Starbucks is surely one of the most beloved chains in the world. While some fast food restaurants are becoming less and less popular by the day, Starbucks still seems to have what customers want. From fancy coffee drinks that you can’t find anywhere else to food that’s perfect for a pick-me-up without making you feel heavy and tired, this chain coffee spot is the place to be.
However, if there’s one thing the chain is known for, it’s having a staggering number of options. There are just so many different drinks, breakfast sandwiches, bakery items, and more to choose from. And if you’re not well-acquainted with the menu (or if you just usually order the same thing over and over again), you may not know what to get when you decide you want to branch out.
Well, you can thank us for doing all the hard work for you. We’ve ranked the best and the worst of the most popular Starbucks menu items, and we’re here to report on what we’ve found. While you may not agree with every single ranking, this should get you started in the right direction toward building a Starbucks order you’ll love.
22. Java Chip Frappuccino
We’re sorry to start off by attacking all the Frappuccino lovers out there. If you love these aggressively sweet drinks then, by all means, go for it. Enjoy them. We won’t judge you. But for the vast majority of us out there who don’t like drinking basically a whole day’s worth of sugar in one sip, most Frappuccinos just aren’t an option. That’s especially true when it comes to the Java Chip Frappuccino. It has a shocking 60 grams of sugar, which is bad enough when you consider your health. But it also doesn’t taste particularly good, either. All that sugar in one drink is just too much for most people’s palates.
We would say that you could enjoy this drink for a dessert instead of as a coffee, but let’s be honest: You’d probably be better off just buying a milkshake. The texture is weirdly icy with this Frappuccino, too, so it doesn’t even satisfy on that front. Our take? Leave the Java Chip Frappuccino in the dust and try something else on the menu.
21. Pink Drink
If you spend much time on the internet, then you know there are always food and drink crazes going around. Remember the time of Dalgona coffee or the TikTok feta pasta? Well, the Pink Drink played a starring role in one of those crazes, and it’s clear to see why. The drink itself is beautiful, and since it’s served in a clear cup, people love taking pictures of it. Those pictures get seen all around social media, and it becomes popular just because of the way it looks. If you’ve never ordered one of these drinks, though, you may be wondering how it actually tastes.
According to one Reddit user: "My husband ordered a pink drink for himself, and when he tried it, he said it tastes like an air freshener from Bath and Body Works." We couldn’t agree more. While this drink is celebrated for being one of the healthier ones on the menu, the flavor is just way too floral and sickly sweet. Yes, it’s definitely cute, and if you want one just to take a picture of it, go for it. Otherwise, we’d ask for something else instead.
20. Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso
If you’re looking for a plant-based alternative at Starbucks, you’re in luck. First of all, they have all different kinds of plant-based kinds of milk to replace dairy. Whether you like almond milk, oat milk, or soy, they’ve got you covered. But one drink, in particular, is likely to catch your eye if you like a healthy dose of caffeine without the cow’s milk: the Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso. Starting off, the espresso in this drink is good. Starbucks does use relatively high-quality beans, so that’s no surprise there. But the rest of the drink we just can’t get behind.
The chocolate makes the drink a little too heavy right upfront. You should choose your mind between whether you want coffee or chocolate. Then, add the malt in, and this is where things get controversial. A lot of people feel that malt has an unpleasant flavor, and we’d have to agree. The addition of almond milk is nice for those who don’t drink dairy, but let’s just be honest and admit that almond milk isn’t as good as oat milk. This may not be the worst menu item, but we found it to be pretty lackluster.
19. Caramel Macchiato
The Caramel Macchiato may be a popular drink from time to time, but if we’re being completely real, it’s not good. The main problem with this coffee drink is the fact that the syrup they use in it is just so incredibly sweet. It’s almost hard to believe how sweet it is. And God forbid you pull a hunk of syrup through your straw without the rest of the liquid — you may just go into a sugar-induced stupor right then and there. Unless you specify otherwise, Starbucks baristas will use a lot of this syrup, too. You can leave it out entirely, but what’s the point of ordering it then? The syrup is kind of the star of the show.
