You Will Love This Starbucks Global Guide a Latte
Make no mistake of it, I am a big coffee NERD. I crave the stuff, I guzzle the stuff, I savour the smell so much that if I were to stage mine or someone else’s house for fun, I would fill the air with its tempting aroma. Sounds like a coffee obsessive doesn’t it? Well, friends, I am not alone. This coffee addiction plagues many of us across the globe and although I love finding a good bespoke cafe owned by six generations of locals that taught each other through grandma’s recipes to concoct the strongest espresso possible, Starbucks always is a happy find when travelling abroad as not only does it offer me a much-needed and much-loved latte that tastes the same no matter which location I stumble upon, but it also gives me a little taste of the familiar when suffering from culture shock or homesickness now and then. So to help other Starbucks lovers out there, I wrote this post with some of the incredible locations that provided me with that delightful cuppa joe. But frankly, it just didn’t provide enough locations to satisfy my location requirements, especially if I venture to other countries to which there are franchises waiting to be visited. So with that in mind, my travel writer posse came forward with their favourite locations abroad and we compiled a second Starbucks global guide for yours and my java-fuelled heart’s convenience.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Fill My Passport
In an adrenaline-fuelled scenic town like Queenstown New Zealand, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a Starbucks offering all the favourites! I was so excited finding this location after risking my life on a jet boat, zipline, and climbing a mountain. They have the same offerings as the other locations with a little Kiwi personality. Collect the country mugs? Grab you exclusive New Zealand mug here! They are really beautiful though quite pricey (30 NZD!). I decided against adding it to my collection, but did enjoy a delicious latte while walking through the action-packed streets.
Disney World Florida
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With all the excitement throughout the parks, we adults certainly could use a pick-me-up. I mean sometimes those lines to get selfies with Elsa just are so long that we fall asleep waiting! Plus if you stay for the fireworks, you won’t hit the hay until at least midnight so many will feel the pain bright and early during park opening the following day…With this in mind, next on my Starbucks global guide is Disney, which has opened Starbucks Coffee in each of the parks conveniently on the main streets to accommodate all the caffeine cravings you can imagine. Enjoy your favourite crafted beverage, the food you can count on from the other locations around the world, and in a special Disney exclusive mug!
I have always wanted to visit Japan and finally had the opportunity to go last year. I was really surprised to see that Starbucks is huge there! At the top of my bucket list for things to do in Japan was to visit the Starbucks located above the Shibuya scramble as it is lovingly called.
The Shibuya scramble is located right outside the Shibuya Station and it is the pedestrian crossing that, at certain times of the day can have up to 1000 people crossing with every light change. There is a Starbucks located upstairs overlooking the crossing and it’s a great place to sit and watch the craziness. Sitting above the crossing makes it look more like an anthill! We were there at 2 pm so not nearly as busy, but as you can see it’s busy enough! It’s a great place to sit and watch Tokyo go by for a few light set changes, beware though, it’s hard to get a seat so you might have to stand!
Sanjo Ohashi, Kyoto, Japan
I love Japanese food and teas but sometimes while I’m travelling I just want the simplicity and familiarity of home. My favourite Starbucks café in Kyoto is Sanjo Ohashi. It’s located right on the edge of the Kamo river, there’s plenty of seating and you can grab a table or bar stool overlooking the water. They have all the drinks we’re used to at home but Starbucks Japan also does some fabulous local and seasonal specialties. I love the sakura (cherry blossom) drinks in spring time, they’re different each year and a little sweet but always good.
The location is the perfect blend of east and west, old and new. Not only are you next to the river which is the life-force of the history city but if you cross the road you’re at the northern end of Pontocho, one of Kyoto’s famed Geisha districts Before you leave take a look in the traditionally styled building next door too, it’s the best Okaki shop in the city. Okaki are traditional handmade rice crackers, they’re a delicious snack and the owners are very generous with their tasters too so grab a snack and keep exploring the city.
By: Claudia of My Adventures Across the World, Facebook
Vantaa Helsinki Airport, Finland
The Original in Seattle, WA, USA
By: Paige of For the Love of Wanderlust, Facebook
As an avid coffee-lover, Seattle Washington is a hot spot for those looking for a cuppa Joe. It’s not wonder that one of the most popular coffee chains in the world started there and is therefore a must in this Starbucks global guide. When I found out that I was going to Seattle I decided I was going to brave the long lines of the Original Starbucks. I waited 40 minutes for my grande caramel frappuccino with espresso instead of frap roast, no whip. (Spoken like a true Starbucks love eh!?) I tried to make the most of the wait so I asked someone in line to take this photo of me while waiting on the super-busy baristas. It was worth the pilgrimage to the start of the brand that made me fall in love with coffee.
I had been in Japan for a few days checking out Kyoto and decided to take a train to Nara, to see the wild deer. I love green tea as much as the next tea drinker but Japan take tea to the next level and I was growing a bit tired of green tea flavored everything. It was 90 degrees with high humidity and all I wanted was an old fashioned black iced tea.
As I stepped off the train I spotted a Starbucks just outside the station! I wandered in and sure enough, they had black iced tea ready to go. Like the rest of Japan, this Starbucks had quite a few unique green tea/matcha flavored items you wouldn’t normally see in the states, including ice cream! My black iced tea tasted just like home and was the perfect treat to get me through another hot summer day in Japan!
