Boba (or Bubble Tea), the delightful Taiwanese tea-based drink complete with chewy tapioca pearls, is a more scarce commodity here in Korea. While easy to find in locations like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and certain areas in North America, in Korea, Boba is like a hidden treasure. However, upon closer inspection, we found a surprising number of locations around Seoul to fulfill your Boba needs. Here are several locations worth checking out for a sweet summer drink.
1. Gong Cha (공차)
Gong Cha is your safe bet Boba store. There are countless locations, not only throughout Seoul, but in Busan, Sejong, Daejeon, and more. You might notice the famous red and black logo when you are walking around busy locations. However, it’s safe to say that their ubiquity does not pamper with their quality.
Their extensive and customizable menu is bound to satisfy your needs. The ordering process starts with choosing one of the four types of drink bases: Original Tea, Gong Cha Special Drink, Milk Tea, or Green Tea-ade. Then, you proceed with picking your toppings. The final step is to choose the level of sweetness (from 0-100%) and level of ice (less, regular, and full).
Location: Store Locator: http://www.gong-cha.co.kr/brand/store/search.php
Pricing: 3,800 – 5,700 won
Popular Drinks: Strawberry Cream Smoothie,Black Milk Tea, Taro Milk Tea, Mango Yogurt, Passionfruit Green Tea
Cofioca is one of the major non-chain boba stores in Korea. Located within the terrain of JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment, and Namoo Acting Agency, they are famous for serving countless Hallyu stars, including IU, EXO, SNSD, Sistar, G-NA, and more.
This minuscule store is crammed from crown to ceiling with autographs, providing a tacky but impressive display. The menu is small and the drinks scale on the higher end price-wise, but these drinks have drawn a lot of hype for their flavor, and for good reason. Their Strawberry Colada is a perfect breed of smoothie and slushie and is an amazingly refreshing drink for the summer.
Cofioca is great if you want to pick up a drink while exploring the cute shops, entertainment companies, or the famous Nana piercing store across the street!
Location: 1F Hye Sung Building 661, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Near Sinsa Station Exit 6)
Pricing: 3,500 – 7,500 won
Popular Drinks: Strawberry Colada (pictured), Taro Blended Milk Tea, Coffee Milk Tea
3. Amasvin (아마스빈)
If you are on the lookout for a boba store with flavor and aesthetic, look no further! Amasvin stores are beautifully blue on the outside and absolutely adorable on the inside. From the cute wall art to the colorful packaging, Amasvin is the perfect place to take a pretty photo with your Boba.
The menu provides a vast selection of great tasting drinks and desserts. Last but not least, the Boba is a free addition to any drink. Keep an eye out for orange icons on the side of the menu, they indicate their most popular drinks.
Location: There are 82 stores throughout Korea. Store Locator: https://www.amasvin.com/blank-29
Price: 2,700 – 3,700
Popular Drinks: Safari Bubble Tea and Peach Black Tea (pictured), Cafe Latte with Pearl, Strawberry Coconut Bubble Tea, Apple Mango Smoothie
4. Quickly (퀴클리)
Quickly is a chain business, mainly based in Seoul. They offer classic bubble tea flavors, fruit teas, and smoothies. The menu allows for an addition of real aloe vera, which is recommended for smoothies.
They also have interesting layered flavors such as Mint Chocolate, Cookies and Cream Taro, and ChocoTaro. If you are looking to sit down for a meal with your drink, you can also order Taiwanese inspired noodle bowls. A delicious meal and drink all in one!
Location: There are more than 10 locations including Gangnam, Lotte World Mall, Hongdae, and Jongro. Store Locator: http://www.quicklykorea.co.kr/store/store.php
Pricing: 2,500 – 4,500 won
Popular Drinks: Taro Milk Tea, Coconut Smoothie, Smile Cream Teas
5. Happy Lemon (해피레몬)
With only a few stores in Seoul and three elsewhere, Happy Lemon is a more sparse chain in Korea. They serve interesting yet popular drinks such as their Salted Cheese Latte, Oreo Milk Tea, and Mango Matcha Latte.
They offer several options for toppings, as well as an assortment of desserts to enjoy with your drink. The packaging shows a cute lemon mascot and many locations are beautifully decorated with yellow tones and figures of lemons and lemon trees.
If you are at a Lotte Department Store, Lotte World, or in Hongdae, or you want to challenge your taste buds with their Salted Cheese Lattes, you may want to stop by a Happy Lemon store for a quick fix.
Location: There are a few locations in Seoul, Daejeon, Gyeonggi, and Busan. Store Locator: http://www.happylemonkorea.co.kr/store/store.asp?sm_code=map
Popular Drinks: Lemon Peach Smoothie, Oreo Milk Tea, Salty Cheese, Milk Tea with Boba and Grass Jelly
Whether it’s your first time trying this unique tea drink, or you are a seasoned Boba fanatic, you’re bound to find a place on the list that fits your taste. These Boba hotspots are easily accessible and feature menu items from the classic milk tea and tapioca to the fusion Boba lattes. You may come across other great Boba finds during your travels. Let this list get you started on your Boba hunt around Korea.
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