The 12 Best Boba Shops in Koreatown LA

Boba, also known as bubble tea, are tea-based drinks that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s. The bubble tea consists of tea and toppings like chewy tapioca balls, grass jelly, aloe vera balls, red beans, and more. Bubble tea is made from a tea base that is mixed with milk and flavoring like black tea is mixed with milk to create black milk tea. 

Kung Fu Tea Facebook

What are boba balls?

Tapioca balls are the most common boba balls seen as they are made from gluten-free starch that is extracted from the root of a cassava plant. They get their chewy texture after being shaped into balls and cooked over the stove with sugar. The tapioca balls are referred to as boba as they are round and chewy. 

Not everyone enjoys the texture or taste of boba balls. However, there are alternative toppings like lychee boba, grass jelly, aloe vera balls, red bean, and more that are either less chewy or sweeter than tapioca balls. Some even prefer to drink bubble tea without boba at all. 

Boba can be added to many drinks like smoothies, milk tea, iced coffee, slushies, and more. You can add it into fruity drinks or just simple milk tea as well. The excitement begins when you first take a sip of your drink while chewing on the mildly sweet boba balls that bring a new texture. It’s now become an important dessert staple even if you had a huge dinner, you always have room for boba.

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What types of bubble tea are there?

The most common drinks would be the classic black milk tea, brown sugar milk tea, taro milk tea, Thai milk tea, matcha milk tea, fruit-based tea, and cheese foam tea. You can adjust the sugar and ice level to your preferences. 

Classic black milk tea has adjustable sugar levels that affect the sweetness of the tea noticeably. Brown sugar milk tea is very sweet without adjustment, so many consumers would try to decrease the sweetness since the brown sugar syrup is the reason why the drink is sweet. Taro milk tea is right in the middle of black milk tea and brown sugar milk tea in sweetness level. 

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Thai milk tea and matcha milk tea are sweeter than the average black milk tea, so you can adjust the sweetness or ice level if you prefer less sweet drinks. Fruit-based tea drinks are often not as sweet as the rest of the milk tea products, so you can sweeten your sugar level if you are unsure. And lastly, cheese foam tea is usually a sweet cheese foam that rests on the top of your tea drink. The tea drink will usually be less sweet than the cheese foam, and you can adjust your sweetness level depending on your preference. 

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Koreatown is filled with delicious boba places that you have to try. Not only are there Koreanized versions of bubble tea, but there are also many original Taiwanese bubble tea shops that you have to try.

1. Tan-Cha

Tan-Cha is a traditional Taiwanese tea house with many locations. Tan Cha promises they don’t use any artificial syrups, sweaters, or additives on their official website. They use fresh real fruits and tea for the best taste. In addition, they top off their tea drinks with puff cream or tiramisu or cheese foam on top. With the goal of creating the perfect foam on top of delicious tea. 

3401-3413, W 6th St,
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 908-5020

2. Tiger Sugar

Tiger Sugar specializes in brown sugar bubble tea with fresh cream. After being founded in 2017, Tiger Sugar are delicious, sweet drinks with brown sugar syrup decorating the side of the cup to create “tiger stripes.” 

3465 W 6th STE 120, 
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 568-3436

3. Heuk Hwa Dang

Heuk Hwa Dang is a branch from South Korea to similarly replicate the delicious Taiwanese bubble tea. With delicious desserts and drinks, you can definitely have a great time with friends after dinner. Located in Madang Courtyard, you can definitely enjoy walking around the courtyard with your drink. 

621 S Western Ave G01,
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 448-1888

4. Kung Fu Tea

Kung Fu Tea is one of the biggest American bubble tea franchises with over 350 locations all over the United States. With high premium tea leaves and drinks, Kung Fu Tea promises delicious tea drinks that are catered towards new customers and current bubble tea lovers. Fun fact: On April 30, 2018, Kung Fu Tea founded National Bubble Tea Day to honor not only the 8th birthday of Kung Fu Tea but for all bubble tea lovers! 

740 S Western Ave #117 #118,
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 699-9114

5. Boba Story

Boba Story is located right in Koreatown with delicious boba drinks and finger food that you can order along with your drinks. There’s a regular size and a chubby cub size that definitely won’t fit in your cup holder but a fun way to drink your boba. In addition, the ice cream macarons are a huge hit as well. 

701 S Western Ave, 
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 384-3200

6. Dragon Boba

Dragon Boba is a dessert and bubble tea store that opened up to serve the Koreatown community with delicious snacks and tea drinks. In addition to delicious Brown Sugar Milk Tea and Sakurambo Milk Tea (cherry black tea, other popular items on the menu would be mochi doughnuts and cute character macarons. 

528 S Western Ave, 
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 375-7001

7. It's Boba Time

A classic bubble tea shop that specializes in delicious fruit slushies, bubble tea, and even to-go cup styled shaved ice. It’s Boba Time has many locations spread throughout the United States, and you can definitely try some classic fruit slushies on a hot day with your friends. 

3450 W 6th UNIT 111,
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 365-2622

8. Boba Sound

Boba Sound is located inside Sejong Plaza while being a new boba spot in town. With delicious classic milk teas and new drinks like honeydew milk tea and cookies and cream, you can definitely enjoy some sweet boba drinks with your friends on a hot summer day. In addition, there are delicious, freshly baked taiyaki and popcorn chicken you can order with your drinks. 

1144 S Western Ave, 
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 641-0112

9. BOBA Square

BOBA Square claims on their website that they make all their iced tea and milk tea with premium teas as their base. They found the precise way of how much water and tea to add with the correct brewing time in order to make the perfect bubble tea. With fresh milk and real fruit, BOBA Square believes that it’s a rewarding process to provide customers with delicious and natural flavors that can only be found at their stores. With fresh milk teas, smoothies, slushies, shakes, frappes, and even creme brulee and cheese foam series, you should definitely check out BOBA Square for a great boba experience. 

621 S Western Ave Suite 102,
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 385-2622

10. Guilt Tea


Guilt Tea uses delicious tea leaves to brew sweet, fruity, or creamy bubble tea drinks. Guilt Tea uses 10 different types of tea leaves with specialized sweet fruit teas as well. There is also a build your own menu for those who want to create their own delicious creations, and there are non-dairy options for special accommodations. There are also decaf and non-caffeinated drinks offered on the menu as well. You will also enjoy the interior designs with your friends if you visit together. 

3300 W 6th Ste4,
Los Angeles, CA 9002

11. o2 coffee

o2 coffee is a coffee shop that specializes in creating delicious coffee drinks and boba drinks as well. With different selections of gourmet coffee drinks, smoothie boba drinks, teas, cakes, and cookies, the cafe is a great place to visit during the afternoon with friends. There are patio seatings with takeout options available as well. 

915 Vermont Ave #1/2,
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-9583

12. Mr. BOBA

Mr. BOBA is a great smoothie boba drink place to visit with friends and family. With many delicious options for boba, coffee, tea, and even shaved ice, Mr. Boba is a popular choice among many. There are also many milk options like non-fat milk, soy milk, and almond milk. There are also popping boba and mini boba available if you want to try different toppings along with grass jelly and other jelly options.

3805 W 6th St, 
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 380-0607

Make sure you check out these boba shops when you’re in Koreatown. Whether it be an afternoon snack or dessert after dinner, boba will never disappoint you!


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