If you close your eyes and imagine a McDonald’s restaurant, it probably looks like the same thing the next person is also imagining. An exterior with brick or beige painted walls, a dark brown roof, golden arches swooping down somewhere – you know the drill. And of course, the relative uniformity from one McDonald’s restaurant to another is entirely down to design: similarity creates customer comfort. And triggers the immediate desire for Big Macs and on-sight fries and shakes too.
But if you travel the world, you’ll find plenty of McDonald’s restaurants among more than 39,000 locations worldwide that buck the trend of one-size-fits-all. Locations built into unique buildings originally designed to be something other than a fast food burger joint at McDonald’s designed expressly to work with certain aspects of their area (looking at you, Roswell, New Mexico), these locations weird and wonderful from McDonald’s will leave an impression that lasts long after your last bite of Big Mac has been digested. Plus, don’t miss the 8 worst fast food burgers to avoid right now.
Ever wanted to eat your burger or McNuggets on a plane? You have two options: either carry your takeout on a flight, which of course requires the price of a ticket, or go to Taupo, New Zealand, where there is a McDonald’s with a dining hall built out of inside a decommissioned DC-3 aircraft, according to Business Intern. 20 people can be seated inside the fuselage at a time – the rest have to make do with the more standard McDs next to it.
A McDonald’s in Bray, Ireland has been consistently voted one of the most beautiful McDonald’s in the world, and it’s easy to see why by looking at the building it’s built in: an 1800s Tudor-style mansion. Tripadvisor Reviews almost unilaterally praise the restaurant’s appearance, but many have criticized the service and complained about frequent crowding.
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Melbourne is a big city and so, unsurprisingly, is home to several McDonald’s locations But the one worth visiting is in the Clifton Hill suburb of the city, via Reddit. The gorgeous brick building features ornate Art Deco designs, and to add to the weirdness of it all, McD’s is right next to a working brothel.
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Dallas is home to many McDonald’s restaurants, but it’s the so-called Happy Meal place you need to see, according to KNUE. It is so called because it is shaped and decorated like a giant Happy Meal box. And inside, you’ll find high-end features like wooden booths and chandeliers.
The McDonald’s in Downey, California might not grab your attention as much as a 19th century mansion or a giant Happy Meal, but what outstanding on location is that it’s like getting a glimpse of the early history of the channel. It is the oldest operating McDonald’s in the world, and one of the only ones to still have the original single-arch signs.
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This McDonald’s would be worth noting based on looks alone, designed as it is with a beautiful wooden exterior that matches its northern surroundings. But what’s really crazy about this McD’s in Lindvallen, Sweden is that it’s a McSki: you can literally ski up to an order window, place your order, have your meal and walk away on skis, via 12 Tomatoes.
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This might be the biggest McDonald’s you’ve ever seen, because before McD’s in Kristiansand, Norway, it was a fast food joint, it was a bank. Thus the wide and severe facade and the thick walls that can be found inside and outside the place, via Reddit.
By now it’s almost universally accepted that an alien spacecraft did not crash-land near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. But aliens and UFOs and the like are still the town’s fame, so why wouldn’t there be a McDonald’s built in the shape of a flying saucer? The circular restaurant has metal panels, bright outdoor lighting and a rocket-themed play area attached, via The daily mail.
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Easily mistaken for a centuries-old temple save for the tiny Golden Arches signage, this McDonald’s in Lijiang, China is tucked away in a building constructed in the Nakhi architectural style. The surrounding area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, via love food.
Celebrated as one of America’s finest McDonald’s restaurants, this New Hyde Park, NY location – it’s located on Long Island, a short drive east of New York City – is housed in a mansion built for the first time in 1795, according to Only in your state. Although the restaurant has undergone several renovations since then, it still feels very much like a mansion from another era.
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If you ever find yourself stuck in the harsh, arid, sparsely populated Negev desert of southern Israel, you might be in luck: there’s a McDonald’s built there in what’s really almost in the middle From nowhere. Amidst a landscape strewn with ancient ruins, sparse vegetation and lots of sand and stone, this McD’s is ready to serve and is fairly well rated on Tripadvisor, In reality.
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