Learning how to order low carb at Starbucks is a little more complicated than you think. This easy guide will break it down for you and soon, you will be ordering keto friendly drinks and food at Starbucks–just like a pro.
What would we do without Starbucks?! It’s often our first stop before we head to work or school, it functions as a temporary office for many of us, a hangout with friends or solitary place to think.
Almost anywhere in the world, that classic green apron grants a warm welcome; it’s coffee’s familiar face. And lucky for us living a keto lifestyle, Starbucks listens to the needs of its customers and constantly evolves to meet them.
Last year I was asked by Health Magazine about my favorite keto choices at Starbucks, and the article received such great feedback that I thought I would expand it.
Because there are literally hundreds of combinations for ordering fancy coffee and tea drinks I’ve broken it down for you into Keto-friendly, low carb ingredients. If you stick with a combination of these ingredients you can’t go wrong. Don’t want to read all this? Just get the free printable cheat sheet I made HERE.
What Low Carb Drinks are at Starbucks?
There are a lot of Low Carb drink options at Starbucks if you know how to order. Like I said, there’s literally hundreds if you order a custom drink. TO make it simple, I’ve broken everything down by step below, or you can download my easy-to-read printable cheat sheet to take with you! Get it HERE!
Low Carb Drink Bases At Starbucks (R)
First pick your base. Will you want something hot today? Or does it feel like more of an iced coffee to iced tea sort of day to you?
Once you’ve picked hot or cold, then decide what your base will be. Here are some naturally low carb choices.
- Fresh Brewed Coffee (Pike Place, Blonde Roast, Dark Roast, etc.)
- Cold Brew Coffee
- Unsweetened Tea (Chai, Green, Black or White, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Passion Tango).
- NO tea infusions! Steer clear of Starbucks’ tea infusions or their shaken iced teas, many of which have added sugar or are mixed with juices (and as a result, contain a ton of carbs).
Keto Friendly Add-Ins At Starbucks
- Heavy Cream*
- Almond Milk
- The cream that Starbucks has out at the self-serve bar is not heavy cream and will have more carbs so either ask the barista to add heavy cream or ask them to give you heavy cream to add in yourself.
- There are pros and cons with using heavy cream versus half and half that you should be aware of. Heavy cream has more fat and less carbs per serving, but the calories in heavy cream can really add up.
- If you have to watch your calorie count like I do, I would recommend using half-and-half sparingly. If you’re not watching your calorie count, then enjoy the heavy cream.
- One cup of Starbucks’ almond milk contains about 60 calories, 4 grams fat, 110 mg sodium, 5 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 3 grams sugar, and 2 grams of protein.
- In comparison, a cup of coconut milk at Starbucks has 8.5 grams of sugar.
- The soy milk, omg, just stay away from it. It’s got 13.5 grams of sugar per cup!
- So yeah, your choices are heavy cream, half and half, and almond milk.
Sugar-Free Syrups & Sweeteners At Starbucks
I’m not crazy about the low carb sweetener options at Starbucks. Most use Stevia in the Raw which includes maltodextrin and contains carbs. I usually bring my own sweetener with me to use when I’m out and about.
Sugar-Free Syrups. Selection will vary by store, but all stores carry sugar-free syrups and this is where the magic happens if you have a sweet tooth.
- SF Vanilla
- SF Caramel
- SF Cinnamon Dolce
- SF Hazelnut
- SF Peppermint (seasonal)
- SF Mocha
Mix and Match Low Carb Starbucks Drinks
So for example, using this method you might make:
- A Hot Brewed Coffee with Almond Milk with Stevia
- Iced Espresso with Heavy Cream with a Pump of Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
Start With These Low Carb Starbucks Drinks
If you don’t have a favorite Starbucks drink yet or want some new drink inspiration you can order one of these below:
- Low-carb Flat White (Flat white, no steamed milk, half-heavy whipping cream, half water steamed)
- Skinny Mocha (Sugar free mocha sauce, half-heavy whipping cream, half water instead of milk, no whipped cream)
- Steamer (I like a grande almond milk unsweetened, extra hot, with two shots of sugar-free cinnamon dolce
- Grande Expresso Coffee over ice with some heavy whipping cream and two pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup.
- Americano with Heavy Cream (this is good hot or cold)
- Keto White Drink (unsweetened Peach Citrus White Tea, heavy cream, sugar free vanilla syrup)
- Faux Frapp (Cold Brew Coffee with heavy cream, and 2 pumps of both SF vanilla and SF cinnamon dolce syrup. Ask them to blend it Frapp style with no base)
- Iced Cinnamon Refresher (Cold Brew or unsweetened iced coffee with heavy cream, light ice, no water, and 2-3 pumps of SF cinnamon dolce and SF vanilla syrup)
- Sugar Free Purple Drink (passion iced tea, soymilk, SF vanilla syrup, blackberries)
- Sugar Free Pink Drink (passion iced tea, no classic, with 2 shots of heavy whipping cream, and 4 pumps of sugarfree vanilla)
- Brewed Oprah Chai Tea Bag (Chai tea bag, 2 shots heavy cream, 2 pumps SF Cinnamon Dolce, stevia)
You’ll notice that the list above contains both hard working caffeine filled coffee and espresso, as well as some sweet treat frozen options. Starbucks is a great place to get a keto sweet fix if you need one. Snag the printable Low Carb Starbucks drink guide cheat sheet HERE!
Low Carb Food at Starbucks:
The food at Starbucks is very disappointing for keto.
- The Protein Boxes come loaded with anywhere from 34 to a whopping 80 grams of carbs! Of course, you can get Cheese & Nut tray and get rid of the fruit and crackers.
- The Sous Vide Egg Bites, which at face value would seem low in carbs, pack in 9-13 grams of carbs because they contain a rice starch which helps them hold their shape and texture.
- If you must find something to eat at Starbucks, I recommend the Avocado Dip, which is just a cup of guacamole, and I will often just eat it with a spoon.
- Some stores now offer a salami and cheese tray, which is great. I hope that Starbucks will expand its Keto food offering.
More Keto Friendly Foods
If you’d like to learn more about what you can eat on Keto, these articles might be helpful for you.
- Best Low Carb Fruits, Vegetables & Nuts for a Keto Diet
- Keto Sweeteners: Best and Worst
- What can you eat on Keto
Looking For Some Keto Drink Recipes? Check These Out!
- Tired of the same old bulletproof coffee each morning? Love Caramel but not the sugar? This Keto Iced Caramel Macchiato is the answer!
- If you’re looking for an authentic Chai recipe, rather than a Westernized version of it, this is the one! Make an authentic Masala Chai in under 4 minutes in your Instant Pot!
- Use dried hibiscus leaves to make a lovely, refreshing Agua De Jamaica or Hibiscus Tea in your Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker!
I hope this has both taken the mystery out of ordering keto friendly drinks at Starbucks as well as given you some new favorites to try! Be sure to report back if you come up with a magical Keto friendly combination you’d like to share!