Wanting to know where you can find the best boba in Melbourne? We’ve got a sippable selection of the tastiest bubble tea shops!

Bubble tea (or boba), with its distinctive tapioca pearls and fanciful flavours, has become a global sugary sensation. Hailing from the humble streets of Taiwan in the late 80s, today bubble tea stores dot the streets of every city from New York to New Delhi. In Melbourne, snake-like queues form outside the newest bubble tea shop, becoming as much a feature of the city as trams and coffee shops.

But, with new bubble tea stores setting up shop almost weekly, each experimenting with the tried-and-true bubble tea formula, it can be a choice overload. New flavours like panna cotta, salted egg and charcoal bamboo only make it harder for even bubble tea enthusiasts.

This list will cut through the clutter and give you only the very best that Melbourne’s bubble tea scene has to offer. So go and slurp through our list of the best bubble tea shops in Melbourne of 2024!

<strong>The Alley LuJiaoXiang</strong>
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The Alley LuJiaoXiang

Originating in Taiwan, The Alley LuJiaoXiang has become one of the best bubble tea shops in Melbourne, with several locations to quench your thirst. The depth of their tea flavour, the broad variety on offer and, of course, the delicious taste, means that The Alley should be on everyone’s radar. For those daunted by the menu, the signature Brown Sugar Deerioca Series, a range of warm brown sugar drinks, are the perfect treat no matter the mood.

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Various Locations. Brown Sugar Series
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A bubble tea shop in Melbourne for the Instagram era, Instea has captivated the hearts of bubble tea fans since it was first set up in Malaysia. Bubble tea filled in small perfume bottles, an upstairs balcony brimming with foliage and a wellness centre aesthetic all make this the perfect spot to take snaps in-between slurps. The main attraction is their signature perfume drinks, one of the most luxurious bubble teas on the market. The fruity flavours of their Galaxy tea oozes into your mouth, sending your taste buds soaring across the stars.

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210 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 The Limited Collection
<strong>Machi Machi</strong>
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Machi Machi

A narrow store in the heart of CBD, Machi Machi is one of the best bubble teas you can buy in Melbourne’s burgeoning bubble tea craft. The bubble tea joint has built up a twee brand image: adorable dog doodles adorn every drink; technicolour scribbles line the walls; and a quirky atmosphere that would make Wes Anderson squirm with glee. However, what makes Machi Machi stand out is their signature panna cotta bubble teas. The addition of panna cotta breathes new life into well-worn drinks like black tea, as the added depth of flavour makes each slurp better than the last.

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264 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Panna Cotta range
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Powdered milk, with its long shelf life and easy storage, make for the preferred alternative for most bubble tea shops. However, Milksha wanted to do something different. A chain originally from Taiwan, Milksha prides itself on its use of real milk. The bubble tea shop in Melbourne’s centre even includes cute cow street art to sell you on the importance of the bovine. And you can taste the difference! The use of real milk results in a tea that is smoother and richer than their powdery counterparts. For those in the mood for a heaping of dairy, udder no circumstances can you miss Milksha.

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134 Elizabeth St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 True Milk Tea
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While many new bubble tea shops have opened in the last few years, vegans and non-milk drinkers have been largely left out. That changed with the launch of NUTTEA. Billing itself as Australia’s first vegan bubble tea shop, NUTTEA offers those curious enough a truly one-of-a-kind tea. Using non-dairy mylks and rich teas would be enough to get a mention. But, what elevates NUTTEA into the upper echelons of tea-dom is their Nut Cream – a blend of hazelnuts, pistachios and a few others – that will make even dairy lovers swoon.

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Various Locations. Nut Cream drinks
<strong>Top Tea</strong>
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Top Tea

Top Tea expands what the best bubble teas can be, with some of the most complex and varied flavours in Melbourne. Doubling as a bakery, the Swanston Street tea shop has become a staple of the burgeoning bubble tea scene. Their teas are reminiscent of baroque artwork – overwhelming and beautiful. With drinks like Baked Cheese Mono Milk Tea, you’ll be able to taste chunky pearls, a thick layer of cheese and crunchy creme brulee. That cascade of flavours means every sip is a new flavour for your tongue to enjoy. One of Melbourne’s top bubble tea stores of 2024!

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242 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Cheese Milk Tea
<strong>Xing Fu Tang</strong>
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Xing Fu Tang

Looking for the best bubble tea in Melbourne? Xing Fu Tang sells only a few drinks, but it does it to perfection. Their brown sugar milk tea is a captivating mix of hot and cold, boba pearls and a decadent tea flavour. The top layer of cinnamon is singed, with the option to add an adorable panna cotta bunny to sit on top of your drink. This is the best brown sugar tea you are likely to find in Melbourne, and among the best bubble tea establishments. And with DIY bubble tea kits, you’re able to enjoy that great taste from home.

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273 Elizabeth St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Brown Sugar Boba Milk
<strong>YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea</strong>
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YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea

YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea truly shines with their namesake fruit teas. The use of real fruit – whether it be chunks of watermelon, or strawberry, or orange – swirl in one of the most refreshing drinks in Melbourne. With rich flavours and satisfying teas, it’s the perfect treat for those lazy summer days. A celebration for the palate of any bubble tea aficionado. It’s no wonder why they are one of the best bubble tea shops in Melbourne!

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150 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Fruit Teas

Wanting to find the best coffee in Melbourne? Or a new Instagrammable spot? Check out our list of The Most Unique Cafes in Melbourne. Or, why not try making a delicious drink yourself thanks to these 3 Easy Homemade Oat Milk Latte Coffee Recipes.

Feature image: Photographed by gowithstock. Image via Shutterstock.
This article was first published on October 22 2021. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on February 29 2024.