Seoul, South Korea
Located in the heart of Itaewon and the tourist district of Seoul, South Korea, this Starbucks is known around the world as the Only Starbucks store to have its name written in a language other than English (that is a Starbucks global guide trivia for you!). Here, at 657-104. Hannam 1-dong Yongsan-gu, Seoul, the name Starbucks is written in both Hongul and English.
But this Starbucks is known not only for its unique signage but for its amazing, green tea lattes. Now I’ll admit, when I first arrived in South Korea, I was not super excited about trying one. It was this gnarly green color and totally reminded me of snot. Eventually though, I got over the color and changed my perception when I finally realized just how delicious this drink really was. A totally unique Starbucks that has some amazing, Korean inspired drinks.
Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
As a travel blogger I find myself stuck in front of my laptop for hours on end. In a bid to see some sunlight I try to get out once or twice a week so I’m looking for a place that has coffee and free Wifi. You’ve can see how I got addicted to Starbucks. My favorite is the Starbucks in Prestige Shantiniketan Commercial Complex in Whitefield Bangalore. Why do I like it? The staff is amazingly friendly. By now they know my name and I get a big warm smile. That’s not the only reason though. Somehow the coffee (and the hot chocolate) is much better. Maybe because its made with a smile. Oh and yes! They always have more offers than any other Starbucks in town!
Recently in Heidelberg, Germany, I made my always necessary stop at Starbucks. The interior of the Starbucks on the main tourist street in Old Town, has that old European charm I love. Chandeliers, decorative ceiling molding, beautiful curved staircase bannister. The best part? A circular oriel window, with secluded, built-in seating. In the above picture you can see a short curved staircase on the left that leads up into it I regret not getting a better picture, but in this university town, there were students ensconced in this prime spot with textbooks the whole time.
Groningen Central Train Station, The Netherlands
By Rachel of Rachel’s Ruminations, Twitter
The truth is: I don’t even like coffee. But the Starbucks in Groningen central train station is so special that I’m always happy to have an excuse to meet someone there. Why? Because it resides in the former first class waiting room of the station, which dates to 1896. It was beautifully restored in 2011, keeping to its original look as much as possible. The ceiling panels, the pillared and tiled fireplace, the burgundy red walls, the intricate framing of the windows: whoever did the renovation didn’t cut any corners on details. The leaded-glass windows facing the track, topped with elegant semi-circles of glass, combine with large windows facing the street to create a warm and yet well-lit space for slow enjoyment of a coffee as you wait for your train. Those first class passengers really knew how to live!
In Palestine there is a unique twist on the Starbucks franchise. They have their own very similar looking franchise called Star and Bucks. In the capital city Ramallah you’ll find several of these coffee shops. For a imitation of Stabucks it still boasts a large selection of delicious coffee. The clientele enjoy their coffees whilst smoking a shisha pipe. You can even buy a Star and Bucks mug to keep as a souvenir!
Persian Court, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, UAE
Located in the Persian court at the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai, UAE, this Starbucks global guide will take you somewhere that is a visual delight and a haven for lovers of Starbucks across the globe. Conceptually, the design of Ibn Battuta Mall has been inspired by a few countries visited by the Moroccan explorer, Ibn Battuta. The Mall is divided into six courts, each reflecting the culture of a particular country. Since this branch of Starbucks finds home in the Persian court, the interiors and the entire feel of the place will take you back to the intricacy of Persian carvings and architecture. Considered as one of the most beautiful and grand Starbucks outlet in the world, this café is often frequented by local and tourists alike. This is our favourite Starbucks as well and we cannot think of a better ambience and view to enjoy a Middle Eastern cuppa than this one.
The Grand Bazaar Shops on Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV
Leeds, like most major cities has its fair share of Starbucks. There is one of these Starbucks that stands out because it’s located in a traditional English building. Located within the pedestrianized shopping zone of Leeds it’s the perfect place for people watching. Leeds is as good as London for shopping, you should give it a try!
In Hitchin, United Kingdom, you’ll find the cutest Starbucks that I have ever seen. Hitchin is a historic market town close to Luton Airport (10 minute drive) with a lovely lawn and a charming centre. In the middle of the centre, you’ll find Starbucks in a historic building that barely stands apart from the various shops in the city centre. If you’re looking for a cute English town…and a familiar cup of coffee, you’ll enjoy people watching from the modern interior of the Starbucks in Hitchin! It’s the perfect “layover” from Luton if you’re looking for somewhere cute to relax.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Starbucks only arrived in Ho Chi Minh City a few years ago, which means it’s very much the hip place for young Vietnamese to hang out. And yet, it deserved a spot in this Starbucks global guide. Strong air-conditioning in a country that desperately needs it doesn’t hurt, either.
But what caught my eye the most about this particular Starbucks wasn’t inside, it was outside. The Communist hammer and sickle waved in the wind, right next to the entrance. This sort of imagery can be seen all around Vietnam, as it’s currently run by the Communist party. But to see it right next to what I think of as the face of American capitalism, was a sight I’ll never forget.
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Fill My Passport collaborated with these wonderful travel bloggers on our experiences abroad. All opinions are our own.