We Toured The Largest Starbucks In The World—Here's What It's Like Inside

Madison Flager

From Delish

It's finally here! After years of anticipation, Starbucks' sixth Reserve Roastery and third in the U.S. opened its doors in Chicago on Friday, 15 November. Located in the massive former Crate and Barrel building (it covers 35,000 square feet!), the coffee playground takes over an entire corner on Magnificent Mile and houses five stories of coffee, pastries, pizza, sandwiches, cocktails, tasting flights, merchandise, and more.

Delish got to take a sneak peek Tuesday at a media preview and let me tell you—it did not disappoint. Below, everything you can expect to find inside the world's biggest Starbucks.

Floor One

Photo credit: Connor Surdi

The second you walk in, you're greeted with the smell of coffee. About 20 feet from the entrance, coffee beans are being cooled, and to your left, there's a full bean scooping bar where you can take home Starbucks coffee beans. All the beans roasted at this Reserve are either used in the store or are sold at this bar!

The first floor is also home to a coffee to-go bar and an assortment of Princi Bakery bites—to note, you won't find Starbucks classics like cake pops or seasonal lattes on the menu here (but fear not, there's a standard Starbucks a block away, should the mood strike).

Floor Two

Photo credit: MATT GLAC

Step onto the cool curved escalator—the first in the midwest!—and you'll be greeted by a massive Princi Bakery. This is the Princi headquarters, so to speak, with a conveyor belt bringing food and baked goods from this floor, where everything is made, to the first and third floors. Rocco Princi serves as the food purveyor for all Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, so if you've been to any of the other locations, you may recognise some of his food.

There are cornetti (Italian croissants) galore, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, cakes, cinnamon rolls, pizzas, salads, and gelato made with liquid nitrogen. That last menu item can only be found in Chicago's Roastery, BTW. There's also plenty of seating and lots of light, and, of course, the golden cask that acts as a centrepiece of all four main floors and physically transports coffee beans through all the stages of roasting.

Floor Three

Photo credit: Connor Surdi

Coffee nerds, this floor is for you. The floor's main coffee bar looks like a science experiment, TBH, and is where baristas brew coffee using machines like a siphon and Chemex. They're happy to talk to you about the different brewing methods—there are seven used throughout the store—and can pour you a flight of coffee or set up a coffee and chocolate pairing.

This floor is also home to the siren mural painted by local Chicago artist David Anthony Geary. There's one in every Roastery, and this one floats between the third and fourth floors.

Floor Four

Photo credit: MATT GLAC

Anddd here's where the cocktails come in! On the fourth floor, guests can visit Arriviamo, a bar that's name translates to "we have arrived." The bar serves wine, beer, and cocktails, including a list of signature Chicago drinks with names like the Union Stock and Lake Shore created by three local mixologists. Other featured drinks include a mix of favourites from the five other Roasteries and the Roastery Old Fashioned, made with Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew, Iwai Tradition Whisky, Amaro del Capo, New York maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar.

Given that there's a whole floor dedicated to it (though there is a merchandise section and a barrel aged coffee bar, too), it feels bigger than Seattle and New York's bars, with more seating nearby to sip on your espresso martini and take in the view.

Floor Five

Photo credit: Starbucks

The only floor we didn't visit was the very top—it's home to a rooftop terrace that will be open seasonally; naturally, during Chicago's winter, it's closed. During spring and summer, it'll surely be a popular spot to sip on a drink and 'gram your stuffed cornetti.