Ever since I came to Davis, I’ve been on the search for not just any boba, great boba. Unfortunately at the time, that search failed. However over the years, many new shops have popped up ranging from #ragrets to #noragrets. For your convenience, I’ve compiled a list of all the (relevant) boba shops in Davis and ranked them. You’re welcome.
10. The Old Teahouse
The Old Teahouse used to be one of the only places you could satisfy your boba cravings at. With its prime location at the U-Mall, it was a popular choice for freshmen who couldn’t drive or didn’t want to bike long distances. But now since SnoCrave is right next door, you should really only come here if you want to satisfy cravings for greasy popcorn chicken, since their boba isn’t all that good.
Brick Toast Cafe is located in West Village along with Banzai Japanese Kitchen and Sage Street Bistro. It’s a great place for the residents at West Village to hang out, study, or grab a bite to eat. Brick Toast Cafe serves boba as well as brick toast and coffee. Since the boba is usually on the harder side and the tea isn’t that great either, it’s probably not worth the trip out. But the brick toast definitely is.
Open Rice Kitchen’s boba is known throughout Davis, not for the quality, but for the price. During their Green Flyer Specials (Mon-Wed), they offer their huge cups of boba for $1 with the purchase of an entree, which is usually $5. A great deal for hungry, broke college students who don’t have time to cook. The boba is a nice balance between hard and soft, and has great chewiness to it.
Teabo, located in South Davis, is a huge late night hot spot for students. Their menu consists of green and black teas that are flavored with syrups/powder. This automatically steers me away, but if you’re into that then this is the place for you. I usually opt for a fruity tea with their soft boba, rather than the milk tea.
SnoCrave is a popular hang out spot located near the U-Mall between Ohana and The Old Teahouse. They serve Taiwanese inspired desserts and drinks including many kinds of boba milk teas, hot teas, brick toasts, shaved snow, etc. They have such a large selection here, including my personal favorite: Brown Sugar Milk Tea. If you order it hot, they bring it out in this adorable little tea pot! The sizes are huge but they are a bit pricey. Not feeling milk tea? Get their hot, healthy mixed fruit tea instead.
Shabu Extreme is not a popular choice for dining in Davis, but surprisingly, their drinks are pretty good. Expect standard pricing—you’ll be spending about $4 on a drink. Despite being an unfrequented restaurant, I was pretty pleased with the drink I got here: Green Tea with Sea Salt Cream.
4. Lazi Cow
Melon Peaches Green Tea!! MORE JARS FOR ME ? #vsco #vscocam #vscofeed #vscogood #vscofood #vscodaily #vscodrink A photo posted by elizabeth (@sugapt) on Nov 7, 2015 at 11:34pm PST
Once you walk into Lazi Cow, you know you’re in Cow Town. They have fun decorations such as a cow bench, grass, and a wooden swing. You can enjoy their funky decor while sipping on some soft and chewy boba. Pair it with one of their fruity drinks (I like the Strawberry Peachee) or one of their more creative drinks such as Cowtella (Nutella Milk Tea) or their alcoholic boba, which cannot be found anywhere else in Davis. #turnup
Bambu originated in San Jose in 2008 and made its way to Davis in 2014. Although they’re known for their Vietnamese dessert drinks (Chè), their boba is on par with other quality competitors. They have a variety of milk teas, smoothies, yogurt blends, coffee, and juices, as well as awesome toppings like pandan jelly (a chewy, coconut flavored jelly). Order a mango smoothie with boba. That sh*t is manGOOD.
Sharetea, Davis’ newest addition to the boba family, is a chain from Taiwan that recently spread around the US. It is the perfect place to get your boba fix in between classes. The Hokkaido Milk Tea, Okinawa Milk Tea, and Classic Black Pearl Milk Tea are all soft and chewy crowd-pleasers.
Located in West Davis, MandRo is one of the best places to grab a drink in Davis because of the awesome tea flavor in their drinks. MandRo’s drinks are more creative than just flavorings added to tea. With options like Potted Plant Milk Tea, Iced Milk, Hokkaido Milk Tea, Macchiato (basically your choice of tea with sea salt crema), and Mango Sago, you’ll find yourself constantly coming back to try all of them.
Now go get your boba on.
Places that were not mentioned: Quickly, Coho, Pho King 4, Posh Bagel