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Does Starbucks make any good food?

I have a Starbucks giftcard and am not fond of their coffee. Since food is far more useful for me, do they make anything that's delicious? I've heard lots of complaints about their now-discontinued breakfast sandwiches.

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  1. Delicious? No. Decent for a quick and easy? Definitely.

    My husband's old roommate worked at Starbucks and would take home sandwiches and salads all the time. They were always pretty good. I was also a big fan of the cheese and fruit plate.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jessicheese

      Oh, and they have these chocolate covered graham crackers at the check out line that are awesome.

    2. If I'm getting anything to snack on at Starbucks it's usually only one of 2 items: the cheese and fruit plate (though they keep it too cold and you should let it come to room temp a bit) and their lemon cake (like a lemon pound cake with lemon icing). I'm not a big fan of most of their other items.

      1. no the food isn't that great, however with the gift card you could buy books, cd's, gift sets, journals and dvd's! lots of options besides food. Also check out the trail mix' at the front of the line by the register.

        1. I happen to love their egg salad sandwiches. The egg salad is on the chunky side, and the bread is very good as well.

          1. Before this thread gets too long, take into account that the food at Starbucks varies greatly by region. It might be helpful to narrow down your location. Unfortunately, the sandwiches, bakery, etc. at the Starbucks in my area (MSP) are much poorer quality and more limited in variety than other locations I've visited (DFW, Las Vegas, and Denver most recently).

            2 Replies
            1. re: MSPD

              I was just going to ask where all of you live, because we don't have anything resembling a cheese and fruit plate or egg salad sandwiches near me! Wish we did!

              I do, however, love the cinnamon chip scone. Yum.

              1. re: Suzy Q

                I live in Scottsdale, AZ. I've seen the egg salad sandwiches at all of our local Starbucks.

            2. I would skip the food entirely because it's overpriced, and outsourced anyway, and use the gift card for drinks OTHER than coffee which they have PLENTY of.
              How about tea?
              Hot chocolate?
              Soymilk hot chocolate?
              Hot cider with the butter flavor? (yummmmmm)
              They have slushy frozen (non coffee) fruit drinks at some

              P.s. - you can also re-gift the card to someone who would like it. I did this with one I got last year. I'm not a coffee drinker at all, and I don't really go to any of the coffee places unless it's for the cider, or hot chocolate which is a rarity.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gordeaux

                I agree. The food is meh at best in our region of MD/PA.
                Plenty of non-coffee drinks to choose from as well as mugs, travel cups and the like.
                Why not regift? SO does this all the time.

              2. In Toronto, no No NO. It is almost all really bad in some way or other. I can't speak for any other locale, and YMMV.

                1 Reply
                1. re: embee

                  They sell individual tubs of flavoured Liberté yogurt at Starbucks in Toronto now. (I don't eat or drink anything there but get dragged in from time to time by colleagues and have therefore noticed it.) It is probably egregiously overpriced, but it is also probably the only remotely tasty thing in the place.

                2. mmmm mmm caramel apple bear claw and strawberry rhubarb turnover. pasteries are somehow rediculously addictive

                  1. Some of the best blueberry scones i've ever had were from the Starbucks in the Anaheim Hilton. Never seen them anywhrere else.

                    If you don't like coffee buy one of their great new insulated water bottles that are made from metal not plastic.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pengcast

                      They sell organic juice, soymilk, iced tea, etc. I once had a good Asian Noodle Salad in an airport, but it was a fluke, I think.

                    2. I like their tarragon chicken salad sandwiches. Sometimes when I'm traveling on business I duck into a Starbucks to use the internet and get a sandwich if it's lunchtime. It's a decent meal.

                      I also think their lower fat coffee cakes (cinnamon, blueberry) are not too bad.

                      Also, I'm not a coffee drinker myself, but I like the chai lattes, both hot and iced.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: thedoorchick

                        While the sandwiches sold at Starbuck's often have an interesting list of ingredients, they don't deliver on that promise. I found those I tried relatively tasteless, extremely skimpy, and outrageously expensive for what they were. Most were also stale. The tarragon chicken salad sounds good on the label, but the very plain chicken salad at Tim Horton's is fresher, has much more filling, uses better bread, and tastes better -- for much less money.

                        The cookies, cakes, and pastries are extremely, tooth achingly, sweet. The low fat varieties tend to be the sweetest of all. They also have weird sensory characteristics, such as gumminess. The pastries are stodgy, leaden things.

