Unique boba food in Tokyo


boba food cover image
Boba food in Tokyo
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mage adapted from: @pon_n57, @__hidemi___, and @tapiottiy

Tokyo may have been slow to pick up on the bubble tea craze, but the city is quick to capitalise on the boba trend. From tapioca pearls drenched in fresh cream to a mega-sized boba dessert, Tokyo scores high on creativity when it comes to boba-inspired food. 

So if you’re a bubble tea stan, give these 8 tapioca snacks and drinks a try on your next food tour in the city.  


1. Tapioca Pancakes – topped with fresh cream 


cafe taipei boba food
Image adapted from:
@didiermerah

Located just a 3-minute walk from Fuchu Station, Cafe Taipei serves up Tapioca Castle Hot Pancakes for ¥750 (~USD6.98). Dig in to unearth tapioca pearls within the creamy two-tiered confectionary. 

cafe taipei
Red bean dessert with tapioca pearls
Image adapted from: @didiermerah

You will find a plethora of Taiwanese desserts here too, such as AiYu Jelly (¥600, ~USD5.59), an ice jelly made from fig tree seeds, and Red Bean dessert for ¥600 (~USD5.59). And of course, expect a load of boba pearls to kick this sugary pick-me-up a notch.

Cafe Taipei
Address: 2-3-6 Miyanishicho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo Fuji Hall 4F, Tokyo 183-0022, Japan
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 11AM-6PM (Closed on Mon)
Directions: 3-minute walk from Fuchu Station


2. Daifuku (Milk Tea) – giant tapioca pearl with milk tea cream


daifuku boba food
Image adapted from:
@pon_n57

Some people drink bubble tea for the tapioca pearls rather than the tea. If that describes you, you’ll enjoy cutting to the chase with this titanic boba from 7-Eleven Japan. The palm-sized snack is called Daifuku (Milk Tea) and is chock-full of milk tea ice-cream, with a layer of tapioca encapsulating it.  

daifuku
Image credit: @pon_n57

If you like your boba pearls soft and squishy, you’ll be glad to know that this snack tastes like the real deal and is only ¥127 (~USD1.17).


3. Tapioca Toast – boba pearls in sandwiches 


19tea boba food
Image credit:
@tapiottiy

Tapioca pearls wrapped in toast were one of the first boba food creations to dominate social media platforms. Try the sought-after Tapioca Toast at 19TEA with 3 flavours to choose from – milk tea, chocolate, and kaya for ¥590 (~USD5.47) each.

19tea
Image adapted from: @tapiottiy

Each sammie comes with heaps of tapioca pearls complemented by two crispy slices of toast that add a satisfying crunch. If you’re still hankering for more, pair it with their bubble tea (¥450 to ¥590, ~USD.17 to ~USD5.47) or organic soft serves for ¥500 (~USD4.63) each.

19tea in japan
Image credit:
@licago_world

19TEA
Address: 32-6 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan
Opening hours: 11AM-11PM, Daily
Directions: 9-minute walk from Shibuya Station


4. Tapioca Milk Tea Steamed Cake – milk tea dough with tapioca pearls


steamed bun boba food
Image credit:
@yuki_kitachan

Yamazki first doled out its very own Tapioca Milk Tea Steamed Cake (¥108, ~USD1) back in August 2019. Since then, locals have taken to Twitter to rave about the confection. The bottom is made with a layer of milk tea-infused dough and chewy tapioca pearls so you can get the full bubble tea experience from just a cake.


5. Tapioca Dessert & Drink Bar – multi-coloured boba pearls


SHIRONONIWA boba food
A customised bowl of tapioca pearls

Image adapted from: @tapistargram

Besides standard black tapioca pearls, the world of boba has expanded to include golden pearls and even flavoured ones such as pink cactus and black sesame pearls. At SHIRONONIWA, the Tapioca Dessert & Drink Bar offers a multitude of colourful pearls and toppings for you to customise your very own boba dessert.

SHIRONONIWA dessert bar
Image adapted from: @lukalunka

Enjoy an unlimited tapioca dessert buffet when you top up your lunch bill with ¥300 (~USD2.76). Aside from tapioca pearls, you can also add toppings such as azuki red bean, nata de coco, coconut milk, and mixed berries to your own customised dessert.

SHIRONONIWA
Address: 1-6-1 Ebisu Minami Shibuya-ku Atre Ebisu West Pavilion 8F, Tokyo 150-0022, Japan
Opening hours: 11AM-11PM, Daily
Directions: 1-minute walk from Ebisu Station


6. Tapioca onigiri – boba rice balls


tapioca onigiri boba fppd
Image adapted from:
@blazing_tapins

tapioca onigiri
Image adapted from:
@cfshunsan

Instead of salmon roe, this tapioca onigiri (¥118, ~USD1.08) is filled with boba marinated in soy sauce. You won’t find the usual saccharine tapioca pearls –  instead, each mini-ball contains a burst of savoury goodness.

Keep your eyes peeled for this onigiri at any Aeon retail outlet.

Find the full list of Aeon retail stores here.


7. Tapioca Beer – bubble beer tea


tapioca the next boba food
Image adapted from:
@__hidemi___

iBeer Le Sun Palm is popular with those in search of unique craft beers and the restaurant isn’t afraid to experiment with new flavours and drinks. They’ve come up with Tapioca The Next, a combination of beer and tapioca pearls for just ¥580 (~USD5.35) a glass

You can also opt for flavours such as strawberry, kiwi, and pineapple by topping up an additional ¥50 (~USD0.46).

tapioca the next
Image credit: @ibeerlesunpalm

But if you’re still underage, don’t worry about missing out as Tapioca The Next also comes in a mocktail version, replacing beer with soda.

Find the full list of iBeer Le Sun Palm stores here.


8. Lipton Tea Ice Cream – frozen bubble tea with mochi pearls


lipton ice cream boba food
Image credit:
@jyun791004

Lipton Tea Ice Tapioca Milk Tea Flavour (¥140, ~USD1.29) was created as a result of a collaboration between Lipton and Akagi Dairy, the famous confectionery company behind one of Japan’s top-selling popsicle – the soda-flavoured Gari Gari Kun Ice Candy.

lipton ice creamImage adapted from: @chi._.baz

Each ice lolly contains a candy-like milk tea-flavoured outer shell and an ice cream core mixed with mochi-textured tapioca pearls.


Boba desserts in Tokyo


Instead of opting for your usual bubble tea, venture out of your comfort zone and give Tokyo’s refreshing take on the tapioca craze a try. Here’s your chance to taste 8 tapioca pearl treats that will have you hankering for seconds. 

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