It's Boba Time Best Boba in koreatown

8 Boba Shops In Koreatown That Are Worth A Visit

Blog, Boba, Drinks, Guide

By now, you should already know what “boba” is. Otherwise known as bubble tea, it’s a chewy tapioca ball that sinks to the bottom of your favorite beverage, offering a fun and addictive “eat-while-you-drink” experience.

Best Boba in Koreatown, CA

While the best boba drinks are often found in the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles offers its own impressive and growing number of options for when a trip out east is a little too daunting for you. Here are some of our favorite places to go when we’re in dire need of a boba fix:

Kung Fu Tea

Kung Fu Tea Best Boba in Koreatown CA

From the moment you step into the store, you’re embraced with that freshly-made boba aroma. Kung Fu Tea has a wide variety of drinks that are consistently great, and the boba itself is always chewy and sweet. They also have a check-in offer (on Yelp) and an app to rack up points for free drinks. If you visit, we recommend their Wintermelon Tea Cap.

Parking: There is a small lot in this strip mall, but spaces are hard to come by on busy days. 5-10 min walk from Wilshire/Western Metro station (Purple Line).

Gong Cha

Best boba koreatown gong cha

One of the great hallmarks of Gong Cha (aside from its omnipresence in Asia and So-Cal) is its limitless options to customize your drink. You’ll make a decent hole in your wallet trying all the possible ways to have your boba. There’s also a FiveStar Rewards program to put your boba addiction spending towards some free drinks. Hard to pick a favorite, but we recommend the Brown Sugar Milk Tea.

Parking: Garage lot in the back (enter on Oxford), you get 1-hour free with validation. Right outside the Wilshire/Western Metro station (Purple Line).

I Love Boba

I Love Boba Koreatown CA

This little shop holds a special place in our hearts because it’s one of the few boba places where you can actually sit and work due to its relaxed ambience and roominess. The drinks are no-frills, but the boba quality is definitely not bad either. Ask for a stamp card and get a free drink after 9 stamps. Try their Taro Smoothie, it’s one of our go-to’s.

Parking: Large parking lot, but can get crowded as this mall is packed with great restaurants. In the evenings, you can valet for $2. 5-10 min walk from Wilshire/Western Metro station (Purple Line).

It’s Boba Time

It's Boba Time Best Boba in koreatown

Some might consider It’s Boba Time the reigning king of boba in Koreatown – it’s been there for so long now that it’s become a default boba go-to for many folks out there. If consistency and variety are important to you, you may find yourself at home here. We like to order one of their classics – Jasmine Green Tea.

Parking: There’s a small lot right outside where you can typically valet for $1-2, but if you let them know you won’t be long to pick up a drink, you can park for free. 5 min walk from Wilshire/Normandie Metro station (Purple Line).

Tan-Cha

Tan Cha Boba Koreatown

Tan-Cha is another boba success story, with humble beginnings opening its first store in Rowland Heights back in 2017. Today, you’ll find a number of locations throughout California, one of which sits in the heart of Koreatown! And for a shop that boasts specialties in tiramisu milk tea and cheese foam drinks, you should do yourself a favor and give one or the other a try.

Parking: Street parking is your primary option here. 5-10 min walk from Wilshire/Normandie or Wilshire/Vermont Metro Stations (Purple/Red Line).

Snow Monster

Snow Monster Boba Koreatown CA

If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy boba shop, you’ve found it in Snow Monster! Drinks can be upgraded into reusable glass jars in novelty shapes that make the experience a whole lot more “grammable”. But it doesn’t stop at boba – they’ve got ice cream and cotton candy to have every sweet tooth covered. We recommend their Thai Milk Tea, and if you’re in the mood, a scoop of that taro ice cream, too!

Parking: There’s a free lot in the back (enter through Alexandria or Kenmore), but later turns into valet parking after 4pm. 5 min walk from Wilshire/Normandie Metro Station (Purple Line).

Mr. Boba

Mr Boba in Koreatown Los Angeles

With two prime locations and ample menu items to boast, Mr. Boba is a homerun for those sudden cravings, a quick pit stop after eating with friends, or after a late-night show at the Wiltern. With plenty of seating, board games, and a loyalty stamp card, you can bet we’ve been here more times than we’re willing to admit! Our personal favorites are their smoothies and juices – definitely consider ordering one if you’re stopping in.

