Like several other teenagers in Plano, I am obsessed with boba tea. I legitimately get a thrill from spontaneously testing out new boba places and assessing their various flavors of milk and fruity tea. I love sucking up boba with my straw and trying different types of boba and jellies at the bottom of my drink (popping mango boba, anyone?). Some teenagers will read this and understand the thrill I’m talking about. Some won’t, but that’s their loss. And for the older crowd, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it! Though I love it, I’ll admit that the texture of boba, or chewy tapioca pearls, is hit or miss. However, you don’t have to get your tea with boba at the bottom. These cafés have tea, coffee, and baked goods to satisfy even the pickiest customer.
Kung Fu Tea
Arguably the most well-known boba chain in the area, Kung Fu Tea has 6 locations in Collin County: 2 in Plano, 1 in Richardson, 1 in Murphy, 1 in Carrollton, and 1 in Frisco (conveniently located in Stonebriar Mall).
Kung Fu Tea carries all the basic teas, à la milk teas, slushes, and a variety of fruity green teas. They also carry yogurt drinks, flavored milk, and seasonal drinks, which I have yet to see anywhere else, and if you’re up for it, they also have some more traditional flavors of slush, such as mung bean and red bean.
Why it’s awesome: The boba itself is great. It’s infused with sweetness and is sufficiently squishy, not just chewy. It’s so easy to mess up boba, but this place makes it great!
Must-try: Honey Milk Green Tea OR Honey Lemonade
Address(es): 2001 Coit Rd. #137, Plano
8600 Preston Rd. #123, Plano
2067 N. Central Expy. #100, Richardson
160 E. Farm to Market Rd. 544 Ste. 90, Murphy
2540 Old Denton Rd. #122, Carrollton
9292 Warren Pkwy. #236, Frisco
Sweet Hut Bakery
Sweet Hut is a chain, but they only have 1 location in North Texas. Planoites rejoice! Actually, if the Kung Fu Tea on Coit is a little too crowded, Sweet Hut is a 2-minute walk to the right, so you can get your caffeine fix there.
This place has one of the most creative menus I’ve ever seen. Drinks range from Hazelnut Milk Tea, Coconut Sugar Milk Tea, to Mango Sparkling Juice, and everything in between. If you’re not a tea person, don’t worry about it. They also have coffee! And sweets, as the name suggests. I’m gluten-intolerant, so I can’t have their baked goods, but my sister swears by them.
Also, everything here, even the bathroom, is aesthetically pleasing. The seats are really comfortable, the wi-fi is good and free, and there are plenty of outlets.
Oh, and here’s the best part: at the Plano location, you get 2 tea toppings for free. Honey boba, anyone?
Why it’s awesome: Free boba, Instagrammable desserts and drinks, outlets, creative menu. All of the above? Do I have to pick?
Must-try: Strawberry Milk Tea
Address: 2001 Coit Rd. Ste. 301, Plano
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With a name like Bobaland, I half expected this place to be like M&M World, just for boba tea. It’s not. But I wasn’t disappointed. The little cafe is cozy, decorated in hues of brown and green. Mason jar lights hang from the ceiling, and guests can choose to sit in clusters of comfy wicker sofas and armchairs.
The menu has the usual green teas, milk teas, and smoothies. However, they also have a section for the “sea cream” series, as well as “specialty teas” including the Red Galaxy, with black tea, Thai basil seeds, lychee, and strawberry; Rising Phoenix, with coconut milk, watermelon, honeydew, and mango; and Milky Way Galaxy, or iced milk tea mixed with caramel and flan. Talk about variety.
If you came with a friend, Bobaland lets you borrow board games for free. Or, you can just enjoy listening to the 2000s bops they always play on the radio.
Why it’s awesome: The atmosphere and menu are as close to Plano gets to the new-age boba cafes in LA.
Must-try: Red Galaxy.
Address: 240 Legacy Dr #110, Plano, TX 7502
Cassi’s Exotic Drinks and Tea
I tried out Cassi’s on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. What stands out here is the ambiance. The interior architecture and decor are modern, featuring leather chaises and tall glass tables, yet the cafe manages to maintain a cozy vibe with candles, paintings in calming colors, and a fish tank in the corner. They also play jazz almost all the time, which is great if you’re studying.
Cassi’s has a nice collection of board games and magazines for customers to settle down with. They also have copies of ‘500 Writing Prompts’ and ‘500 Drawing Prompts’. The books are well-worn, and customers can add to them or just flip through them and look at other people’s contributions.
The cafe promises exotic drinks and delivers. Along with basic milk teas and green teas, the Cassi’s menu includes numerous flavors of frozen drinks and coffee, including the peanut butter cup smoothie, honey coffee, and royal chocolate tea. Everything here has a special touch to it. Even my orange green tea tasted almost like orange cream.
Why it’s awesome: jazz music, tasty drinks in a wide variety of flavors, and lots of interesting games to play or activities to do while sipping tea
Must-try: Orange green tea
Address: 812 W Spring Creek Pkwy, Plano, TX 75023