Welcome to the pulsing heart of bubble tea culture here in the USA – sunny, serene San Gabriel, California. Imagine walking down a Spanish style street that’s humming the melody of friendly chatter, where palm trees whisper stories of a fusion world. This city through its veins, channels an age-old love for a trendy Taiwanese treat known as bubble tea or boba.
From the quaint, Instagrammable tea lounges to hipster-driven street pop-ups, San Gabriel is not just a city, but a burgeoning bubble tea kingdom. Teeming with options that’ll make any bubble tea fanatic swoon, discovering, exploring and savoring each sip can be perfectly exhilarating.
Chilled pearls of tapioca, so delicately meshed in a myriad of flavors that dance their way from the straw to your heart. Each cup brimming with conversations, laughter, memories – a lively community connected through straws and infused tea.
If the thought of savoring this Asian treasure-trove in the frame of sunny California spikes your curiosity, then join me in my ICO (In Cup Out) journey of unraveling the city’s best bubble tea spots. San Gabriel and its love affair with bubble tea await, every flavor as unique as the city’s culture. So, are you ready for a trip to boba heaven? Keep scrolling.
Top 5 Best Bubble Tea in San Gabriel, CA Reviews
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1) Half & Half Tea Express – Monterey Park
Our Review of Half & Half Tea Express – Monterey Park in San Gabriel, CA
Visiting this bubble tea spot on my recent trip to LA was a delightful treat. The location is easy to find and conveniently nestled in the heart of downtown Monterey Park, making it ideal for a quick refreshment stop. One fantastic thing I personally found about this place is the broad selection it offers. It’s not merely a bubble tea shop, it’s a bubble tea paradise.
The joint aptly named ‘Half & Half’ is an apt spot to catch up with old college friends or to make new memories. It has the vibe and energy that clearly reflects the name’s essence. One of the highlight moments was when I could finally experience it right at the opening time a little past 11 in the morning. It seemed like the perfect time to relish their extensive menu, filled with a variety of boba choices, beverages, and exciting toppings.
In my opinion, this is not just one of the best bubble tea shops – it is THE bubble tea shop. The burst of flavors and the overwhelming variety make it stand out from the rest, making it worth every minute of the wait. The next time you’re in the area and have a craving for some delicious, satisfying bubble tea, Half & Half is the place to go!
2) Factory Tea Bar – San Gabriel
Our Review of Factory Tea Bar – San Gabriel in San Gabriel, CA
On my recent visit to Factory Tea Bar, I was head over heels with their stellar service and delightful drink offerings. The bubble tea scene flourishes here, and it’s not hard to understand why. With an inviting atmosphere that keeps you coming back for more, this place is a must-visit for any bubble tea aficionado.
While I may have visited the place on a whim, it certainly didn’t disappoint. With a plethora of positive feedback just a click away, Factory Tea Bar is not just another bubble tea shop on the corner. Definitely a spot to check out when you have a few hours to spare and are looking to satiate your craving for a flawless cold brew.
And let’s not forget about their food offerings. My experience with their fried calamari was a bit mixed; while it didn’t quite hit the spot for me, perhaps it’s simply an acquired taste. The Boba, however, was spot on! You couldn’t ask for a better companion for your bubble tea journey.
In conclusion, Factory Tea Bar is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss. With its superior service, tantalizing tea, and a variety of snacks to choose from, it’s definitely a place to be. Whether you’re a tea connoisseur or a newbie to the world of bubble tea, Factory Tea Bar has something for everyone. This isn’t just a review; it’s a nod to the wonderful world of bubble tea that Factory Tea Bar encapsulates so well.
3) Bopomofo Cafe
Our Review of Bopomofo Cafe in San Gabriel, CA
At the crack of dawn, my taste buds were greeted by a delightful array of both milk-based and fruit drinks at this bubble tea oasis. The Taro Sweet Milk was a popular choice, and I can whole-heartedly see why. The delicious union of the earthy taro and the creamy milk was simply divine. I was also pleasantly surprised by how they use beetroot to create a stunning pink layer, a touch of creativity that added both visual and taste appeal to the drink. That is what I call elevating the art of bubble tea making!