                        I have liked the mini cheesecakes that come from a local baker, Carol's Cheesecakes. However, these are sugar free and extremely rich. Since the low carb fad died out, few Starbuck's locations still stock them.

                        My wife likes the Pom Bran muffins and fruit and grain bars. I'm not keen on either one, though the muffins are pretty good for what they are.

                      2. in Toronto around christmas they have a holiday turkey sandwich I really like..it is roast turkey with real stuffing and cranberry sauce...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: burlgurl

                          I know this isn't your decision, but why, when Calgary has more than twiceas many Starbucks per capita as Toronto does, does Toronto get "food" whereas we don't?

                          Number of Starbucks within a 50-km radius of downtown Calgary: 93
                          Within the same distance from downtown Toronto: 181

                          In that Calgary radius are about 1.1 million people; in the same area in TO are more than 5 million. So we're a much bigger market- what gives?

                          1. re: John Manzo

                            You really aren't missing anything, JM.

                        2. I don't know if any of the Starbucks outside of the L.A. and surrounding area have these, but the low-fat, whole-grain rolls (more of a popover, actually) with raisins are really good. (especially toasted) I don't go to Starbucks much, but if I'm desperate...

                          1. I think they should just work on good espresso first.

                              1. re: thesu

                                Oddly enough, their Black and White Cookies are halfway decent. I mean, not Rocco's on Bleecker street good, but if you're in midtown and have a craving ...

                                I also like the gingerbread they have around the holidays.

                                Be forewarned though -- the pastries are incredibly caloric.

                                You could also sell the card on ebay for somewhat less than its face value.

                              2. Re-gift the card to someone else.

                                1. Most of the food is mediocre, but the new vanilla bean petite scones are awesome! In the fall, the half chocolate dipped pumpkin cookie is good too.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: starbucksbrew

                                    I didn't really care for the vanilla bean scone - the one I had seemed really stale and the frosting "crust" was a little over the top for me. I was really disappointed in it. I wish they would make it without the frosting - I think that might help.

                                  2. A couple of days ago I was picking up my usual SF vanilla americano, and the guy behind the register had a disgust look on his face. He was watching a (very big) man eat /stuff his face with the chicken curry salad. I asked him what's wrong and he said, "that...I can't believe anyone would consume the food here." I thought that was funny. We got into a discussion about the food, and apparently Starbucks is trying to get more locally known products. The ones near me has these local donuts. I told him it would be nice if they had some decent/real food if people actually wanted to have a good and filling lunch here.

                                    With your giftcard you can't really go wrong with the nuts, but they're kind of a rip off.

                                    If I was in your situation--someone who hates coffee--and the there was a lot of $$ on it, I would personally sell it on ebay or do one of those giftcard swap sites.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Jacey

                                      Why is the size of the patron relevant?

                                      1. re: Suzy Q

                                        Perhaps the poster thought the guy at the register was going to say something derogatory?

                                    2. The Starbucks in the Boston area at least have a Cranberry Bliss bar near the holidays. I rarely go to SB during the year but I go out of my way to go at least once a week when they have these bars. They're so good.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: abs294

                                        Why are people talking about food at Starbucks? They should work on their coffee and stick to that!

                                        I have never had anything that tasted "real" at a Starbucks. I had a scone once that was like eating cardboard! Everything looks rather contrived and dry. They don't have any food handling area... so by nature nothing is made on site. To me that is sketchy and I am surprised people on a foodie website would even bring it up.

                                        I used to like Starbucks back before I knew what really great coffee tasted like, now I just cringe at the amount of paper cups they put out into our environment each day... between them and Tim Hortons our landfills are growing. End this thread and find a good local cafe to support.... or please if you are a Starbucker, please get a reusable mug.. that is one thing they make VERY WELL; to go mugs of all designs. Kudos for that, shame on them for encouraging a disposable society.

                                        1. re: bigtimesushifan

                                          bigtime, with all due respect, this site is about finding deliciousness wherever it exists...be it the center of Manhattan or central Saskatchewan. However passionate I am about food, local cafes and the like, I am often in unfamiliar surroundings or on the interstate with limited time, where the only breakfast choice is between McDonald's and Starbucks and starvation. In certain parts of North America, Starbucks uses passable food suppliers/bakers that produce the occasional gem. In my neck of the woods, it's not the case and I avoid Starbucks, but I have the luxury of knowing my way around, where to find good food and have the means to get from place to place at my liberty.