One thing we do like about this drink, though, is the way the coffee and the milk mix together at the bottom of your cup. It creates a pretty visual contrast and allows you to taste different flavors of the drink separately. However, that doesn’t make up for the fact that this drink is just way, way too sweet as a whole.
18. Spinach, Feta, and Egg White Wrap
Starbucks offers a ton of different breakfast sandwich options. These are perfect for when you want to grab a coffee on your way to work but you didn’t get the chance to grab breakfast either. But when you’re presented with so many options first thing in the morning, it can be difficult to choose what you want to eat to get your day off to a great start. Of course, it might occur to you to eat something that’s on the healthier side, which is why you may be attracted to the Spinach, Feta, and Egg White Wrap.
Does it sound good? Definitely. Is it good? Not so much. This is one of the driest fast food meals we’ve ever had. The wrap isn’t flexible at all, breaking easily under the slightest pressure. Meanwhile, the spinach is lackluster and the feta is just kind of sad. Sure, if you need something to eat on the go at the last minute and you want something fairly healthy, this may be an okay option. Just don’t expect it to taste very good.
17. Birthday Cake Pop
We don’t want to be too mean to the Birthday Cake Pop from Starbucks. Is it cute? Yes. Does it make our hearts melt a little bit when we see this tiny bite of cake on a stick? Yes. But would we order it for ourselves? Definitely not. Apart from its look, this pop is just not that interesting. The white cake inside is usually dry and without much taste. The frosting on top is basically just a ton of sugar. And it shouldn’t surprise you that the sprinkles on the outside do nothing for the flavor.
We understand why someone would buy this treat. If you’re going through the drive-thru with your child and they want something small to snack on, this is a great choice. Since it’s such a plain flavor, most kids probably won’t mind it. Or perhaps you want to grab it as a little treat for someone in your office who’s celebrating a birthday. For those occasions, it’s fine. But we certainly wouldn’t make a habit of buying this menu item.
16. Dragon Drink
If you’re looking for something that’s just as colorful as the Pink Drink but offers a somewhat more interesting flavor profile, then you may want to opt for the Dragon Drink. If you are wondering whether you should order this one instead of the Pink Drink, we say yes. Its mango flavor makes it a lot more appealing and the color is even slightly prettier too. But at the end of the day, it’s still not a drink that we would suggest.
This drink is pretty simple — so simple, in fact, that it’s something that you could easily make at home. It may not look exactly how it will when you buy it at Starbucks, but it’ll be a lot cheaper and you’ll have more control over the ingredients. Overall, it doesn’t taste amazing. It’s light and refreshing, but the fact that it’s mixed with coconut milk makes it slightly less so. Unless you just want something to take a pretty picture of, we’d suggest you pass up on this stunner too.
15. Chai Tea Latte
While we don’t have anything particularly bad to say about Starbucks’ chai tea latte, it’s still not something we would order. That’s because, at Starbucks, you’re not going to be getting the best quality tea you can find. So why pay a premium price when you can get better tea elsewhere? The flavor isn’t that intense — if you don’t sweeten it, it may taste like you’re drinking slightly flavored water. That’s especially true if you opt for non-dairy milk.
Basically, when it comes down to it, there’s nothing special that’s happening here. If you are really, really craving a Chai Tea Latte, then, by all means, order this drink. You probably won’t be disappointed. But if you want to experience the best that Starbucks has to offer, you’re better off spending your time and money on a different drink that you can’t get at every other coffee shop on the planet.
14. Cinnamon Dolce Latte
If you’re going to get the Cinnamon Dolce Latte at any point in the year, we’d recommend you get it in the winter. First of all, it’s served warm, so it’s sure to get you feeling nice and cozy. Plus, the cinnamon in it adds a comforting element that you won’t get from every drink on the menu. It starts with Starbucks’ famous espresso, which is definitely a good place to begin if you like a healthy dose of caffeine in your coffee drink.
