CosMc's Breakfast Blows McDonald's Away

McDonald's is the largest fast food chain on Earth, so we guess it makes sense that when the franchise announced it would be opening a brand new restaurant focusing on trendy drinks, the world went wild. The very first CosMc's location opened up in Bolingbrook, Illinois in December of 2023 — and the wrap-around line of cars in the drive-thru on opening morning was reportedly epic. "The line at the new CosMc's where some people arrived at 3 a.m. to get their drink at 6 a.m.," reads the title of a Reddit thread featuring an almost unbelievable photo of a swirling, continuous line of vehicles. This obviously speaks to the hype surrounding the new restaurant ... but how is CosMc's, really?

Being McDonald's-affiliated, it stands to reason that the new restaurant will be compared to its well-established parent company — and the comparisons between CosMc's and McDonald's have already started to roll in from consumers. While the reviews could be considered premature given that CosMc's is so new, CosMc's breakfast appears, by all accounts, to be superior to McDonald's. Such a bold claim might make you skeptical, but hear us out. After studying a collection of consumer reviews, as well as conducting a comprehensive menu comparison, we are convinced that CosMc's breakfast blows McDonald's away — here's why. 

CosMc's menu feels more modern than McDonald's

McDonald's has been around since the mid-20th century, and while the chain has done a commendable job of evolving with the times, some could make the case that its menu — in particular some of its breakfast choices — feels a bit dated. The McDonald's menu is known for its stability; so much so that customers in the U.S. have actually cast its lack of change in a slightly negative light. We all love a good McMuffin or a plate of hotcakes, but it would be nice to see some a.m. innovation from the chain.

The good thing about CosMc's, however, is that its menu includes breakfast-themed items that are totally new and that seem to follow more current culinary trends. For example, the start-up's Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sandwich harnesses the avocado toast phenomenon, while its Spicy Queso Sandwich highlights the jalapeño pepper, one of the most popular pepper variants in the world. This more contemporary edge gives CosMc's an exciting feel, leaving us to wonder in pleasant anticipation what it will introduce next. When's the last time you had that feeling about the McDonald's breakfast menu? 

CosMc's breakfast sandwiches feature brioche buns

Brioche bread is all the rage these days — and rightfully so. A soft, pillow-like bread with French origins, it calls for a generous amount of both butter and eggs, making for a rich, slightly sweet bite that pairs well with just about anything. This delectable bread also makes for a mean sandwich; this is why so many restaurants have adopted brioche buns into the fold. They're the perfect vessels for all sorts of unique sandwich creations.

Newcomer CosMc's is no exception. It has employed brioche buns to house its own original breakfast sandwiches. This is in contrast to its parent company, McDonald's, which still uses English muffins, biscuits, or McGriddle pancakes to hold its morning creations. According to the consumers who have tasted the CosMc's Spicy Queso or Creamy Avocado Tomatillo sandwiches, the great-tasting, super-soft buns that house them give the new restaurant an undisputed edge over the old one. A review on The Takeout boldly concluded of the two CosMc's sandwiches that "In both cases, the brioche bun was super fresh and superior to McDonald's English muffins." High praise, indeed, considering the McMuffin is a beloved fast food classic. 

If you're craving McDonald's classics, you can get them at CosMc's

Change can be a hard thing to swallow, and this is especially true when it comes to people's favorite restaurants. Global Data reported in 2021 that McDonald's served around 70 million customers per day — and we'd expect a decent chunk of this staggering number to be nervous about deviating from the classic comforts of the familiar yellow arches. If you're one of these dubious consumers nervous about the thought of trying CosMc's instead of your usual McDonald's for breakfast because you think you won't be seeing your favorite items on the menu, don't fret — we have some good news for you.

While it's true you will not find the entirety of the McDonald's breakfast menu at CosMc's, you will find a portion of it. On the CosMc's official website, there is a section titled From the McDonald's Universe which lists three of the franchise's most recognizable breakfast menu items — the McMuffins. The Egg McMuffin, the Sausage McMuffin with Egg, and the Bacon McMuffin with Egg have all been rolled over from the kitchens of McDonald's to its start-up restaurant. The greatest hits of the parent company's breakfast plus delicious newcomers, all available at CosMc's? The case for a stop-in is feeling pretty strong.

