The Village’s Newest Sweet Tooth Oasis: Nobibi


Juliette Des Rosiers ’26
Copy Editor

Move over, I Like Pie! A new dessert place has opened just around the corner and should be moved straight to the top of your ‘Sweet Treats Near Me’ list. Nobibi is an Asian-owned, woman-owned, family-owned chain located across Southern California that serves creative, sharable soft-serve, coffee, and tea-based desserts. The frozen treat eatery began out of the kitchen of co-founder Shirley Shinn and, joined by co-founder Tyna Tran, opened its first storefront location in Chino Hills during the pandemic.

Stroll down North Indian Hill Boulevard and into the Claremont Village to find Nobibi tucked into the corner of the plaza holding the Laemmle Claremont 5 movie theater. From the pink neon sign to pink heart-shaped spoons, Nobibi is serving aesthetics. Though the seating is minimal, the small tables create a casual vibe conducive to a witty catch-up with friends or a quick stop while on a walk in the Southern California sunshine.

Starting strong, Nobibi will not leave you hungry. The servings of ice cream in their four soft-serve cups toe the line between satisfying and overflowing. I recommend it be shared between two friends since I struggled to finish my Strawberry Blush Cup before it melted into ice cream soup. Inadvertently, this promotes Nobibi’s value of connection as sharing encourages a cozy chat with a friend over a delicious frozen dessert.

The Strawberry Blush Cup is the soft-serve of your choice (I went with the default vanilla flavor), topped with clear crystal boba, fresh strawberries, strawberry syrup, strawberry sprinkles, and strawberry Pocky sticks. Surprisingly, the dessert was not a strawberry flavor overload. Instead, the strawberry flavor was refreshing and, if anything, became too subtle as the syrup mixed into the soft-serve. However, if you are looking for a switch-up from the rich ice cream of Bert & Rocky’s, you should opt for a Strawberry Blush Cup for a light, summery sweet.

Additionally, I tried two variations of the Red Bean & Taro Cup: one with the default vanilla soft-serve and one with mango. Although the mango ice cream had the delightfully nostalgic flavor of mango yogurt candy, the vanilla ice cream was definitely the way to go. The combination of the vanilla ice cream with the layers of taro paste and red bean blended into a seamless, delicious, extremely-loving marriage of flavors in each spoonful.

The smooth texture of both soft-serve cups was only interrupted by the layer of cornflake cereal at the bottom of the dessert. The crunchy texture was appreciated, but the introduction of the cornflakes confused my palate. The flavor of the cereal immediately overshadowed the lighter, fruity flavors in the dessert and seemed almost savory. Though I applaud the architecture of the dessert that kept the cornflakes surprisingly crunchy throughout the dining experience, I cannot say I appreciated the out-of-the-box addition as much as the dessert developers intended.

The star of the show was hands down the Brown Sugar Boba cup where vanilla soft serve is doused in brown sugar syrup with a brown sugar tapioca boba snuggled into the ice cream. As someone who normally picks the 50% sugar option in my regular boba order, I was pleasantly surprised that this dessert did not feel like a sugar overload. Rather, the vanilla ice cream mellowed out the usual sweetness of the syrup by redistributing the sugar throughout the dish. Therefore, I highly recommend the dining practices of Alyssa Wend ’24 and advise diners to purposefully mix the syrup into the soft serve for equitable brown sugar distribution in each bite.

Additionally, this time, the layer of cornflakes at the bottom of the cup balanced the textures of the dessert, providing a crunch mixed into the soft ice cream and chewy boba. Unlike the other desserts, the cornflake flavor was not distracting. Instead, the cereal was coated in the sticky brown sugar syrup and fooled my tastebuds into thinking they were savoring the crackling, burnt sugar topping of a creme brulee.

When I return, I look forward to trying some of the more eye-catching desserts such as the gold leaf-wrapped D’Or ice cream, black Ninja soft-serve, and Cloud ice creams swaddled in fluffy, ombre cotton candy. Open every day until 9 p.m. and offering a 10% student discount (and a 15% student discount during finals week!), Nobibi should be your number-one place for desserts that are just as unique as you!

Photo Courtesy of Ellen Hu ’24

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