Fresno’s Best Boba Shops
May 5, 2022
Boba is a new and trending sensation that has spread across all cities and towns. Originally invented by Liu Han Chien in the 80’s, the drink consists of milk tea and boba; pearls made from tapioca starch from the cassava root.
From its humble origins in Taiwan, boba has evolved into a world-wide phenomenon. There are hundreds of variations on the drink and with even more toppings, the combinations are endless, so let’s explore the different types of boba and where they can be found in the Fresno/Clovis area.
Classic milk tea with boba. This version is usually what people think about when they hear the word “boba”. Original, classic, or house flavors are made with a black tea base and milk. However, flavors and dairy options can be changed to almost any flavor you’d want. Some of the popular milk tea flavors include Thai, jasmine, taro, and matcha.
My personal recommendation for a classic milk tea is Boba Addict located on Willow and Alluvial. They have four and a half stars overall on Yelp with 358 reviews. Their menu is easy to follow and provide a wide variety of flavors to try and even combine. For an extra dollar, you can even get a large size, perfect for milk teas.
Fruit teas. This category is where boba shops can get very creative. Fruit flavors and tea bases can be combined, providing an interesting mixture of flavors and harmony. Fruit teas are where toppings shine. Crystal/agar boba and jellies are popular alternatives to boba in these teas.
For fruit teas, I recommend the shop MintTea. They have two locations, one on Cedar and Sheperd and another on Ashlan and Fowler. They have 4 stars on Yelp with 82 reviews. One of their main characteristics are their signature drinks that come with preset toppings and flavors. These make a great choice for those new to boba and wanting to explore hand-crafted options.
“Cheesetop” specials. There are many shops in Fresno that have their own specialty boba drinks that set them apart from the rest. Seventea on Shaw and Fresno focuses on authentic, Taiwanese style boba with “cheesetop” specials. These add a savory, creamy kick in the beverage. Hun Kaboua states, “The snacks are superb. Popcorn chicken and tempura shrimp hits hard.”
Sweet-Lyfe in Campus Pointe is known for their organic ingredients and creative drink ideas. Mochinut down the street pairs their canned drinks with mochi-donuts, another new sensation. Fuwa Fuwa in Riverpark plaza features Japanese styled pancakes with their drinks. Not to forget Lollicup which is the closest to Hoover and Boba Pub, the only shops that are open late. Maiceella Vang describes Lollicup as, “a very cozy little boba place that used to have a fish tank, tv, and they also had board games.”
In the end, there are so many different boba spots to choose from with their own quirks. With such a rise in boba’s popularity, many shops have opened in Fresno and it may seem daunting to know which shops to go to and how to order a drink. Hopefully this article has provided a general base of boba knowledge and advice from an avid boba enjoyer. Happy sipping!