However, we don’t love everything about the Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Most notably, we’re not fans of the sweetened whipped cream that comes on top. When you first taste it, it’s pretty amazing. Once you’ve had two or three sips of it, though, it starts to wear on you. It’s way too sweet, especially when paired with coffee that has a bit of sugar in it anyway. While you can ask for the drink without the whipped cream, that takes away most of what makes it special.
If you’re in the mood for a super sweet treat to warm you up on a cold winter day, then the Cinnamon Dolce Latte may be just what you’re looking for. At most points in the year, though, it’s just too heavy to drink on a regular basis.
13. Chickpea Bites and Avocado Protein Box
One thing we absolutely love about Starbucks is the fact that you can always find something healthy to eat there. Unlike a lot of other fast food restaurants, Starbucks has options for those who want to eat something that will make them feel good. If you’re interested in meals that are on the healthier end of the spectrum, you’re probably going to be attracted to the Chickpea Bites and Avocado Protein Box right away. This is a meal you can easily grab on the go when you get your afternoon coffee. You won’t even have to wait at the store until they make it for you. It doesn’t get more convenient than that.
Plus, the stuff that’s in the box is pretty tasty, if a little plain. You’ll get the chickpea bites, of course, but it also comes with some mixed veggies and nuts. To top it all off, it comes with an avocado spread that adds a lot of flavor to the mix. Combine it all together and you have a solid lunch. Our problem here is that the serving size just isn’t that big. In fact, it’s really more of a large snack than a real lunch. If you just want something small, go for it! But if you’re looking for a lunch that will really fill you up, you may be better off with a sandwich or a wrap instead.
12. Iced Guava Black Tea
When it’s finally time for the warm weather to come out to play, your appetite for coffee may drop significantly. If you’re an iced coffee drinker, then you can switch to a colder drink easily. But if you don’t want that intense dose of caffeine and would prefer something lighter in the hotter months, then you may look into trying the Iced Guava Black Tea. It’s cold, it’s refreshing, and it still has enough caffeine to get your day off to the best start. The guava flavor is great too — it adds a tropical taste to an otherwise standard tea drink.
However, when it comes to the level of sweetness in this drink, we really think they should tone it down. It’s amazing for the first several sips, but by the time you get to the bottom of your cup, you may feel like you’re in sugar overload. If you want a similar situation without all the sugar, you can opt for plain iced black tea instead. While it doesn’t have guava flavoring in it, you can still get it slightly sweetened if you want. It’s even good if you leave it totally unsweetened. Starbucks really does offer a lot of options for its iced tea drinkers.
11. Turkey and Pesto Panini
We have to tell the truth. As much as we wish it weren’t true, a lot of the sandwiches you’ll find at Starbucks are lackluster at best. They seem like they’re just frozen sandwiches that have been microwaved most of the time. That being said, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any sandwiches on the menu that you’ll enjoy. One you may want to try is the Turkey and Pesto Panini. It comes with thick-cut slices of turkey on a ciabatta roll, which is a great combination. The basil pesto and dry-roasted peppers add a lot of flavor. And once you get the cheese pull from the slightly melted provolone cheese, you know you’re getting to the good stuff.
The only negative about this sandwich is the fact that, despite the pesto sauce, it’s still kind of dry. We think it would taste better if it had a nice spicy sauce for a little added kick. Luckily for you, Starbucks offers little packets of Sriracha sauce if you’re dying for that spice too. If you like your sandwiches on the plainer side, though, you may find that this lunchtime treat is already sufficient for your snacking needs.
10. Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade Refresher
You may think that it’s impossible to get something super light and refreshing at Starbucks while still getting the caffeine you crave. Let’s face it: Just because the weather is toasty outside doesn’t mean you don’t still need a little spring to your step. That’s where the Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade Refresher comes in. We love this drink because it would be hard to find something that’s this refreshing at any fast food place. Plus, it’s a beautiful pink color and it’s dotted with blackberries in the drink that complete the look.
