A McCafe of your dreams!

You might think that going to a McDonald’s while visiting another country is a stupid idea, but we’d argue the opposite. While the Big Mac is ubiquitous and found all over the world, the rest of the menu can be vastly different in other countries, like how Belgian McDonald’s have lots of French fry dipping sauces or Hong Kong McDonald’s have completely different breakfasts.

Our Japanese-language reporter Yuko Sawano, who is currently doing a language study in Malta, an island in the Mediterranean Sea a little south of Italy, knows this secret. She happened to spot a McDonald’s while exploring St. Julian’s, a beautiful coastal town, and knew she had to go in and check it out.

And boy, was she surprised! This McDonald’s was not only a fast-food restaurant, but also a fully fledged cafe…a McCafe!

When you think of McCafe, you mostly just think of coffee, right? But this Malta McCafe also serves a plethora of sweets and baked goods. There were pretzels, lemon cakes, caramel brownie cheesecakes, croissants, and even pies. It was enough to make Yuko’s eyes boggle…and her mouth water.

The prices ranged from 2.95 to 3.65 euros (about 470 to 580 yen or US$3.16 to $3.91). They also sold drink sets for 4.50 euros. Since the Euro is strong against the yen at the moment, these prices felt a little high to Yuko, but the sizes were huge, so she figured she’d be getting a lot of bang for her buck.

She decided to order a set with a Torta Della Nonna and a Latte Macchiato. By the way, they also had drinks that Yuko had never seen in a Japanese McDonald’s, like White Hot Chocolate and Spiced Chai.

With her food and drink in hand, Yuko then sought a place to sit, and her eyes landed on a lovely terrace overlooking the Spinola Bay, and she felt like she was at a fancy resort.

Watching cruisers and yachts anchor in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea…It was heaven!

Yuko was delighted to have the chance to enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea with such a splendid view, but how was the food? The Torta Della Nonna, which translates to “Grandma’s cake”, is a dessert from the Tuscan region of Italy. It was stuffed with custard cream, providing a solid sweetness that wasn’t cloying. It was a highly satisfying dessert. 

The foam on the Cafe Macchiato was as creamy as the coffee itself, and Yuko thought it was a rather high-quality drink. If the fare hadn’t been served on a tray with the McCafe logo on it, she could easily have forgotten she was eating at a McDonald’s.

This McDonald’s opens at 7 in the morning and closes at 3 or 5 the next morning, depending on the day. However, it might have longer hours than most Malta McDonald’s, since St. Julian’s is close to a busy night entertainment area.

Apparently, customers stop by both before and after partying the night away, so it’s a pretty popular place. If you find yourself visiting Malta at some point, consider making a visit for a McDonald’s experience that’s both familiar and completely new.

Restaurant information
McDonald’s St. Julian’s
Spinola Bay, St.Julians STJ 3034 Malta
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday

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