Best Place to Suck Giant Tapioca Balls Through a Straw - 2000
Wonderful Food Company
Watch out, Jamba Juice -- Taiwanese pearl milk teas are poised to be the next liquid craze. The drink -- a delicious concoction of giant tapioca balls, condensed milk, and black tea -- is a near-addictive Asian treat that began gaining popularity in the States a few years ago. San Francisco picked up on the trend early, and a number of spots in the Richmond and the Sunset serve the drink, though each milk tea joint has its own secret blend. At Wonderful Food Company, you can watch the kid behind the counter whip up the city's best pearl milk teas (the line that often spills onto the sidewalk is testament to the small storefront's popularity). Two spoonfuls of chewy, gumball-sized tapioca balls are ladled into the bottom of a plastic cup, followed by a blended mix of ice, condensed milk, black tea, and the flavor of your choice (we recommend lychee or mango). A fat, fluorescent straw -- for sucking up those chewy tapioca balls -- is stuck into the frothy mixture. If milk tea doesn't sate your sweet tooth, Wonderful Food Company also makes brilliant pastel-colored taro root and red bean shakes, and sells binful upon binful of Asian-style candies like sweetened ginger and sugarcoated mango strips.