Think Outside the Bubble: Pearl Tea Discovery at Taco Bell

Not far from the heart of Flushing’s Chinatown, there’s a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut outlet where you can wash down that Crunchwrap Supreme with better-than-you’d-expect tapioca tea drinks. They’re sold toward the back of the shop, from a window wedged in next to the Crown Fried Chicken counter that shares this space.

Run by a veteran of the Taiwanese chain Ten Ren, this stealth boba operation uses high-quality tea, says chrismkwok–who adds that a bubble-head buddy swears by the place. Also on the menu: shakes, smoothies, fruit and vegetable juices, and Taiwan-style shaved ice (with taro, tapioca, gelatin, red beans, and other toppings).

A couple blocks south, Quickly shows just the right touch in sweetening its milk teas, shakes, slushes, and other drinks, says chashaobao. Not surprisingly, this outpost of the Taipei-based chain Kuai Ke Li delivers something close to the authentic Taiwan boba cafe experience.

Just up Main Street, longtime favorite Sago still has its fans, but the bubble may have burst–or at least shriveled. The place apparently changed hands in the past year or so, and eatingpal complains that the tapioca pearls are now smaller and less satisfyingly chewy.

Taco Bell/Pizza Hut [Flushing]
136-15 Roosevelt Ave., between Main and Union Sts., Flushing, Queens
718-661-1558
Map

Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng [Flushing]
135-18 Roosevelt Ave., between Prince and Main Sts., Flushing, Queens
718-461-9305
Map

Quickly [Flushing]
41-40 Kissena Blvd., between Barclay Ave. and Main St., Flushing, Queens
718-358-1835
Map

Sago Tea Cafe [Flushing]
39-02 Main St., at 39th Ave., Flushing, Queens
718-353-2899
Map

Board Links: ISO best bubble tea in Flushing