Fast food

Haley R

With all the strength of a raging fire
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
Hi everyone!

I’m interested in starting a discussion on fast food or American chains in Japan. Obviously I won’t be eating in these places every day because I need to branch out a little but I do see myself going in them from time to time. Are their offerings way different from what’s offered in America? I’ve seen some videos showing the menus to be pretty different. I’m just thinking I’ll want some food from “back home” every once in awhile. We plan to use 7-11 a lot too since a lot of our accommodations have a kitchen.

Side question: What are you favorite fast food places in Japan and what did you like eating there? My problem is I’m a very plain person (cheese pizza, only cheese on my burgers) so I’m a little worried about that.
 

indoshakespeare

Reach out and find your Happily Ever After
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
The McDonald's in Japan have pork burgers. The drinks are pretty much the same.

My favorite Japanese fast food are Mos Burger, Yoshinoya and Coco Ichiban. Mos Burger is famous for their rice burgers (instead of buns, they use rice cakes). Yoshinoya have good Beef on Rice bowls. Coco Ichiban is a curry place
 
  • Agent 86

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2013
    They’re all pretty similar to us (well, to the Australian versions which we’ve always found similar to the US versions on our few visits to the States).

    We also really like Mos Burger (which we now have in Australia too).
     

    tinibee

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2011
    If you like plain-ish food maybe try Saizeriya. It's a cheap pasta chain. You can get pasta with just parmesan and margharita pizza (which is just cheese pizza, there's no basil on it).
     

    tinibee

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2011
    I admit, I eat at Japan Mcdonalds more often than I should. The chicken sandwich uses a honey mustard sauce vs mayo. The chicken nuggets are the same as the US. There is a shrimp burger that's good but I don't usually order. They often have promotional burgers, but my favorite are the special desserts they have (right now is either chocolate or caramel pie in a flaky pastry like crust). Also, I love that the apple pies in Japan are still fried the way they used to be in the US. Plus, you can often get coupons for McDonald's.

    I've also eaten at Carl's Jr in Japan. The taste is much better but it costs 2-3x as much and the selection is not as good as the US.

    And Burger King... you'll have to tell me because I rarely eat there - in Japan or the US.

    Even though I live in Japan where there are great food options everywhere, I still enjoy a taste of home.
     

    MKTokyo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2018
    McDonald’s is pretty similar. Most people like the teriyaki burger but I personally do not. The chicken sandwich is great. If you think you’d like the sauce & want to try it, it just comes with lettuce, so nothing like pickles or tiny chopped onions that would be impossible for you to scrape off.

    KFC is popular and very similar to KFC in the US.

    Sometimes we order Pizza Hut but I found Pizza Hut gross even in the US so I can’t really say how similar it is, other than that I don’t care for either version. I get the crispy/flatbread type. Fun fact, a lot of Japanese pizzas have corn. So, if you hate corn, make sure you order something corn-less.

    I don’t eat fast food very often so I’m sure there are interesting options that I don’t know about.
     
  • Chewbette

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2012
    There are also T.G.I Friday's, we ate at the Shibuya one... As we live in Switzerland where there is none and almost never eat there when we are in the U.S. I cannot compare them, but it was "American fare" and quite good.
     

    planningjollyholiday

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2012
    I like that you can get a side of corn at McDonald's. The only other fastfood place I have eaten at in japan was subway. I remember more mayo and cheese options, with some seafood choices, but basically the same.
     

    Douglas Dubh

    True Fiscal Conservative
    Joined
    Nov 13, 1999
    I remember eating at a McDonald's and a KFC, but that was it for fast food. We ate at an Outback in Rappongi one night, and at the Fridays in Yokohama. And the Wolfgang Puck's near Ueno, as well as some Hard Rock Cafes.
     

    Colleen27

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2007
    My daughter says: She didn't eat any American fast food while she was there other than Starbucks (and she's still disappointed that they don't make matcha scones here in the US), but her pickier-eating friends were pleased with the prevalence of KFC. A group of them apparently went to McDs to check out the differences too, and spoke highly of the experience. 7-11 was actually her favorite fast food place during her time in Tokyo, but she doesn't remember how much American food they had to offer. She adored their onigiri and couldn't believe convenience store food in Japan was as good as it is overall. Her school day routine was cold-brew iced coffee and a matcha scone at Starbucks in the morning and onigiri and some canned coffee drink (that she said wasn't as sweet as the prepackaged Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts stuff convenience stores sell here) from 7-11 at lunch.

    One thing that did stand out to her was a total lack of anything that could pass for American-style pizza. I'm sure she didn't go out of her way looking for a pizza place, so it may be available but she just didn't come across it, but that was the first meal she asked for when she got home because it was the American food she missed most during the eight weeks she spent in Japan.
     
  • Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    Omg thank you everyone for your input! I didn’t think I would get this many responses. Dh really wants to try some unique places so our goal is to make sure there is some kind of fast food or 7-11 close by just in case I need something I’m more comfortable with. I’m not worried at all after reading all of your posts. I think the smaller cities might be the ones where I’ll have to be more flexible with my eating
     

    tinibee

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2011
    Remember this word - nashi. It means without. We had to learn that one quickly for my husband because he doesn't like mayonnaise. Example: "mayo nashi onegaishimasu" - without mayo please. :)
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    Remember this word - nashi. It means without. We had to learn that one quickly for my husband because he doesn't like mayonnaise. Example: "mayo nashi onegaishimasu" - without mayo please. :)
    Thanks! I was told most places won’t change their menu items or make substitutions, but I’ll try that wherever I can
     

    MKTokyo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2018
    Thanks! I was told most places won’t change their menu items or make substitutions, but I’ll try that wherever I can
    You can try saying you don’t want X or Y & that is generally okay. But, I think it’s going to be hard for you to communicate what you want and if you just keep saying “nashi, nashi” you’re going to end up with a lot of flustered people who think you want pears. So, if there’s one thing you truly hate, you can use it, but I wouldn’t try to order something complicated in this way.

    What you generally can’t do is make substitutions unless what you want appears on the menu. For example, if you’re ordering a burger that doesn’t come with cheese, and there’s no “add cheese” option specifically outlined, they won’t do it. Or, if you like the side that comes with Option A but you’re ordering Option B, you can’t substitute the other side, because Option B is Option B, not Option A. There is a particular way that various interactions are supposed to be done & nobody really likes it when someone goes “off-script.” That doesn’t mean anyone is going to be rude to you. It’s more that they simply won’t know what to do with that type of request because it’s not how that particular interaction is supposed to go.

    So, you can’t add the cheese, but you are not sentenced to a life of cheese if it’s something you really hate. However, if you are at a loss as to how to communicate exactly what you want, it’s easier to assume that the menu is the menu & find something you like without needing to alter it. Hopefully that makes sense :)
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    You can try saying you don’t want X or Y & that is generally okay. But, I think it’s going to be hard for you to communicate what you want and if you just keep saying “nashi, nashi” you’re going to end up with a lot of flustered people who think you want pears. So, if there’s one thing you truly hate, you can use it, but I wouldn’t try to order something complicated in this way.

    What you generally can’t do is make substitutions unless what you want appears on the menu. For example, if you’re ordering a burger that doesn’t come with cheese, and there’s no “add cheese” option specifically outlined, they won’t do it. Or, if you like the side that comes with Option A but you’re ordering Option B, you can’t substitute the other side, because Option B is Option B, not Option A. There is a particular way that various interactions are supposed to be done & nobody really likes it when someone goes “off-script.” That doesn’t mean anyone is going to be rude to you. It’s more that they simply won’t know what to do with that type of request because it’s not how that particular interaction is supposed to go.

    So, you can’t add the cheese, but you are not sentenced to a life of cheese if it’s something you really hate. However, if you are at a loss as to how to communicate exactly what you want, it’s easier to assume that the menu is the menu & find something you like without needing to alter it. Hopefully that makes sense :)
    That makes tons of sense! I was planning on doing exactly what you said, especially at TDR. I know there will be things there that I won't want because they have things mixed together or on top that I won't like so I plan to go in knowing which places have food that I'll enjoy without changing them. I'll do that same thing when we go to fast food places, too.
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    If you like plain-ish food maybe try Saizeriya. It's a cheap pasta chain. You can get pasta with just parmesan and margharita pizza (which is just cheese pizza, there's no basil on it).
    This place looks really good and I'm probably gonna have to get some pizza while I'm there.
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    The McDonald's in Japan have pork burgers. The drinks are pretty much the same.

    My favorite Japanese fast food are Mos Burger, Yoshinoya and Coco Ichiban. Mos Burger is famous for their rice burgers (instead of buns, they use rice cakes). Yoshinoya have good Beef on Rice bowls. Coco Ichiban is a curry place
    I looked those places up. Yoshinoya looks really good to me. I started a Google Doc with a list of fast food places I would like. Dh is all about the food when we visit Japan so his job is to plan our food during the trip before we go. I planned everything else lol
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    McDonald’s is pretty similar. Most people like the teriyaki burger but I personally do not. The chicken sandwich is great. If you think you’d like the sauce & want to try it, it just comes with lettuce, so nothing like pickles or tiny chopped onions that would be impossible for you to scrape off.

    KFC is popular and very similar to KFC in the US.

    Sometimes we order Pizza Hut but I found Pizza Hut gross even in the US so I can’t really say how similar it is, other than that I don’t care for either version. I get the crispy/flatbread type. Fun fact, a lot of Japanese pizzas have corn. So, if you hate corn, make sure you order something corn-less.

    I don’t eat fast food very often so I’m sure there are interesting options that I don’t know about.
    I just looked at pizza hut's menu in Japan and the prices look really high. We're not big Pizza Hut eaters at home anyway so we'll probably pass on that in Japan.
     

    Leilanie94

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 14, 2010
    We went to Tokyo and Osaka in July 2018.

    American chains in Japan we visited:

    McDonald's in Tokyo
    I tried the Loco Moco hamburger. LOVE it!

    Shake Shack in Osaka
    LOVE the Black Bean Sesame shake.

    Krispy Kreme in Osaka
    We tried the matcha (green tea) donuts.
     


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