麥吉 machi machi

and you thought boba couldn’t get cuter 

When it comes to Asian drink shops, it’s all in the packaging. Taiwan’s most successful export (boba) has only grown in popularity over the years, extending far beyond east and southeast Asia to great success in western markets and appealing beyond the Asian diaspora. The market is oversaturated. In Taiwan, boba shops come and go like the seasons, with few franchises that have survived the test of time and expansion into the U.S. So with just two locations in Taipei, it’s impressive that Machi Machi has found such crazy success state side. Opening in the middle of the pandemic, the initial buzz around the New York City shop was driven by Tiktok. And their highly photogenic bottle and made-for-social-media photo ops at the shop quickly spread across virtual foodie networks, garnering busy lines on the already crowded strip of 33 St we call Koreatown.

Machi Machi has all the classics, milk teas, fruit teas, cream tops and straight up teas that use quality Taiwanese tea leaves. But their claim to (internet) fame comes from their bottled drinks that feature a layer of panna cotta or jelly at the bottom that not only make for low hanging fruit for social media but also make it highly transportable. The shops themselves give off Museum of Ice Cream vibes but in a more contemporary cute way that Asia does best, complete with a cute dog doodle logo. So even in Taipei where there is a boba shop on every block, Machi Machi stands out as a cute splurge to quench any sweet thirst.

the details

Address Dongqu 東區: Taipei City, Da’an District, Lane 51, Section 1, Da’an Road, No. 16 Ximen 西門: No. 162-2, Section 1, Zhonghua Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City New York: 33 W 32nd St, New York
Website https://machimachi.us/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/machimachi__official/ https://www.instagram.com/machimachi_us/?hl=en
Hours Taiwan locations 12-21:00 everyday; New York 11am – 10pm
Price $$ – in Taipei drinks are 60-120NT (~$2-4) which is a little higher than other mainstream franchises, in the US prices are $5-8
Aesthetic contemporary cute in a very Instagrammable (打卡) way

good to know

Go here for: upgrading your boba fix

Order this: any of their bottled drinks for something special, the matcha is a must – it tastes like the rich matcha pudding they sell in Kyoto

Amount of time to spend: 10-20 minutes, there may be a wait

When to come: it’s always pretty busy (even on weekdays) so there really isn’t a good or bad time, but they may run out of more popular or specialty drinks later in the day

Getting here: 

  • Dongqu 東區: about halfway between the Zhongxiao Fuxing Station (blue, brown) and the Zhongxiao Dunhua Station (blue), the closest exist would probably be in the underground mall between the two stations, exit 11.
  • Ximen 西門: take the blue or green line to Ximen station, use exit 1
  • New York: closest to 34th Street Herald Square (BDFM, NQRW), and a short walk from the 33rd Street (4, 6) and 28th Street (NQRW)

Other things to note: 

  • They currently have two U.S. locations, one in New York (Ktown) and one in Minneapolis. And one location in London (Soho).
  • The New York location shares a space with a Korean corn dog shop and mochi donut shop. You can order from both via a digital vending machine outside and pick up in the back.

Last visited: May 2021

Last updated: June 2021

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