NYC Starbucks: 69th & 1st

6 Jan


If the Starbucks of NYC truly do reflect their respective neighborhoods, then this Starbucks wants you to know that the Upper East Side is clean, calm, and collected. It is without a doubt one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city, and with that comes a certain reservedness that the rest of NYC seems to lack. So don’t go acting a fool in the Upper East Side.

In my (limited BUT growing) experience, the further East you go from Central Park the less prudish the area becomes. The park exudes abundance, so way over here on 1st Avenue you can still grab a cup of coffee without your pearls.

Speaking of coffee…

This is the type Starbucks you bring a book to. Leave that friend or significant other at home; you’ve earned some time to yourself.

The lounge is partitioned away from the coffee-bar and is equipped with bar seating, a long study table, and a cushioned bench and tables for two. Although the space is not that big, it never seems to fill up. Those who occupy the seats are reading the New York Times, glued to laptops (like yours truly), or cracking open a textbook. A library-esque quietness resides here which, suffocating to some, can also provide the perfect work environment to others. The brewing of coffee and the light clitter-clatter of dishes provide the perfect amount of aroma and background noise for reading that trashy magazine or writing the greatest thesis the world has ever seen.

The Good:

Cleanliness… This is probably one of the cleanest locations I’ve been to. Although it may be a trick-of-light caused by the more modern furnishings.

Seat & Outlet Availability… I come to this one when I’m in the area because I’ve never had to wait to seat.

The Bad:

The Location… It’s a little off the beaten path from any trains. But then again, that’s 1st Ave for you.

Restroom… Just one for both Men & Women (typical NYC Starbucks).

Barista Friendliness:

Nothing to complain about. Nothing to brag about.


Drink of Choice: 

Grande Vanilla Spice Latte. It’s the latest addition to the Starbucks family, and it was… interesting. Sprinkled spices, ginger, and crushed vanilla bean lay atop a traditional vanilla latte. At first I was like “W-T-F is in my mouth!” and then as the spices blended the drink turned itself around. Give it a try!


Overall Starbucks Rating:

Come sit down and relax, but for God’s sake be quiet!



8 Responses to “NYC Starbucks: 69th & 1st”

  1. SeattlezBestz January 8, 2013 at 1:49 AM #

    Maaaan this mission you are on is completely and utterly whack. Truly one of the lamest things one could do, you have become the champion of the useless, corporate transplant clones that have come to infest this city. Don’t you realize that New York used to be a place that CELEBRATED diversity and was the ultimate escape from the homogeneity that pervades almost every other urban and suburban area in the country? And now, we have people like you here, CELEBRATING a chain that has already infiltrated this city through and through! HA! If I didn’t see fools like you every day the irony would be almost too hard to believe. Here’s a neat idea, and it will save you quite a bit of time from your plans to dissect the differences depending on a Starbucks’ location (HINT: THERE ARE NO REAL DIFFERENCES, THEY ARE ALL THE SAME), why don’t you wander about the city and do a profile of the quickly diminishing stock of independent coffee houses? Doesn’t that sound more interesting? I mean shouldn’t it? Damn, people like you really just blow me away. I mean Starbucks has to be paying you to do this, right? What sane person would…

    • Nadine Walford January 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM #

      So why are you so mad? Clearly someone spit in your drink there for you to write a such a long message to someone who is doing something to entertain us and supply his caffine addiction.

  2. Sam January 8, 2013 at 8:19 AM #

    No offense but I think you’re a little off on the characterization of this neighborhood. This far east is not really “UES” in character. It most certainly isn’t one of the most expensive areas of the city. ( you need to be over west of lex or 3rd for that) First ave in this area is really dominated by the hospital crowd with NY hospital and Sloan Kettering (& a few others) located right there. This Starbucks very well may have people working on a thesis with many grad and medical students in the area.

    For a better example of a UES Starbucks, try the one on 3rd and 66th. You should be able to tell a palpable difference.

    • Harlequin Boy January 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM #

      Hey Sam, it’s funny I was originally planning on hitting up the 66th/3rd location before deciding on this one. And you’re totally right, how could I leave out the medical crowd of the area? I think I was in a decidedly UES state of mind when writing this one.

  3. Sarah January 8, 2013 at 11:09 PM #

    Ugh this is even worse than i thought. @seattlezbestz is 100% right. Not sure how describing a CHAIN, in which each store is EXACTLY THE SAME because it is a CORPORATE CHAIN is supposed to be insightful. The uniqueness and authenticity of each nyc neighborhood couldn’t have less to do with sbux. I cringe each time i see one encroach on a new area. At least it helps avoid tourists, i guess.

  4. starbucks barista January 8, 2013 at 11:48 PM #

    without the topping it still wouldn’t be a regular vanilla latte, the flavor syrup is vanilla spice too – just saying

  5. ML Devitt January 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM #

    If you are looking for the best maintained Starbucks in Manhattan, 69th and First is the one.


  1. 66th & 3rd « Starbucks and the City - January 28, 2013

    […] corner of 66th and 3rd. Back in the Upper East Side again, this Starbucks is starkly different then the location on 69th and 1st that I visited previously. Whereas the other location was an excellent spot to sit and read or […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: