Popular Culture

12 McDonald’s and Starbucks Items You Can’t Buy in America (And That We Wish You Could)


You can’t find two more American brands than Starbucks and McDonald’s but they have to adapt to other market places where the American classics aren’t as well accepted. That leads to a huge range of tasty products that appear in McDonald’s and Starbucks around the world but that don’t appear in the United States. We’d like to see some of these great products make their way to our shores because they look really yummy.

The Banana Frappuccino

Banana Frapuccino

If the logo doesn’t give it away this is a Starbucks product and it’s available to Japanese customers. Take some banana, some whipped cream, chocolate sauce and you’ve got an unbeatable taste combination. Probably not the ideal choice for somebody on a diet but it’s the perfect choice for cooling down on a hot summer’s day with no pressing concerns but your taste buds.



If you’re bored of the breakfast muffins in the United States you could always head South and into Mexico for McMollettes. These are the traditional McDonald’s English muffin with a layer of beans smothered in a slice of cheese which is gently melted before a little pico de gallo is added. Scrumptious.

Wasabi Filet-o-Fish

Wasabi Filet O Fish

Tartare sauce isn’t part of the Asian diet and as such it’s considered a bit bland on the tongue. Lucky for Singaporeans and Hong Kongers – there’s an alternative option on the menu. The Wasabi Filet-O-Fish which packs a mighty fiery punch. (Wasabi is an extra-strong member of the horseradish family and is usually mixed with a little soy sauce as an accompaniment to sushi and sashimi).

Marshmallow Twizzle

Marshmallow Twizzle

The Irish appear to like their sweet stuff, very sweet indeed. The marshmallow twizzle is a Starbucks creation which caters to that urge for sugar with a marshmallow that’s been rolled in hundreds and thousands (there’s a chocolate version too).

Peanut Butter Panini

Peanut Butter Panini

In Indonesia peanuts are a very common addition to nearly every dish and they’re most excellent in the local satay sauces. However, there’s also a great love for peanut butter and they like a peanut butter Panini or two at the local Starbucks. These are really, really nice and we can’t imagine it would be hard to give them a trial run in America too.

Pizza McPuff

Pizza McPuff

The “Mc” gives it away doesn’t it? Yes, this is an idea rolled out at McDonald’s in India. McDonald’s had a hard time getting into the Indian market where for a huge segment of the population; eating beef is simply not an option. Not only is the cow a sacred animal to Hindus but many other Indian religions eschew eating meat of any kind. So the McPuff was born. It’s a bit like an apple pie but made of a slightly different pastry and stuffed with vegetarian pizza filling rather than apple.

Tsukimi Burger

Tsukimi Burger

The Japanese celebrate a moon festival in the autumn and to help them celebrate; McDonald’s decided to release an extra-artery hardening burger product in the form of the Tsukimi Burger. It’s a cheeseburger which gets some special sauce, bacon and a poached egg. They’re lovely but should definitely be eaten in moderation.

The Nurnburger


In Germany, they’ve built a burger to cater to the locals love of sausages. Except of course, technically speaking, it’s not a burger at all. It’s a bunch of sausages and mustard in a bun. We’ll forgive that though because German sausages are excellent. Well done to McDonald’s for going above and beyond the call of duty here.

Cadbury’s Crème Egg McFlurry

Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry

A McFlurry can be had in McDonald’s restaurants around the world. It’s an ice cream whipped extra stiff with a bunch of added non-goodness such as M&M’s or whatever. But only in England can you have it with Cadbury’s Crème Egg which is a monstrously sweet chocolate egg filled with sugar fondant – it’s absolutely wonderful to taste but it must add an inch to your waistline just thinking about this one.



Whilst American fast food restaurants generally don’t serve alcohol thanks to the United States’ strict alcohol control laws – in much of the world a restaurant that doesn’t serve beer, doesn’t have any customers. In much of Europe, it’s absolutely normal to have a beer with your lunch even on a workday and McDonaldd’s has had to catch up with this trend or face a bunch of empty seats. So head to Germany, Italy, France, Spain, etc. and you can grab a McBeer. (There are moves to introduce beer in some Asian McDonald’s too).

The Greek Mac

Greek Mac

The Big Mac may be McDonald’s best known product but the trouble is that it’s not quite the right thing for every culture. In Greece they have the “Greek Mac” which is a combination of the classic Big Mac and the classic Greek kebab. Pitta bread rather than a bun and a few tomatoes make the difference between happy Greeks and unhappy McDonald’s shareholders.

The Sakura McFizz

The Sakura McFizz

The Sakura McFizz is another McDonald’s product which is targeted to a different set of tastes. In Malaysia they like their blackcurrant so McDonald’s combine what is essentially Ribena and Sprite to make a drink which is kind of fetching to look at as well being delicious to taste.


Melissa Stenson
Melissa Stenson is a senior writer at PopCrunch. She covers movies, tv, and music news. She also writes engaging and fun lists about various pop culture events.

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