Now you can’t visit this place without trying the Bala Matcha. It reminded me why I’ve always had a deep-seated love for matcha. It was pure, earthy, and rich in flavor and had a pleasant aftertaste that lingered for just the right amount of time.
And please, do not limit your taste exploration to just the drinks. The popcorn chicken is a “must try”. Perfectly seasoned and deep-fried to perfection, it was an ideal companion to the sweet and unique drinks.
As for the service, it was exceptional. Despite being an early bird, I felt warmly received and catered for. And although it was early in the morning, the ambiance was calm and soothing, providing the perfect backdrop for delving into the symphony of flavors that each drink provided.
If you’re looking for a bubble tea place that takes classic flavors and adds a unique spin, this is definitely your spot. They strike a perfect balance between sticking to traditional methods and experimenting with contemporary flavors. Be it the classic milk-based drinks or the more daring fruit drinks, their assortment caters to all taste preferences. I whole-heartedly recommend this spot for all bubble tea lovers and for those looking to dip their toes into the wonderful world of bubble tea!
Our Review of MILK+T in San Gabriel, CA
As a connoisseur of bubble tea, I’ve frequented many establishments, but this particular location near Japantown struck my fancy. The first thing to note is the efficient self-serving kiosks. They not only expedite the ordering process but also add an innovative touch to the whole experience. A perfect solution for those days when the queue might be a little long!
What caught my eye, however, were the appealing glass cups the drinks come served in. You all know how much I appreciate the attention to detail in presentation and this spot certainly made a good impression.
Now let’s get down to the heart of matters – the bubble tea itself! A delightful array of drinks, all seeming to lean on the sweeter, fruitier side. This is quite a refreshing deviation from the usual Taiwanese style bubble teas and adds an exotic twist to our beloved beverage.
Lastly, for those days when you can’t make it to the shop physically, they have you covered with their DoorDash delivery. And let me tell you, the delivered drinks are just as pleasing on the doorstep as they are in the shop – not too sweet, with the same quality we all crave.
So, to sum it up, this bubble tea spot gets my thumbs up for its thoughtful and efficient service, unique presentation and delivery, and of course, the star of the show – their sweet, fruity bubble teas.
5) OMOMO Tea Shoppe
Our Review of OMOMO Tea Shoppe in San Gabriel, CA
Upon entering OMOMO, you’re immediately enveloped in a bubble tea lover’s paradise. This little haven is more than just a regular tea shop. Every sip feels like a sanctuary, creating a heartwarming refuge from the outside world. This is the sort of place that not only quenches your thirst but also warms your heart.
Their sublime menu caters to a variety of palates. For those with an undying love for traditional milk tea, the Uji green jasmine milk tea is a delight that cannot be missed. With a balance of floral jasmine notes and creamy milk, you can taste the love and care that goes into each cup, making it a solid 9 out of 10 on my scorecard.
If you’re looking for something a little different, OMOMO’s Strawberry Yakut is an equally impressive offering. The smooth and sweet concoction is a taste of summer in a glass, earning a respectable 8.5 out of 10. And for the perennial green tea fan – I cannot recommend the Watermelon green tea enough. It’s a refreshing balance of fruity sweetness and the earthy taste of green tea.
But let’s not overlook the star of the show – OMOMO’s Matcha drink. The balanced bitterness of the matcha, combined with the unforgettable creaminess is nothing short of a memorable experience. Among many, this one holds a special place, truly reflecting the attention to quality and detail that OMOMO brings to all its drinks.
In essence, OMOMO is not just a place to grab a drink, it’s a place where bubble tea dreams come true. Every visit feels like a journey, where each drink is a new favorite waiting to be discovered.
Where Can I Get the Best Bubble Tea in San Gabriel, CA?
You can find the top 5 bubble tea shops in San Gabriel, CA at Half & Half Tea Express – Monterey Park, Factory Tea Bar – San Gabriel, Bopomofo Cafe, MILK+T, and OMOMO Tea Shoppe.