Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago - Is it Worth the Wait?

Calling all Starbucks lovers! I’m sure you all have heard the great news. The world’s largest Starbucks is now open in Chicago! This Starbucks Reserve Roastery opened on Friday November 15th, and I was lucky enough to check it out on that very day. This is one of the few locations in the world. There are also Starbucks Reserves in Seattle, Shanghai, New York, Tokyo, and Milano. I’m here to spill the tea (or coffee) and let you know if it was over hyped or not. 

I didn’t comprehend how big of a deal this was until I got there. That being said, I had to wait in a long line that looped all the way around the block for a solid hour. People passing by were taking videos and pictures of it. I felt a little bit judged when someone asked, “What are you waiting in line for?” And I had to reply, “Starbucks.” Those people were obviously not starbs lovers if they weren't aware of this historical grand opening. 

One of the first things I noticed was the employees’ “uniforms”. The employees outside had “Starbucks Reserve Roastery” windbreakers and beanies on. (The beanies are on sale in the gift shop FYI). On each floor there was a slightly different aesthetic for the employees working there. From their shoes to their hats, they all matched the theme of the floor, and each other. 


When I finally got inside, the greeter instructed us to make our way up to the fourth floor and work our way down. I heard that this was one of the only places in the Midwest with a curved escalator, so I was excited for that. However, there is only a curved one going from the first to the second floor. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t go all the way up. 

So here we are, on the fourth floor. Welcome to the Riviamo Cocktail Bar! Yes, this Starbucks has a real bar. While it was too early to get a drink for myself, there were some people enjoying a drink. If I wasn’t on a college-student budget, I would have tried something on each floor. The fourth floor felt a lot more relaxed than the rest, and definitely gave off more “evening” vibes. I was impressed by the menu and how they were able to create drinks with tea and coffee in so many creative ways.

Next I made my way down to the Experiential Coffee Bar, which was my favorite floor. The third floor had unique coffee drinks and pastries from their French bakery on the floor below. HOWEVER, they also had home-made nitrogen infused gelato, nitrogen infused coffee, gelato and cold-brew FLOATS, and even more. 

I wanted to order something I wouldn’t normally try, so I got a pistachio latte. It was to die for. The perfect amount of sweet and creamy with tart orange peel shavings on top. It was a bit filling with the pastry I got with it, so maybe next time I would get a tall size instead of grande. The only flaw this floor had was not enough seating, but I know it was the opening day and extremely busy. 


Speaking of seating, there was plenty on the second floor, which I found out too late. If you’ve ever wanted to go to France, the third floor has Princi Bakery. So you get a little taste of France, at least! This is their full blown bakery that supplies baked goods for all the other floors that serve it. This floor as well as the third floor also serves food like sandwiches, paninis, and pizza. Everyone appeared to be enjoying their food and drinks.  I got a Tirolese, which was a raspberry jam filled tart with almond flakes on top. Absolutely delicious. 

Last but not least, the 1st floor, which is the Reserve Coffee Bar. If you passed up your many other chances to get a drink or treat on the previous floors, here is your last chance! On this floor, they also have THE roaster that is responsible for the espresso and coffee in the whole building. There are employees there to answer questions and pose for pictures if you want! There is also a gift shop and a place to buy coffee beans to make your own coffee at home. 

Of course, I had to get something! I got this adorable unique mug that says “Starbucks Reserve Roastery” on it. It was hard to choose just one thing. They had different mugs, travel mugs, large coffee holders, espresso glasses, and accessories with the logo or building on it. Everything was so cute, but like I said, I’m on a college student budget and had to pick one. 

At the end of my visit, I felt like the one hour wait in the cold was worth it. I had a great experience there. I have to give credit to the amazing starbucks workers. They had such positive attitudes and went out of their way to say hello. You could spend a whole day in this Starbucks starting with breakfast, getting lunch and ending the day with a few cocktails at the Arriviamo. I think the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago will definitely earn a spot on the top tourist destinations list. If you want to get more of an inside look at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, click here to watch my video on it!