The best part? It features 45 milligrams of caffeine per 16-ounce serving. That means you’re getting a decent dose of the stuff, which can help you get your day off to an amazing start. Our only warning here? It doesn’t feel or taste like you’re drinking something that’s caffeinated, so you may be surprised at how much energy you have when you drink this stuff up. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to be careful and perhaps order a smaller size than you normally would.
9. London Fog Tea Latte
Are you in love with Earl Grey tea? If you consider yourself somewhat of a tea aficionado, you may just agree that it’s one of the best varieties out there. It has a light and refreshing flavor that makes every sip taste wonderful. However, it’s easy to brew this stuff at home, so we wouldn’t recommend getting the plain version of it at most coffee shops where you’ll pay a premium. Instead, if those are the flavors you’re craving, the next time you’re at Starbucks, you may want to consider trying the London Fog Tea Latte.
According to Starbucks’ website, a "bright, citrusy spark of Italian bergamot blends with subtle hints of lavender, vanilla syrup, and steamed milk for this frothy reinvention of classic Earl Grey tea." With all those different flavors coming together, you know you’re going to get something special. However, we recognize that this isn’t a flavor that absolutely everyone is going to love, which is why it didn’t end up ranking higher on our list.
8. Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal
Here’s another healthy breakfast item that you’re definitely going to want to get your hands on if you prefer something on the sweeter side in the morning. It’s the Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal, and we happen to think it’s something special. This isn’t your average fast food oatmeal. Rather, it has a ton of tasty ingredients that come together to result in a quick and healthy breakfast that you’ll want to grab on the go anytime you stop by a Starbucks in the morning.
It all starts with the whole-grain steel-cut oats — none of that instant oatmeal stuff here. Next come the blueberries, as in real blueberries that add not just sweetness but also a touch of tartness as well. This really livens up the whole dish. The dried fruit and nut mixture adds some crunch and texture to the equation, and the drizzle of agave on top completes the meal.
Sure, not everyone likes oatmeal, but if you count yourself among those who do, then this Starbucks oatmeal is a no-brainer for breakfast.
7. Espresso Con Panna
Are you a fan of strong, bold flavors coming together to pair perfectly with each other? Do you like bitterness with just a touch of sweetness? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you may just find that Starbucks’ espresso con panna is meant for you. It starts with a plain old, plain old espresso shot. However, not everyone wants to start their day with this sort of jolt and nothing to temper it out. That’s why the sweet whipped cream gets added to the top of the espresso shot for something special. "Espresso con panna" literally means espresso with whipped cream, and yes, it’s just as good as it sounds.
This treat is ideal for those who are in a hurry and need to get their caffeine fix fast, but who still want it to taste good at the same time. If you’ve never tried it before, Starbucks is a great place to do so. The espresso and the whipped cream are both pretty high-quality and the end result is sure to make you smile.
6. Flat White
A few years ago, the flat white had its moment. That flat white craze may have died out, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not still one of the best items on the Starbucks menu. This is a simple drink, so don’t expect anything that’s too out of the ordinary. It starts with ristretto shots of espresso. Then, steamed milk is added to the mix to create a creamy and satisfying drink. When you look down on the top of the drink, you’ll notice a single dot of white where the milk was poured in. That’s the flat white’s signature look, and we can’t help to enjoy how sophisticated it looks.
Fast Food Menu Prices just happens to agree with us about how great this drink is: "It has a very rich coffee taste, and the microfoam of the milk makes the drink very creamy. Even though it has less milk than a traditional latte, it tastes a lot smoother and stronger as well."
It may not be the drink for everyone, but if you like your coffee on the simple side but with just a little bit of flair, it’s clear that this is an excellent drink option for you.
5. Strawberry Overnight Grains
When you’re looking for a quick and easy breakfast you can pair with your morning coffee — and you also happen to prefer something on the sweeter side — there’s nothing at Starbucks you’ll enjoy more than the strawberry overnight grains. It may not be a massive serving, but it’s surprisingly filling and delicious to boot. The main base is oatmeal and chia seeds that have been soaked overnight in coconut milk. Add toasted almonds, shaved coconut, and strawberry to the mix, and you can see why this was one of our favorite menu items.
