A Taiwan classic. When it comes to bubble tea, there’s a flavor for everyone, even if you are allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant. Whether you’re looking to do a photoshoot, explore other foods, or customize a drink personal to yourself, we’ve rounded up the Top 3 Bubble Tea places in Grand Rapids.
What is Bubble Tea? Don’t ask. Because if you do, I’ll ask you “What is Starbucks?”.
For those of you who don’t know what bubble tea or Starbucks are, I’ve written an article for you:
Kung Fu Tea- Best for authentic experience + Allergens
For many Chinese and Taiwanese Americans in Grand Rapids, Kung Fu Tea is the place to go! They offer a photogenic, simple interior design with a gold finish, “Bubble Tea” mounted onto the wall in 10 languages, and a giant boba cup by the door. Aside from being an awesome spot for photos, they also offer dairy-free options for all menu items! So you might wonder how it tastes if it’s dairy free… very AUTHENTIC… it is known as America’s largest bubble tea brand after all. (If you’re not from Grand Rapids, that’s okay! Kung Fu Tea has over 250 locations spread across the United States!) One of my favorite orders is the Honey Milk Tea: the original taste of bubble tea mixed with honey for a natural sweetness. Their use of premium tea leaves, with tea freshly brewed every three hours, really contributes to the flavor! If you want to use bubble tea as a main course, then go for the Taro Milk Tea! The starchiness from the taro will make you feel full. If your favorite color is pink, go for the Rosehip Milk Tea! Not only that, if you are feeling a little hot, you can order yours cold! If you want to warm yourself up during the colder months, you can order them hot! I know. This sounds like it was tailored for Asian moms who refuse to drink cold beverages! For those of you who want to help Kung Fu Tea advertise or to simply show your love for Kung Fu Tea, they also offer merch! Fresh. Innovative. Fearless.
Location: 5301 Division Ave S Ste C, Grand Rapids, MI 49548
Rak Thai- Best for Rewards
Located in Downtown Market, Rak Thai offers the best option for rewards! For every 5 bubble tea purchases you make, you’ll receive one free bubble tea back! If you are Lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, Rak Thai offers Fruit Teas (with tapioca pearls) as an alternative. Because of Rak Thai’s unique location, you can wander around Downtown Market for a couple of hours exploring other types of foods before you leave. One of my favorite orders is the Lychee Fruit Tea, which offers a blast of summer and a taste of tropical Asian fruits! If it’s your first time trying bubble tea, go for their Classic Bubble Tea! If you want something sweeter, go for their Brown Sugar Milk Tea Speciality!
Location: 435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Boba Bar – Best for Boba + Food
(Boba Bar… also known as Poke Poke – Sushi Unrolled.) Great for vegetarians and foodies who enjoy a clash of cultures. Boba Bar offers a fusion of Asian and Latin culture – offering both bubble tea and unique food! What about their bubble tea? Boba Bar is unique in that you get to “Build Your Own Boba”: from picking your tea base to 7 jelly options and 7 bursting boba options! It’s okay if you are overwhelmed, because they also offer 5 Boba options where you get to try out what they’ve chosen for you or the “Classic Boba”, which is great for beginners! Boba Bar also allows you to make your bubble tea order into a slushie or smoothie!
Location: 20 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids, MI 49503