Starbucks vs Dunkin’: Which is More Expensive?

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As coffee enthusiasts, we often debate whether to grab a cup of joe from Starbucks or Dunkin’. While taste and ambiance come into play, the cost of the beverages we love also significantly affects our decision. But which of these two coffee chains is more expensive?

In this article, we will dive into the pricing strategies of Starbucks and Dunkin’ to determine the more budget-friendly option for satisfying our caffeine cravings. Using relevant data and comparisons, we aim to help you make an informed choice for your wallet and taste buds.

Starbucks vs Dunkin’: Which is More Expensive?

When comparing the costs of Starbucks and Dunkin’, it’s essential to consider the difference in size for their various beverages. Starbucks offers tall and grande sizes, which are larger than Dunkin’s equivalent beverages.

For example, Starbucks’ tall and grande options measure 12 and 16 ounces, while Dunkin’s similar sizes are 10 and 14 ounces, respectively.

Due to the size difference, Starbucks tends to have higher prices on hot coffee. An example of pricing for their cold blends can also be found in Business Insider’s comparison, where Starbucks’ cold brew costs $3.21 less than Dunkin’s cold brew.

It’s worth noting, though, that the overall cost difference can vary based on the type of beverage and location.

When it comes to food pricing, Dunkin’ is usually more affordable than Starbucks. For instance, Dunkin’s bacon and egg breakfast sandwich is priced at $3.59, while a similar item at Starbucks might be priced higher. 

Aside from the regular menu, both companies offer promotions and limited-time offers, which can impact the price points of various menu items.

Discounts and loyalty programs on both brands also influence the final cost of the products for their customers. We recommend staying up-to-date with their ongoing promotions to make the most out of your experience with either Starbucks or Dunkin’.

Price Comparisons

When comparing the prices of Starbucks and Dunkin’, it’s important to consider various factors like coffee drinks, specialty drinks, and food items. Here, we will examine these aspects in more detail.

Is Dunkin’ or Starbucks better?

From a pricing perspective, both chains have their own strengths and weaknesses. While Starbucks is known for providing a wide range of drink options and a more relaxed cafe atmosphere, Dunkin’ focuses on a more grab-and-go approach that keeps its prices lower overall.

In the following sections, we’ll dive into specific product categories to help determine which chain might be a better fit for your budget.

Coffee Drinks

Comparing Starbucks and Dunkin’ coffee prices, Dunkin’ generally has lower prices. For example, a 20 oz Venti hot coffee at Starbucks costs $3.25, while a 24 oz XL hot coffee at Dunkin’ costs $2.89.

Considering the price differences and size disparities, Dunkin’ has an advantage in the coffee drinks category.

Specialty Drinks

Regarding specialty drinks, Starbucks is known for its extensive menu and innovative offerings, such as the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Nitro Cold Brew.

However, these unique drinks often come at a premium price compared to Dunkin”s more traditional beverage options. Thus, Dunkin’ may still have the upper hand for specialty drinks for those on a budget.

Food Items

Starbucks and Dunkin’ also offer food items like sandwiches, pastries, and other snacks. Pricing will vary depending on the specific item, so checking each chain’s menus for an accurate comparison is essential.

While there might not be a clear winner in terms of food item pricing, it’s worth noting that each chain has its own unique food options that cater to different tastes and preferences.

Factors Affecting Prices

In this section, we’ll discuss the various factors influencing the prices at Starbucks and Dunkin’. To help us understand the differences, we’ll explore two sub-sections: Location and Seasonal Offerings.


The location of a store plays a significant role in determining the prices of coffee and other offerings. The costs associated with rent, utilities, and labor can vary greatly between different areas or countries.

Starbucks, known for its premium coffee shop experience, often operates in high-rent locations. This means that the cost of operating a Starbucks store is typically higher than for a Dunkin’ store, which is often a more grab-and-go style cafe.

As a result, you might find that Starbucks has higher prices due to the higher operating costs associated with their store locations.

Seasonal Offerings

Both Starbucks and Dunkin’ frequently offer seasonal drinks and food items in addition to their standard menus. These limited-time offerings can also influence the prices of their products.

Starbucks, in particular, is known for its iconic holiday drinks and seasonal offerings, which often come at a premium price. On the other hand, Dunkin’ also has seasonal drinks, but they tend to be more modestly priced in comparison.

For example, let’s compare the hot coffee prices of both chains:


As you can see in the table above, Starbuck’s hot coffee prices are generally higher than Dunkin’s. However, it’s important to note that prices may vary depending on promotional discounts and other factors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Starbucks or Dunkin charge more for their hot coffee?

Starbucks typically charges more for their hot coffee compared to Dunkin’ due to larger serving sizes.

For example, Starbucks’ tall and grande sizes are 12 and 16 ounces, while the equivalent Dunkin’ sizes are 10 and 14 ounces. This makes Starbucks prices higher than Dunkin’ for similar servings.

What’s the difference in the number of stores between Starbucks and Dunkin?

Starbucks has nearly 70% more U.S. stores compared to Dunkin’ and also has more stores outside the U.S. This difference can contribute to the perception of pricing disparities, as the brands have varying degrees of market saturation.

How do the taste profiles and product offerings differ between Starbucks and Dunkin’?

While both brands can meet your caffeine needs, Starbucks typically offers a stronger coffee with a more extensive range of roasts and specialty drinks. Dunkin’ Donuts, on the other hand, is more popular for its donuts and other treats, which include a variety of flavors and seasonal offerings.


Starbucks tends to be more expensive than Dunkin’. This can be attributed to Starbucks’ focus on providing a more upscale coffee experience with spacious interiors, carefully crafted atmospheres, and a wider range of specialty drinks.

On the other hand, Dunkin’ is known for its affordable prices and quick service, appealing to customers looking for a faster, more budget-friendly option. The choice between Starbucks and Dunkin’ will depend on personal preferences, budget, and the desired coffee experience. Both chains have their merits, and each appeals to different market segments.