NYC Starbucks: 34th & 5th

17 Jan


Everybody has heard of the Empire State Building — but how many of you are familiar with the Starbucks at the base?

Yes, Starbucks has even infiltrated one of the most grand and iconic structures located in Midtown Manhattan.

Midtown certainly wins the award for most congested neighborhood in the city. Blending tourism with the white-collar workday, the Midtown foot traffic is enough to turn even the most tranquil person into a maniac. My daily trek through Midtown often reminds me of my old days of driving on I-4 in Florida: zigzagging and weaving through the slower traffic to get where I need to go.

This particular stretch of 34th Street houses some of the biggest retail flagships, from Aldo to Zara, and just a block away from Herald Square and Penn Station. But luckily, this Starbucks comes fully prepared to tackle the enormous crowds that the tourist sites of midtown bring. A split-level cafe, this location offers plenty of room for those just passing through or those looking for a seat. A passerby can get in and get out, while someone looking to take a seat need only to walk down to the lower-level. There exists the largest seating area I’ve seen at any Starbucks to date.

It is also noteworthy that this is the first location that has a revolving door to help control the masses of in-comers and out-goers. Also, two gender-specific bathrooms and an army of baristas help quell the lines that would otherwise force themselves out the door and into the street.

So — if you can cut through the masses of people outside — this is a promising Starbucks to utilize.

The Good:

The Size… A split level with plenty of seats.

The Hours… Open til 11 on weekdays and 12 on Fri/Sat.

The Location… If you can stand the crowds, its a great area to shop in.

The Bad:

The Crowd… Lots and lots of tourists — that’s midtown for ya though.

Barista Friendliness:

What can I say? I’m a sucker for a barista that asks for my name.


Drink of Choice: 

Grande-Very-Berry-Hibiscus-Refresher — One of the latest additions to the Starbucks Family. These fruity drinks utilize “green coffee-extract” to give the caffeine junkie their daily fix without the taste of traditional coffee. Personally, I happen to be a fan of traditional roasted coffee, but the drink is still an enticing concept.


Overall Starbucks Rating:

The downstairs seating area makes this a grand location indeed.



4 Responses to “NYC Starbucks: 34th & 5th”

  1. Rosie January 21, 2013 at 2:30 AM #

    I’m so disappointed in the refreshers.

  2. heysugarsugar January 26, 2013 at 8:42 PM #

    Another Starbucks I like to go to when I visit NYC 🙂

    • Brian March 22, 2013 at 8:13 PM #

      For a Starbucks that is probably considered the flagship store of all of NYC, I received the worst service ever at this location. The Barista who took my order copped a huge attitude and never uttered a word to me. When I asked to speak with the manager on duty about her, I was told they wouldn’t be in until later in the morning. This was at 7:00 AM on a weekday! I emailed Starbucks and they sent me a few free beverage coupons. While I do expect a modest amount of indifference out of your typical NYC resident whenever I visit, this Barista was just a little over the top.


  1. 60th & Broadway « Starbucks and the City - January 28, 2013

    […] Unlike the Starbucks on 34th and 5th that was well equipped to handle the masses, this Starbucks seems to buckle under the pressure. As I walked in this evening, I was greeted by a sea of people waiting around — either waiting to order, waiting to sit, waiting on their drinks, or waiting for the bathroom. Everyone seemed to be placed in a public purgatory — neither coming nor going. The baristas did not seem to move with any sense of urgency brought on by the waiting crowds, and the drinks seemed to be simply tossed onto the bar for the masses to figure out — causing unnecessary confusion. The man directly behind me in line actually commented outloud: “This Starbucks is the worst one.” […]

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