CosMc's has McPops

CosMc's has been called similar to Dunkin' in its concept, so it shouldn't come as a shock that the newborn chain offers a spin on a doughnut hole for consumers. These bite-sized filled baked goodies are called McPops ... and they are being universally called outstanding by consumers. Coming in three delectable flavors — cookie butter, apple cinnamon, and hazelnut — these warm, gooey bites are being compared to Dunkin's Munchkins by reviewers, with one Reddit poster reporting: "The McPops were [...] delicious. They are mini filled donuts. I think they are gunning at Dunkin' Munchkins with these, and I think McPops are better."

However, you won't find these warm, delectable morsels that pair perfectly with a fresh brew at your standard American McDonald's location any time soon. While the McPops have been available at some of the McDonald's international locations for some time, in the United States, at least, McPops are available almost exclusively at CosMc's. To get a taste, you'll have to pencil in a stop at the space-themed drive-thru — but considering that mini doughnuts are on the line, we doubt we'll have to put forth too much of an effort convincing you. 

CosMc's Frappés are more inventive

The McCafé Frappés from McDonald's are beloved by the masses. An icy caffeinated beverage blended with flavors, whipped topping, and sweet drizzle, the frappés are a staple in the McDonald's breakfast universe. The only downside? The beverage only comes in two relatively basic flavors from the parent company: caramel or mocha. However, at CosMc's, three new frappés are up for grabs. While the first, the CosMc's Cold Brew Frappé, is a simple mix of frappé base, ice, and whipped cream, the other two drinks coming out of the new chain's kitchens contain more complex flavor profiles than the original McDonald's takes. 

The Chai Frappé Burst from CosMc's contains cinnamon sugar, whipped cream, chai frappé base, ice, and — wait for it — boba. It has been called out positively by reviewers for its overall originality, with one reviewer on Disney Food Blog calling it "sweet but not in an overpowering way." The third frappé-style offering, the Churro Cold Brew Frappé, has been recognized for its perfect application of flavor and flawless balance of sweetness. One reviewer on Buzzfeed said of the drink: "The love of my life. Sorry to my boyfriend, puppy, and cat. This was the CosMc's treat that made getting out of bed at 6 a.m. to beat the crowds completely worth it." Well, sheesh. We are sold. 

CosMc's and McDonald's coffee are comparable, but CosMc's sells turmeric and chai drinks

While McDonald's and CosMc's lists of coffee drinks are relatively comparable as a whole — with McDonald's even having a greater number of brews available on its menu — the start-up manages to stand out for two major reasons: its Chai Tea Latte and Turmeric Spiced Latte. The popularity of beverages calling for both turmeric (a member of the ginger family) and chai (black tea brewed alongside water, milk, and spices) is undeniable, and it isn't hard to imagine why. Not only do these ingredients create complex, rich liquid flavor profiles that are totally sippable, but both contain some pretty significant health benefits. Turmeric, for example, is an effective anti-inflammatory (via Johns Hopkins), while chai may be beneficial for heart and brain health, per WebMD.

Besides the bodily benefits you might acquire from snagging one of these two CosMc's brews, their great taste is a bonus, too. According to a reviewer on YouTube, the turmeric-forward drink is lightly sweet, and pretty well-balanced in terms of flavor. Similarly, one of our very own taste testers called the CosMc's Chai Tea Latte "surprisingly good," declaring it had a mild, proportional sweetness level. Overall, when you add these two drinks to CosMc's breakfast advantages, we'd say they certainly help to tip the scale in its favor.

CosMc's breakfast runs all day, unlike McDonald's

Given the popularity of breakfast foods, plenty of restaurants have hopped on the all-day breakfast train. While McDonald's used to be one of them, it isn't any longer ... much to the sadness of many hungry consumers craving a McMuffin at 5 p.m. While the franchise's reasoning for discontinuing its all-day breakfast isn't entirely clear, things like COVID-19, a need to consolidate its extensive menu, and a desire to decrease food waste have all been suggested as driving reasons behind the decision. As it stands, folks hoping for a McDonald's breakfast menu item must get there before 10:30 a.m. in most locations. It is what it is.

However, there is a shining beacon of hope to be found at CosMc's. Its menu full of breakfast-forward foods is not restricted only to the morning hours — egg sandwiches, the doughnut hole-like McPops, and anything else to be found on its menu full of delectable snacks are available all day long. So if a craving for a McDonald's McMuffin does happen to hit you at dinner time, jet on over to its spin-off restaurant, where something as simple as a clock on the wall won't prevent you from satisfying your craving. Thanks for having our back, CosMc's.

