Published On: June 9, 2022 | By |
Hi Victoria! DVBA co-op student, Zoe, is on the blog again!
If you ask me what is the best drink for the summer, my firm answer is bubble/boba/pearl tea! Bubble tea was created in the 1980s in Taiwan, and is now a beloved drink worldwide! As a boba enthusiast raised in Taiwan, I am so excited to be sharing this week’s blog with you.
There are multiple stories of the origins of bubble tea and its name. One Taiwanese tea claiming they created the drink calls it “pearl milk tea” because the round black tapioca balls rolling in the milk tea look like pearls. Another common explanation is that the name “bubble tea” refers to the bubbles (milk froth) at the top.
For me, the fun of drinking this unique beverage lies in the customization: you can modify the ice level, sweetness, and toppings and thus create your own flavour.  Debates between my friends over which boba shop downtown is the best never ends! We visit downtown weekly to visit new spots and add them to the discourse.
I selected seven shops downtown selling bubble milk tea for you to explore. For those who have not had the chance to try boba tea, get obsessed with it, and join the conversation, this blog will help guide you on your bubble tea journey!

Zoe’s Must-Go Places

Loyal Tea

1609 Douglas St | Website 

Loyal Tea is my top must-go place when it comes to bubble milk tea. I recommend Emerald Pearl Milk Tea, which base is oolong tea. The tea works well with the other elements like milk and tapioca — the flavours are just right. I usually order 25% of sweetness and no ice to make sure it’s not too sweet but still has a rich flavour. Sometimes if I am craving a creamier drink, I will go for their Brown Sugar Boba with no ice (or even warm) and zero sweetness. This is a great healing drink for a cold or a moody day!


1108 Blanshard St | Website 

I recently tried BobaDog and I knew as soon as I tasted the bubble tea I would be back. I am always looking for a classic bubble milk tea, and here I recommend their house milk tea with boba. Again, I order it with no ice and 25% of the sweetness to make the flavour well balanced. I have not tried the combination of milk tea and the hotdog, but that’s on my to-do list for my next visit! What makes the drinking experience more joyful? BobaDog offers 30% off on all milk tea every Monday and Wednesday this June!

Other Spots Worth Trying

Xing Fu Tang 幸福堂

608 Broughton St, Unit 100 | Website 

Stop by Xing Fu Tang for a special bubble tea experience!  Besides the signature brown sugar pearl milk with a sweet-but-not-overpowering taste, Xing Fu Tang also features the “drawing lots” experience. Similar to fortune cookies, after getting the drink, you are welcome to draw a fortune stick and read the corresponding fortune poems. At Xing Fu Tang, you cannot adjust the sweetness, you can only choose the ice level and toppings. For this shop, I would choose 50% or 100% ice to reduce the overall sweetness. They also have various colours of tapioca balls, which are worth trying to satisfy your sweet tooth!

YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea

1306 Douglas St | Website 

Similar to Xing Fu Tang, YiFang is also originally from Taiwan. The tapioca they serve has a thick brown sugar flavour, similar to the ones at Xing Fu Tang. Last time I visited, I tried their Black Sugar Pearl Black Tea Latte and substituted soy milk. It was a totally different taste than the original bubble tea! However, I usually go there for fruit teas, as those are their specialities. I am also interested in trying their delicious-looking egg pancakes with various flavours!

Spots on Bucket-List

The Bubble Tea Place

532 Fisgard St | Website

If you are looking for some fresh inspiration for pearl milk tea, this is the place to go! Besides having interesting names for their drinks (like Polar Bear, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Zombie Strippers), the shop provides diverse options for the tea base. I prefer the traditional and classic flavours, so I have not tried The Bubble Tea Place with all it’s wild choices yet. However, I know I will try out their bubble tea in the near future! After all, who can resist trying a wide variation of bubble milk tea and developing new tastes?

Momo Tea

762 Yates St | Website

Although Momo Tea is recognized for its creamy and soft ice cream, its bubble tea selections also look yummy! It has one drink called 3 Guy Milktea which is a pretty classic drink in one of the Taiwanese milk tea shops and I am looking forward to trying it. The name “3 Guy” comes from three toppings inside the milk tea, including tapioca, grass jelly and pudding. I am sure I will fall in love with the drink and its ice cream cup once I try it!

SH91 Drink (Formerly Partea)

1026 Blanshard St | Website 

Two months ago, I visited SH91 located at 759 Yates St and found the shop offered a great combination of dessert and brown sugar bubble tea, perfect for a nice afternoon treat. After visiting, I realized that the shop also has another location at Blanshard St that mainly serves drinks and thought I have to include it in this list. SH91 Drink is now on the top of my bucket list as I cannot wait to try their brown sugar series drinks!

What did I miss?!

This blog is based on my personal experience. I would LOVE to know your favourite bubble milk tea spots downtown! Please email me at, send us a message on Facebook, or DM us on Instagram. I read all the messages and will be very excited to hear from you!

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  200-764 Yates Street, Victoria BC


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  200-764 Yates Street, Victoria BC