Here’s what’s on the menu at CosMc’s, the new cafe from McDonald’s

Helen Lee for Simplemost

The hype over McDonald’s new restaurant concept CosMc’s has been building since July when the company first revealed the idea. But when the very first pilot restaurant — located in Bolingbrook, Illinois — opened last month, content creators on social media started spreading the word even further.

It’s the only CosMc’s location in the world right now and has fairly limited menu, but that’s not stopping folks from flocking to suburban Chicago to check it out. So at the moment, it takes a while to get through the restaurant experience and you’re going to have to be ready to sacrifice a good chunk of your day.

Fortunately, Simplemost went there for you, and we can tell you exactly what you need to try and what’s not worth the hype. Here’s what you should know.

The CosMc’s Experience

If you have an aversion to waiting in line, you’ll want to skip this experience for now. CosMc’s in Bolingbrook is located in a strip mall parking lot, a good portion of which has been taken over to create a car obstacle course with snaking lines.

CosMc’s has many more people dealing with the lines than actually taking orders and distributing the food, so this part is still relatively efficient. Strategically placed signs and employees will tell you where to go, and if there’s too much of a gap between you and the next car they’ll have you pull up to allow more cars into the queue. The menu board also tells you exactly when your order is ready so you know when to move your car forward.

cosmc's line
cosmc’s line

It took us almost two hours to get through the line in the strip mall parking lot to the actual CosMc’s restaurant property, about 20 minutes to get to one of the four separate drive-thru menu boards after that, and another 15-20 minutes to wait after the order until they were ready with our food.

Pro tip: Bring another person with you in case one of you has to go to the bathroom (for which you can use the McDonald’s next door). Also, you may wish to bring a few snacks to tide you over so you don’t get super hungry while you wait.

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The service on the day we went was actually very good, except for the lengthy wait. As far as I could tell, there was just one person working the lines and four windows. I never saw any signs of other employees in the actual restaurant. Even the employee parking lot had just one car in it.

But that one employee was awesome, so shoutout to him, whoever he was. He told us (and the people in the line next to us) after we ordered that they were running out of the turmeric latte and asked for our second choices, just in case. And when I totally forgot to order McPops (I really wanted to try these based on Internet recommendations) until right after I paid (there’s a credit card machine right next to the menu board), he said he would include them for free — and he did.

mcpops from cosmcs

In fact, he gave us three bags of McPops AND the turmeric latte AND my second-choice drink, plus some pretzel bites I didn’t even order. The total cost of my order was about $28.

What to Get: The Drinks

The CosMc’s menu doesn’t have a huge amount of stuff on it yet and we only had so much room for drinks in the car, but we tried what we could! My first choice, the Sour Cherry Energy Burst, was all sold out (as the menu board informed me). But here’s what we did get, and I recommend them all:

Island Pick-Me-Up Punch: I really liked this berry-flavored lemonade. It’s refreshing and fruity and sweet but not cloyingly sweet. Pro Tip: Drink this in the morning. I had mine at around 3 p.m. and did not sleep well.

Turmeric Spiced Latte: In its non-customized form, this hot drink includes espresso with turmeric-flavored syrup and whole milk. It also had foam and black pepper sprinkles, according to the description, although by the time I drank it I could not taste these. I did like the flavor, which wasn’t spicy but not extremely bland, either.

cosmcs turmeric latte

Chai Frappe Burst: This was the favorite of everyone in my car (aka me and my son). The bursting boba was fun and novel in a drink of this type and the creamy, fresh chai flavor was on point. Whipped cream and sprinkles? I’m all in. My son liked it so much he finished it all before I could get more than a few sips in. I’m thinking of braving the three-hour line again just to get my own.

MORE: The Best Car Cup Holder For The Backseat

What to Get: The Food

We thought the food options at CosMc’s were both tastier and overall more exciting than what you can get at a normal McDonald’s — which may not be saying a whole lot, if you’re not a fan of fast-food snacks. The eggs in the breakfast sandwiches, which are cooked “fluffy omelet-style,” are noticeably better than the folded/round eggs at a regular Mickey D’s.

Spicy Queso Sandwich: This sandwich includes the fluffy egg, sausage, spicy queso sauce, melted white cheddar cheese and crispy jalapeño chips on a toasted brioche bun. The description sounds better than the actual sandwich, but it was still a step above what you normally get from a fast-food breakfast. And no, it wasn’t spicy.

Spicy Queso sandwich from cosmcs

Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sandwich: The egg is combined with bacon, a creamy avocado tomatillo sauce and melted white cheddar and placed on a toasted brioche bun. A slight tang elevates this sandwich and I like bacon better than sausage, so this is also a winner. I could see this sandwich becoming my go-to.

McPops: McPops are basically soft, filled doughnut holes. They come in three flavors, and all are not bad but not mind-blowing: Cookie butter, apple cinnamon, and hazelnut (think Nutella). You can get a Mixed Bag, which has all three.

I may have gone in with too-high expectations on the McPops. I was thinking they’d be crispier and more like the beignets that are popping up at places like Popeye’s and Pizza Hut. When they weren’t, I didn’t love them as much as I thought.

Pretzel Bites: I think of pretzel bites as good but boring, which is why I did not order them initially. And these were pretty much what I thought they’d be. At least they weren’t stale, which is the only time I would actually complain about pretzel bites.

pretzel bites at cosmc's

Additional Advice for Your First CosMc’s Trip

Try more drinks. This is what I wish I had done, but my car has limited numbers of drink holders. Next time I’d request one of those cardboard drink carriers than can accommodate four drinks and order way more.

The drinks are more creative and delicious than the snacks, but the food isn’t bad — not life-changing but a step up from other fast food options. If CosMc’s was convenient to me, I’d absolutely come here over Starbucks on a regular basis. But since the only one is 45 minutes away from me with a three-hour-long line, I probably won’t come back until all the content creators are done doing their videos and the wait time is down.

In a way, all the items at CosMc’s are fun because of their novelty; they’re slightly more interesting than their McDonald’s counterparts. I think if it can keep up the originality with new offerings, CosMc’s futuristic-by-way-of-the-‘50s vibe and refreshing drinks are worth the trip. The sugar and caffeine — along with the feeling of being part of something new and exciting — certainly boosted my mood on a rainy and cold Chicago day!

MORE: 11 fast food tricks you need to know

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About the Author
Helen Lee
Helen is a writer and editor from the Chicago area. She loves volunteering, zoos, and video games.

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