bubble tea, octopus, and fried chicken

I’m years behind the curve on this one, but I’m now officially in love with Vivi Bubble Tea. Even if you’ve never been, you’ve probably noticed it while strolling down Bayard Street in Chinatown, with the big Homer Simpson statue out front. I like Vivi so much, I’m going to go a little crazy with this post.

The entire place is not much bigger than a walk-in closet, and it’s usually packed to the limit, but don’t let that scare you away. Grab a stool if you can, or take your food to go. There’s a big bubble tea menu, which is pretty standard stuff (but yummy). The food menu is where the real action is at, even if they have no more than six or so choices. Now it’s photo montage time.

I told you about the Japanese girls at the counter with their trucker hats, right? Now back to the food. I mentioned there aren’t a whole lot of choices, but when you do a few things this well, it’s about quality over quantity. Add to that, the prices are dirt cheap.

I’m already a fan of takoyaki, those crazy octopus balls with the bonito flakes and various Japanese sauces on top. The toppings of course remind me of okonomiyaki. Even if you’ve tried takoyaki elsewhere, you really owe it to yourself to try it at Vivi. Perfect toothpick food.

Speaking of toothpick food, no visit to Vivi would be complete without trying the popcorn chicken. I know it might not sound incredible, but trust me… it is. I opted for the “spicy,” and I’ll be back to try all of the flavors. What’s so good about the chicken? The coating of course? It’s fried just right, and thus it’s the perfect snack food. You can take your little sack with you and eat it while you stroll. The price of $2.99 makes them even more irresistible. I could eat this every day.

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