How to order fast food in Japan like a local! Featuring top 6 fast-food chains

Visitors in Japan are so excited to try the local foods and drinks, but after a long journey you may be curious about the western options in Japan or to fill your belly for a relatively low price, quick and easy meal — fast food! But if you are not fluent in Japanese, there will be some natural anxiety about going inside a high-speed ordering fast food shop for the first time. Here are the introduction of the top fast-food restaurant chains in Japan and a basic ordering guide for you.


1. Choose the restaurant you want to go


McDonald’s (マクドナルド)

As the world’s biggest fast-food chain, McDonald’s Japan shared a similar menu with the west, except the smaller portion. McDonald’s is pronounced as “makudonarudo” in Japanese, and people try to keep it simple and short so they name it “makku”(マック). Same as other localized McDonald’s, they have seasonal items such as  Black Thunder McFlurry and teriyaki-burger. 

©2020 McDonald’s. All Rights Reserved.


©2020 McDonald’s. All Rights Reserved.

The most exciting menu for kids — Japan only toy from Happy Meal! You will find all your favourite anime characters.


KFC (ケンタッキー)

One of the biggest differences between the KFC back home and the one in Japan perhaps is the fries. You will get regular fries instead of the potato lattice, and you won’t find the KFC Buffalo Fried Wings as well.


One interesting Japanese tradition since the 1970s is the pre-ordering KFC Christmas set menu. Instead of having turkey, the Japanese celebrate by having a bucket of fried chicken with their families and friends.



MOS BURGER(モスバーガー)

MOS BURGER is a Japanese fast food shop founded in 1972, and it has expanded to over 1,600 shops worldwide. They have many burgers with Japanese flavours, such as pork cutlet, vegetable mixed tempura, and teriyaki chicken. It is best known for its rice burger, green burger, low allergy menu, and the healthy option to replace the bread bun with layers of lettuce!




Taking its name from its parent company, Lotte Corporation, LOTTERIA has become one of the leading fast-food chains in Japan and Korea. If you are a cheese lover, do not miss out on their excellent cheeseburger and fried cheese fingers. They often have many limited edition burgers and snacks too, such as the extra-large fries and the crazy 4-layered cheeseburger.



Wendy’s First kitchen(ファーストキッチン)

First Kitchen first opened in Tokyo in 1977, and it joined Wendy’s Japan in 2016 to become Wendy’s First Kitchen. They sell not only the regular American burgers but also a vast variety of spaghetti, desserts, floats, and some more unique ones such as pancake burger and Vietnamese drink “Che.”

Copyright © 2020 First Kitchen LTD. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2020 First Kitchen LTD. All Rights Reserved.


Freshness burger(フレッシュネスバーガー)

Founded in 1992, Freshness Burger often advertises itself as “Fresh and Organic.” It looks more like a modern cafe that serves quality burgers, hotdogs, and ciders. Their persistence on premium ingredients is reflected in their choice of patty, bun, and Japanese vegetables such as avocado, asparagus.



2. Reading menu in Japanese

Since most of the items on the menu are originated from English, they are usually shown in katakana, which makes it even more difficult for a beginner. But no worries! Take a look at the list of the common food and drink you will find in fast-food restaurants.



Japanese Pronunciation Meaning
スパゲティ supageti spaghetti
ホットドッグ hotto-doggu hotdog
チーズバーガー chizu-baga cheese burger
エビカツバーガー ebikatsu-baga fried shrimp paste burger
テリヤキチキンバーカー teriyaki-chikin-baga teriyaki-chicken burger
フィッシュバーガー fisshu-baga fish burger
野菜バーガー yasai-baga vegetable burger
オリジナルチキン orijinaru-chikin original favoured fried chicken
骨なしチキン honenashi-chikin boneless fried chicken


Side and dessert

Japanese Pronunciation Meaning
フライドポテト furaido-poteto French fries
オニオンフライ onion-furai onion rings
ハッシュポテト hasshu-poteto hash browns
チキンナゲット chikin-nagetto chicken nugget
サラダ sarada salad
スイートコン suito-kon sweet corns
アップルパイ appuru-pai apple pie
ソフトクリーム sofuto-kurimu ice cream
フロート furoto ice cream float


Set menu

Japanese Pronunciation Meaning
セット setto set menu
ポテトセット poteto-setto fries set meal
ドリンクセット dorinku-setto drink set meal
ランチ ranchi lunch set meal
チキンセット chikin-setto chicken set meal
ハッピーセット/キッズセット happi-setto/ kizzu-setto happy meal/ kid’s meal



Japanese Pronunciation Meaning
コーラ kora Coke
コーラゼロ kora-zero Coke Zero
スプライト supuraito Sprite
ペプシ(コーラ) pepushi (kora) Pepsi
オレンジジュース orenji-jusu orange juice
レモンティー remon-ti lemon tea
ホット・アイス+コーヒー・ティー hotto/aisu + kohi/ti hot/iced + coffee/tea
スムージー sumuji smoothie
シェイク sheiku milkshake


3. Ordering and making special requests

The sequence is simple — find a seat, order at the counter, take your meal and enjoy at your seat. Here are lists of phrases you may hear or need when ordering food in a fast-food chain.

Japanese pronunciation Meaning
こちらでお召し上がりですか?お持ち帰りですか? Kochirade omeshiagari desuka? Omochikaeridesuka? Welcome! What would you like to order?
ここで食べます/持ち帰りで。 Kokode tabemasu. /Mochikaeri de. Eating in./ To go (please).
これを一つください。 Kore wo hitotsu kudasai. One of this please.
お飲み物はいかがですか? Onomimono wa ikaga desuka? Would you like anything to drink?
コーヒーをください。 Kohi wo kudasai. I would like to have a coffee please.
コーヒーはホットでよろしいですか? Kohi wa hotto de yoroshiidesuka? Do you want your coffee hot?
アイスでお願いします。 Aisu de onegaishimasu. Iced coffee please.
セットにされますか? Setto ni saremasuka? Would you like to make it a combo/ set meal?
はい、セットにします。 Hai, setto ni shimasu. Yes, please make it a set meal.
ご注文は以上でよろしいですか? Go chumon wa ijo de yoroshi desuka? Will that be all?
10番でお待ちのお客様。 Juban de omachi no okyaku sama. Customer who is waiting with a number 10. (Is number 10 here?)
お席までお持ちいたします。 Oseki made omochi itashimasu. We will bring your order to your table.
テーブルでお待ち下さい。 Teiburu de omachi kudasai.  Please wait at the table.


Japanese (special requests)  Pronunciation Meaning
英語のメニューはありますか? Eigo no menyu wa arimasu ka? Do you have an English menu?
ドリンクは氷を抜いてお願いします。 Dorinku wa koori wo nuite onegaishimasu. No ice for the drinks please.
玉ねぎを抜きでお願いします Tamanegi wo nukude onegaishimasu. No onion please.
ソースを抜きでお願いします。 Sosu wo nukide onegaishimasu. No sauce please.
ケチャップをつけてください。 Kecyappu wo tsukedekudasai. May I have some ketchup?
ストロー下さい。 Sutorou kudasai.  May I have a straw?