Before I travel anywhere for a long period of time, I always google the area to look for bubble tea locations, knowing that there is no way I can survive without boba for more than two weeks. While searching for Paris before I came to the city, I was aghast to see that there were only ChaTime options on google, and prepared myself for the worst. Luckily for me, there were a lot more places there than Google had indicated before, and my boba cravings were always satiated. After living in Paris for three months, I've tried out my fair share of bubble tea places to know which places to go after a rough week of classes, and here is my ranking, from best to mediocre.
Located near Etienne Marcel and Rambuteau stations, Laize is a tiny bubble tea store hidden in a random alleyway. Its interior is mostly made of wood, and there are a few tables and chairs available for a brief catch-up with friends or a few hours of studying. The ambiance of this place is unbeatable, with either mandarin ballads or classical music playing in the background at all times. Their tapioca is chewy and slightly sweet, and their sweetness at 30% works wonders for me. Try their original milk tea recipe or sesame milk tea for a fun twist.
2. The Alley
This boba chain store never disappoints, and their brown sugar milk tea is always a classic. This is in the Opera area nested within the blocks of Japanese food, and always has a ton of people even up until closing time. Although this place is good, their sweetness even at 30% is still slightly too sweet for my tastes. If you enjoy the sweeter type of drinks, then this is the place for you.
Yinyoo is similar in size to Laize, and is only one metro stop away at Les Halles, one of the largest shopping areas in Paris. The store itself is small, with a compact seating area and a few bar stool seats. However, their milk teas and fruit teas always taste fresh, and if you're tired of shopping, you can always just drop in and get a drink before continuing on your way. It's located in a more lively area than Laize, so people don't tend to stay in the shop for long.
Yet another bubble tea place right above the Seine, Bubbolitas is a good choice for people who aren't looking to spend 5.5 - 6 euros on a bubble tea drink. This always seems to be crowded and serves up some pastries as well. Although it's not the most authentic drink out there, it still satiates that bubble tea craving pretty well. There are also plenty of things to do nearby, so you could just pop in and pop out quickly for a drink before going somewhere else.
Chatime never fails, but it never impresses either. As a major bubble tea chain, I personally feel like it could taste better. It's a classic that you know will satisfy your cravings when you're desperate, but it is never the go-to place when you have other options. There is a Chatime in the St. Germain area by the Seine, one in the Opera area across from The Alley, and definitely others in the city as well.
I have heard mixed reviews about this place, and personally, my experience was not the best. Zenzoo is also located in the Opera area, and has a relatively small store front as well. The tea I ordered was overly sweet at 30%, and it was really hard to taste the actual tea in my milk tea. However, other sources say that the fruit teas are the real treasures here, so if that's what you're craving, I would head to Zenzoo!
7. Bubble T Paris
Looking like a renovated family kitchen, Bubble T Paris is located near the Montparnasse area. This place is probably the least known store on the list, and it's a cute little family shop that also sells random American candy. It's pretty obvious that the bubble tea here is homemade, because they make it right in front of you. However, it lacked both the tea and the milk taste, and just seemed a little watery to me.