Urban Ritual Boba Cafe Opens in Hayes Valley

by Teresa Hammerl | Hoodline

Photo: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline

On Tuesday, Urban Ritual opened its doors at 488 Fell St. (and Laguna) in the former Pisces Taiyaki Dessert and Papabubble space.

As we've reported, the cafe once operated as a pop-up inside Hawaiian eatery I'a Poke in the Design District before making the permanent move to its new location. The spot offers craft teas and boba "cocktails" made with loose-leaf teas and house-made syrups.

Customers can create their own $4.25 drinks by choosing a base like Earl Grey black or jasmine green tea, a milk option such as classic, pea or oat milk, and a desired level of sweetness. Toppings like honey boba, Aloe vera or lychee jelly can be added for 50 cents.

Photo: Urban Ritual/Instagram

Urban Ritual also offers some rather unusual specialty drinks from $4.75 to $5.25. Bacon My Heart comes with house-made candied bacon, while a creme brulee drink is served with honey boba.

"I like the demographic and the community in Hayes Valley," owner David Zhou said when we visited him at the new location. Zhou, who is currently hiring baristas, cashiers and kitchen help, said he plans to employ five to ten people.

Although workers painted and redecorated before moving in, most of the furniture was already there, he said.

According to city documents, a continuation of existing limited restaurant use was approved for the 1305-square-foot space with seating for eight customers.

Photo: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline

Until Sunday, May 13, Urban Ritual is offering a neighborhood discount; those who live in the area can take 20 percent off their entire order by mentioning "Hayes Valley Society" before checkout.

He also plans an opening party with new specials sometime in the near future, Zhou said, while adding that customers should check the cafe's Instagram account for updates.

Photo: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline

The opening party might also offer some coffee and small food options, but details are still being worked out.

Current soft opening hours are Monday to Sunday from 12pm to 8pm.