- Starbucks may be famous for its coffee, but the chain is also widely known for its selection of hot breakfast items.
- Over the course of one month, I tried all the hot breakfast items from my local Starbucks and ranked them from worst to best.
- The bacon, Gouda, and egg sandwich did not meet my expectations.
- On the other hand, my favourite items were the double-smoked bacon sandwich and spinach, feta, and egg-white wrap.
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Over many years of eating on the run, I’ve concluded there’s no better place to fill up in the morning than Starbucks.
In addition to its ever-expanding selection of baked goods, Starbucks currently offers a variety of hot breakfast items as part of its café menu.
Over the course of a month, I decided to visit my local Starbucks locations to try every item on the chain’s hot breakfast menu. In the end, I spent roughly $US50 dollars tasting the 12 items that were available.
Here is my ranking of every hot breakfast item from my local Starbucks.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2020. The prices are based on several California locations. Item availability may vary by location. Starbucks added two breakfast wraps to the menu after this was written, so they are not included on this list.
Bacon, Gouda, and egg sandwich — $US4.15
I had high hopes for this sandwich because it had the fancy-sounding word “artisan” in the description, but unfortunately, the reality didn’t live up to my expectations.
My biggest problem, by far, was the bread. Unlike the other sandwiches on the menu, this one came with a square-cut ciabatta bun that practically swallowed the sandwich’s fillings.
It also didn’t help that the bacon was lacklustre. Instead of thick, crispy strips, my sandwich contained a few flimsy strips that I had to pull out and try individually in order to see what they actually tasted like.
Sadly, the egg component didn’t fare much better. The menu describes it as a “parmesan frittata,” but to me, it tasted like a plain, fried egg.
Overall, the standout feature of this mostly disappointing sandwich was the gooey, melted Gouda cheese. It had a subtle smokiness to it that made up for the sandwich’s other dull flavours, but not even aged cheese could save it from the bottom of the list.
Given that there are other, superior bacon options on the menu, I don’t see myself ordering this one ever again.
Classic oatmeal — $US3.25
Unlike the breakfast sandwiches which need to be cooked in a Starbucks oven, the oatmeal is served at the register. This automatically earned it some extra points in my book because it meant I didn’t have to wait for my food to come out near the drink bar.
Starbucks currently offers two styles of oatmeal: classic and blueberry. Both have the same whole-grain oatmeal base and come with their own set of unique toppings. My Starbucks location didn’t have the blueberry version available, so I tried the classic variety.
My order consisted of a hot cup of oats, a packet of brown sugar, dried fruit, and a packet of mixed nuts.
I enjoy eating the occasional bowl of oatmeal in the morning, and there’s nothing wrong with Starbucks’ version of it, but I seriously question if it’s worth it to drop $US3.25 on something that’s so plain and easy to make at home.
After a few bites, I decided to experiment with the toppings Starbucks provided me with. This turned out to be a huge mistake.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up eating oatmeal with add-ins, but I personally felt like none of the toppings seemed appropriate. Chewy fruit and crunchy nuts are not what I’m looking for when I want a warm bowl of thick, creamy oatmeal.
I think if I were to ever order this again (which is unlikely), I’ll keep the brown-sugar packet but ask for one of their fresh bananas on the side instead of the other toppings.
Reduced-fat turkey bacon and cage-free egg-white sandwich — $US3.95
This low-fat offering turned out to be a lot better than I expected.
Underneath the turkey bacon, which had a pleasantly salty taste, a thin slice of white cheddar melted into a delicate layer of fluffy egg whites.
But this sandwich fell short with its dry whole-wheat muffin. I get that this is supposed to be a “healthy option” on the menu, but I’d much rather eat the ingredients wrapped in a tortilla, which likely would have been less dry.
This sandwich isn’t the best, but it’s also not the worst. If anything, it deserves recognition for being one of the cheaper sandwiches on the menu at only $US3.95.
Sausage, egg, and cheddar sandwich — $US3.75
A juicy, savoury sausage patty? Check. A generous portion of melted cheddar? Check. A puffy scrambled-egg patty? Check.
This had all of the right components for a decent sausage breakfast sandwich. Other than that, it was pretty much indistinguishable from any other sausage sandwich that I could have gotten from a fast-food joint.
It kept me full for hours, but I’d call this more of a solid backup plan (if they’re out of the thing you really want) than a go-to.
Spicy chorizo, Monterey Jack, and egg sandwich — $US4.95
The Starbucks chorizo and egg sandwich contains layers of chorizo sausage, fried egg, and Monterey Jack cheese.
The herbed potato bun was a nice departure from the usual English muffin most meaty breakfast sandwiches use. Crunchy on the outside, buttery on the inside, it was easily one of my favourite bread options.
Aside from the bun, I was fairly underwhelmed by the other flavours in this sandwich. The product description states that the fried egg contains caramelised onions, but I honestly couldn’t taste them.
The chorizo sausage patty was a welcome upgrade from the typical sausage patty, but it definitely could have been executed better. I feel like mine had a strong peppery taste that dominated the entire sandwich. I personally would have preferred for it to be a little spicier, but I recognise that not everyone enjoys that kind of sinus-clearing heat early in the morning.
My barista suggested that I add a little hot sauce to my sandwich if I wanted more of that spicy flavour. After taking their advice, I agree that it made a world of difference.
