Who can resist a sweet colorful cup of milk tea after a long stroll in the streets of Saigon? Introduced to Vietnam more than 15 years ago, bubble tea quickly won the hearts of people from all ages and walks of life. Since then, bubble tea has been constantly enhanced by its appearance, taste, and ingredients.
Initially, shops were built on the sidewalks where students can gather. From over time, milk tea shops all over Saigon have been investing more on looking fancy with larger spaces to accommodate more customers. Beautifying the whole area to achieve an Instagrammable fancy cheek vibe and style.
With a total of 20 different franchising brands at Nguyen Hue pedestrian street, the street gained the name “Milk Tea Street”. A common scene in this street is a young adult holding a cup of milk tea and talking with a friend or a group.
Although there have been major brands that invaded the market when milk tea became too popular, these local shops are a few of the hottest spots for Saigon milk tea addicts.
1. Chi Lăng – Luân Mập (Fat Luan) Luan Fat Milk Tea
The first stop for milk tea aficionados would be Chi Lăng – Luân Mập. This outlet has many options for jellies and flavorful toppings. Despite being just a roadside milk tea stall, this is highly appreciated by customers for their dedication to each glass of milk tea. Tapioca pearls with water chestnut or taro cubes inside, cheese jelly, pudding are all homemade which are guaranteed fresh.
If you are to drop by, their cheese pearls are a must-try. The chubby round pearls with chewy layers of tapioca on the outside and the cheese filling that melts in your mouth with every bite.
Each cup of milk tea varies in pricing depending on the amount of toppings you will order but on average, each cup of full topping milk tea is only around 35k.
Address: Alley 199 Le Quang Sung, District 6
Opening hours: 7 AM – 11 PM
Price: 12.000 – 37.000 VND
2. Trà sữa Phượng Hoàng (Phoenix Milk Tea)
Regular customers and locals often call this an “arrogant” milk tea shop in Saigon because it only opens at 10 AM and closes at 10 PM, no matter how long the line of customers are waiting. This boba milk tea shop is located at the corner of Hoa Hao – Nguyen Tri Phuong Street (District 10, Ho Chi Minh City).
Although this shop opened in 2009, but until now, the “customers” of this shop are not only students from the nearby schools, universities and colleges, but also working and elderly folks.
The owners of the shop are friendly, funny and respectful of their customers thus no matter how long the queue is, most people would wait in line just to grab a cup. The shop also prioritizes the elders. It also has this principle wherein if the line is too long, you are only allowed to get two cups. (Yup, two cups per customer), so if you are to grab a handful for your buddies, there’s a high chance you won’t get it for your friends. There is no such thing as cutting the line in this shop as the owners would maintain the order in their shop – whoever comes first in line will get to be served first. And even if you drop by and park your vehicle on the side, you will have to get off, walk to the shop, get your number and wait in line just like the others.
Address: 317b Nguyen Tri Phuong, Ward 5 District 10
Opening hours: 10 AM – 10 PM
Price: 15.000 – 30.000 VND
3. Trà sữa Mười (Milk Tea Ten)
This is one of the most famous sidewalk bubble tea shops in Nguyen Kim food area. The most popular flavor in this shop is their “magical” cheese jelly. Open-space pavement is free for young people to gather and chat while enjoying a drink both night and day.
The boba milk tea 10 is not too sweet, because the acrid of tea blends well with the taste of milk combined with the chewiness & softness of pearls, cheese jelly and its fruit jelly – making every cup extra yummy and irresistible.
Like many other milk tea shops, you have the liberty to request for a certain level of sweetness. The standard regular cup has just the right amount of sweetness and you might be tempted to increase the sugar level. This shop’s location is also ideal for when you are looking for some snacks to grab as there are several food stalls in the area where you can have a Pho, noodles, grilled meat and macaroni to name some.
Address: 19 Nguyen Kim, District 5
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 8 PM
Price: 10.000 – 25.000 VND
4. Trà sữa Nhà hát Thành phố (Sai Gon Opera House Milk Tea)
Sai Gon Opera House Milk Tea has long been a familiar gathering place for many people. This is the milk tea shop that locals call “The GodFather Milk Tea”.
Having been here for more than a decade, people regularly queue to grab a cup of their milk tea at 7PM and this place can get crowded like how it is in the street coffee (Café Bệt).
Their service crew is composed of around 5-7 employees taking turns to make tea, grabbing the ice, handing over customer orders, and then collecting the money (basically it is called “selling without resting hands” by the locals.)
In fact, the shop is called with a familiar name that is “The Godfather Boba Milk Tea” or the Saigon Opera house milk tea as it is located right next to the Saigon Opera house, next to the fence of another coffee shop. There are no no chairs and tables, no signs and milk tea here is only sold for take-away.
Ice boxes and teaware are set up right before the wall. A row of cups are placed on the old fence.
The milk tea here has no extraordinary ingredients, just plain filtered tea bags mixed with milk and without any extra topping. However, it has become an old-time culture and a familiar beverage for the locals.
Besides milk tea, the shop also sells two other options, peach tea and lychee tea. Particularly, these 2 teas have a higher price of 15k. Inside each cup of tea are fresh lychees and peaches.
There is nothing special about The Godfather Milk Tea. What regular customers love about this shop is the chance to bond with friends in an open space right in front of the Saigon Opera house.
Nothing could ever top the need for just a quick break from the hustle and bustle of Saigon and just watch people pass by. Sitting on just a plain space surrounded by the Caravel hotel, Continental, the luxurious LV store, Bitexco, and the ever beautiful Dong Khoi street. Regular customers simply crave the moment and vibe the shop brings!
Address: 7 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
Opening Hours: 7 PM – 11 PM
Price: 20.000- 25.000 VND