If the nose knows, then there’s serious wisdom in Boba Guys, where a boba-slurping aardvark is the poster child for a glass-fronted cafe with some of California’s best boba.
Andrew Chan and Bin Chen, who worked together at Timbuk2 messenger bag company, shared a passion for boba and launched a Boba Guys pop-up at Ken Ken Ramen in San Francisco’s Mission district before opening their own boba bar in the neighborhood.
Chan and Chen smartly kept the sleek menu simple, with only nine drinks available, including classic, Thai and Hong Kong style drinks, all utilizing Straus organic milk. Choose from five slippery toppings, including boba’s trademark tapioca balls, a trio of jellies, and aloe vera. Since it’s San Francisco, of course there’s a soy milk option.
In my experience, the simpler the boba, the better. My selection, Classic Milk Tea ($4), more or less mirrored what you’ll find at Taiwan’s O.G. boba bar, Chun Shui Tang. Boba Guys’ black tea blend worked in harmony with premium Straus milk, simple syrup, and squishy house-made tapioca balls.
Boba Guys also houses a slow bar for loose leaf teas like Muscat Oolong and Duke of Earl Grey, but we both know the aardvark would steer you back towards boba. Slurp.