Jan 15, 2010

The Asia Trip: A Look at a McDonald's McCafe in Japan

I only saw one McCafe in Japan.  They are no where near as prevalent as Starbucks is over there.  But still the setup was pretty interesting in comparison to here in the U.S.

I had heard that the McCafes abroad were much nicer and sometimes standalone from McDonald's unlike here in the U.S. where our McCafes are just a Melitta super automatic espresso machine placed inside of your everyday McDonald's.

This McCafe however is not too different than ours.  It's just a service window attached to a regular McDonald's in a heavy foot traffic area.  I thought it was a bit interesting to have a service window since eating on the go is looked down upon in Japan, but maybe a lot of people stop by in the morning to pick up something on the way to work.

You can check out the McCafe Japan menu and pricing here:  You'll see that the beverage lineup is very much the same as ours in the States except for the notable addition of a Caramel Latte.  In case you're wondering the current exchange rate of dollars to yen is roughly 1.10 dollars to 100 yen which makes visiting Japan a bit expensive.

If you look closely at the picture, you'll also see that the McCafe service window also features "cold desserts" i.e. ice cream.  Soft serve is pretty popular in Japan.  I saw quite a few places featuring it on the menu.  But what this particular McCafe had, which I also saw at a couple (but not all) McDonald's in Hong Kong, was soft serve ice cream cones with swirls of flavored syrup in various colorful flavors.

I really wanted to try one but I later found out it was not available at most McDonald's locations, and when I searched for it, I kept going to the wrong McDonald's.  I suck, I know.

I have since learned that the cones are made using a Flavor Burst machine which adds a flavored syrup to the soft serve as it's being pulled, thereby creating a flavored line along the length of the soft serve.


  1. I remember those flavor swirled cones back in Hong Kong two years ago :). Those were nice. But I still only ordered the cheaper cone instead.

  2. Yeah, I wanted to try it. I passed by a stand in Kowloon Park but I was on my way to breakfast and didn't want to spoil my appetite. But when I passed by later that night it was closed T_T

  3. One of the McDonalds in Neenah, WI has that "Flavor Burst" soft serve machine. They have 10+ flavors available from what I remember.

  4. Neat! They don't have any here in SoCal as far as I know... Have you tried it?


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