With so many options popping up around the city, it isn't hard to find brilliant bubble tea in Toronto. Originating from Taiwan, the iced drink has entered the chat on the international drink scene.
With bubble tea, you can have your drink and eat it. Literally. The traditional tea element is served cold, combined with milk or infused with fruit. And the kicker: chewy tapioca balls for an all-inclusive drink experience that's sure to satisfy your sugar cravings.
The city is abundant with many other drink options, too for some seriously smooth sipping. For classy cups of tea, these high tea places have got you covered for a bougie afternoon. Or if you're looking for some more – ahem – adult-friendly drinks, check out these speciality bars in Toronto.
And for extra bougie points, nothing beats sitting on a patio during the summer – except maybe sitting on a patio with the best bubble tea in Toronto in hand.
Here's where we get our fix for the best bubble tea in Toronto.
Toronto's best bubble tea: 11 places to drink it
If there's one place we'd pick for bubble tea, it's OneZo Tapioca – no pun intended. What sets OneZo apart from other tea shops is their freshly made-from-scratch tapioca, which is available in untraditional flavours like mango, black sesame, purple yam and cactus. OneZo's menu, at their North York and downtown locations, features flavours like orange passion green tea, made using fresh fruit; a brown sugar 'dirty' milk tea and summer favourites like the seasonal mojito series (sans alcohol).
If aesthetically pleasing drinks for the 'gram are your thing, the Alley is up your, erm, alley. Their cult classic: the Deerioca Fever, a layer of warm brown sugar tapioca, balanced with milk. For fruit teas rivalling summer sunsets, try Morning Dawn – mango crushed ice and jasmine green tea.
235 Spadina Ave.
Icha Tea is stocked with a high quali-tea menu featuring a wide variety of white, green, oolong and black teas imported from Asia. They have a tea bar for tea ceremonies, as well as desserts like tofu cheesecakes and rose jasmine pudding to compliment your drink. Order fan favourites like roasted oolong milk tea and their iced matcha latte, or more creative flavours like White Grape Jasmine Ice Tea made with grape and lychee jelly.
"Gong cha" is a phrase from ancient China: an act of giving the highest quality tea to the Emperor. Gong Cha's focus is on their brewed tea, using earthy blends like oolong, green or black tea. Tea aside, they specialize in milk-based flavours like the crème brûlée strawberry latte or the winter melon milk foam – a thick layer of creamy frothed milk to compliment the rich flavour of tea and natural sweetness from winter melon.
Real Fruit Bubble Tea
Harry Styles would approve of this watermelon sugar high. As the name suggests, Real Fruit Bubble Tea is stocked with fresh fruits like papaya and mango for their bubble tea and smoothies. For a classic drink that can't go wrong, order their mango diamond slush made using fresh mangoes, cut in house. For other refreshing options, try the watermelon slush or strawberry banana smoothie with tapioca.
There isn't a time when we'll say no to Chatime. Their innovative bubble tea flavours range from rare finds like Thai milk tea and Golden Blossom – grapefruit juice with chrysanthemum tea jelly – to regulars including matcha sea salt crema, mango green tea, and Chatime milk tea.
Tika Tea House
675 Yonge St.
"Tika" means tea guest in Chinese, and you'll definitely want to take a seat in this aesthetic spot. Take a look at Tika Tea House: a minimalist teashop that specializes in traditional teas and fruit-based teas. Opt for their oolong pearl milk tea or their signature Tika fruit tea – packed with freshly sliced strawberry, orange, watermelon, grapefruit, lime and lemon in a base of green tea. For tea connoisseurs, their cold brew teas have no sugar added for that pure tea taste.
Yi Fang Fruit Tea
The story goes that Yi Fang Fruit Tea's signature drink was made from an authentic Taiwainese family recipe, passed down from the founder's great-grandma; the tea is infused with fresh apple, orange and passion fruit. The not-so-secret, secret ingredient: homemade pineapple jam imported from Taiwan. For other fruity options, try their pineapple green tea or aiyu jelly lemon tea.
CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice
When bubble tea cravings hit, CoCo is one of our go-tos. CoCo has options a-plenty with flavours like grapefruit Yakult and sago taro milk tea. If you're looking for all drink and all bite, the Bubble GaGa has passion fruit tea, coconut jelly and tapioca.
It's all about the tea at Yang Tea, and you definitely won't want to spill this. This bubble tea chain imports their tea leaves and brown sugar from Taiwan. Their signature drinks include their marble boba tea latte, mango tea slush and Okinawa milk tea (made with roasted brown sugar). If you're looking to mix things up, try their tea mix of the day.
No need to head into the jungle to hunt for these sugary stripes. Tiger Sugar is serving up dessert in a cup, specializing in brown sugar boba. Their menu features popular drinks like the brown sugar pearl milk: a layer of warm "black sugar" (roasted brown sugar), mixed with fresh milk and brown sugar tapioca. Shake it up for an even hit of sweetness throughout.