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Our family LOVES Bubble Tea and has tried so many shops near me in Northern Virginia! Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. It was created by a tea shop owner named Liu Han-Chieh who added tapioca pearls to his tea drinks as a way to add more texture and flavor. My husband is Taiwanese American and we lived there when my daughter was a toddler so I like to think we are some what of boba aficionados! However, totally understand that taste is subjective so feel free to let me know if you think differently!
About Bubble Tea
Bubble tea is a delicious and refreshing drink originally from Taiwan that has gained popularity all around the world. It's made with tea, milk, sugar, and chewy tapioca pearls or other flavorful additions like fruit jellies or boba. I really like that you can customize all parts of the drink. You can let them know what percentage of sugar and ice you would like and if you want add-ons like bubbles or jellies or fruit!
Bubble tea comes in a variety of flavors, from classic milk tea to fruity teas and even more unique flavors like matcha or taro. Pro-Tip: A good bubble tea shop will brew their own tea and heat up their bubbles, a bad shop will just have a powdered mix!
My Kids Favorite Order: Mango Slush with Bubbles
My Favorite Order: Passion Fruit Green Tea with Grass Jelly, 0% Sugar and 50% ice.
Note: In all the shop links below, I have linked to their Yelp reviews so you can see pictures of the drinks and the inside of the shop.
Our Favorite Bubble Tea near me in Northern Virginia
Gong Cha in Springfield is our favorite Bubble Tea shop in Northern Virginia (and we've been to at least a dozen!) Our whole family goes out for bubble tea for special occasions like the end of school, report cards, birthdays etc.
We love this specific Gong Cha because it has great high-quality boba plus a super fun environment! They have FREE arcade games like The Simpsons (4 player), and Pac-Man and you don't have to put in a coin. They also have 2 foosball coffee tables, lots of board games, and books for kids.
They also sell very fresh mochi donuts which melt in your mouth! Nearby kid-friendly fun includes:
- Lake Accotink Park (Carousel, Playground, Mini Golf and Boat Rental during the season)
- Sky Zone Trampoline Park
- Garfield Elementary School Playground (not during school hours)
- Green Spring Gardens
Great Bubble Tea Chains near me in NoVa
- Other Gong Cha Locations
- Kung Fu Tea - My favorite as far as taste and fresh bubbles!
Non-Chain Bubble Tea Shops in Northern Virginia
- Sharetea - Fairfax Lee Highway (Really great fresh fruit add-ins! The passion fruit was real!)
- BoBaPop Tea Bar - Alexandria
- Kokee Tea - Springfield Mall Food Court (We went once and it was pretty good but not the best. But they do have a ton of great baked items!)
- Lily Bubble Tea & Smoothie - Crystal City (Heard great things)
- Fortune Cha - Lincolnia/Alexandria
Annandale Bubble Tea Shops Near Me
- Tea-Do - Annandale (Very highly rated but I haven't been yet)
- Ben Gong's Tea - Annandale
- Tan-Cha - Annandale
- SnoCream Company - Annandale inside The Block Asian Food Hall (also serves Shaved Ice!)
- Soricha Tea - Annandale
And last tip, follow Sophie from Piglet Fan for the best local Instagram on Boba and Food!