by Collins Laatsch


When Momo2 closed, it left a boba-shaped hole in my heart.

Luckily, Columbus boasts its fair share of restaurants and cafes offering the tapioca ball-filled goodness. The latest shop to specialize in bubble tea is Fairy Ville (2899 N High St.), a new, brightly decorated bubble tea joint in Clintonville. While bubble tea is their thing, they also sell fruit juices and fruit teas, milk caps, and an array of authentic Chinese street food, including egg puff waffles. I ordered the Jasmine Milk Tea and while waiting, I was offered my choice out of an array of Chinese snacks: chocolate cups with biscuit sticks, Sachima (basically a Chinese Rice Krispies Treat), and many others. The bubble tea was perfect; the flavor of the jasmine tea blended smoothly with the milk, and of course the chewy boba. I also tried the Mango Jasmine Tea Slush, which had a hint of jasmine flavor beneath the frozen mango concoction. It’s the perfect drink for a hot day. Not only was the decor quaint and fairy-like, featuring a painted mural and fairy candles on the tables, but they were also showing a Dota 2 tournament on the big screen, something any gamer can appreciate. It was like an alternative coffee house: a tea shop with games, manga, and Chinese candy.

Turns out, Clintonville has more than one spot for bubble tea. Cornerstone Deli & Cafe sports a modest bubble tea selection amid their bagel sandwiches, salads, and sushi bowls. My absolute favorite is their Honey Dew Bubble Tea, which has the perfect amount of sweetness. And if you prefer to order a bubble tea while waiting on scrumptious Chinese food, you might check out the newly-renovated Lucky Dragon. The Original Milk Tea pairs perfectly with an orange chicken or fried rice.

If you’re already hip to the bubble tea trend, you probably know about Bubbles Tea & Juice, a long-standing staple of the North Market which specializes in bubble tea, smoothies, and cold-pressed juices. If you like options when it comes to flavor, this is your bubble tea joint. They have the traditional milk and plain teas, but in a variety of flavors from fruits to coffee to chai. My personal favorite is the Thai Milk Tea, which blends two of the best types of tea, Thai iced tea and bubble tea.

Whether you’re looking for a classic milk tea or have never given those strange orbs in a beverage a chance, Columbus has a place for every fix. Bounce around to find the right bubbles for you.