Bubble Island: Bubbling with potential


Today I am featuring a guest “restaurant” review by Jaimie Chapman, from Yes Mom and the Badger Herald. This is the first review of any non-alcohol serving eatery ever published on The Sconz.

Bubble Island: Located inside the University Square Food Court

(it’s by the bathrooms)


Kids packaging for an adult's drink.

It’ll catch on. Right now it’s clear that Bubble Island derives the majority of its clientele from Madison’s population of foreign exchange students. The place is undoubtedly itching for new customers. And they deserve them.

The rest of the University Square complex is nothing to ever go out of your way for, but Bubble Island is truly unique to Madison. It is unlike anything else in the downtown (or city-wide, for that matter) area.

Once you can get your straw through the plastic cover, you’re set. The straws are about a centimeter wide and the drinks are covered in plastic, so you have to punch the straw through the plastic fast (much like those little juice containers from hot lunch in high school).

The staff generally seems pretty bored, but is very polite and quick on their feet once they get a customer. They always ask me if I have a punch card and because they ask, I do have one and it is filling up quite nicely. Once in a while, they have someone walk around the food court with samples, which is a nice treat. Unfortunately, I did have a sample of (something) that I thought was far too sweet. The texture was too thick for my liking, more like a liquid medication than a blended drink. Perhaps it had been sitting a while?

Despite the bad sample, some of their drinks are delicious. “The Millionaire,” for example, is a blended apple drink. The flavor was clean and fresh and not too sweet at all. I did receive different shaped and colored “bubbles” the two times that I ordered this drink. The first were round and red and the second were more oval and clear. The second set of bubbles was much more difficult to suck through the straw – but I managed. Overall, the drink is refreshing and unlike a smoothie, is nice and icy.

No doubt, the most popular beverage on their menu is the “Classic Milk Tea.” Black tea, sugar and milk blended together and served with colored bubbles, the drink is really fun. Though it is tea, the sugar makes it slightly sweet and floral. It gave me the caffeine satisfaction of coffee without the stained teeth feeling I get from a latte. The best part was that the menu priced it a little higher than 3 dollars and really, it was only $2 for a medium. For $2, it is at least worth a try, but I will definitely be ordering it again.

Bubble Island isn’t just drinks. They also have frozen yogurt, which you can hardly find downtown. They have vanilla and mango and plenty of yummy fruit toppings and some exciting finds- Fruity Pebbles and Captain Crunch!

In an effort to create a fun hang-out atmosphere at the new complex, Bubble Island has a nice shelf of a variety of board games, including Apples to Apples and Pictionary Man. I spend my time at U-Square studying, but if I had a buddy at lunch, I might consider pulling one of them out.

The drink consistency is a little annoying, but once they get that under control, Bubble Island clientele should be growing in no time.

7 Responses to “Bubble Island: Bubbling with potential”

  1. Joe Says:


    What is bubble tea though? Is it that popular? Does it deserve its own establishment?

  2. Jaimie Chapman Says:


    Bubble tea.. hard to describe, but basically it’s tea with little bubble-shaped chewy balls. The tea is a milk tea, classically, which means it has milk and sugar so it doesn’t taste like just tea. It’s an Asian-inspired thing. It’s a chain. I’d say that it wouldn’t fit in many other places.

  3. Jason Smathers Says:

    Nam’s serves it. Good stuff.

  4. Ordinary Jill Says:

    I think the “bubbles” are tapioca. If you find it difficult to force the straw through the foil, try putting your thumb over the top so the air can’t escape (that will increase the force hitting the foil).

  5. Jason Says:

    Wasn’t this supposed to be the next big thing 7 or 8 years ago? I was actually suprised to see a new place serving nothing but the stuff opening up at this stage in the game.

  6. maria Says:

    no se de que hablann

  7. tybee island vacation rentals Says:

    tybee island vacation rentals…

    […]Bubble Island: Bubbling with potential « The Sconz[…]…

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