CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – If you don’t know what bubble tea is, it might freak you out at first. “Bubbles” are the black, chewy balls of tapioca that sit at the bottom of this slushy. When you sip from the double XL straw, the tapioca pearls slowly elevate into your mouth until you have a delicious mix of frozen fruit and gummy goodness. It’s an acquired taste. Like red wine perhaps.
Joy Yee’s has a few locations around the Chicago area, but the Chinatown post is worth the very short El ride from Milennium Park. Don’t be discouraged if the bubble tea window has a huge line down the middle of the outdoor Chinese mall. You can grab a bubble tea instantly from any shop in the area, but there’s a reason why Chicagoans are waiting for Joy Yee’s.
Order the “Tapioca Freeze,” but if you prefer juice over a slushy get the “Tapioca Milk Tea” (the freeze is way better). Choose from an endless variety of flavors like jack fruit, lychee, papaya, mango, red bean, and avocado. Once the beloved bubble tea is in your hands, wander mindlessly through Chicago’s Chinatown. When you’re down to your last few bubbles, re-route back to Joy Yee’s for round two.