Garden Grove, California is the Boba Capital of the US

Garden Grove, California is the Boba Capital of the US

Scraping Yelp Data for 300+ American Cities to Understand Bubble Tea’s Popularity. Garden Grove — a city of just over 170,000 people situated 35 miles south of Los Angeles.

Garden Grove — a city of just over 170,000 people situated 35 miles south of Los Angeles — is the Boba Capital of the United States. As of July 2020, the city had a total of 33 boba shops, or one store per 5,200 residents of the city.

To put this into perspective — as of June 2020, there were 15.3k Starbucks stores in the United States, serving nearly 330 million Americans, or one Starbucks store for every 21.5k Americans. This means that Garden Grove has more than four times as many boba shops per resident as there are Starbucks stores per person in the US.

That being said, how do other US cities rank compared to Garden Grove? Here’s a sneak peek:

  • *Most boba shops per resident: *Garden Grove, CA
  • *Highest boba shop density: *San Francisco, CA
  • *Highest Yelp ratings: *Charleston, SC

But first… where is this data from?

I used two datasets:

  1. *American city dataset: *For this, I used Wikipedia’s List of United States cities by population_, _which lists 317 of America’s most populous cities using 2019 Census estimates. All cities in this list have a population of over 100,000 people. The cities are plotted in the map below:

    Image for post

2. Boba store dataset: Once I have the list of cities above, I use Yelp’s API to loop through all of the cities. The process of collecting the data ended up being pretty quick — I was able to gather the data of 4,200 boba stores in just under three minutes.

To see what this process looks like for a single city, let’s use San Francisco as an example. If I were interested in finding boba shops in/near San Francisco I would send an API request to return all boba shops _(Yelp has a category called “bubbletea” that I used) _within a 25 mile radius of the center of the city. Rinse and repeat for the remaining 316 cities in my list.

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