Unlike some of the more self-righteous out there, I don't believe that Starbucks is the root of all evil. They may have muscled in on the business of some small cafes. But there were bound to be casualties in a project that basically redefined the experience of going out for a coffee in the U.S. I think they provide a uniformly decent cup of Joe. And if you were to travel to some of the hellholes I have been through in the U.S. and saw there was a Starbucks, you'd be grateful -- anything else in the vicinity is dishwater. I don't believe they are doing anywhere near the same kind of damage as places like McDonald's and Burger King.
They have proliferated in Mexico. According to their web site, there are now 273 Starbucks in the country. I would guess that at least half of them are here in the D.F. The worst thing about Starbucks in Mexico City? When the other cafes here saw what Starbucks was charging, all of them -- and I mean all -- raised their prices.
In the past few years a couple of Mexican chains of coffee houses have opened and expanded. They both serve coffee that I rate higher than Starbucks. They ought to be better -- a standard small cup in these places is 25 pesos, compared to 17 at Starbucks. If it is harder to find them, it is worth giving them a try, at least if you are in the vicinity of one. One of them is called Punta del Cielo and the other -- my favorite -- is Cielito Querido Cafe. As far as I can tell, they are doing very well, despite their high prices. Maybe it's a locavore thing.