The Best Bubble Tea Places in Winnipeg (2024)

Call it boba, bubble tea, or whatever you want – no one can deny that it’s delicious and a fun treat. If you’ve never had bubble tea before, you might have been living under a rock. Just kidding! But there’s been a huge number of boba joints popping up all over the city, so if you’ve never tried one, here’s a list of the best bubble tea places in Winnipeg!

What is bubble tea? A quick introduction

Bubble tea is a refreshing drink that originated from Taiwan, and usually contains milk, tea, and tapioca pearls. It can be made hot, cold or blended like slushies, and you can usually customise the toppings that go in it, the sugar level, and the amount of ice.

The main highlight of boba is the tapioca pearls, which is made from tapioca starch and has a distinctive chewiness. Bubble tea has become extremely popular over the years and now is available almost everywhere!

Why I’m the best person to talk about the best bubble tea

I have tried many bubble tea joints across the city, and one of the most important facts about me is that I come from Singapore, a foodie nation known for our obsession with cheap and delicious food – AND the willingness to hunt down amazing food finds! So I know what makes a good bubble tea, and here’s what I’ll be looking for. 

1. Freshness of the boba (tapioca pearls)

This will be the first thing I look out for when trying my bubble tea! When you get bubbles, it  should be fresh and firm for the chewy bite. If they’re not made fresh, you will know. The boba will be hard in the center, and surrounded by a mealy or mushy texture.

This is also how we’ll know if the bubble tea shop cares about what they make, and if they have decent foot traffic. Mushy boba is avoidable if you get other toppings, but then you wouldn’t really know what their standards are like.

Picture of freshly made tapioca pearls, also known as bubbles or boba

2. Is it really bubble tea or is it a slushy bubble tea?

Some “bubble teas” are really just good ol’ slushies or smoothies, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but those aren’t “real” or authentic bubble tea. In Asia, bubble tea is known more commonly as Pearl Milk Tea (珍珠奶茶, zhen zhu nai cha) for the tapioca pearls that go into the milk tea drinks.

I’m a bit of a purist having drunk tea-based bubble tea all my life across Singapore, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong, so that’s “real” bubble tea to me. Ice blended drinks are still delicious, but they’re really just sugary flavoured treats that happen to come with bubbles!

3. Flavours and type of drinks offered

Another thing I look out for is if they offer Asian or Chinese flavours such as red beans, winter melon tea, or herbal jelly. Do they offer milk or cheese foams, and if they do, is it thick or drizzly? What is the texture and taste of the foam like? Do they offer you the cute little cutters that Gong Cha popularised with their milk foam drinks (奶盖, nai gai)?

What kind of toppings do they offer? If they only offer bubbles, maybe they’re just a neighbourhood joint that offers bubble tea as a side offering. Do they have coconut jelly, milk pudding, sago or grass jelly?

All of this influences the way I experience the bubble tea, and how I rate them!

Map of Bubble Tea Places

This is a map of all the bubble tea places mentioned in this post:

NameRatingAddress & HoursNeighbourhoodMust Try Items
Little Viet5/52565 Portage Ave #104, Winnipeg, MB R3J 0P4

Mon-Thu: 12pm – 10pm
Fri-Sun: 11am – 10pm
St James-Assiniboia
  • Okinawa Brown Sugar Milo
  • Peach Milk Tea
Gong Cha4/5Click to jump to hours for 3 locations
Osborne, McPhillips and Pembina
  • Milk Foam Wintermelon
  • Earl Grey Milk Tea with 3J
Panda Tea5/5Click to jump to hours for 4 locationsDowntown, McPhillips, Fort Richmond and St James-Assiniboia
  • Pineapple Yakult Slush
  • Honey Jelly Wintermelon Lemon Tea
Happy Lemon4/5Click to jump to hours for 2 locationsSt James-Assiniboia and Regent
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Jasmine Green Tea
  • Dark Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea
Khab Tapioca4/52-2790 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2H8

Sun-Thu: 12pm-11pm
Fri-Sat: 12pm-12am
Fort Richmond
  • Berry Your Feelings
  • I Need a Lychee Beat Boy

Gong Cha

Oh my beloved Gong Cha. This is the ultimate OG for me because they’re an iconic Taiwanese brand in Asia and Singapore. I was living my best bubble tea life back then, but it’s getting pretty good here in Winnipeg too! This is “real” bubble tea, with less slushie options and more Asian/Chinese flavours.

