The Best Boba in Downtown Menlo Park


Downtown Menlo Park has various boba shops, including Mr. Green Bubble. Staff photo: Rhea Nandal.

Sonia Dholakia and Rhea Nandal, Staff Writers

Like many Menlo students, we have enjoyed our fair share of trips to downtown Menlo Park. On many occasions, we would stop by a boba shop for an after-school snack. But with three popular boba spots downtown, Posh Bagel, Mr. Green Bubble and Tea It Up, we were unsure where we should spend our money. We went to these three locations to find out which boba store is most worth customers’ time and money. We bought three items from each store: a food item (if available), the same Earl Gray milk tea boba, and a “unique” boba drink. In addition to the products themselves, we also took into account the “store experience” at each location: how easy was it to get to Menlo, how long we had to wait to order and get our food and where we were able to sit and drink our boba. We rated each item and store experience out of 10 and found the averages of our rankings to determine the best boba store in downtown Menlo Park.

Posh Bagel

Walking distance from Menlo: 9 minutes

Overall order time: 2 minutes

Store Experience: Out of the three boba shops we visited, Posh Bagel was by far the closest to Menlo. In addition to having the shortest waiting time, Posh also had adequate indoor and outdoor seating for customers to enjoy their food or drink. 9/10


Gourmet Asiago Bagel ($3.90)

Sonia: I was not disappointed with this bagel. It had loads of poppy seeds mixed into it and the asiago cheese tasted delicious. I’m not sure how “gourmet” this bagel was, but it was tasty. 9/10

Chocolate Muffin ($3.50)

Rhea: When I first bit into this muffin, I was not amazed. The outside was dry, and I wasn’t getting the rich chocolate flavor that I had hoped for. However, when I kept eating it, the moist texture and chocolate flavor came through, and I was ultimately left satisfied. The keyword was satisfied, as I was not amazed. Some chocolate chips could’ve helped this muffin and given it more personality. 7/10

Average Food rating: 8/10


Earl Gray Milk Tea with Honey Boba ($4.50)

Sonia: At first, I thought this milk tea boba was fine. Maybe not something I would have regularly, but it didn’t seem too bad. But once the nutty aftertaste of the tea hit me, I knew this was not going to be a favorite. The boba pearls were decent, but the milk tea itself was far too strong.5/10

Rhea: If you want a sub-par taro boba, this drink is for you. Earl Gray milk tea is an iced tea made with milk and Earl Gray tea, while taro milk tea is sweet and vanilla flavored, similar to sweet potato. The drink was very nutty, which is not a common feature of a classic milk tea. Earl Gray Milk tea is a drink that I would order regularly at any boba shop, and Posh’s did not live up to my previous standards. The boba was not chewy at all, and honestly, they were worst boba pearls of this whole experience. However, it was drinkable. The tea was a 5/10, but because of the boba pearls, I had to lower my score. 3/10

Average Drink rating: 4/10

Unique Boba: Passion Fruit Black Tea with Strawberry Popping Boba ($4.50)

Sonia: I was so excited when I tried this drink. It was very refreshing, and the strawberry popping boba went very well with the passion fruit tea. Popping boba is not tapioca, it’s fruit syrup mixed with water, so it’s definitely a different taste. The flavor of the tea was excellent, and I kept drinking more and more. But once I had consumed about a quarter of this boba tea, I began to have a stomach ache. The drink was sickenly sweet, and while that was welcome at first, the more of the tea I drank, the more the sweetness hit me in a negative way. I loved the flavor of this drink, but I was disappointed by the sweetness level. 7/10

Rhea: You know those vanilla cupcakes that are so sweet they give you a headache? That is what this drink felt like. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted delicious. It’s a perfect drink for a hot day. Although I enjoyed the flavor, the drink was just too sweet. Unlike Sonia, I realized it was too sweet from the first sip. The problem with this drink is that you drink it, don’t like it, and then come back for more because you forgot how sweet it is. The cycle continues and customers are never left content with your order. 5/10

Average Drink rating: 6/10

Overall Posh Bagel Rating: 6.75/10 

Mr. Green Bubble

Walking distance from Menlo: 13 minutes

Overall order time: 10 minutes

Store experience: While Mr. Green Bubble was further from Menlo than we would like, it makes up for the long walk with easy, accessible service. However, they have limited the amount of people allowed in the shop due to COVID-19, and there is no outdoor seating. If you choose to go to Mr. Green Bubble, be ready to walk with your boba. 7/10


Waffle Fries ($5.75)

