valerie fidan food photographer in portland, or in the pacific northwest

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm a content creator and visual storyteller based in Portland, OR. I'm also a wellness writer for SWEATLet's Regale is a space filled with bits + bites of real food, life and travel that are part of my everyday life. It's a breeding ground for ideas and excitement for a balanced and inspired lifestyle.

Where To Drink The Best Bubble Tea in Portland

Where To Drink The Best Bubble Tea in Portland


Let's just cut to the chase, shall we? Bubble tea is refreshing and downright delicious. And, if you haven't had it, you're probably wondering: What the hell IS bubble tea? Where To Drink The Best Bubble Tea in Portland

Bubble tea, or boba tea, is a Taiwanese treat that made it's way to the states, causing instant fanfare. The bubble tea basics are that it generally contains a combination of the following: tea (green or black), milk (usually soy-based), flavoring (powder or liquid), and a solid (tapioca pearls, fruit chunks, or coconut beads).

The flavor choices alone are confounding, and every time I go to a bubble tea shop, I nearly have an anxiety attack just looking at the menu. The first time I ordered it, I had no clue what to say and ended up shouting "Lychee!" at the counter-person. I was then handed one of the most bizarre yet intriguing drinks I'd ever seen. It was large, cold, off white-ish, and it had a family of black balls at the bottom. I jabbed the cute plastic top with a fat straw and sucked up four balls. Bizarre and vaguely disturbing, but fun and delicious. I was amazed that I enjoyed chewing on a beverage—but I did, a lot—those slimy tapioca balls are amazing!

I love bubble tea. Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, I feel as if there are so many great places. My move to Portland had me searching for some of the best in town. I found plenty of places that make this tasty bev from scratch. (Yep! No powders and artificial sweeteners, and dairy-free, too.) So, if you're in the mood for a spot of bubble tea with flavors and chewy pearls as unique as Portland itself? Check out the seven best bubble tea spots in Portland.

Tea Bar

Where To Drink Bubble Tea in Portland Image Source: Instagram

Tea Bar is the trending bubble tea shop brewing up some of the best tea in town. Unlike traditional boba, the ones here are made without syrups and powders, brewed in-house and aren't overly sweet. And, the best part is all the unique flavors like Lavender and Rose. Tea Bar, 1615 NE Killingsworth St

Best Baguette

Where To Drink Bubble Tea in Portland_1 Image Source: Instagram

Looking for a lot of flavor options? Try Best Baguette where you'll find plenty to pick from, along with unique flavors like Jackfruit, Durian, and Soursop. The bubbles themselves are just the right amount of chewy. For a refreshing refreshment, try the Lychee! It's the perfect amount of sweet and perfect on a warm day. Best Baguette, 8308 SE Powell

Tea Chai Te

Where To Drink Bubble Tea in Portland_3 Image Source: Instagram

Tea Chai Te was the first to serve this authentic Taiwanese refreshing beverage. They use green tea, a non-dairy creamer, which can be swapped out for your milk of choice. Try the Sweet Vanilla Mint, coconut or rose flavored bubble tea, these are game changers! Tea Chai Te, 734 NW 23rd Ave

Townshend’s Alberta Street Teahouse

Where To Drink Bubble Tea in Portland_7 Image Source: Instagram

A place where the bubble tea is fresh, served cold OR hot, and the tapioca pearls are sweet and al dente, Townshend's Teahouse does it right. Sip on your bubble tea in a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, ambient lighting while savoring each and every sip. Try the raspberry vanilla bubble tea with lychee at one of Townshend's many locations around town. Townshend's Teahouse, Various Locations;

Fat Straw

Where To Drink Bubble Tea in Portland_5 Image Source: Instagram

Located in Portland's Alphabet District, Fat Straw is pouring some tasty bubble tea. The bubble teas here are super tasty and you have plenty of tea flavors to pick from. Bonus points for them being vegan by using coconut milk which tastes pretty amazing. Fat Straw, 806 NW 23rd Ave (Alphabet District);

Red Robe Tea House & Cafe

Where To Drink Bubble Tea in Portland_4 Image Source: Instagram

At Red Robe Tea House they use fresh fruit in their bubble teas, and the tapioca balls are cooked to perfection. Although, if you're looking for the copious amount of flavors to select from, you won't find that here. It's a purist bubble tea, no flavor, just a really good black tea base with perfectly cooked boba pearls. Red Robe Tea House & Cafe, 310 NW Davis St (Old Town/Chinatown);

Karma Cafe

Where To Drink Bubble Tea in Portland_2 Image Source: Instagram

Karma Cafe maybe not the most exciting atmosphere or food, but definitely some of the best bubble tea. The bubble tea here is very authentic, and they aren't made into a smoothie/slushy like many places around town. Try the coconut milk tea with lychee jellies for something sweet. The Green Tea with Boba and Lychee is another must-try. The only regret you'll have is not ordering a large! Karma Cafe, 8220 SE Harrison St (Montavilla) Southeast Portland;

Follow along on Instagram for more tips and recipes!

The Portland Guide: Where To Eat Well in PDX

The Portland Guide: Where To Eat Well in PDX

Keep It Clean: Where To Find The Best Smoothie Bowls In Portland

Keep It Clean: Where To Find The Best Smoothie Bowls In Portland