Gong Cha has three locations in Winnipeg, and they have a wide variety of drinks available. If you feel overwhelmed by their menu, get the Classic Milk Tea with Pearls – it can do you no wrong, and it’s the best way to know if their bubble tea’s good. For the adventurous taster, try the Earl Grey Milk Tea with 3J (pearls, pudding and grass jelly).

If you’re feeling fancy, try the Creme Brulée Black Tea or the Milk Foam Wintermelon with the Oolong tea base. The staff will also ask you about your sugar level and ice level preference, which is great if you’d like a less sweet option and less ice to dilute your drink. 

The Osborne location is also located on the second floor of a row of shophouses – the perfect spot to hang out after a day of shopping in the Village!

Address: 203-121 Osborne St, Winnipeg, MB R3L 1Y4
Monday to Sunday: 1pm-11pm

Address: 4-1875 Pembina Hwy #4, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2G7
Monday to Sunday: 12pm-11pm

Address: 18-2136 McPhillips St, Winnipeg, MB R2V 3C8
Monday to Sunday: 12pm-11pm

Gong Cha Winnipeg’s Instagram 

Panda Tea

The McPhillips location for Panda Tea

I heard about Panda Tea from a colleague who would drop in regularly to pick up drinks, and boy was that a good find. Panda Tea has four locations and their latest store opened up at Polo Park this year, so you can tell they’re fast expanding.

It’s easy to see why. Their drinks are delicious and the bubbles are consistently fresh and chewy. I’ve entered stores and seen customers leaving with 30-drink orders, while the rest happily wait for their orders.

Ordering at Panda Tea is also a breeze. You make your order at the counter, and when your drink is ready, they’ll call out the order number on your receipt. If you didn’t catch them calling you, there’s also an electronic board that updates with the “Ready” orders.

Strawberry Cheezu

I’m personally not a big fan of slushie drinks, but their Taro Slush is amazing and I jumped with delight at their Yakult series.

If you’ve never heard of Yakult, it’s a Japanese probiotic drink I drank regularly in childhood and never thought I’d find it here in Winnipeg.

Their McPhillips store has a nice café ambience that reminds me of the bubble tea cafes back home. While there aren’t any tables out now (pandemic), it used to be a hangout spot with nice seating areas. The seating areas are back!

The store in Polo Park is easier to get to but their drinks can be a hit or miss, possibly due to them being a new store and settling in with new staff. 

Drink highlights: Get their Honey Jelly Wintermelon Lemon Tea or the Pineapple Yakult Slush for a refreshing drink on scorching hot days, or their Strawberry Cheezu, blended from fresh strawberries and jasmine green tea with a cheese foam topping. 

Address: L109A-1485 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3G 0W4 (in Polo Park Mall)
Monday to Friday: 10.30am-9pm
Saturday: 10.30am-7pm
Sunday: 10.30am-6pm

Address: 500 Portage Ave #103, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1W9 (opposite University of Winnipeg)
Monday to Friday: 10.30am-8pm
Saturday to Sunday: 11am-6pm

Address: 1041 McPhillips St, Winnipeg, MB R2X 2K6
Sunday to Thursday: 10.30am-10pm
Friday to Saturday: 10.30am-10.30pm

Address: 2844 Pembina Hwy #30, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2J1
Sunday to Thursday: 10.30am-11pm
Friday to Saturday: 10.30am-12am

Link to their menu | Website | Panda Tea’s Instagram

Happy Lemon

The Lychee Slushie is actually very refreshing and not too sweet. Pair it with the mini bubbles and you’ve got a great summer treat!

