Move over McDonalds, Lotteria is the biggest fast-food franchise in Vietnam.
It’s been a while since I wrote about the fast food cuisine of a nation, with my being about the general culinary abortion that is Dico’s in China, but needing a fast food fix, I ended up in Lotteria.
Vietnam and Hanoi in particular don’t really do McDonalds or KFC; McDonalds have one store in Vietnam, and KFC have a few in department stores, but for burger and pizza jollies in Vietnam you’re most probably going to end up in a Lotteria.
Now who are Lotteria? It’s a fast food chain that originally started in 1972 in Japan that currently has franchises in South Korea, Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia, and of course our very own Vietnam. And in all of these countries, Lotteria is a pretty huge deal, but particularly so in Vietnam.
Lotteria had the largest market share in Korea when it entered Vietnam in 2004. One wonders what the Vietnamese did for burgers before this date, but I digress. When Lotteria entered Vietnam they adapted their menu, as they do in all other countries to suit the local palate, such as adding rice dishes. The menu in Vietnam can now pretty much be split into three parts: burgers, chicken and bad rice dishes.
And where can you find a Lotteria? They are absolutely everywhere, including at train stations and airports. Realistically, if you need a fast food fix in Vietnam, you will end up at one.
And lastly the all-too-important taste test! I had a crack at all 3 sections of the menu. The burgers were decent, but not exactly Burger King, and the chicken was very Asian its style and presentation, and alas it was no KFC. And then there was beef and rice. I really don’t understand why fast food joints even have rice dishes – surely if you wanted rice, you would go get rice! A thumbs down on the rice dish.
Overall Lotteria is extremely good on certain parts of their menu. The Lotteria Burger has a real unique taste, and if there was ever a McDonalds Burger vs Lotteria Burger type standoff it would be a tough call. Alas if it was KFC vs Lotteria there could only be one winner.
Overall a fast-food thumbs up for the Lotteria Burger