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    I ate at the world’s biggest Starbucks. The meal was tasty, and the setting was super cool, but it wasn’t worth the $43 I spent.

    I got a meal from the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    I went to the world’s biggest Starbucks — the Reserve Roastery on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.It sells food and drinks not available at normal Starbucks stores, which diners can take to its rooftop terrace.I ordered avocado toast, tiramisù, tea, and a strawberry spritz. It came to $43 with tax and tips.

    While I was in Chicago for a conference in May, I decided to check out the world’s biggest Starbucks — the Chicago Reserve Roastery.

    It opened in late 2019, making it the sixth and most recent Reserve Roastery to open. It joined two other Reserve Roasteries in the US — New York and Seattle.

    The upscale coffee houses roast their own coffee beans, sell food, drinks, and merchandise not available at normal Starbucks stores, and host tours and classes as well.

    The 35,000-square-foot Reserve Roastery is located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. It’s just a couple of minutes from the iconic John Hancock Center, since renamed 875 North Michigan Avenue.The Chicago Reserve Roastery has 35,000 square feet of floor space.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    Source: Starbucks

    The store has four floors, each serving a range of hot and cold drinks — including coffee and alcoholic beverages — and food from the exclusive Starbucks Reserve menu.Four different floors in the Reserve Roastery serve hot and cold drinks.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    I got my meal from the second floor, which hosts the Princi café and bakery. This is the main place to get food at the Reserve Roastery.I ordered food from the café on the second floor.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    Savory items on the menu include pizza, focaccia sandwiches, and croissants with prosciutto and fontina cheese. Most are priced at just under $10 pre-tax.Customers can get pizza, focaccia sandwiches, and savory croissants.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    There’s a huge selection of desserts, too, with most selling for around $10 pre-tax. They include cheesecake, chocolate tarts, olive oil cake, and pastries.The Reserve Roastery has an extensive range of desserts.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    I opted for avocado toast with cherry tomatoes, tiramisù, and tea.This was my meal.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    The Reserve Roastery is much more upmarket than regular Starbucks stores, but there still wasn’t table service. Customers were given buzzers, though, so that they could find a seat while they waited for their orders.Customers stood around as they waited to collect their orders.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    The food was served on a wooden tray, but it wasn’t served with proper silverware. Instead, there was disposable — but compostable — cutlery for customers to take.There was disposable cutlery for customers.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    I took my tray up to the rooftop terrace on the fifth floor. It was a bit difficult to take my tray with a cup of tea up to the top floor in an elevator and open the door to the terrace.The Reserve Roastery has a rooftop terrace on the fifth floor.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    The avocado toast was delicious. I opted for one served with cherry tomatoes, arugula, and herbs. The toppings were generous, but I was disappointed in the overall portion size for $9 pre-tax. It also, strangely, wasn’t served on a plate.I got a meal from the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    There was no English Breakfast tea on the menu, but a staff member advised me to get the Golden Monkey black tea instead, which I ordered with steamed oat milk. I would have loved a normal cup of English Breakfast tea.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    In the UK, black tea is just served with a splash of milk, but what I ended up with was a cup of very milky tea that was lacking in flavor. I didn’t enjoy drinking it — and neither did the Brits sat opposite me, sipping at their own tea.

    I wanted to order whatever the most popular dessert was. A member of staff told me that it was the tiramisù, followed by the cheesecake.I opted for the tiramisù, said to be the most popular dessert at the Roastery.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    The tiramisù was the most expensive thing I ordered, at $11.50 pre-tax. I enjoyed the creamy mascarpone filling, but the cake layers were a little bit dry and not as strongly flavored as I’d expected.Overall, I was underwhelmed by the tiramisù.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    This little bird enjoyed my leftovers, though.A bird took some of my tiramisù.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    Starbucks is a cold drink pioneer. Though many of its most popular iced drinks contain coffee, like its cold brew and lattes, it’s also known for its Refreshers and Frappucinos. On my way out, I decided to try something available only at the Reserve locations — the Strawberry Balsamic Spritz.I tried a Strawberry Balsamic Spritz.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    It was made up of sparkling water, “muddled” strawberry, and balsamic vinegar, and cost $7 for a grande. It tasted nice and was really refreshing, but I couldn’t taste the vinegar at all. The portion of the lightly mashed strawberry was generous — this is how much was left when I finished the liquid.The drink was very refreshing.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    I was glad I’d kept my fork from my lunch. I used it to scoop out the tasty chunks of strawberry.There was a lot of strawberry left once I’d finished the liquid.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    I loved being able to sit on the roof terrace with views of Chicago’s skyscrapers, though it did get really busy up there. And I thought the avocado toast was delicious.The rooftop terrace had great views of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

    But my toast, tiramisù, and two drinks came to $37, or $43.09 including tax and tips. For that price, you could get a deep-dish pizza for two, garlic bread to share, and a drink each from Chicago pizza staple Lou Malnati’s, which has a location just down the street. I know which I’d pick.My meal was pricey.

    Grace Dean/Business Insider

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