My Favorite Starbucks, Ubud on Bali (Indonesia)

I’m a Starbucks-goer. I even collect the mugs. I am one of the millions of Americans who ENJOY the feeling of home that a Starbucks outside the US gives us. The US Starbucks have given up on “cozy” and crammed the space with as many wooden chairs and tables as possible. Those leather sofas and overstuffed armchairs take up room—and room is money.

Not so in the Starbucks in Munich, where I live. Cozy is still very much on the menu in München. Yet even with their Bavarian Gemütlichkeit, these little oases dry up in the shade of the Starbucks in Ubud, Indonesia on the island of Bali.

In contrast to much of the island, Ubud, the cultural center of Bali, is well worth a visit. You can spend days browsing the shops or rummaging through the markets. The hotels in Ubud are smaller and quainter than the large tourist hotels in Kuta. If you want more art and less sand, you’ll like Ubud. Hey, and you’ll love the Starbucks in Ubud. Shoot me, go ahead.

Or maybe you have a favorite Starbucks of your own? Perhaps you’ve been to a Starbucks that amazed you or a Starbucks that inspired you. OK, I’m nuts. True. Writers need Starbucks and all of the other Starbucks-like establishments. We need the roar of an audience (I often imagine the other coffee-drinkers nodding to one another, chinning to me and saying ‘Man, I wonder what he’s writing. He looks so, um, smart, and so, gosh I don’t know, handsome/dashing/scrumptious scribbling in that notebook. Wait, shouldn’t he have a laptop? Ohhhhh, he’s probably poor, and he’s not as cute as—’ OK, that’s enough. You get the picture.

Here’s a picture of the scene outside the window of the Starbucks in Ubud. Does your Starbucks have a temple? I’m going to lean dangerously far out onto a brittle brittle limb and say . . . no.

Here’s the sign to my (yes, it’s now “my”) Starbucks. It’s brown. Not your usual green. My Starbucks is special.

Here’s the seating area on the veranda with a view to my temple. I love this picture. I took it, so I probably shouldn’t gloat. Love the perspective. So good. So good. Award-winning perspective?

So what is your favorite Starbucks? Show me your Starbucks, baby. If you don’t have pictures, I understand. Well sort of. And those of you who hate Starbucks, why so mean?

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of the absurdist satire Conversations with S. Teri O'Type


  1. oooooohhhhhhh, I LOVE IT! "Your" Starbucks, Starbucks in general, and the MUGS! They just introduced the North Carolina one AND Charlotte is now big enough we have a mug just for US! You must email me your address so I can send you a cuppa :) from *HERE*

  2. Hi, Jenn! Thank you, but I have to visit the city to get the mug. It helps me remember where I've been. I've been to the airport in Charlotte, but I'll have to come see you to get the mug. And I will. A little planning. A longer layover. No problem.

    Hope your new year is getting off to a great start. :)

  3. Never been to Starbucks (shoot me [or do I shoot you?]) but that is an award-winning perspective. One might argue the corporate Westernization of Asia is responsible for various unrests and skirmishes and globally bad coffee, but... that is a damn fine perspective.

  4. Well, thank you (for the perspective props).

    Hmmm. When it comes to bad coffee, you'd be surprised who has the worst. The Italians, who should have great coffee, notoriously serve god-awful coffee to the tourists. Many people around the world drink instant coffee (Nescafe) which is horrid. An incredibly large number of people on this planet drink a sugary syrup they call coffee. In fact, almost everywhere you turn on planet Earth coffee is crap.

    I like Starbucks, obviously. I do, however, have a problem with their lids. Once you remove them to put milk in your coffee, they always leak. Talk about a day ruined. Sheesh.

  5. *giggles* It's funny. I love Starbucks coffee (and we have convinced our department to supply us with it) but I am too cheap to ever go to my local. But when I am traveling, I totally frequent them. I've never thought about a favorite, though... The one on campus here is pretty nice (Ann Arbor on UM campus)--it is a main floor with a spiral stairway to a basement and has a gas fireplace surrounded by comfy chairs (NOT THE COMFY CHAIR!) If I weren't impoverished, I would totally write there.

  6. **A friend of mine sent your link my way. Evidently, she's a 'writing friend' with a parent of yours. She thought of me because Starbuck's is now my "man on the side" as of this summer. As my pics would not upload, I have only my panoramic word picture for you at the other end of the above link.

    GREAT pics, sir!


    Hmmm. Let's see if the link shows up.

  8. Hmmm. So what's the contest exactly? Photos, blog post? Prize?

    You can see my starbucks love here:

    and here

    Not sure why but I guess you have to copy & paste the links ... hmmmm.

  9. Hi gsv and just jeanette. Thanks for stopping by. The prize is one coffee of the day, but I already drank it. :)

    Here again the links from just jeanette: HERE and HERE

  10. I like the SBX in Kowloon, Hong Kong that's right on the water. There's a covered roof deck and a view of the skyline across the way. Great place to spend a couple of hours working or reading. No pictures, but the view is approx this:

  11. Hi Chris.

    Used one of the pics above in a blog post here:

    I did credit you, but lemme know if you'd like me to remove it.


  12. CA, I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty, and (GAY!!!!!) Hehehe. It won't surprise you to know that we share the Starbucks passion in common. Yup. It probably also won't surprise you that I have no pictures of my favorite one. But I might snap it when I am there next month. Too bad you won't be sitting across from me sipping your fave concoction!
    Fun post, but then I would expect no less from a cowboy like you.

  13. I absolutely adore Starbucks and sometimes even find myself planning my day around it! My favourite one in Munich was in the Felitzschstr. It was great, loads of squashy armchairs, a play area where u could just leave the kids so you could actually enjoy your grande latte (VERY important when you have twins :-)), a really nice irish manageress. It was always half empty and i could get the twin pram through the door (no steps!). Unfortunately they closed it down one day and the nice irish girl now works in the small Starbucks on the Leopoldstr. Which is disastrous for me and my twin pram as it has steps up to the main entrance and inside!!
    Other thing i love about Starbucks are the xmas specials (incl the cups!). Adore the toffee nut latte :-) no other coffee co comes close.


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