I was a bit surprised when I realized I never wrote anything about The Alley – known as Diagon Alley elsewhere in the world, they opened up last summer in the Commerce Gate Plaza, and has just opened a new location on Main Street Unionville.
I don’t know anyone in Canada that seriously calls it boba – it’s known as bubble tea here, so it was obvious how uniquely American this brand is.
When I first visited the Bay Area is 2014, my friend had recommended that I go here; but time constraints and lack of seriousness in trying different bubble tea led it to be forgotten. This past summer, my friend added it to our itinerary for San Francisco, and off we went in search of one during our one day in San Francisco.
There was a time my friends and I were obsessed with going to Green Grotto. We used to go anywhere from once to three times a week for some popcorn and bubble tea. There is a sign outside that welcomes you to enjoy your stay for up to 3 hours, and often we stayed for over two hours.
Why? Green Grotto provides an atmosphere similar to a pub – sit down, order a drink, and chat for hours with your friends, get some work down, play some cards, browse some magazines, you name it.
Chatime is one of the best bubble tea places around the GTA, and has hundreds of chains around the world. Unfortunately, with so many shops, there is bound to be some inconsistencies between the different locations.
I have personally tried Chatime Toronto (132 Dundas St W), Chatime Markham (20 Gibson Dr), and Chatime Richmond Hill (505 Highway 7 E). The quality at the Toronto and Richmond Hill locations are generally more consistent and for some reason always have smaller lines than the Markham locations, which can only mean either less customers or more efficient staff (or both!). Continue reading Spotlight: Chatime Grass Jelly Roasted Milk Tea