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Lotteria Vietnam, how does it rank..

Lotteria Vietnam

Lotteria Vietnam is by far the biggest fast food franchise within the country, with not only KFC and McDonald’s barely getting a lick, but amazingly Jolibee being their next biggest rival.

Why is this the case? Well quite simply because Asian brands were prepared to give post-Communist Vietnam a go before the Americans came in. And for this reason the fast food scene in Vietnam is much like Cambodia very different to the rest of the region

McDonald’s is now available in Vietnam, unlike in Cambodia, but try as they might people quite simply have different tastes here.

So, what is the deal with Lotteria Vietnam, does it deserve to be number 1, and is it actually any good?

The Lotteria Vietnam Story

Despite being known as a “South Korean” company the history of Lotteria is somewhat more complicated. Essentially it was initially opened in Tokyo in 1972, BUT it was opened by Japanese-Koreans who were associated and identified with South Korea. And yes this is a thing, with there even being an organization namely Chongyron who identify with North Korea.

It was founded by the Lotte Corporation who do things like malls and cinemas, with the name being a combo of Lotte and Cafeteria – you get it?

And from humble beginnings it stated to spread across the region, to varying success. Amazingly while it is huge in some locations, it is not that big a deal in Japan.

Lotteria By Country

Since opening in South Korea in 1979 the company has very slowly expanded through East Asia, and Southeast Asia. The gives it presence in Japan, RO Korea, Vietnam,, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos. Yet unlike big brands like McDonalds, or KFC Lotteria is very different depending on the country.

Lotteria South Korea

Most famous for its shrimp burgers the company has quickly expanded in the country since 1979 hitting a peak of a 40% mar5ket share at one point.

With this being said though completion is extremely big in the Republic of Korea and you hardly see Lotteria everywhere in Korea.

And while there is no Lotteria in North Korea, they do stand a better chance of entry than KFC.

Lotteria Myanmar

Have handful of stores in Yangon, but to be fair are not very good, or particularly clean. The Myanmar Lotteria was probably the worst that I have seen.

In fairness though the people of Myanmar arguably have bigger problems.

Lotteria Cambodia

Have two stories, both at at an AEON Mall,which I have been to. Very different from Vietnam in both menu and price, with the cheapest meal still being like $10 in Phnom Penh.

Pretty good, but a treat rather than a clean fast food indulgence.

Lotteria China

I remember being at Dalian Trains station with the late great Troy Collings and the not so late, nor great Chris White. Troy said how he had tried Lotteria in Japan and how great it was. I tried it and indeed enjoyed it.

Generally speaking the stores are in Korea friendly places, such as Yanji.

Lotteria Laos

Another one that I have not actually tried yet, with all I know being that they have just a few stores in a country without McDonalds, or KFC and where Pizza Hut is the number one thing.

This is one I intent to try..

Lotteria Indonesia

Formerly a big deal with 32 stores, but these were allegedly all closed down in 2020.

I will add that trying Lotteria in as many countries as possible is very much on my to do list…

And the Lotteria Vietnam Story

Despite their huge reach and current omnipresence within Vietnam it was only 20 years ago. In 2004 that they entered the Vietnamese fast food scene.

They now have hundreds of restaurants throughout the country, sponsor a great deal of things, as well as being in all Lotte Malls and most major train stations and even airports.

This means that they are by far the most popular fast food within Vietnam, the only market that Lotteria is number one in.

The Lotteria Vietnam Menu

Overall the menu is dominated by burgers and fried chicken. I find the burgers here pretty good, particularly when they do weird stuff like bulgogi burgers – which I have also had in Seoul. With treat being said though not all of their weird burgers work, with the deep-fried mozzarella burger I just had being slushily too rich.

They do though very much get the fried chicken right, with it being much more aligned with KFC than say the Chinese style of Dicos.

This can also be said about their fountain cola, which much like McDonnell’s somehow has managed to really nail the addictive offerings of fountain Coke.

Their regional specialties are the shrimp burger, which is slightly different to that of South Korea, rice dishes, as well as Lotteria Spaghetti. And in case you were wondering, yes they did steal that from Jolibee, who are also in Viennam.

Lotteria vs McDonalds

So, which is better Lotteria, or McDonald’s? For this I will quote my brother who said “If you like burgers go to Burger King and if you like McDonald’s, go to McDonald’s”, This will either make sense to you, or not.

I personally like and miss Lotteria, so make a beeline for it when it is available. If though I was in place that had both, I think the variety at McDonald’s would tip the balance against Lotteria Vietnam.