DC’s Worst Starbucks?

Starbucks by SWP Moblog

Let’s face it, you either love or hate Starbucks.

If you hate Starbucks, we understand, but this post is not for you so just skip to the next one below.

If you love it (or at least like it or are OK with it) tell us which one you think deserves the title of DC’s Worst Starbucks, or StarSUCKS if you will.  My vote goes to the one located at the corner of Connecticut & R St NW The employees there don’t seem to have a care in the world.  They just sort of give you a blank stare when you walk in.  If you order an Espresso Truffle, they almost immediately tell you that they’re out of their signature hot chocolate.  Well make some more then!  One girl was actually texting on her phone when she took my order, causing her to forget my toffee almond bar.  She rung me up, gave me my coffee, then couldn’t figure out why I was still standing in front of her.  Their service is consistently horrible, so why do I continue to go back?  Because it’s convenient and on my dog walking route.

Which location do you think deserves the title?  And no, your answer can’t be “all of them”.

Hailing from the Mile High City, Max has also lived in Tinsel Town, the Emerald City, as well as the City of Brotherly Love. Now a District resident, he likes to write about cool photos by local photographers, the DC restaurant and bar scene, or anything else that pops into his mind.

20 thoughts on “DC’s Worst Starbucks?

  1. As someone who hits up the Connecticut & R St NW Starbucks daily, I’ve gotta disagree. I would say the service is par for the course most days, and I’ve certainly experienced worse. A couple of the baristas even remember my standard drink order, which is always nice.

    The Starbucks across from the National Zoo is technically my neighborhood Bucks, but I don’t even bother with it anymore. I’ve had more bad experiences (long waits, bad drinks, rude service) there than all other Starbucks combined.

  2. The one at the corner of 20th and Penn. My coffee this morning had a lot of coffee grounds in the bottom (maybe 1/4 tsp). While that doesn’t sound like much, when you drink coffee grounds from a coffee you paid good money for- YUCK.

    How hard is it to not get coffee grounds in the actual coffee???

  3. The GW Hospital starbucks is a tragedy. All summer, they will make you an iced coffee by pouring hot coffee over ice. This yields, as you may imagine, lukewarm ice-less coffee. Also, coffee grounds appear on a pretty regular basis. Much better alternative: 22nd and K. Good drinks, good service, nice people. I go there pretty much every morning.

    National Zoo Starbucks used to be staffed by vapid teenagers who can’t make drinks– it’s been slightly better recently though.

  4. I have never been to the one on Connecticut & R. Instead, I usually go to the one on Connecticut & N, since they are normally competent and helpful.

    I try to avoid the Starbucks on 19th (between N & M). I have had consistenely poor service there.

  5. The one at 16th and U is bad, but in a good way: my wife and I went in one morning and the register and coffee lines were so intermingled, we ended up walking out with our coffee without paying. We waited a few minutes, and our requests to be rung up were not acknowledged, so we left, coffee in hand.

  6. The one near the U St. Metro, and the one in the Renaissance hotel in TechWorld Plaza (across from the convention center). Both of them, without fail, cannot handle a drink that needs to be customized. Ever. And the lines are terrible at the one on U St.

  7. Corner of New Jersey and E. Oh lord. So bad. Dirty, weird stuff laying on the floor like empty milk jugs, litter everywhere, when you walk in, in the customer part of the store, there’s a refrigerator just sitting there holding the milk. isn’t that against code or something? ugh.

  8. Does anybody find this odd, that we’re talking about street corners less than 3-4 blocks distance… are coffee drinkers really that lazy… or enough pent up demand that requires that type of density…

    maybe some consolidation will allow the “cream” (pardon the pun) to rise to the top and provide that balance of good service and good quality drinks…

    enough of all yer moanin people…

  9. Micky D’s coffee is great… even though I have to order in spanish, its still the fastest coffee in DC.

  10. My vote for worst Starbucks in DC… or on the planet, for that matter, goes to the one in the bottom of my office building… the Capital Gallery building at 7th & Maryland, SW. The service is appallingly bad almost every time I stop there (which is at least 3 days a week) and I’ve never been in a place where the employees have as much attitude as the majority of these folks do. Add to that waits of up to 20 minutes to place your order and get your drink and it is rarely a fun experience. Of course, I keep going back… but it is just too darned convenient.