This was the first place I got bubble tea back when I first arrived in Winnipeg! Happy Lemon is a global chain of bubble tea shops first founded in China in 2006 at the same time as Gong Cha, and they’re both pretty on par in terms of quality.

Happy Lemon offers a wider menu of drinks (as if we weren’t spoiled for choice already), with more slush friendly options for the friends who’re just looking for something yummy. I like that they offer Asian fusion bubble teas, like the Lychee Slushie and the Tofu Sago Taro Slushie.

Get the Freshly Squeezed Lemon Jasmine Green Tea for a refreshing drink, or the Dark Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea for a luxurious treat. 

If you’re a real bubble tea fiend who can’t get enough, Happy Lemon also offers a 2L version that gets delivered straight to you! Just… maybe try not to pass out from that sugar high.

Address: 1600 Ness Ave A, Winnipeg, MB R3J 3W6 (In Madison Square, close to Polo Park)
Monday to Sunday: 10am-11pm

Address: 1530 Regent Ave W #7A, Winnipeg, MB R2C 3B4
Sunday to Thursday: 10am-10pm
Friday to Saturday: 10am-11pm

Happy Lemon Winnipeg’s Instagram

Little Viet

This was their Okinawa Brown Sugar Milk Tea!

I jumped for joy when I first learned there was another bubble tea store about to open up on the corner of the Moray bridge. For a while there, my only option had been Happy Lemon in Madison Square (next to Polo Park)… which technically isn’t that far, but there are just some days when you don’t want to go the distance!

Little Viet is a small mom-and-pop bubble tea shop that opened in 2021 (during the pandemic!) and they have since become a solid neighbourhood staple. They might not offer the biggest menu compared to global franchises, but they’ve carved out a niche of their own and their drinks are always fantastic. 

Some of my favourites include their Okinawa Milo (dark brown sugar with Milo, a chocolatey malt drink) and their Vanilla Rooibos Milk Tea.

Other notable must-tries are the Peach Milk Tea (real pulp, and super delicious), Special Purple Sticky Rice Yogurt and their High Mountain Milk Tea. They are definitely worth making a trip to St James for!

Address: 2565 Portage Ave #104, Winnipeg, MB R3J 0P4
Monday to Thursday: 12pm-10pm
Friday to Sunday: 11am-10pm

Link to menu | Website | Little Viet’s Instagram

Khab Tapioca

Khab Tapioca is a cute and hip joint that’s an experience of their own. They lean hard into their quirkiness, and you’ll find puns everywhere to make you chuckle. There’s a wall of “degrees” from their Faculty of Bubble Tea in Tea & Tapioca Sciences or Milk Tea Studies, with drink names like Feelin’ Fineapple or I Make My Man-Go Crazy (both popular drinks).

This small mom-and-pop shop focus on using high quality ingredients, and they take pride in their freshly made bubbles and triple-filtered ice and water. They’re located in the south end of the city (close to University of Manitoba), and obviously they’re doing something right because they have long lines everyday!

Their drink menu is skewed more towards the smoothie and slushie side, so if that’s your jam, you need to check Khab Tapioca out. 

Notable drink highlights: If you’re a strawberry fan, get Berry Your Feelings for a strawberry smoothie with a cream swirl and strawberry bits. Also check out their Supermoon on Ice, which is a lychee green tea with fruit bits.

Address: 2-2790 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2H8
Sunday to Thursday: 12pm-11pm
Friday to Saturday: 12pm-12am

Link to their menu | Website | Google Map Directions | Khab Tapioca’s Instagram

I hope this article on the best bubble tea places in Winnipeg helps you on your boba quest! If you feel like making bubble tea yourself instead of heading out, here’s a pretty good recipe that will get you started. Alternatively, check out this video:


As a newly transplanted Canadian who married a local Pegger, my goal with We Are Winnipeg is to explore everything Winnipeg and Manitoba has to offer!

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