Coffee Competition: Does New York Prefer Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts?

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Does America really run on Dunkin’? Not based on our research. But New York and the bulk of the northeast does. National Coffee Day is Friday, Sept. 29, so took a break from covering developments toward online NY casinos to do a coffee study. Which cuppa joe is more popular in the Empire State – Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks?

Using data from Google Trends, StarbMag and VinePair, determined if each state preferred Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. We determined the number of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts locations per 100,000 people and the search interest for “Starbucks near me” and “Dunkin’ Donuts near me” to create a weighted scoring system.

Favorite Coffee Brand in New York

Name Stores per 100k Search Interest Weighted Score
Starbucks 3.39 0.56 1.975
Dunkin’ 7.04 0.44 3.74


It’s a Dunkin’ KO in the Empire State

Dunkin’ Donuts has nearly twice as many locations in the state as Starbucks, so when coffee drinkers need their caffeinated brew, there’s more likely to be a Dunkin’ within walking distance than a Starbucks. Coffee searchers online, however, are more likely to search for a “Starbucks near me” (56% to 44%) over a “Dunkin Donuts near me,” most likely because they already know where the Dunkin’ Donuts is – they’re everywhere.

New York has more DDs than any state in the union, with 1,423 locations, about 400 ahead of No. 2 Massachusetts. That’s still only 1 Dunkin’ for every 14,000 New Yorkers, if you’re wondering why you must wait in line in the morning.

Starbucks has close to 700 locations in New York State, third most behind Florida and Washington (where there are zero Dunkin Donuts stores). New York City is home to more than one-third of those Starbucks, 241, ahead of Chicago and Houston in terms of Starbucks location popularity.

Based on our calculations, Dunkin’ Donuts only dominates in the northeast, where it’s the preferred coffee option in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut. But those six states are the only six in which Dunkin’ beats Starbucks. Outside of the northeast, Starbucks garners more than 80% of the online searches for coffee. The Dunkin’ chain also has a very little presence in the south and southwest. In addition to Washington, there are no Dunkin’ Donuts in Oregon and Idaho. And Dunkin’ gets competition in upstate New York, Ohio, and Michigan from Tim Horton’s, which is how you pronounce Dunkin’ Donuts in Canada.

If you enjoyed this creative piece, look for others from us at, such as: Rating the Prices on Flights Out of New York.


Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of