Sonia: These waffle fries had just the right level of crispiness, and the seasoning added a nice touch. I didn’t expect waffle fries from a boba store to be this good, but Mr. Green Bubble surprised me. 10/10

Rhea: The crispy texture made for the ultimate snack. I feel as though I could order these fries 1,000 times and never get bored of them. That’s how enjoyable they were. 10/10

Average rating: 10/10

Earl Gray Milk Tea with Honey Boba (50% sweetness, $4.50)

Sonia: I thought this boba was okay. The tea itself was definitely nutty but it wasn’t as overpowering as it was at Posh Bagel. I thought that boba pearls themselves were great; they were chewy without being too difficult to consume. However, I couldn’t get over the distinct Taro taste of the tea. 6/10

Rhea: This drink would be satisfying for customers that enjoy Earl Gray milk tea. It just tasted off, like a mix of Taro flavor and Earl Gray flavor. However, the boba pearls were delicious and, arguably, the best pearls out of all three shops. They were the perfect level of chewiness, and they definitely increased my positive feeling about the drink. 7/10

Average rating: 6.5/10

Unique Boba: Pink Lady with Strawberry Popping (75% sweetness, $6.15)

Sonia: This drink had everything I hoped for. The tea was not too sugary and was just the right balance of sweet and tart. The strawberry popping boba was perfect and was very easy to chew while drinking. If looking for a boba drink but don’t want milk tea, I highly recommend ordering a Pink Lady. 10/10

Rhea: On a day where you just need something to satisfy your sweet tooth, this drink does the trick. While it was sweet, it still supplied the tea flavor, creating the perfect balance of sweetness and tea flavor. This drink comes with strawberry popping boba, but I recommend switching it out for honey boba. It balances the sugary flavor and results in a more well-rounded drink. Otherwise, the strawberry popping boba gets mixed with the strawberry tea, and it doesn’t add much new flavor. 9/10

Average rating: 9.5/10

Overall Mr. Green Bubble rating: 8.25/10 

Tea it Up

Walking distance from Menlo: 15 minutes

Overall order time: 20 minutes

Store Experience: Tea it Up is certainly the hardest boba store to get to from Menlo. If students want to be there as soon as possible, they will most likely end up walking in an alleyway across downtown Menlo Park. And upon arrival, the wait time to order and get food is substantial, taking around 20 minutes. Tea it Up does have limited indoor and outdoor seating, but when the after school rush hour hits, seats fill up quickly. 5/10


While the Tea it Up sign may read “Boba & More,” it is unclear what that “more” is. There is no house-made food sold at this store, and the only food available is bags of chips or packaged ramen noodles.

Earl Gray Milk Tea with Honey Boba ($5.25)

Sonia: This was my favorite tea from the three stores. It wasn’t overly nutty in flavor and the tea actually tasted like Earl Gray tea. However, the boba itself was way too chewy in my opinion. In between sips of delicious tea, I would encounter a boba pearl that would take me 10 seconds to swallow. The tea was great, but the boba was a different story. 8/10

Rhea: This drink was by far the best Earl Gray milk tea out of all of the shops. It is exactly what you would expect, with a creamy consistency. The sweetness was balanced, and I would definitely order it again. However, the boba pearls were a different story. I think they mixed two batches of pearls in the tea because half of them were extremely chewy while half of them were perfect. Overall, customers are taking a gamble with the boba but will most likely be safe with the tea. 9/10

Average rating: 8.5/10

Unique Boba: Passion Fruit Sunrise with Honey Boba ($5.00)

Sonia: I really enjoyed this drink. I thought the passion fruit tea was flavored quite nicely, and it wasn’t overly sweet or overly tart. However, the boba was still far too chewy for my liking. I would recommend this drink, but I would suggest getting it with flavored popping instead of boba. 8/10

Rhea: The tea was great and made for the perfect afternoon drink. The boba had the same characteristics of the Earl Gray tea, in which half of the pearls were too chewy and half of them were perfect. Contrary to Sonia, I would recommend getting this drink with honey boba because it keeps the sweetness balanced. 8/10

Average rating: 8/10

Overall Tea it Up rating: 7.2/10

Final thoughts: Our numbers showed that Mr. Green Bubble was the best boba shop in Menlo Park downtown. But at the end of the day, it depends on what customers value most. If one wants easy accessibility, go to Posh Bagel. If one wants good boba and great food, go to Mr. Green Bubble. And if one wants great boba and doesn’t mind waiting, then go to Tea It Up.