During my recent trip to Chicago, I discovered something mind-blowing. Turns out, the city is home to the world’s largest Starbucks, and guess who just had to check it out? Yep, me!
My tryst with coffee began in Bengaluru, savouring that delicious filter Kaapi that felt like a warm hug. Every Sunday morning walks followed by a Masala Dose and a hot cup of filter kaapi. But my coffee journey took some interesting turns last year. I got hooked on cold brews, and ever since I’ve tried a lot of them, some at home and some at cafes in Hyderabad.
In this blog post, I’ll share my experience of being inside the world’s largest Starbucks Reserve Roastery which is in Chicago
Starbucks Reserve Roastery – What It Is?
Starbucks (at least in India) is regarded as a premium coffee place. However, the whole “Starbucks Reserve” concept started in 2010 for Starbucks to compete with other international coffee brands. Along with that they also wanted to craft a unique coffee experience.
There are different types of Reserve stores, “Reserve Roastery”, “Reserve Bar” & “Reserve Store”. The roasteries are huge spaces targeted to offer a coffee journey and an experience. Currently, there are only 6 of them in the world – Seattle, Shanghai, Milan, New York City, Tokyo and Chicago. While the plan was to set up more than 20 outlets, the one in Chicago was the last.
Located on Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile, Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago is the world’s largest Starbucks.
Touring The Largest Starbucks In The World
Walking down the bustling streets of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago on a Sunday, I stumbled upon a Starbucks unlike any other. Its sheer size caught my eye, prompting a quick Google search that revealed its prestigious title—the largest Starbucks Reserve Roastery in the world! I tried to get in, but there was a huge queue and the waiting time was over 30 minutes for that day. So I decided to come back again some other day.
The five-storey roastery is the largest Starbucks in the world. Each floor was a universe of its own. The ground floor, the Reserve Coffee Bar, treated me to handcrafted brews and shelves lined with carefully roasted coffee beans, each with its unique story and aroma. Ascending to the second floor, Princi Bakery and Cafe, my senses were greeted by the scent of freshly baked pastries and artisanal pizzas, tempting me to indulge.
The third floor, the Experiential Coffee Bar, was a lively hub where coffee enthusiasts engaged in brewing experiences and friendly coffee flights, sharing their passion for the perfect cup. Then came the fourth floor—a chic cocktail bar boasting some amazing coffee gifting options.
And as if this roastery couldn’t get any better, the crown jewel awaited atop—the fifth-floor rooftop. From this vantage point, overlooking the bustling Michigan Avenue, one can savour coffee while relishing panoramic views of Michigan Avenue.
My Coffee Experience At Starbucks
I spent close to 30 minutes going from ground 0 to the fifth floor, and as I mentioned, every floor has something unique on offer. Since I was here around lunch (plus it was the world’s largest Starbucks) I had to eat something. I realised that most foodstuff is available on the 2nd floor, the Princi cafe.
But unfortunately, there wasn’t much on offer for vegetarians 🙁 They have a QR code menu which has a lot of items, but most of them lack what it is made up of. So I had to take photos of the dishes on display and ask at the counter if the item was vegetarian. One of the two things that I wanted was Radicchio & Pancetta Pizza which turned out to be meat. Eventually, I settled for a Margarita Slice and a Starbucks Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew.
The Margarita was well margarita, it was just how it’s supposed to be. It wasn’t a thin crust and I’m glad it wasn’t. The sauce was also pretty good, but again I would have surely loved to try something else. The Oleato Golden Foam was my first time and it was smoooooth! It’s a classic cold brew with Olive-oil infused sweet cream golden foam. It was my first time and I loved it. As I said it was very balanced and very smooth. If I get it anywhere else, I’d surely buy it again.
A Cafe To Experience
I can’t help but emphasize what an absolute gem this place is for coffee enthusiasts and city explorers alike. It’s not just a cafe; it’s an experience that transcends the ordinary. To anyone planning a trip to Chicago, I wholeheartedly recommend adding this stellar destination to your itinerary.
Stroll through Millennium Park, indulging in some retail therapy along the Magnificent Mile, and capping it off with a visit to this extraordinary Starbucks Reserve Roastery. In terms of price, this is slightly costly when the coffee is almost $10 and the pizza slice is $9.
It’s an experience that’ll linger in your memory long after the last sip of coffee. The blend of exquisite flavours, the vibrant energy, and the panoramic views make it an absolute must-visit. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado, a traveller seeking unique experiences, or simply someone looking to bask in Chicago’s charm, this colossal Starbucks promises an adventure unlike any other