What’s the difference between the regular Big Mac, the Big Mac Junior, the Grand Big Mac, and the Giga Big Mac?

McDonald’s Japan is always coming out with new menu items, and we’re always ready to try them. Honestly, since the latest teriyaki burgers and the newest American Deluxe Burgers were all so good, we can’t help but want to try anything McDonald’s puts out.

And that includes the two limited edition Big Macs that were re-introduced to the menu on April 17: the Grand Big Mac and the Giga Big Mac, plus the limited edition sandwich that’s new to Japan: the Big Mac Junior. As you can tell from the names, the primary difference between them is their size, but of course our resident McDonald’s expert and Japanese language correspondent K. Nagahashi had to try them all out, just to make sure.

The details of the new Big Macs are as follows:

  • Big Mac Junior: 290 yen (US$2.59), 159 grams (5.6 ounces), 412 calories
  • Grand Big Mac: 490 yen, 303 grams, 776 calories
  • Giga Big Mac: 700 yen, 403 grams, 1,067 calories

*Prices are for the burgers only, without fries and a drink.

Compare that to the regular Big Mac, which is always on the menu: it sells for 390 yen, measures at approximately 217 grams, and has 525 calories.

Now, our overseas readers may not be surprised to see the addition of the Big Mac Junior, which is already a popular menu item in other countries. As you may already know, it’s simply a smaller Big Mac, with a single patty and no bun layer in the middle. The Grand Big Mac, on the other hand, maintains the same shape as a traditional Big Mac, but has patties that are 1.3 times bigger. The Giga Big Mac, however, is K’s real opponent, and has a whopping four patties layered in between the buns. It’s only for the hungriest of challengers.

When you stack them all next to each other…the Giga Big Mac towers over the others!

Even the diameter of the Giga Big Mac is bigger!

▼ Big Mac on the left, Giga Big Mac on the right.

The only thing that seemed to be different between the burgers was the size, with each having the same sauce and ingredients. Nagahashi assumed that the flavor of each would be the same, but since the patty sizes and the filings are slightly different, he deemed it necessary to try each of them, in the name of science. So, he started with the littlest of the four: the Big Mac Junior.

It’s a small burger that doesn’t really distinguish itself from the rest of the menu at first glance. The mixture of the cheese and the sauce dominates the overall flavor of the sandwich, but with the addition of vegetables, he says, it tastes a little different from other McDonald’s burgers, which often lack lettuce. Since it’s a smaller portion, this is a burger that you can easily pick up for a snack!

The regular Big Mac, as you well know, is a classic staple of the McDonald’s menu. The flavors are, of course, familiar, but Nagahashi couldn’t ignore the delightful balance of the flavors of the bun, patty, sauce, and vegetables. Nagahashi does, and always will, love the classic flavor of the traditional Big Mac.

The Grand Big Mac, Nagahashi expected, would be similar to his beloved traditional Big Mac, though perhaps he might find himself feeling fuller after eating it, since its patties are larger. But to his surprise, the Grand Big Mac exceeded his expectations! The ratio of bun to meat is a little bit higher in this burger, so in spite of its larger patties, it actually had a much softer texture.

Having tried the child’s play that were the other three Big Macs, it was time for Nagahashi to challenge himself with the Giga Big Mac. He didn’t know quite what to expect from this monster of a burger, but when he opened his mouth wide and took a big bite…

It was so meaty! The flavor of the beef really washes over the tongue and spreads throughout the mouth, he says. It was a little bit salty, so K thinks this mammoth would go perfectly with a mug of beer.

At this point, Nagahashi was stuffed to the brim, and as he leaned back in his chair and patted his stomach congenially, he told us his final conclusions. If you want the delightful flavors of a Big Mac without the calorie count, the Big Mac Junior is the way to go. If you want to enjoy delicately balanced flavors, then the traditional Big Mac is it. If you want a substantial meal, but a softer texture, he recommends the Grand Big Mac. And, if you have a craving for meaty goodness, and want to throw caution to wind, the Giga Big Mac will satisfy all of your needs and more.

All in all, they all have the classic, delicious flavors of the traditional Big Mac, so if you’re a fan of the original, you won’t go wrong ordering any one of these. Whichever you choose, however, make sure to order the delicious Strawberry Matcha Frappe for dessert, because no McDonald’s meal would be complete without a sweet to top it off.

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