San Francisco

The tea on tea: San Francisco's 5 top bubble tea shops, ranked

Bubble tea is experiencing something of a renaissance these days, with new establishments popping up all over. But where can eager boba connoisseurs get the best sweet drinks in town?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top bubble tea outlets in San Francisco, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best places to venture when a craving strikes.

1. Wonderful Dessert & Cafe

Photo: Liza X./Yelp

At the top of the list is the Outer Sunset's Wonderful Dessert & Cafe, situated at 2035 Irving St. (between 22nd and 23rd avenues). With four stars out of 1,212 reviews on Yelp, the Chinese sweets store has proven to be a local favorite for its bubble tea, billing itself as the "Best Tapioca in Town." 

Boba enthusiasts can get customizable drink flavors like lychee milk tea, Thai iced tea and honeydew milk tea, with toppings like coconut, almond or grass jelly. Wonderful also offers a selection of snacks, like popcorn chicken and candied fruit.

2. Ty Sandwich

Photo: Steve L./Yelp

Mission Terrace's Ty Sandwich, located at 4829 Mission St. (between France and Onondaga avenues), is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the spot to score Vietnamese sandwiches and bubble tea 4.5 stars out of 360 reviews.

In addition to milk tea in flavors like taro, strawberry and passion fruit, customers can get a smoothie or Vietnamese iced coffee to wash down the well-liked grilled pork bánh mì.

3. Steap Tea Bar

Photo: Rose A./Yelp

Steap Tea Bar, an afternoons-only café in Chinatown, is another much-loved go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 307 Yelp reviews. Yelpers praise its reasonable prices and extensive menu of drinks like the Lychee Love, with Taiwanese green jasmine tea plus lychee jelly.

Head over to 827 Sacramento St. (between Waverly Place and Hangah Street) to see for yourself.

4. Urban Ritual

Photo: Maleah M./Yelp

Over in Hayes Valley, check out Urban Ritual, which has earned 4.5 stars out of 236 reviews on Yelp. Reviewers love its Matcha Toffee drink — an iced matcha latte topped with toffee crumbles — and its crème brûlée milk tea. (They also praise the staff's generous hand with toppings.) Check out the full menu here.

You can find the café at 488 Fell St. (between Octavia and Laguna streets) if you want to pick up a fully customizable drink.

5. Little Heaven

Photo: Charly B./Yelp

And then there's Little Heaven, a Mission favorite with 4.5 stars out of 206 reviews. While it's primarily a crêperie and desserts shop, it also offers a range of tapioca drinks, some with Latin fusion flavors like horchata.

Stop by 2348 Mission St. (between 19th and 20th streets) the next time you're looking to satisfy a bubble tea craving at a reasonable price.

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