Bruin’s Guide to Boba in Westwood

by Ally Chou

Love boba? New to UCLA? Need new boba recommendations near campus? You’re just in luck. Read on to find out the best and hottest places to get a sip of sweet boba in Westwood.

1. CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice

Originally from Taiwan — the birthplace of boba — CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice serves a variety of drinks on their menu and you can mix and match your own toppings! CoCo offers beverages in all sizes and you can have your own choice of sweetness as well. On a side note, their boba packaging is unique in its shape that is longer and slimmer compared to the usual plastic cups, made for an easier grip so that you don’t drop your boba! Their boba milk tea known globally, as it grew from being a local beverage store to a franchise company. Apart from the amazing boba, the interior has bar areas, tables and couches for sitting, chatting and studying (though it can get a bit dark inside). Just from experience, CoCo serves their drinks the fastest out of all the others in Westwood. It is the closest boba shop outside of the UCLA campus (11201 W Olympic Blvd). They offer delivery on UberEats as well! You can also find CoCo in Sawtelle, Santa Monica, Koreatown, and near USC.

2. It’s Boba Time

It’s Boba Time by Ally Chou

Yes indeed it is! Boba Time is also one of the closer boba stores to campus. Replacing the original boba shop occupying the same area (Boba Loca), Boba Time is relatively new, reflected on their interior designs. Apart from traditional boba drinks, you can also get frappes, slushes, shakes and smoothies — their choices are super extensive. Food-wise, Boba Time offers shaved ice and trending acai bowls for the healthy ones. Find it at 10946 Weyburn Ave, across California Pizza Kitchen and the Regency Bruin theaters.

3. Sip Matcha

Sip Matcha is situated next to Japanese restaurant Tomodachi Sushi and across Brandy Melville (10967 Weyburn Ave). It is the most aesthetic and Instagram worthy boba shop in Westwood, with an earthy interior design that corresponds to their special core ingredient — you guessed it — matcha! They offer different renditions on matcha drinks from their blueberry matcha, to “Magic Matcha” which is a beautiful color-blocked drink that tastes good and looks amazing. Asides from drinks, they also offer Onimatchas, which are matcha flavored rice balls in spam, salmon and menetaiko. This is a perfect place for a quick bite and for a refreshing beverage. The only thing missing from this store are places to sit while waiting. The shop doesn’t really seem to be intended for guests to linger around. As of now, Sip Matcha is only offered in Westwood and Rowland Heights, so take the advantage of being a Bruin!

4. Koala T Café

Koala T Cafe by Ally Chou

Next is Koala T Café — right next to Sip! It is mostly known for their Chinese food, but they have an extensive choice of boba as well! What’s special about Koala T’s boba is that you can customize your entire drink, from what base you want (tea, juice, smoothie…etc), to what topping (boba, aloe, grass jelly…etc), to the sweetness, amount of ice, and size. You can literally create a drink that is special to your mood and your taste buds! Of course, they offer boba flavors from a menu as well, for the days when you have a boba-flavor-creating block. My personal favorite would have to be the sea salt green tea boba! Don’t let the name scare you — it’s not that sweet, and gives your drink more texture by balancing out the taste of the green tea. Instead of a café though, the atmosphere is more like that of a restaurant, but it is not too noisy if you are looking to study there! Koala T also is also available on UberEats — another one that’s perfect for those lazy days!

5. Lollicup Fresh

Lollicup Fresh by Ally Chou

You might have seen this familiar brightly lit sign in Ackerman before. They have one in Westwood too! Though it is a bit of a walk from campus (1131 Westwood Blvd) Lollicup is worth a try. Again, from personal experience, their boba tends to be softer than those of other stores — which is a hit or miss depending on what your preferences are. The flavor of their teas are also stronger than the others, but that can be altered by the amount of sugar you want to add into your drink (which you can specify). Like Koala T, you can customize what you want here. They also serve some Taiwanese dishes that aren’t seen elsewhere, like authentic popcorn chicken!

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