NYC Starbucks: 21st & 5th

3 Apr


I walked into the Starbucks on 21st and 5th today, and half expected a hostess to show me to my table. Then I had to remind myself that this is simply another Starbucks.

It was the decor that tricked me. A small area is set up in the front (almost resembling a waiting area), and beyond that a larger seating area is revealed under the light of a chandelier. This combined with the light music and framed photographer made me second-guess my place and time. If Starbucks were to open up an high end tea house, it would resemble this location.

Now there’s an idea. A sit down Starbucks. Imagine walking in — or even calling ahead! — to get a seat at the Starbucks Lounge. They’d serve coffee table-side and have made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, food platters, and pastries. It would definitely take Starbucks to the next level and separate them from the McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts of the world. Of course if they were to ever do anything like this, they’d need one in New York and one in Seattle as the flagship store.

The Good:

The Size… It has a front area to contain the line, a side room for seating, and a back bar.

The Seating… Comfy chairs, work tables, and an extended barista bar equipped with stools.

The Decor… Fancy! — A chandelier rests above a carpeted side area that looks like it was taken right out of somebody’s living room.

The Restrooms… Two gender-neutral restrooms.

The Bad:

The Line… It get’s hit with a heavy crowd (especially rush hour), but luckily it’s contained to the front area.

The Location… A little hidden. Off of 5th avenue, between Madison Square Park and Union Square.

Barista Friendliness:

On par service.


Drink of Choice: 

Grande Iced Coffee.


Overall Starbucks Rating:

Cafe meet tea room at this Starbucks location.



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