For a city that has over 10 bubble tea shops within a three-square-mile radius, winning “Best Boba in Ann Arbor” is no small feat. Quickly Boba, located at 1220 S University Ave., offers over 40 different milk tea flavors and almost 20 toppings along with a variety of fruit teas and slushies. Quickly lovers are quick (no pun intended) to point out that the shop offers boba aficionados the best bang for their buck. Quickly’s largest size, nicknamed the “bucket” by employees, is a full liter of milk tea — the biggest boba drink you can get in Ann Arbor.

But when walking into Quickly, it isn’t just the sugary aroma of warm tapioca balls that catches the nose. Quickly’s snack menu in particular stands out among other bubble tea establishments in the area. From mochi waffles to buckets of Tawainese-style popcorn chicken, Quickly has satisfied students’ sweet-and-salty snack cravings since they opened in January 2021. The Ann Arbor shop is one of 80 Quickly locations that have “popped” up across the U.S. since 2002.

For Jay Zheng, one of the co-owners of Quickly Ann Arbor, the popular student hangout has a special meaning. Before opening Quickly, Zheng frequented Bubble Island, one of the first bubble tea shops in Ann Arbor, which was established in 2002 in the very same spot that Quickly occupies today. Bubble Island closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zheng thought the South University area needed a boba stop, so he opened Quickly a year later. 

“We’re always looking to improve our menu,” Zheng said. “We just released some new drinks … and also in terms of the food, we’re always thinking of new popular items that students want.”

So next time you walk down South University Avenue, step inside a flavorful boba world, waiting to quickly sweeten your taste buds and warm your heart.

Daily News Editor Roni Kane and Daily Staff Reporter Chen Lyu can be reached at and