Have you tried the new Starbucks food?

September 27, 2013 | By | Comments (74)

Starbucks continues to experiment with better food, and hallelujah. I’ve always thought their pastries were substandard and a bit of an embarrassment, though I never had the nerve to tell founder Howard Schultz that when I met him several years ago. Two weeks ago, I noted that the Starbucks stores in the Bay Area were serving pastries from La Boulange Bakery, a company Starbucks bought and charged with bucking up chow quality. The new food has rolled out in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and now New York—over 3,000 stores—with plans to eventually go national.

Starbucks new Tomato & Cheese Croissant

Starbucks’ new Tomato & Cheese Croissant

The tomato and cheese croissant I snapped just now is a typical example of the French-technique-focused food: nice, cheesy, concentrated tomato flavor on buttery puff pastry. The pastry came out a bit soggy (and too hot), but it’s miles better than anything they offered before. It’s allegedly 280 calories but seemed richer than that to me. No surprise—most of the choices are not low calorie, but some of the serving sizes are nicely small: a little caramelized apple cake is 290 calories. I lusted after, but did not try, a “flavors of fall” pumpkin cheesecake croissant, 320 calories.

HuffPo reports big plans going forward: “In addition to baked goods, items on the regular menu may include sandwiches stuffed with brisket and aged cheddar; mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes; turkey, tomato and provolone; ham, caramelized onions and creme fraiche; and roasted vegetables. Soups like chicken noodle, roasted tomato, minestrone and cream of mushroom are also in the works, as are salads of curry chicken, egg whites and orzo.”

In other words, as they’ve long hinted, Starbucks is moving to more of a café model. If you’re interested in why Starbucks is doing this (hint: stock price) check out this article from Nation’s Restaurant News.


Fall flavors in Starbucks’ new La Boulange offerings.

We will report on more of this food as we try it. But in the meantime, let us know if you’ve tried it, and whether it merits a thumbs up or thumbs down.


  1. Mike

    I used to love the scones tried the new stuff yesterday and it is crap…suppose to be a blueberry scone was a dried up heavy cake with a couple of blueberries stuck in the top with a bit of sugar springled on top..it is back to Second Cup for me..very disappointed

    April 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm
  2. j ward

    I use to buy two morning buns and a large coffee every morning before work. that came to around 10.00, ever since they changed pastries i no longer go to starbucks, wake up starbucks, you have lost me as a customer and probably 3000 or more a year off me, and i know alot more people i work with that dont go to starbucks anymore either. Did you ever visit one your self, they must throw out alot of pastries because the shelves are never empty. bring back the old stuff, and espeically those delicious morning b uns. The ones you have now are fake and should be thrown in prison.

    March 31, 2015 at 2:37 pm
  3. Rory

    Good information. Lucky me I recently found your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book-marked it for later!

    August 28, 2014 at 11:57 am
  4. Katy

    The new pastries are disgusting!!! The new banana bread, the new coffee cakes! Bring back the originals! Please!!!!

    June 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm
  5. bob jones

    Good God how horrible. Already having a tea connection and not a coffee drinker I has a $25 gift card to burn at Starbucks. Blowing $23.80 on hopefully a couple decent lunches my hopes are dashed. Chicken Caesar salad had 1/2″ kale stalks fit only for my neighbor’s goats. The ham and New York cheddar sandwich was attractively over-packaged including a sticker which read “Enjoy more. Worry less.” The bread was o.k., the “worry less” was clearly directed at the pressed processed “ham” where all those crunchy bits of fat and gristle can be incorporated in a less slightly crunchy pressed product. Bar-S would go out of business if they tried to pass off crap this bad at the Food 4 Less. But Starbucks? Must be wonderful! Two more presumably horrid items to go and then back to good, healthier, unpretentious food at good prices elsewhere.

    May 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm
  6. JS Brown

    Very disappointing – dry and tasteless. As someone above said, “Bye – Bye Starbucks”

    May 16, 2014 at 8:43 am
  7. JAMIE

    I LOVE THEM!! SAVORY SQUARES have FLAVOR! I guess Im not the majority on this thread but Im simply addicted to the Savory Squares and pray the butternut squash version hits stores in my area soon! I usually fold them like a pizza slice to catch the hot gooey deliciousness but can understand the complain that its too hot and messy. Not driving food but man have I mastered it! LOL! They lose points in health conscious calories and non-gluten choices but honestly, is that what Im aiming for when I covet that pastry window?! Not really but it sure would be nice to have something taste awesome AND be under 250 calories! I need an intervention at this point and hope my cravings play out…. like they tend to do. Yes you can have too much of a good thing to where you dont want it as much or anymore…havent made it there yet! But with my new workouts and knee rehab getting me in good cardio finally…I hate for it to all go tot waste! I look forward to the other new stuff they got planned! Its STILL a coffee shop but I love I can grab a lunch for work there on the way. I DO think their salads pretty much suck and their sandwiches REALLY need improvement (soggy, flavorless). Their panini’s I havent done so much but the few Ive tried are just okay but not terrible. For the price, I DO expect MORE and pleased they are at least working on that! Now if I can get a GREAT little salad there l like it would be awesome! And more ‘protein packs’ for carb conscious! If they served wine Im pretty sure it would be a WRAP for me! LOL!

