What — the boba in Alhambra is not good enough?

Yelp produced a tribute this week of readers' favorite spots for boba, the Taiwanese tapioca pearls found at the bottom of sweet drinks, writing that "nowadays bubbles can be found on every corner in the SGV." (What's known generally as boba in the West Coast is called bubble tea on the East Coast. Why? Not quite sure.) The list included San Gabriel Valley boba spots from Arcadia to San Gabriel. And it even went further reporting "contrary to popular belief, you can find boba west of the 110" and even on a boba truck. But from all those tapioca pearls, no Alhambra boba spot was mentioned.

We thought at least a few Alhambra spots should be mentioned. A few of the spots that the Alhambra Source contributors frequent (in no particular order):

o Banh Mi Che Calihttp://www.chafortea.com/o Cha for Teao Ginkgo Houseo Tapioca Expresso Noodle Worldo Quicklyo Lollicupo Tea Station

In the year-and-a-half I've spent working in Alhambra and chewing on boba, I've also wondered who thought up the pearl. I dug up this Time Magazine article from 10 years ago about a new drink trend. The reporter explained "Boba, a.k.a. 'black pearl' or 'bubble' tea, originated in Taiwan nearly two decades ago and soon spread to nearby countries, including mainland China, Singapore and the Philippines. It traveled to North America via the large Asian community in Vancouver, then migrated to Chinatown areas in New York and other U.S. cities before popping up at trendy college campuses in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now boba is served in Southern California cafes like Boba World and Cha for Tea."

I've also learned that not all boba is created equal. We created a "Boba Map" below for Alhambra. Click on it and let us know what we're missing? What should be added?

Boba Map for Alhambra

View Boba places in Alhambra, CA in a larger map

4 thoughts on “What — the boba in Alhambra is not good enough?”

  1. Your address for Noodle World is wrong. You show their Huntington Drive location. They are actually across from Bahn Mi & Che Cali on 7th street. And by the way- they own Boba World and are mentioned in the TIME magazine article you referenced! I think that their boba is probably the best around, except for maybe that new Half & Half place that will take you 30 minutes to order…arrgh.

    1. Hi Boba Brat!
      Thanks for catching that! The map been updated to show the correct address and location of Noodle World.

  2. This is a great map! I like the Time mention. Times’ve changed; it’s fantastic how we can even have franchises in Southern California called “Bobaloca”.

    Che Cali has a great 2 for 1 deal for boba, making both $1, which you can get with pudding, but sometimes it’s worth it to spring for the more expensive stuff elsewhere, especially if you want a flavored tea or smoothie.

    IIRC there’s also a Quickly on Main street close to the Edwards Atlantic theater — is it still around?

  3. Actually responding to Yelp is to give it gravitas. Let’s not do that.

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