Since its launch in 2019, the 5-floor, 35,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve® Roastery on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue has invited in folks with enticing views. From the spectacularly windowed exterior, which reveals people and possibilities on every floor, a passerby knows that what this Starbucks promises is special, elevated, and unexpected. Inside the world’s largest Starbucks (and one of six such Starbucks Roasteries in the world), curiosity is met with experiential theater at every level, the boundaries of coffee craft are pushed, and there are enticing flavors and adventures for everyone.
Step Into a Coffee Utopia
As you enter, an array of pneumatic tubes dramatically unfurls across the ceiling, shuttling green and dark brown coffee beans back and forth along their roasting journey. Step up to the Coffee Bar, where you can satisfy your cravings with a delicious pastry and a beverage, including single-origin coffee that was roasted just a few feet away.
Chat with the roasters while they bring coffees to aromatic life, unlocking flavors in the locally-fabricated custom roaster. Learn more at the Scoop Bar, where baristas serve up freshly roasted coffee beans with the traditional scoop method and answer your questions.
Delight in Your Surroundings
Let your attention be distracted by the vintage clacker board, which shuffles through letters and numbers to deliver the latest update on what’s currently roasting, and the retail area on your left, with plenty of great roastery-inspired gifts and locally made chocolates. Take the stairway up to observe the evocative mural about coffee’s origins created by Chicago artist Eulogio Ortega.
And before you go any farther, behold the centerpiece of the Roastery, a sculptural 56-foot cask that roasts 200,000 pounds of coffee every year. Perforated for optimal viewing of freshly roasted coffee, you can view the cask from all sides as you ride up the spiral escalator.
And don’t miss the artistic representation of the Starbucks siren — every Roastery has one. At the Chicago Roastery, she was re-imagined by local artist David Anthony Geary. You can find her drawn likeness floating like an angel between the third and fourth floors, holding a coffee plant, and gazing at the sun shining in from the skylight.
Revel in Delicious Desserts and Coffee Cocktails
Ready for lunch? The second floor is where you’ll encounter the authentic Italian bakery, Princi®. You’ll see a tempting and colorful variety of pastries, fresh-baked pizza, sandwiches, salads, pasta, and delectable desserts inspired by Milan and crafted with seasonal ingredients. Indulge yourself: Italy’s never been closer.
Science geeks and culinary enthusiasts will love the third floor, where they may delve deeply into the sensory experience, inspired theater, and innovation of coffee craft. Through exploratory brew methods showcasing the incredible flavors of Starbucks Reserve and origin-driven storytelling, the Experiential Coffee Bar offers engaging moments for those looking to deepen their coffee knowledge, experience delicious coffee flights, nitrogen-infused gelato, and espresso classics.
If you’re seeking an elevated place for excellent cocktails, travel to the fourth floor Arriviamo™ Cocktail Bar, which features innovative coffee and tea-forward cocktails, including exclusive cocktails designed by local Chicago mixologists. Be sure to try the signature Espresso Martini Flight, a trio of unforgettable flavors combining exceptional spirits with Starbucks Reserve® espresso. Here is where you’ll also discover the Barrel-Aged Coffee Bar, with its row of spirit-free, barrel-aged cold brew taps. Here, green coffee beans are aged in barrels that once carried whiskey or other spirits, and when roasted, they develop unprecedented, incredible flavors.
Don’t forget to travel up to the rooftop patio for a great view of the Roastery itself and lively Michigan Avenue below. This is the perfect place to get together with friends or family to enjoy your coffee, cocktails, and a meal of Princi baked Italian classics, so make a reservation. Bring the Roastery home, if you like, and order for takeout, or have it delivered via Uber Eats.
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery is an enticing, one-of-a-kind destination that’s not to be missed, with five levels of immersive craft artistry showcasing coffee from its purest to most expressive form. It’s the place to go on the historic Magnificent Mile to fully awaken your senses and enjoy Chicago’s most exceptional coffee experience.