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.
|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|
|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|
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
Other things to note:
Last visited: May 2021
Last updated: June 2021