An Honest Review of Chi-Tea


Safia Khan

Sprinkled across many Instagram feeds, Chi Tea’s photo backdrop is one of the first things you see when you walk in the store.

You’ve probably heard of the famed burgers and boba joint taking suburban Lombard by storm. Often recommended and immensely hyped, Chi-Tea is the spot to grab a burger and boba drink. It’s not hard to see why the famed restaurant is so popular — it is one of the few in the Lombard area to offer zabiha halal foods and a variety of boba drink flavors. With all the buzz surrounding the restaurant, many (including myself) have high expectations for the restaurant.

Infographic by Zaynab Rehman


According to, Lombard, IL has a Muslim population of 72% of people. As a Lombard resident who consumes halal, I can confidently say that despite having many Muslims in the area, there aren’t many places that cater to them and have affordable, halal food. According to Chi-Tea’s About Us statement, their mission is to “[provide] gourmet style food, fries and a large assortment of bubble tea drinks”.

So, I wasn’t expecting their boba to be so horrible. Unfortunately, (and I mean this in the worst way possible) you can tell their boba pearls are house made. They either clump together in a gummy mess, are barely cooked and raw, or are too big to drink with a straw. I’ve gotten bubble tea from there about five times already, and I’ve never had a good experience with it. Priced at $4.25 for a “regular” and $5.25 for a large, a drink that expensive should not be one that I have to peel off the top and eat the pearls separately with a spoon. While they have a wide variety of drink flavors to choose from, the quality of their boba pearls is very inconsistent. 

To their credit, they have a variety of drinks which are tasty. However, I don’t recommend getting bubble tea from Chi-Tea; if you do, my recommendation is the Taro and Horchata drink flavors.

As for the burgers and fries, I’ve only tried the “Big Bird” and it is amazing. The “Big Bird” is probably the best burger I’ve tried, featuring a perfectly cooked and thick piece of chicken and a slightly spicy yet crispy coating. It tastes kind of similar to Nashville hot chicken, without the mess. As for the fries, although I’ve never tried them, I’ve heard that they are soggy and limp.

If you choose to stop by Chi-Tea, I would recommend getting the “Big Bird” and nothing else. The bubble tea is subpar and overpriced, the fries are soggy, and it is simply not worth it. I would recommend that you get bubble tea from the nearby Chill Bubble Tea in Yorktown Mall to satisfy your boba cravings.