This article ranks the five top hamburger chains in Japan by number of branches. There are also recommended menu items!
No. 5: SUBWAY
In fifth place is SUBWAY with 186 branches (as of early March 2020). It is popular as a place for veggie-rich sandwiches. Ordering at SUBWAY is a bit different from other chains in Japan.
First, you choose your base sandwich. There is a wide selection, ranging from the classics to seasonal menus. Once you've decided on the base, next choose the type of bread and whether you want it toasted, as well as how long you want it to be (regular = 15 cm, footlong = 30 cm). There are five bread choices (flatbread, white, wheat, sesame, and honey oats), so you can choose one with the flavor and texture you like.
Next, choose the dressing and finally, the toppings. You can have it topped with items that go well with the base sandwich.
If you are eating at SUBWAY in Japan, the Teriyaki Chicken (450 JPY (excl. tax) for regular) with Egg (60 JPY (excl. tax)/scoop) topping is recommended. Be sure to give it a try!
No. 4: LOTTERIA
LOTTERIA, which has 344 branches (as of July 2019), comes in No. 4. It has a wide variety of hamburgers, among which the Zeppin Cheeseburger Full Potato Set (810 JPY (excl. tax)) is recommended. The Zeppin Cheeseburger, which combines salty bacon, rich cheese, and a juicy hamburger patty, is truly "zeppin" (outstanding). The "Full Potato" that comes with the set refers to French fries with a seasoning in a separate bag that you sprinkle into the container of fries. There is a choice between consommé flavor and butter and soy sauce flavor.
No. 3: Kentucky Fried Chicken
No. 3 is Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) with 1,133 branches (as of March 2020). The image of Colonel Sanders in front of KFC outlets is a common sight in Japan. KFC is, of course, known for its chicken, but if you're in Japan, why not try its Japanese-Style Chicken Cutlet Sandwich Box (900 JPY (incl. tax))?
The Japanese-Style Chicken Cutlet Sandwich is a burger with the perfect combination of soft chicken cutlet and sweet soy sauce-based sauce! The box is a great deal that comes with a piece of boneless chicken, a drink, fries, and a mini apple pie in addition to the burger.
No. 2: MOS BURGER
MOS BURGER, which had 1,300 branches as of the end of September 2019, comes in second place. MOS BURGER, which started in Japan, is known for its upscale burgers with quality ingredients that are prepared with care. All of its fresh vegetables are sourced directly from farmers in Japan, and each day, the specific farms that provided the vegetables used that day are listed on blackboards. The recommended menu item at this chain dedicated to quality and flavor is the Tobikiri Tomato & Lettuce (426 JPY (excl. tax)) in the Tobikiri Burgers series, with patties of all-Japanese beef that are 1.7 times the size of regular patties. They are burgers with fat, juicy patties, thickly sliced tomatoes and fresh lettuce. A great way to enjoy the flavors of both the meat and vegetables!
No. 1: McDonald's
In first place is McDonald's, which has by far the largest number of branches, with 2,906 as of the end of February 2020. You will see them everywhere when sightseeing in Japan. There are McDonald's all around the world, but in Japan, the Teriyaki McBurger (340 JPY) and Ebi Filet-O (390 JPY) are highly recommended. The Teriyaki McBurger, which has a patty with a sweet and salty soy sauce-based teriyaki sauce supplemented by mayonnaise, has wonderful flavors that are unique to Japan. The Ebi Filet-O is a burger of deep-fried shrimp, with the perfect combination of the umami flavors of shrimp and crunchy batter. It was updated in 2018, so if you haven't had it yet, be sure to give it a try.
Be sure to enjoy these uniquely Japanese flavors at fast food chains you'll see while traveling through Japan.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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