It’s creamy, it’s filling, it’s relatively healthy, especially when you compare it to the fast food breakfasts that you’ll find at other chains. Basically, it’s just a great way to start your day, so long as you like something sweet first thing in the morning. But since this snack is on the sweeter side, you may want to go with a coffee that doesn’t have much sugar in it. That way, they balance each other out a bit better.
4. Bacon and Gruyere Sous Vide Egg Bites
Do you want a protein-filled breakfast that tastes amazing and offers you the low-carb experience you’ve always wanted from a fast food restaurant? Well, you’re in luck because the bacon and gruyere sous vide egg bites may just be the ideal easy breakfast. They’re certainly our favorite food menu item at Starbucks. In this snack, eggs and bacon are paired with Monterey Jack and gruyere cheese for a flavor that’s out of this world. Then, they sous vide the mixture, resulting in a lovely texture that retains all of the flavor of the ingredients.
Probably what we like best about these things, though, is the fact that they’re so incredibly easy to take with you on the go. You can just pop them in your mouth and be on your way. Between you and us, we’d like the option to buy more at a time if we were really hungry. But that’s really our only complaint.
3. Nitro Cold Brew
If you need strong coffee first thing in the morning to get your day off to a productive start, we feel the struggle. Been there, done that. During those time, you need a drink like the nitro cold brew you’ll find at Starbucks. This stuff is steeped really slowly, which really allows all those delicious coffee flavors to shine. Then, it’s infused with nitrogen. Wondering what that does? Basically, it makes the drink sweeter without the addition of any sugar. The crema on top is the icing on the cake. It’s a thick, creamy layer that makes this drink undeniably indulgent.
There are lots of versions of this drink for you to try, including the honey almond milk nitro cold brew, the salted caramel cream nitro cold brew, and the vanilla sweet cream nitro cold brew. Choose whichever sounds best, or stick to our favorite: the original.
We have to warn you, though, that the caffeine content in this drink is out of this world. It clocks in at a somewhat shocking 280 milligrams of caffeine in a 16-ounce serving. Compare that to your average coffee, which is between 70 and 140 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup (via Healthline), and you can see how this one can get a tiny bit dangerous. If you don’t react well to caffeine, then you may want to skip this one. However, if you feel like you can always have one more espresso, then you’re sure to love this concoction.
2. Iced Coffee
There comes a time when you can’t overcomplicate things. Sure, you can try all the different drinks that Starbucks offers and see which ones you like best. But at the end of the day, you’re always going to want a simple iced coffee from time to time. It’s amazing in the summer, sure, but really, you can drink an iced coffee at any time of the year. There’s just something really satisfying about grabbing an iced coffee, swirling it around a bit so all the ice clinks against each other, taking a long sip, and walking out of the coffee shop and into the rest of your day.
Another great thing about plain old iced coffee is the fact that you can add anything you want to it. Need it to be sweeter? Ask for sugar or sweetened syrup. Want to add some milk or creamer into the mix? Just ask for your preferred milk and you’re good to go. And considering that the iced coffee from Starbucks packs in 165 milligrams of caffeine per 16-ounce serving, you know it’s going to give you the energy you need.
1. Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
Okay, okay, we know what we said about keeping things simple with the iced coffee. And we totally stand by that. But when you’re faced with something so novel, so creative, so different, you have to give it a try. We did, and we have to say that we fell in love with Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew. Why? Because it has a combination of salty and sweet flavors that we can’t get enough of.
According to Elite Daily, "The ‘salt’ taste is definitely strong; you can taste it as soon as you put your lips to the lid. I’m a big fan of salty/sweet combos in anything — food or drink — and that’s definitely a good way to describe this particular drink."
We agree. A lot of salted products have an imperceptible amount of salt in them, but not this one. You can really taste how the competing flavors bounce off of each other, offering a unique coffee-drinking experience you can’t get just anywhere. This is definitely a drink you need to try if you haven’t already.