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Instagram-Favorite Boba Tea Shop Coming to Westfield UTC

The Alley, a famous Taiwanese chain, is opening at least two locations in San Diego

Hands hold up three boba drinks.
Assorted drinks.
The Alley

A boba tea chain and social media darling whose Instagrammable drinks often go viral is expanding to San Diego this summer. Founded in 2013 in Taiwan, where bubble tea culture originated, the Alley has over 400 stores worldwide in more than 50 cities, including several in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Landing at Westfield UTC later this summer, it’ll operate in the former GNC location near See’s Candies. Franchise owner Tony Nguyen, who also runs Tofu House SDSU, tells Eater that he’s aiming to open the cafe by mid-July and is looking at other San Diego area malls for a second location.

Nguyen says its menu will be similar to other outposts, which bases its drinks on boba pearls that are handmade in Taiwan and cooked in-store. The tapioca, which the Alley calls “Deerioca” because of its deer logo mascot, features in its best-selling Brown Sugar Deerioca Creme Brûlée, made with brown sugar boba, creme brûlée pudding, cream, and milk. The popular Brown Sugar series also includes drinks flavored with matcha, ube, and cocoa.

Other favorites range from the Strawberry Mochi Smoothie and Mango Purple Rice to cheese foam-topped milk teas and teas mixed with fresh fruit.