There’s so many amazing spots in Toronto to grab bubble tea, but they’re often overshadowed by well-known brands like Chatime and Coco. Sometimes I feel hesitant to try new places because I’ve developed this brand loyalty to the two spots I’m most familiar with. After making an active effort to order drinks from other stores, I’m here to share my current top five bubble tea spots, plus my favourite drinks from them.
Shuyi Tealicious has such a big variety of drinks on their menu to choose from, plus so many toppings as well! One of my favourite orders is the “Mango Pudding Jasmine Milk Tea” which is a Jasmine tea base, with caramel pudding, mango juice and diced mango. Another thing I love about this spot is they make their own handmade taro balls! You can add this topping to any drink or find it in their “Taro Balls Meet Brown Sugar” beverage, another one of my favourites. This one comes with black tea, taro balls and brown sugar jelly.
I wish I lived closer to a Machi Machi! When this spot first opened downtown I remember waiting in line for just over an hour to try a drink. Was it worth it? Well I still dream of their “Fresh Strawberry Latte with Panna Cotta” so I’m going to say yes. I had never had bubble tea with panna cotta before this, making me wish more shops offered it too! They now have mochi topped drinks, making me excited to order from them again some time soon.
Tru Tea is pretty underrated, so much thought goes into making their drinks! They seem to focus less on milk teas and more on fruit based drinks. I tried the “Sakura Grapefruit” which was refreshing and is made with a sparkling water base, lychee juice, grapefruit puree and even edible cherry blossom flowers. Based on how good their sakura series is, I can only imagine how great their other drinks taste as well.
Song Tea is a cute shop on Spadina that serves a nice balance of milk teas and caffeine-free drinks. Normally, I prefer tea-based drinks; however, their “Dirty Series” is a treat. The mango one is my favorite, but they also have avocado, strawberry, matcha and brown sugar options! These caffeine-free drinks have a fruit jam base (made of real fruit) and the drink itself is just milk and cream. Personally, I wish there was an option to add tea within it, but I still enjoy how creamy it is!
Tiger Sugar is super close to Ryerson and I had been planning to go for a while before campus shut down. They’re known for adding brown sugar in their drinks which already interested me right off the bat, but right now they have a new “Japanese Mochi Series” that also includes brown sugar, so I just had to try it. I got the “Black Sugar Mochi Bobo with Cream Mousse” and despite the tea base, I also tasted coffee which I really liked. The mochi is in big chewy chunks and you can also substitute the regular milk for soy milk! I prefer soy milk to oat milk as a substitute in bubble teas, so I’ll definitely be ordering from them again sometime soon.
If you’re looking for more food recommendations, definitely check out my food blog @paothebao on Instagram.