First Look

So Cute it Hurts: 9 Rabbits Bakery, a Bunny-Themed Cafe for Boba Tea and Pastries

9 Rabbits Bakery and Boba House is a fetching addition to the Korean neighborhood along Royal Lane in northwest Dallas. With a sleek, light-filled interior, gigantic booths and an easygoing coffee shop vibe, it’s already a hit with students and work-from-home types. The pastries and boba tea in particular show signs of being terrific.

Why the rabbits in the name? Judging by the décor, it’s because rabbits are cute. There are a lot more than nine around 9 Rabbits, like the bunnies atop sugar dispenser lids, the rabbit statues on the coffee counter or the hare stenciled onto one wall. Playing “spot the rabbit” is a good game while you wait for your coffee or tea, if you can resist staring at the cakes in the dessert case.

9 Rabbits makes the boba tea bubbles fresh, every two hours or so. They can put them in a wide range of drinks, from not-too-sweet black tea to smoothies — sorry, “blendies” — in flavors like chocolate-banana and avocado. The red bean blendie is just right: not cloyingly sweet or hammeringly rich, but still a cool dessert drink for a summer’s day.
Pair your drink with a slice of pleasant matcha cake roll, or try your luck with the macarons. To my surprise, the first macaron I tasted — blueberry cheesecake — was so flawlessly baked and feather-light that it was one of the very best in Texas. My table ordered five more macaron flavors, including a honey pastry decorated to look like Winnie the Pooh. The mint chocolate macaron was another smash success, but some of the others were, alas, doughy and thick-tasting.

The 9 Rabbits team is close to getting macarons consistently right. With a little more testing, this spot could put the specialty macaron shops out of business.

There are signs that the bakery is still working through some growing pains — those extra-fresh boba bubbles were kind of chewy — but the spot is only about a month old and still beta-testing some menu items. 

There are a few more confections to try at 9 Rabbits, although the menu says they are available “at certain times” without saying when, exactly. Croffles are a croissant-waffle hybrid, like the “waffant” briefly served at Kate Weiser Chocolates. Waffant, by the way, is a better name; 9 Rabbits should consider naming its trademark pastry something that doesn't rhyme with “awful.”

9 Rabbits Bakery and Boba House, 2546 Royal Lane. (972) 243-4478, Open 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday
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Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart

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