery, Barnrau, and Team Sugar for the photos 

Summer in New York can be a big bitch. 

I grew up in a tropical country so this observation comes from someone with a relatively high threshold for heat. But in this city, heat is a different story. The humidity envelopes you like a sweater you can't take off. Standing on a subway platform rivals the comfort level of setting your toes on fire--only it's not just your toes, it's your whole damn body. It's the kind of heat that just pisses you off. And when that happens, divine intervention takes a big plastic form: bubble tea.

My obsession with bubble tea has moved past the craze everybody (including me) thought it was. I'm completely taken by the chewy tapioca pearls - chewing on them is one of my best definitions of joy. Allow me to share with you my favorite bubble tea spots in the city (not necessarily in order). Shhh, don't tell everybody.

1. Tea Magic 2878 Broadway Avenue
This place has won me over completely with authentic tapioca pearls (not the hard kind that crumbles in your mouth--ewww) and the Coffee Jelly Slush. Chewy coffee-flavored jelly swimming in an iced coffee drink is fantastic drink to wake up to in the summer! Read Tea Magic's review on Chowhound.

2. Aru Sushi 695 9th Avenue
This place gets major plus points for me just for having sesame bubble tea. Big fan! They also make bubble teas with orange juice and strawberry juice.

3. New York and Thai Grill Sushi 37 W 54th St.
No they don't have an inventive name and they're nowhere near my list of best sushi spots in Midtown but they make a mean hazelnut bubble tea. Pinky swear.

4. ThirsTea 280 E 10th St.  
Really cute East Village bubble tea place with a friendly staff. They do a lot with matcha green tea, which takes the bubble tea experience to whole new levels of awesome. 

4.5 Radiance Tea House and Books 158 W 55th St.
This is the kind of place that deserve s a post of its own. Possibly one of your best bets for dessert tea, albeit without the bubbles (sad face). The story of their purple yam latte, however, must be told. Psst, they get an A for ambiance too.

And that, my friends, is how I give this city heat a big fat middle finger (without actually doing it). 

Bubble up!

- Kris Alcantara


  1. hey kris! i so love bubble tea. it's a world wide craze i suppose. you won't miss it here in pinas. see you and let's bubble up soon!

  2. i want to be in bubble tea heaven too :( bring me some!!!!

  3. ooh bubble tea is love <3

  4. Awwwwww...Poor babe! Here, yesterday 43ºC at 6:30 in the morning, at noon 57ºC Doha FTW! hahaha! I wish there is bubble tea here.

  5. Craving! :) Esp in this heatwave!