Many readers of Collecting EXP will know how much I enjoy trying different drinks, particularly those with tea and boba. For anyone visiting Vancouver interested in the local drink scene, here’s my take:

Starbucks is Big

Not really surprising, considering how close the headquarters is to Vancouver, Starbucks is a cultural mainstay in the Hollywood of the north. If you require a coffee fix, there’s bound to be a Starbucks a short walk away in most any direction you go.

I stopped by the reserve location on Main Street and got this Nitrogen Ginger Cold Brew (much to my initial dismay). For not liking coffee as much, it was a pleasant surprise to taste and enjoy. The nitrogen gives it a creamy flavor that takes some of the edge off of both the coffee and ginger.

Locals Love Their Juice

Much like how Los Angeles has jumped on the juice scene, juice seems to be pretty big here. I found there to be a fairly large number of shops simply dedicated to juice and smoothies. Many of these shops look similar to what one might find in large cities in California with their delicate glass bottles lining lush green walls.

There Aren’t too Many Options for Boba, Yet

Coming from Taiwan, where pearls are a cultural mainstay, I was surprised to find a lack of boba options here. For my fix, I ended up going to a local eatery/drink shop, Bubble World.

The food was decent. I ended up getting a chicken steak over rice with a passionfruit green tea. The company more than made up for the meal, but I was still surprised by just how crowded the restaurant was.

More Recognizable Boba Brands Are Coming

Yifang, Xing Fu Tang, Coco, Sharetea, Happy Lemon… more global brands are showing up little by little. I remember first going to Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea in Taiwan and enjoying their mix of fruit flavors and tea. I was pleasantly surprised to find, near the Vancouver Convention Centre, an Yifang. I walked in and the decor was exactly as I would have expected: wooden menu panels on the wall, simple Taiwanese decor.

The receipt even had 中文 on it. I got super excited experiencing something that felt so familiar.

The Drinks Reflect the Culture

From tamarind-flavored black tea to maple syrup lattes, Vancouver drinks very much reflect the melting pot of cultures present. If you’re looking for that unique drink, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here.

Maybe it was the water or maybe it was the Canadian service, but overall, I found the drinks refreshing. I can’t wait to visit again and see what else Vancouver has up its sleeve.