                                          To contribute to this thread, I will say that many times on business trips to suburban Dallas, I was limited (because of transportation and time constraints) to the Starbucks behind my hotel for breakfast. The cinnamon twists there were fresh, flaky and, I would say, good enough that I would go out of my way for. I applaud the bakery supply company (whoever it is) that supplies the Starbucks in that area. My other choice was a supermarket which I did try and it sucked. Incidentally, there was a Starbucks in the supermarket as well.

                                          If you don't think the pursuit of good chow at Starbucks belongs on a "foodie website" neither does your diatribe about the environment without anything meaningful to add about food and the question at hand.

                                          1. re: bigtimesushifan

                                            "They don't have any food handling area... so by nature nothing is made on site."

                                            This makes me laugh. I worked at Starbucks many years ago. We would close at night and in the morning there would be these plastic tubs of sandwiches, pastries and stuff for us to unpack and put in the display cases sitting there. We always wondered how this stuff just appeared overnight. Nobody ever saw the delivery people bring it in, ever.

                                            1. re: Paul Weller

                                              Magic elves like the shoemaker's shop ;)

                                        2. I used to dislike the Starbucks pastries (many on this site also do - my husband got headaches from the cookies) until......

                                          The Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookie entered my life (Chicago stores, maybe others, too?). It's fab fab fab., Sin, but fab. Give it a whirl and then nap.

                                          1. Just got back from Dubai. Starbuck's there has quite the variety of food, some of it prepared on site. Had a nice grilled 3-cheese sandwich for lunch.

                                            1. They sell these individual portions of dried fruit called "Peeled Snacks". I've tried the apricot and the mango although they also have apple and I've seen cherry once (too bad I didn't think to buy it; I've never seen it since). Basically, it's a 100- and something calorie serving of dried fruit. It's organic and has no sugar or sulphur or anything in it. The apricot was ok, but the mango is amazing- my favouritedried fruit. just like candy (only healthier). The only other place I've bought mago like that was at Costco, where they used to sell Made In Nature brand mango just like it (unfortunately, they stopped selling it but they do sell their Calimyrna figs which are also delicious).

                                              I don't know if they'll sell it where you are, though. If they do, try the mango- it's awesome! I wish I could get it in a bigger package though so I could keep it in the cupboard at home... (It might be overpriced but it's hard to tell since I can't seem to find the same product anywhere else...)

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. I love how people seem to complain endlessly on boards about SBs, yet the stores are always PACKED to the gills.

                                                I personally like Starbucks a lot, their brewed coffee is strong, very hot, and always consistent. The atmosphere is also relaxing, there's never a hassle about anything, you can bring in outside food, stay for hours, great refill program, soft lighting, etc. Schultz is a genius...

                                                1. Pumpkin bread is pretty yummy.

                                                  1. I wasn't aware that Starbucks "made" any food products; everything came from outside vendors.

                                                    1. The two most convenient Starbucks for me are both located inside Safeway grocery stores (closest to home and closest to school). Starbucks charges $1.85 for a cookie (I like their ginger cookies, I'll admit it). However, Safeway charges eighty-nine cents for a cookie of the same size. I walk over to the bakery section, grab my cookie and then pay for it and my drink at the Starbucks counter. I always make sure to note the code before I go, so the barista (who works for Safeway, not Starbucks!) can ring it through. So a Safeway cookie is my favorite Starbucks food item.

                                                      1. Oh, and what's not good? Any muffin at any Romanian Starbucks. So crumbly I could barely get any pieces from the cup to my mouth.

                                                        (Yeah, yeah... I went to Starbucks in Bucharest. More than once. Not as bad as a certain expat I know who spent up to twelve hours a day in the Starbucks at Plaza del Sol in Guadalajara, Mexico...)

                                                        1. In a pinch (like after 3 pm workday when the only close food to my office is Mickey D or Subway), SB's chicken santa fe pannini works. . . but pricey for the portion.

                                                          1. I love their tiny pink donuts. They are the perfect sweet treat with morning coffee. I also think the lemon poundcake is good but once in awhile I go for the blueberry scone.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Sensuous

                                                              the cakes aren't bad but they dry out easily and unless you ask for a slice from in between other slices one side is dry.