Korea – American Restaurant Chains in Korea

Restaurant(s): Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robbins, McDonald’s, Starbucks
Cuisine: American
Last visited: April 10, 2010
Location: Seoul, Korea

I decided to capture some of the American chains that are available in Seoul, Korea. Although they are American chains the menus change to suit the demographic so they have items exclusive to Korea.

Dunkin’ Donuts in Korea

I don’t know why…but they are obsessed with doughnuts, especially Dunkin’ Donuts in Korea! It’s literally like Starbucks in Vancouver – one on every street corner. It’s funny because Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t really popular in North America. With Krispy Kreme, Top Pot Doughnuts and Tim Horton’s  – Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t really stand a chance.

I did have Dunkin Donuts in Korea to see if they tasted different. I think Koreans like them so much because they’re definitely not as sweet as the other North American donut chains. They’re actually quite dry and they almost taste like sweetened bagels.

Baskin Robbins in Korea

They’re also obsessed with Baskin Robbins in Korea. This is another American chain that doesn’t do as well in America. Places like Dairy Queen, Marble Slab, and Cold Stone cream Baskin Robbins! (No pun intended :)) I think we’re also into gelato which isn’t as common in Korea.

I did have the ice cream there. I tried their blueberry pannacotta. It was your standard ice cream – typical Baskin Robbins.

What’s NOT standard about this Baskin Robbins is the menu! The Baskin Robbins in Korea offers mochis!! I love mochi so this was great news for me. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try…come to think of it I really should have…but I was so full already…yes I DO get full!

These are the specialty cakes offered at Baskin Robbins in Korea. I don’t recall any of the American Baskin Robbins selling cakes as fancy as these! However Korea is known for cake artistry.

McDonald’s in Korea

I had to get McDonald’s in this post! They menu is definitely unique and customized for Korean tastes. They have things I REALLY wish we had. Unfortunately I ran out of time to try anything here. I had to save my stomach for more traditional/local/authentic Korean restaurants and food.

If I ate here I definitely would have ordered #3 – Big Bulgogi Burger or #4 – Bulgogi Burger. They also have deep fried chicken wings and mini drumsticks which we don’t have in North America.

I think this is what made me most jealous. The dessert menu! GREEN TEA MCFLURRY!!! I made trips to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China and they don’t have Green Tea McFlurry anywhere else. I even asked my friend in Japan, where I was certain in would exist, and they still don’t have this flavour. I really regret not trying it.

It was only $1.70 CAD…I really should have tried it and I’m regretting it badly now.It’s not even something I can get mailed or anyone could bring back for me…:(

Starbucks in Korea

They love coffee in Korea. They have it after every meal. Starbucks isn’t necessarily popular, but it’s definitely around. They have so many local coffee shops though so it was nice to try those instead.

Now this is something different! The Starbucks in Korea is a lot more gourmet than the ones we have in Vancouver or even North America. They have lots more options for brunch and everything is beautifully presented.


  • KimHo says:

    yes I DO get full!

    Are you sure you are not telling us this just so that we can feel better? 😛

    Like the first picture. It looks almost epic!

    Though not McDonald’s, if you want to try a “bulgogi hamburger”, go to Burger Burger in New West (6th Street and 4th Ave). Yes, chains in some places have menu items not necessarily found in North America. For example, in Panama, McD’s have fried chicken – actual fried chicken, not nuggets or tenders – actual pieces of chicken which I will have to admit tasted quite good!

  • Mijune says:

    Yeah in every single country in Asia I visited all the McDonald’s had fried chicken too! Like KFC fried chicken….you can see them on the menu in the photo I took at the McDonald’s in Korea. I don’t think it would work so well in North America just because we’re going through a major “health-conscious” phase…yeeeaahhh they didn’t seem to care about that so much in Asia…but then again everyone is so freaking skinny they don’t have to!

  • Mike says:

    You’ve obviously never been to Boston if you think Dunkin’ Donuts “isn’t really popular.”

  • Mijune says:

    @Mike – You’re right. I haven’t. I’m from Vancouver… it has no love.

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