CosMc's has cookies to go with your coffee

McDonald's chocolate chip cookies are not your average baked treat, according to consumers. "I just tried a McDonald's cookie for the first time today, and I liked it better than any Crumbl cookie I've ever had," reads the title of a Reddit thread, speaking to the high regard in which the moist, gooey, oven-baked delights are held by consumers.

Given the popularity of McDonald's cookies, we expect the cookies from its start-up, CosMc's, to go over just as well with eaters craving something sweet. But what gives the smaller, budding restaurant a slight edge in the cookie realm as compared with its parent company is that there is more than just one delicious flavor up for grabs from its pick-up window. While the basic chocolate chip is all you'll find on a McDonald's menu, two new elevated cookies — sea salt chocolate chip and blueberry lemon — are up for grabs from CosMc's ... both of which pair perfectly with a cup of black coffee. In addition, the start-up offers a rich caramel fudge brownie, which could totally work as a breakfast item if you throw a bitter, hot drink in the mix. If we happen to catch you chowing down on one at 6 a.m. as you're leaving the CosMc's drive-thru, we promise we won't judge.

CosMc's has better choices for tea drinkers

Coffee is overwhelmingly popular in the United States — so much so that it's easy for tea-loving Americans to feel like they're being left behind. A whopping 63% of Americans admit to drinking coffee daily according to the National Coffee Association – so is it any wonder that breakfast stops have focused so heavily on perfecting their coffee drinks over the years?

Alternately, tea beverages feel like an afterthought at a lot of chain restaurants — McDonald's included. Though it has an extensive coffee menu, the fast food powerhouse only offers basic iced tea, sweet tea, or hot tea on its beverage menu. Thankfully, the chain seems to have made up for this discrepancy with its new spin-off. CosMc's acknowledges the wonder that tea can be with numerous creative tea drinks. With cold options like the Blackberry Mint Green Tea (referred to as refreshing and balanced by one YouTube taste-tester) or steaming cups like the boldly flavored hot peppermint tea, CosMc's seems to state clearly through its menu that it isn't just coffee drinkers that should be having all the fun. If you're an avid tea drinker, we'd recommend CosMc's over McDonald's any day just based on options alone.

CosMc's offers morning boosts

The concept of blending health "boosts" into drinks is not a new concept. Jamba, for example, offers consumers the choice of extra blended additives such as vitamin C, biotin, zinc, protein, or 3G energy, and Smoothie King offers vegan protein powder and shots to aid your immune system, among others. While such a practice has never been a part of McDonald's business model, the company appears to be taking a new angle with CosMc's by buying into the health additives trend.

Similar to Jamba or Smoothie King, the chain, which has been labeled as a primarily beverage-focused restaurant, offers consumers the opportunity to add an extra scoop of nutrition to their day via their morning beverage. A vitamin C shot, an energy shot, and a pre-workout shot are all included on the CosMc's menu, just waiting to assist you in starting your day off strong. Way to be looking out for us, CosMc's.

CosMc's may be pricier than McDonald's, but it will likely provide superior quality

McDonald's is one of the most cost-effective fast food chains out there. The company proudly capitalizes on its affordable reputation, its website containing a section titled "$1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu Items" displaying the cheapest bites on its menu. When it comes to CosMc's, however, it's a different, slightly more expensive story. 

"CosMc's is the new McDonald's, and it's expensive," reads the title of a YouTube video regarding the budding restaurant. This is hardly the first mention of the start-up's elevated prices, a far cry from the well-established cheapness associated with its parent company. However, the expression "you get what you pay for" may very likely ring true in this case, according to a claim made by a customer on Reddit

The consumer claimed that while you may be paying more at CosMc's for your breakfast sandwich, you'll be receiving fresher, better-quality bread. This is because, they declared, a local bakery in Chicago is being used to supply the CosMc's in Bolingbrook, Illinois with its breakfast sandwich buns. "Yay local companies," the user praised, "but that does tend to add cost." Despite the higher bill, if there is truth to the fresh-baked brioche claim, we are even more sold regarding the superiority of CosMc's breakfast than ever before. But, as we all know, food can be subjective. You'll have to give CosMc's a try to decide for yourself. 


To give you a thought-provoking list outlining the reasons we believe CosMc's breakfast reigns supreme over McDonald's, a thorough study of current TikTok, YouTube, and Reddit reviews was conducted, as well as a side-by-side comparison of the CosMc's and McDonald's menus. Knowledge from our very own taste testers here at Mashed came into play, as well, combining to provide you with what we believe to be a valid and informed opinion.