Obama was at the Tiergarten in Berlin, amid a sea of people. McCain was at "Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant" in German Village, an enclave of Columbus, Ohio.
McCain addressed about a half dozen Ohio small business owners in the historic village.
"I'd love to give a speech in Germany," McCain said. "But I'd much prefer to do it as President."
In front of the restaurant stands a cardboard cutout of a Bavarian man in lederhosen and Bavarian woman in a dirndl. The faces are cutout, so tourists can pop in their heads for photos.
It's unlikely McCain would stop for a souvenir snapshot, but he did shake hands with the crowd of lunchtime diners who seem excited to see him. He also sampled the Haus' sausage and made a special point of ordering some chocolate cream puffs, a traditional German dessert, to go.
"We love him," said Columbus resident Diane Woods.
"I don't know why Obama's getting all this attention. McCain is right where he should be -- in America," she said.
"He graduated from the Naval Academy a year after my uncle did," said Roger Clark, who did not expect McCain's visit.
This event was hastily organized after the candidate's planned visit to a Louisiana was cancelled due to the threat of hurricanes in the Gulf Coast.