So I’m playing a little bit of catch up for the month of November and just couldn’t help but knock out two Upper East Side Starbucks in the same day. After all, they are only three blocks away from each other and on the same avenue. All I had to do was walk three streets down on Lexington from the Starbucks on 87th street to the one on 85th.
Although these stores are so close, this Starbucks is technically outside the border of the Carnegie Hills sub-neighborhood that its sister store belongs to. What separates them is a train station and the crowded shopping area on 86th street.
The 85th street Starbucks is about half the size of its counterpart with a third of the crowd. It’s L-shaped with the barista bar near the entrance and some extra seating and the restroom located on the north side. I also spotted a large stack of Starbucks boxes with red stickers labeled “NO PEEKING.” This is probably the third time I’ve noticed these boxes at various locations across the city, and now I’m a little curious as to what exactly they are. My best guess is they are extra inventory during the holiday season, and the labels are just a clever way to keep them in the stores without them becoming an eye sore. Pure speculation, though.
The Location… Just south of one of the few 4/5/6 stations in the Upper East Side and very close to a small retail patch — almost like a mini Herald Square.
The Crowd… Not as crowded as the Starbucks two blocks north. So even though it’s smaller, you’re probably more likely to find a seat here.
The Size… Smaller than its sister store to the north.
The Restroom… Just the one.
Drink of Choice:
Venti Skinny Peppermint Mocha… It’s funny but I still prefer this drink iced, even when it’s cold outside. The hot version is not bad though.
Overall Starbucks Rating:
A smaller alternative Starbucks near 86th street on the Upper East Side.