Parking: Free parking in a gated, private lot. 5 min walk from Wilshire/Western Metro Station (Purple Line).

Sweetea Bar

Sweetea Bar Best Boba Los Angeles

A cozy little cafe located at the edge of K-Town, we are fans for the atmosphere alone. Sweetea Bar offers a simple and natural selection of teas that truly upgrade your boba-drinking experience and always come out tasting fantastic. Their Rose Petal Milk Tea has got us hooked, it’s a must-try when visiting this quaint spot.

Parking: Free private parking lot. 5 min walk from Wilshire/Vermont Metro Station (Purple Line).

Honorable Boba Mention

Boba Guys

Boba Guys Los Angeles

Boy, are we a sucker for Boba Guys. Originally from the Bay Area, this hip shop made its way down south and opened up two locations here in Los Angeles. (Lucky us!) While it’s technically not within the confines of Koreatown, we’re willing to stretch the boundaries a bit because we love the creative specialty drinks here. They’ve perfected the art of making boba down to a science, and we’re all the more grateful for it. If you can’t decide on what to get here, the Strawberry Matcha Latte (with Oat Milk) is a favorite we can’t get away from.

Parking: Street parking is the way to go here. Not exactly close to a Metro station, so an Uber/Lyft or a bus ride would be your best option!

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The Best Coffee Shops to Study/Work in Koreatown, Los Angeles

Blog, Coffee, Drinks, Guide

It’s no secret that Koreatown is a mecca for coffee in Los Angeles. Fortunately for us, this healthy competition for the best drips and brews in town has us finding a new place to love every week. And when you’re drowning in a city filled with hustle and bustle, sometimes all you really need is a refuge – a safe haven to grab a cup o’ joe, crack open a laptop, and just soak in the ambiance.

Here are our top 10 favorite coffee shops to study/work in L.A.’s very own Koreatown. (Note: at the time of writing, all cafes offer WiFi and have outlets for you to plug-in when the juice is getting low.)

1. Document Coffee Bar

Document Coffee Bar Koreatown
Photo Credit: Document Coffee Bar

One of the more highly sought-after cafes in this neighborhood, Document Coffee Bar offers an environment to help get those creative juices flowing with communal tables and a clean layout.

Pro tip: They also carry OATLY for you oat milk fans! If you’re lucky enough to find a seat, we recommend ordering the house special: Document Latte.

Parking: Free with a large lot in the back. Close to the Wilshire/Western Metro station (Purple Line).

2. Alchemist Coffee Project

A bustling cafe that’s seen plenty of changes over the years, Alchemist Coffee Project has risen to the top of the crop with its consistently great coffee, delightful special drinks, and food offerings (for those study sessions that unexpectedly extend past lunch time!).

With a warm and inviting setting, grab a chair and try the Alchemist Shake, a blended coffee drink that’ll put frappuccinos to shame and have you feeling like this may be one of the best coffee shops around.

Parking: Small lot, free before 10:30am. After that, be prepared to pay $2 for valet. Close to the Wilshire/Vermont Metro station (Red/Purple Line).

3. Balcony Coffee and Tea

Balcony Coffee in Koreatown California
Photo Credit: Spoonderful

We love this place for the service, alone! But that aside, Balcony Coffee and Tea is somewhat of an enchanted cafe with a cozy, rustic garden feel – a real hidden treasure in Koreatown.

Try their Brad Pitt (yes, you heard that right). It’s one of their signatures and always a fave for this coffee addict.

Parking: Free small lot in a strip mall. 5-10 minute walk from the Wilshire/Western Metro station (Purple Line).

4. Sharp Specialty Coffee

Sharp Specialty Coffee is one of those “just right” coffee shops. Soothing ambience, excellent drinks. not too loud, not too quiet… we could go on! The only downside is that everyone else in K-Town seems to love it too, so seating can be tricky. But if you’re able to enjoy some time here, try their Spanish Latte.

Parking: Street parking is your best bet, but if you do go Metro, it’s located equidistant from Wilshire/Normandie and Wilshire/Vermont stations (Purple Line).

