Top 10 Best Bubble Tea Spots in Charlotte

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Bubble tea (or Boba tea) is a popular Taiwanese drink that’s been gaining traction around Charlotte over the past several years. The drink is made from a wide variety of fruit, milk, and tea flavors with sweetened tapioca balls (bubbles/boba) and/or fruit chunks at the bottom.

There’s now over a dozen bubble tea spots in Charlotte, with some brands having multiple locations across our region.

I have been a lover of bubble tea for quite some time, and I definitely have strong preferences. Based on my personal experience, here’s the list of the top 10 best bubble tea spots in our city:

10. New Asia Market

Once called “Grand Asia Market,” this grocery store does it all. Most importantly, it also has the best blended mango bubble tea around Charlotte for the price! The only downside is that they don’t have too many flavor options (3 fruit smoothies, taro, and the classic milk tea) and their milk teas feel powdery.

9. Crispy Banh Mi

I love their milk blended taro, however, the texture of their tapioca pearls are very inconsistent. I’ve had some drinks with the perfect chew, and other times the tapioca pearl is crumbly. But what they consistently do well are their crispy tofu appetizers and banh mis. This place is definitely a must-try for lunch or dinner!

 

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8. Kung Fu Tea

Known as the “Starbucks” of the bubble tea world, Kung Fu Tea scores well for having the largest selection of flavors and drink customization options. However, many of their non-tea drinks are made out of powder, and the ingredients are not as thoughtfully selected as other bubble tea shops such as Around the World Cafe.

7. Gong Cha

The milk teas don’t have a strong flavor, but their non-tea drinks are very well done. Come here if you’re looking for a good dessert drink! They do not have a rewards program, however, which is definitely a major factor I keep in mind when buying bubble tea. I typically only come here when I’m in the area. I would never drive specifically to get Gong Cha since the prices are similar to other stores listed here that have a rewards program.

 

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6. Binki Cafe

The best bubble tea place north of Charlotte/near the University area, with a selection of classic tea flavors and non-traditional flavors (like red velvet!). They offer unique drinks that are very pretty (light-up ice cubes in some!).  They also have entrée options such as ramen and rice bowls.

 

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5. Around the World Café

There is such a down-to-earth vibe about this place, and I love the story behind the shop. If you want to support local, this is your place! The owner knows her different teas and brews everything with detail and care. There is free wifi for those interested in getting work done.

4. ShareTea

They give you a TON of toppings; this is hands-down the best boba tea chain in Charlotte! They have a great rewards program and very good blended dessert drinks like mocha, mango, etc. You can also do work here because they have free wifi and they have both outdoor and indoor seating options. The downside is that their milk tea drinks are not as strong as other shops in Charlotte (such as Boba Baba and Moji Teahouse).

 

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3. Milk Cha Cha

Famous for their mango matcha drink that ALWAYS sells out… their tapioca pearls also have a great texture that rivals Boba Baba’s. They are located in a hip and central area of South Park (Piedmont) so you can stop by after a spin in the South Park Mall. Other notable perks are its rewards program and free wifi!

 

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2. Moji Teahouse

New-in-town this summer, Moji Teahouse doesn’t skimp on flavor–the milk and fruit tea drinks here have a very strong tea flavor (you can tell they use freshly brewed tea), which is a quality that is hard to come by. Not only do they sell bubble tea, but their mochi doughnuts are very well done and they have other small snack foods too!

1. Boba Baba

The menu has a lot of classic, authentically Asian (primarily Chinese/Taiwanese) options; they have a fantastic salted cheese cream and their tapioca pearls have a consistent texture (perfectly chewy). There’s a great ambiance inside that is very photogenic, and they also have a rewards program! The only downside is if you’re looking for more “American” drinks like Oreo, Mocha, etc., you won’t find it here. It is also difficult to find free parking during the week, so if you choose to work here, it may come at a price.

 

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