Sep 25, 2023 - Things to Do

Line Report: When to visit Chicago's Starbucks Roastery to avoid waits

The second-floor line at Starbucks Reserve Roastery where a very helpful barista answered questions. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Welcome to "Line Report," our new occasional series about some of the longest lines in the city, and whether the spots are actually worth the hype.

Why it matters: Your time is valuable. Let us help you decide when to hit the hottest spots around town ā€” or to skip them altogether!

First up: The five-floor Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Michigan Avenue.

Details: The Mag Mile location is the largest Starbucks in the world. Each floor offers a different experience ā€” coffee bar, Italian bakery, experimental coffee blends, cocktail bar and, at the top, beautiful outdoor views.

Tall glass of coffee, tall glass of iced tea and short glass of coffee with ice cubes.
A bourbon-infused coffee for Justin, tea for Monica and specialty roast for Carrie. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

State of play: We went at 9am on a Monday, which also happened to be the first day of school for CPS.

  • No line to get in and about a 15-minute line on the second floor for drinks.

Yes, but: By the time we left at about 10:15am, there was a line that wrapped around the corner of Erie.

Be smart: An employee told us the best time to come for shorter wait times is mid- to late-afternoon on weekdays.

Wait (ā³) or skip (šŸ‘Ž)?

  • ā³ If you're a tourist or not in a hurry, why not for a chance to snag a beautiful window seat at the world's largest Starbucks?

Pro tip: Visit the lobby of any of the Michigan Avenue hotels and snag a cup at the continental breakfast. Tell 'em Axios sent ya!

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