  11. Without a doubt in my mind, the Bradlee Center location in Alexandria’s the worst in the DC area. My drink – venti red-eye – is not complicated, but requires coordination of responsibility from the cashier to the bar. Every single time I have visited, the hand-off of a venti coffee to the bar for the add shot has FAILED. And because there’s always a long long line, I wait too long to put the order in, wait to confirm they messed it up again, and then wait for them to rush & get my drink order done.

    So glad I don’t live near them anymore. Columbia Heights (14th & Irving) SBux may often have longish order lines, but the drinks get slung efficiently.

  12. Kimberlyfaye – you are absolutely correct. I stop there every day before I catch the VRE home. If there’s more than 1 person in line, I just don’t bother.

  13. Let me tell you something ;-) The starbucks at montrose and rockville pike in rockville gets my vote. I often have quick meetings there because of the location. Here is a quick sampling of the customers who occupy the seats for HOURS (really)! You have a group of 4 horse bettors who all drink small coffee’s and share one daily forum. You hav 3 to 8 israeli movers (as in moving company). You have 2 to 4 senior citizens who not only have assigned seating but sometimes get behind the counter to facilitate their order. These are the transients. Then, you have a stream of russian (eastern european) hotties who must be late to massage class. I am running out of space so I won’t even mention the miscreants who work there.

  14. If you’re ever in Georgetown, FORGET going to the Starbucks on M street (between Wisconsin and 31st). Employees are rude, customers are rude, manager is rude, coffee tastes like crap… there’s really nothing good about this place except for the upstairs seating, which is ALWAYS crowded.
    If you’re not feeling too lazy, walk up Wisconsin to the Starbucks across the street from Einstein Bagels and Safeway… great service, great product, and it’s always ridiculously clean. Seriously. I saw them dusting lightbulbs once.

  15. Connecticut and N. Confusing layout, noisy space, staff don’t seem to care. I actually like Connecticut and R because they have nice places to site outside. 22nd and M is a good location. Looks new, nice staff, and you don’t need a key for the bathroom

    Silver Spring downtown – the worst. They kicked me and a bunch of my coworkers out of their outdoor seats because we were eating lunch there. Ensured we’d never be back.

  16. I have little use for Starbucks and don’t find myself in DC as often as I would like to but I vote for the one across from the Zoo. They are too used to tourists, I think. It’s small, they aren’t particularly helpful but I learned a key to this – identify yourself as being from the neighborhood. They want the locals to return. Who gives a shit about the tourists? They buy their coffees and never come back anyway.

    At least one nice thing about Starbucks is that you can get an iced espresso there without some millennial giving you any crap about it. (Just kidding. But really you can.)

  17. Without question, the bucks at 1825 I street is the best. They know my name, start my order before I get to the register and are tres friendly I love them!

  18. I went to the Starbucks today by Foggy Bottom Metro, M and between 24th and 25th street.
    Incompetent! I had to repeat my order several times and shout over people because they were ‘taking orders’ so far down the line. The barista just didn’t seem to understand my order. The person that rung me up gave me a disgusted look and refused to understand my order (tall, skim, double white raspberry mocha). i gave him my gift card and instead of saying my remaining balance, just said ‘no money’ and gave my card back, staring blankly at me. when i went to pick up my drink, there were 4 cups, un labeled waiting there and no one was saying what they were.
    I threw my cup away after a few sips.

    I’ve never had these kinds of problems at any other starbucks, even ones inside stores or hotels.

  19. by far, the Starbucks in Gelman Library at GW H and 22st. Line always out the door, baristas constantly making the wrong drink, disorganization all over the place.

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