Starbucks is a coffee behemoth we all know well. If you’re a dedicated fan, you don’t need a primer in what’s on the menu or how ordering works. You’ll know before you reach the counter that you’re after that Venti Caramel Frappuccino with a zippy double-shot. The Gatlinburg Starbucks is no different in its offerings, but it does have a few quirks you’ll want to know about before popping in for a quick beverage.
This location is nestled right in the heart of Gatlinburg, on its bustling Parkway. In terms of design, the location offers a quirky hipster meets the mountains feel that is quite fun. However, during busy season, the small size can be an issue. In fact, some might argue that it’s drastically undersized for the amount of traffic that passes through the area.
Visitors regularly report long lines and excessive wait times at this location. If you show up midmorning or later, don’t expect to get in and out quickly. Starbucks pros might find this off-putting, particularly if they’re accustomed to ordering ahead with the app. Some guests have also reported issues using the app and rewards program at this location, so you might face disappointment if you’re hoping to cash in on a star promotion during your visit to the Smokies. There are even some reports that the coffee itself is hit or miss as far as conformity with the predictable brand.
Do make sure that you double-check the menu as you’re ordering. Pricing varies between Starbucks locations, and this one is on the higher end thanks to its prime location on Gatlinburg’s main tourist drag. You might know the price of your go-to drink down to the penny at home, but you should expect it to be a bit higher here. If you don’t mind the wait and you’re after the coffee more than the experience, this location will hit the spot.
Don’t have your Starbucks order down to a science like some pros? Take it easy with these classic picks:
- Cinnamon Dolce Latte – The traditional latte gets dressed up in this drink with cinnamon dolce-flavored syrup blended with steamed milk and espresso. Whipped cream and cinnamon top it off.
- Java Chip Frappuccino – The chilly Frappuccino is a decadent pick for a cold coffee drink. It features mocha sauce, coffee, milk, and ice with whipped cream and a mocha drizzle on top.
- Pink Drink – The name sounds a bit mysterious, but this beverage is sure to delight if you’re looking for an alternative to coffee. The drink features Starbucks’ Strawberry Acai Refresher with coconut milk.
- Show up before 9 a.m. to get your drink quickly and avoid the tourist crush.
- Take your drink to-go, as this is an ideal spot for strolling.
- Keep your order simple. This location charges for add-ins.