Ham, cheddar, and peppers sous vide egg bites — $US4.65
Since the Starbucks menu is dominated by toasted breakfast sandwiches, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the sous vide egg bites.
Sous vide is a French cooking technique that works by vacuum-sealing ingredients and cooking them slowly in warm water. And Starbucks currently offers these protein-packed bites in three flavours: bacon and egg with gruyere, red pepper with egg whites, and ham, egg, cheddar, and pepper.
Although each variety has its own unique seasonings, the texture was the defining feature for all three. I’m hesitant to compare them to frittata or quiche because they weren’t as stiff as scrambled eggs, but they did remind me of poached eggs without the runny yolk.
I decided to try the ham and cheddar version first because I anticipated that it would taste the most like an omelet.
The bites were served in a sturdy cardboard container and came with a plastic fork. I really liked this small addition because it made eating them feel a little more sophisticated than chowing down on a sandwich.
However, I thought the tiny bits of ham went unnoticed underneath the creamy combo of melted cheddar and soft eggs. I also forgot all about the red-pepper bits until I looked at my notes to write this review, so it’s safe to say their flavour was underwhelming.
I probably wouldn’t order this variety of sous vide egg bites again, but I definitely wouldn’t turn them down if someone offered them to me.
Egg white and roasted red pepper sous vide egg bites — $US4.65
One of the few vegetarian-friendly hot breakfasts I tried, these egg white and red pepper bites didn’t disappoint.
In fact, out of all the sous vide bites, these were the creamiest because they contained a blend of both Monterey Jack and cottage cheese. The result was a rich, decadent breakfast.
But as delicious as these egg bites were, I thought they were a little too pricey at nearly $US5 an order – especially because these don’t contain any meat as the others do. But I’d still recommend them to anyone who wants to try something new.
Bacon and Gruyère sous vide egg bites — $US4.65
These were the final of the sous vide egg bites I tried, and it turns out I saved the best for last.
The first thing I noticed about these bites was how the egg, Monterey Jack, and Gruyère melded seamlessly together into a delectable, custard-like substance. As I devoured every last bite, I felt like I was eating something so much more sophisticated than eggs.
I also thought the bacon was a nice touch because it gave the dish strong salty accents without overpowering the Gruyère.
It sort of reminded me of something I’d order at brunch instead of just my local Starbucks.
Chicken sausage and bacon biscuit — $US4.95
The most memorable flavours in this sandwich were the sauces. The spiced honey butter and home-style gravy formed a mouthwatering sweet and savoury combo that I honestly haven’t stopped thinking about since I tasted it.
I also thought the handmade cornmeal biscuit was one of the most delicious things I’d ever tried at Starbucks. After one bite, it practically melted in my mouth, leaving a buttery residue on my tongue.
These ingredients made an ideal backdrop for the juicy chicken-sausage patty and perfectly cooked strip of bacon. Everything was so good that I didn’t even notice that the sandwich didn’t have an egg.
Roasted ham, Swiss, and egg sandwich — $US4.95
This was no ordinary ham, cheese, and egg breakfast sandwich.
I was immediately won over by the slow-roasted, aged Italian ham. The edges crisped up beautifully in the Starbucks oven, which gave every bite a yummy, savoury crunch. This provided a nice contrast to the fluffy egg patty, which was also elevated by a melted, nutty layer of Swiss cheese.
As if that wasn’t tasty enough on its own, all of this came packed between a warmed, flaky croissant bun that practically tasted homemade.
Spinach, feta, and cage-free egg white wrap — $US3.95
I used to be vegetarian, and during that period of my life, the one food that got me through many college study weeks was the Starbucks spinach and feta wrap. I’ve probably eaten over 100 of these in my life already, and I would honestly eat hundreds more.
Although I’ve since moved on from my meatless ways, I’d still say this wrap is one of the most delicious options on the entire Starbucks menu.
It consists of a toasted whole-wheat wrap (not a tortilla) that’s stuffed with roasted tomato, cooked spinach, melted feta, and egg whites. It smells and tastes like something you’d order at a sit-down, Italian café.
In my opinion, this wrap stood out from the other items because each individual ingredient brings its own unique flavour to the mix. The tomatoes and spinach made for a refreshing alternative to fatty meat, and the creamy feta gave each bite a slight tang.
It kept me full for hours, and I liked that it didn’t make me feel sluggish after eating it. It’s a testament to the power of egg whites and veggies, and it is definitely one of my favourite breakfasts of all time.
Double-smoked bacon, cheddar, and egg sandwich — $US4.95
From first glance, everything about this sandwich looked insanely appetizing. The massive, flaky croissant bun resembles pastries I’ve seen in bakery windows, and the strips of hot, crispy bacon rest on top of a pillowy fried egg and melted layer of cheddar.
Of course, one might argue that there’s nothing special about bacon. After all, it’s literally on just about every breakfast menu at any chain. But I’ve always been a firm believer that the best food makes you fall in love again with an ingredient you already know. That’s how I feel about bacon after eating this sandwich.
The menu states that the bacon is smoked for several hours before it’s added to the sandwiches, and this makes a huge difference because the result was extra crispy, savoury strips that elevated the sandwich to a luxurious, treat-yourself kind of meal.
I’ve seen people pay up to $US9 dollars for bacon sandwiches at sit-down restaurants that were nearly identical to this one, so I’d say getting this for $US5 is a pretty solid deal.
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