Just because you are giving up carbs and starting a ketogenic diet, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your Starbucks fix!
Starbucks – apart from making great coffee – is just so convenient. They are often easy to get to, have an efficient drive-thru, and even an app so you can order before you arrive.
Sure, you can make your ‘grande iced coffee with extra ice, 4 pumps of sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce and 3 shots of heavy cream, blended Frappuccino-style’ at home. But when you are in a rush, or just plain don’t feel like making it, Starbucks is a convenient choice.
However, when you are on the keto diet, you have to be extra careful when ordering any food and drinks. Especially from a chain known for the sugar-heavy, carb-laden drinks because it will greatly hinder your progress towards ketosis.
How To Order Keto At Starbucks
Luckily for us keto-dieters, Starbucks actually makes it fairly easy to enjoy many of their drinks – you just need to know how and what order.
Most of these drinks will be up to around 2g net carbs per order. But it will fluctuate depending on how much heavy whipping cream you add to your drink.
Quick Tips For Ordering Keto Drinks At Starbucks
I’ll go into more detail for how to order specific drinks at Starbucks below, but here are basic guidelines to keep in mind, to help keep your order keto-friendly.
Don’t Assume It Is Unsweetened
The iced coffees and iced teas at Starbucks are sweetened with their ‘Classic’ syrup, so be sure to request ‘unsweetened’ when you order. You can then add one of the sugar-free syrup options.
Heavy Cream Is Your Friend
Replace milk or almond milk in any drink with heavy cream. This will get your fat count up.
Bring Your Own Add-ins
The stevia mix normally found at the preparation counter isn’t 100% stevia, so it is safer to bring your own stevia sachets with you. You can also bring your own collagen and MCT oil to mix in. And if you don’t want to miss out on the pumpkin-spice drinks at fall, NuNaturals make a Pumpkin Spice Stevia syrup.
Make Use Of Instagram
Instagram users are sharing their favorite keto-friendly Starbucks drinks under the hashtag #ketostarbucks. You will often find the exact order posted, to make it easy when getting your next Starbucks fix.
When In Doubt, Ask
Most Starbucks baristas know the menu inside out and back to front. They have also dealt with all sorts of dietary restrictions and unusual orders.
If you are stuck with what to order, let the barista know what sort of drinks you like, and that you are trying to stay keto-compliant. They will be able to suggest the best options for you.
Once you have your drink, write down the details of it and keep in your phone so you can easily order it again when you go back.
Keto-friendly Starbucks Drinks
Black coffee is the simplest and easiest keto drink you can order. Whether hot, iced, cold brewed or in espresso form – black coffee is a great keto option – if you can stomach it.
Black coffee is a ‘love it or hate it’ kind of drink. But it is the best option due to it having no sugar and being virtually calorie-free (with two to five calories per serving).
Not-quite Black Coffee
Can’t handle plain black coffee? Suitable keto-friendly additions you can use include adding a dash of cinnamon, some heavy cream, or even a sugar-free syrup. These additions work well for both hot and cold black coffee.
The cream at the counter is not heavy whipping cream, so be sure to ask for it when you order.
There are many hot coffee drinks at Starbucks that simply require small tweaks to be made keto-friendly.
Swap out the milk for heavy cream for your Americano, or order your Skinny Mocha with half heavy cream and half water (and to be on the safe side, always request ‘unsweetened’.)
To make your Cappuccino (made with just espresso and milk) more keto-friendly, swap out the milk for heavy cream.
Any of these drinks can be made sweet with the addition of a few pumps of sugar-free syrup. Popular flavors include the sugar-free Vanilla and the sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce.
Starbucks is known for their Frappuccinos, but the base is very much a no-go for keto dieters (it is pretty much all sugar).
What you can do, however, is to order a keto-friendly version. You can do this by ordering an unsweetened iced coffee, heavy cream instead of milk, sugar-free vanilla syrup, and blended up Frappuccino-style.
The consistency will be less like a milkshake, more like a slush. But it does the job! (And personally, I find it more refreshing!)
A popular choice is also adding the sugar-free cinnamon syrup, and if you are heading back from the gym you can even ask for 2 scoops of protein powder to be added!
And remember – if you get asked if you want a Frappuccino base – the answer is ‘no’!
Teas – hot and cold
Starbucks has a range of hot teas in a variety of flavors. Drink them as-is, with whipped cream, or shaken and poured over ice for a keto-friendly drink.
When ordering – make sure you are ordering from their hot tea list. The iced tea, blended tea, tea infusions, and tea latte drinks are made with lots of sugar.
If you are in the mood for chai, be sure to ask for ‘brewed’ chai. This is the version that is made with a chai tea bag. Most chai tea drinks come from a concentrate or powdered form, and are filled with sugar and other refined ingredients.
To make a really delicious chai tea drink, add some heavy cream, sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
For a fun iced tea drink, try the spin-off of the Peach Citrus White Tea Infusion. Ask for unsweetened Peach Citrus White Tea (no water), a splash of heavy cream, sugar-free Vanilla syrup, and light ice. Drink as is, or ask them to blend it up Frappuccino-style.
The Infamous Pink Drink
For a drink that tastes as good as summer feels, you can’t go wrong with the Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refreshers™ Beverage (otherwise known as the Pink Drink).
The original is made with coconut milk, tea, and a lot of sweeteners. Adjust it to be keto-friendly by asking for a passion iced tea – unsweetened – with heavy cream (2 shots) and sugar-free vanilla syrup (4 shots).
The calories help you meet your macro targets while being extremely low in carbohydrates.
Starbucks Snacks For The Hungry
Need more than just a drink to keep you going? Starbucks has a couple food options that happen to be low-carb and keto friendly.
The bacon and Gruyere egg bites have 22g fat and 9g carbs per serving – so they work well in a pinch!
Starbucks has what they call ‘Protein Boxes’, but they also include things like crackers and fruit. You may find string cheese and Moon Cheese available, or even the Felino Uncured Italian Salami and Manchego box which is a selection of salami and cheese.
For something more filling, there is the Grilled Chicken & Cauliflower Tabbouleh salad. It comes in at 11g net carbs per serving, so you will need to be more careful the rest of the day.