Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Starbird: super-premium fast food launches in Silicon Valley

Starbird is a restaurant with a very unique beginning as it was actually created by a restaurant consulting company. What better way to show your customers you know what you're talking about than to create your own restaurant from scratch and practice what you preach? They invited me to come and try out their food and I have been back there a couple times since.

I'm not a huge fan of fast food (Chick-Fil-A and The Habit are my two exceptions), but have to say that Starbird does an outstanding job. They use Petaluma Farms free-range chicken, organic eggs, fresh-baked bread, and they make all of their sauces in house. Despite the high-end ingredients, the prices are still reasonable and the food comes out quickly.

My favorite item so far is the Free Range Ranch sandwich--crispy chicken, slaw, bacon, pimento cheese, and Greek yogurt ranch. They also have chicken tenders (the maple aioli was my favorite dipping sauce), wraps with an international twist, salads, breakfast sandwiches, and a house made chocolate-dipped ice cream cone with crushed toffee or almonds.

The decor is impressive for fast food. Starbird really put in a high attention to detail inside and out. The interior was clean and modern with some nice features like the plants in the middle of a communal table. They have a nice patio with plenty of tables and creative lighting. I can't say the seating was super comfortable, but it's not supposed to be for fast food.

Starbird also baked in the latest tech available for restaurants. You can always see the status of your order by looking at a large flat-screen so theoretically they don't have to shout out names or numbers. There is even a smartphone app that allows you to order, park, and have the food delivered to your car (think drive-through 2.0). It really seems to embody everything you would expect from a new fast food restaurant launched in Silicon Valley--not just the tech but the quality of the food, atmosphere, and the desire to innovate as well as challenge people's perceptions of fast food.

The first Starbird is located at 1241 El Camino Real in Sunnyvale. The owners are planning to open 9 more locations in Silicon Valley. For more information, head over to the Starbird website.


  1. I live about 1/2 mile away and it's a phenomenal addition to the sleepy Mountainvale-Sunnyview community. I will say it seems a notch above 'fast food', and if you're in a rush, I wouldn't eat here. They're more concerned about the 'food' than the 'fast'.

    Unfortunately I have to move to Oakland as my rent has gone up 60% in three years. They've got good restaurants also ;-).

  2. I found it to be OK. A bit overpriced for what you get, IMHO.