    April 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm
  8. Tom Adams

    I have been buying my daily Lemon Pound Cake (old style) at the Starbucks franchises in Von’s supermarkets.

    The old stuff will be pulled in a month or by summer…

    BYE BYE, Starbucks!

    April 14, 2014 at 5:55 pm
  9. RCU

    I am a chocolate chip cookie monster. I usually purchase two cookies a day from Starbucks. I bought a cookie the other day without really knowing what La Boulange meant. To make a long story short, I thought something was wrong with my cookie. It did not look like the old cookies, It was smaller, and to make matters worse it tasted like it was a few days old. The old chocolate chip cookie was moist and had a great vanilla infused flavor. The new cookie is a major disappointment for me! I like the new color scheme. The marketing gets you in the mood. But the product is a major disappointment. You would think Starbucks would have rolled this out to different stores across the United States. Gave it a test run and let the client decide. Starbuck…..You Can Do Better!

    April 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm
  10. Joe

    I just tried the new blueberry scone. It sucked. I loved the scones they sold for years. Triangular, some with icing and some with out, just sweet enough, just sense enough but not dry. The new, square version (la Boulange I guess) had no flavor, it was way too crumbly and worst of all it was so dry.

    The next time I went in I had forgotten about the change. I looked in the case and saw just the new crap. I was really disappointed when I remembered. I asked to confirm this is the new line of baked goods…yep. So, mostly just coffee at Starbucks from now on.

    April 11, 2014 at 7:46 am
  11. Andy

    The new food is no better than the crap that is sold at convenience stores. Dissapointing.

    April 7, 2014 at 8:03 am
  12. LA

    Contrary to what they are trying to tell customers about the new line of food at Starbucks known as La Boulange it is not a step up from their previous items. All their pastries and sandwiches are filled w/tons of butter which is the main ingredient you taste and not the actual egg or bacon. The new reduced fat turkey bacon (RFT) is awful. The only thing I preferred was the cookie and brownie items. I thought that they were a step up from the original items. Since the RFT was my favorite sandwich, I won’t be populating Starbucks very much anymore. Not interested in having a “butter” filled breakfast first thing in the morning. Wish they would go back to their original items!!!

    April 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm
  13. Dottie

    I miss the Gingerbread slice at Christmas time.

    April 1, 2014 at 4:51 pm
  14. Update: Starbucks rethinks their new food strategy | Cooking Light

    […] Editor Scott Mowbray tried the new pastries while in New York City, and we took an in-depth look at the new menu’s healthiest options in our January/February issue. It seems, however, that the reviews of the new bakery items weren’t great, so Starbucks is retooling their menu. […]

    April 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm
  15. Colleen McConnell

    The new pastries are awful!
    The marble pound loaf was dry, and not even warm. The texture was crumby.
    My daughter doesn’t drink the coffee but goes to SB at least once a week for the lemon pound cake or marble loaf. Now I can save my money. Goodbye Starbucks!

    March 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm
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    March 25, 2014 at 10:12 pm
  17. voodoodr06

    even the old crappy food was better than this la boulanger crap. I haven’t tried any items that I like and I have tried each type of food.

    March 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm
  18. cinzia

    I recently tried the egg-bacon breakfast sandwich. I have never eaten anything so disgusting. The egg was gritty … do they use powdered eggs? I threw it away after one bit. This will teach me to eat breakfast at home.

    March 21, 2014 at 8:03 am
  19. L

    Most of the stuff in La Boulange is dry, flavorless (except for the main ingredient BUTTER) and overall, disappointing. I like my fair share of butter, especially with bread, but when you choose to eat something sweet and savory, take a bite, and only taste butter, it’s kind of a let-down. Most of the pastries and all of the savory squares (don’t even get me started on those hot pocket knockoffs; in fact, hot pockets taste BETTER than the squares and hot pockets are pretty gross.) have to be heated, which I think ruins it even more. Everything looks like it will be moist and melt-in-your-mouth delish, but it’s deceiving;more so once it comes out of the oven. On top of all of that, if you’re itching to try something new just to taste for yourself, make sure you have a lot of time on your hands or pick a time when it’s not busy, or your drink will be gone before your pasty is even in your hands 😉 Oh, and don’t forget to pack your purse full of napkins; you’re gonna need’em with all that BUTTER!!

    February 20, 2014 at 9:26 am
  20. TC

    Pastries now referred to around here as as “Starbage” or “Starcrap”. And, the Pike’s blend is getting worse too! What happened to this company? Have sales deteriorated? That would be an interesting factoid…..

    January 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm

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