Best Boba


For the health-conscious, bubble tea, or boba, can be a guilty pleasure. As good as this popular Taiwanese drink tastes, there's always a sense of mild disappointment when one peeks over the cafe counter and notices the employee scooping mysterious, unnaturally colored powders into a blender. Fortunately, Juice-a-gO-gO has a huge variety of tapioca milk teas and smoothies made from fresh fruit. Though it appeals to a health-conscious crowd, this little hole-in-the-wall shop in Oakland's Chinatown is a far cry from the expensive boba places popping up in downtown Berkeley and San Francisco. Highlights from the menu include the creamy, mint green avocado smoothie, which is rich enough to enjoy without the boba if you're not into the jelly-like consistency of tapioca. The watermelon smoothie is perfectly light and refreshing for a hot day. Although Juice-a-gO-gO's hours of operation are somewhat limited, the shop makes up for that with free delivery within a six-block radius — a major plus for those who work downtown.

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