5. Urban Cate

Urbane Cate Cafe Coffee Koreatown Los Angeles Best
Photo Credit: Spoonderful

We are big fans of Urban Cate. This two-story cafe has a clean and modern aesthetic with a touch of luxury, and let’s not ignore the fact that the second floor also opens up into a spacious and refreshing balcony.

With tableside service, it’s easy to lounge for hours and order more than one beverage while you click-clack away on your laptop. If that’s the case for you, definitely start with their coffee soda – it’s top notch!

Parking: Small valet lot for $2. 5-10 minute walk from the Wilshire/Normandie Metro station (Purple Line).

6. Awesome Coffee

Awesome Coffee Koreatown Best Los Angeles
Photo Credit: Awesome Coffee

If you’re the type to be more productive at night, Awesome Coffee might be the place for you.

One of the few places open past midnight (closed at 2am), this coffee shop sits atop the second level of a small strip mall and always has a seat available when you need it.

We recommend their affogato – it hits the spot!

Parking: Free large lot in a strip mall, but may be limited as it gets full from neighboring businesses. Close to the Wilshire/Western Metro station (Purple Line).

7. Have Some Coffee

Have Some Coffee Shop Koreatown California
Photo Credit: Have Some Coffee

Another cozy little coffee shop, Have Some Coffee has some unique and memorable drinks on their menu that’ll keep you well-caffeinated and focused on your work at hand. We like coming here for shorter study sessions as a means to refuel and recharge before we’re back on-the-go.

If you visit, try their signature Military Latte.

Parking: Free large lot, but limited to 2 hours. 5-10 minute walk from the Wilshire/Western Metro station (Purple Line).

8. Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning Coffee Koreatown Best Los Angeles
Photo Credit: Sunday Morning

If you’re the type that needs peace and quiet to get work done, Sunday Morning is the place for you. This cafe is entirely conducive to a peaceful atmosphere and has an environment best described as “Instagrammable”…not a bad thing, in the slightest!

Their drink menu offers lots to choose from and oat milk is also served here. Space can be limited, but if you find a seat, order their Strawberry Mocha Latte.

Parking: Garage lot in the back, $2 to park. Between Wilshire/Normandie and Wilshire/Vermont station, though slightly closer to the latter.

9. Design Cafe Dabang

Cafe Dabang Coffee Los Angeles Koreatown best
Photo Credit: Spoonderful

One of the more casual and cool coffee shops on this list, Design Cafe Dabang is a go-to for when we’re in the mood to work someplace mellow. It’s more of a hidden gem in the outskirts of Koreatown, but we make this trek because the coffee is excellent, the ambience is chill, and we love the creative flow of this space.

The Dabang Latte is our go-to.

Parking: Street parking in a largely residential area.

10. Second Round

Second Round Coffee in Koreatown California
Photo Credit: Second Round

What sets Second Round apart from most other coffee shops is their offering of beverages on-tap (cold brew, nitro, and kombucha), though these tend to change every so often. That aside, it makes for a great environment to study as crowds are minimal and the interior is clean and modern.

As for drinks, we recommend the Creme Cafe Latte.

Parking: Free small lot, but $2 valet in the evening. 5-10 minute walk from the Wilshire/Western Metro station (Purple Line).

Honorable Mention

11. Caffe Bene Wilshire

Caffe Benne Wilshire Koreatown Los Angeles
Photo Credit: Caffe Bene Wilshire

Once a dominant chain in the industry, we’re seeing this business slowly disappearing across the city. However, one location still stands strong in Koreatown and we can’t deny that we frequent it quite often out of convenience and familiarity. Caffe Bene Wilshire has an industrial aesthetic with lots of room, plenty of outlets, and the luxury of a quiet second level space.

As for our recommendation, go against the grain and try their Misugaru (multigrain powder) Latte.

Parking: Small lot in the back for valet parking, marked at around $2-3 with validation (though we’ve heard reports of varying prices here, so YMMV).

Best Coffee Shops in Koreatown

Really, the best coffee shop in Koreatown can be based on number of personal factors unique to you.

Are there any on this list you thoroughly enjoy? Or is there another coffee shop in Koreatown that deserves to be dubbed ‘the best’? Leave a comment and let us know!