5 Reasons Why You Should Eat at McDonald’s in Every Country

Hi, my name is Drew and I Love McDonald’s.

I bet that many of you read the title of this post and think that I am crazy.  

Especially coming from a guy like me, who obsesses with eating the most local and authentic cuisines around the world.  Why on earth would anyone want to eat at McDonald’s when traveling?

But please just wait and see what I have to say, and then maybe you’ll consider my humble opinions. 

Before I dive into this post, let’s first discuss how big of an impact that McDonald’s has on the world.  As of right now (March 2015), there are over 33,200 locations in 119 countries.   The United States is home to about half of all the restaurants in the world.

Here are some more fun facts about McDonald’s:
– They sell over 75 hamburgers every SECOND worldwide
– Its $24 Billion revenue makes it the 90th largest economy in the world
– McDonald’s serves about 1% of the world’s population everyday
– For the next 3 years, McDonald’s is going to open up a new restaurant in China every day
– McDonald’s delivers in 18 countries!

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As you probably already know, McDonald’s is notorious for serving greasy and unhealthy food in the U.S.A., which is the reason why so many people are turned off by it.   But the reality is that most McDonald’s restaurants around the world don’t have such a greasy menu.  As a matter of fact, McDonald’s is considered as a fancy restaurant in some countries, with luxurious interior decorations.  

How do I know all of this?  

I’ve eaten at McDonald’s in 24 countries since 2012.   

Unless you normally travel to countries like North Korea or Palau, then it’s pretty much impossible not to recognize the golden arches when you are traveling.  In fact, The Golden Arches are the most recognized symbol in the world.

Also, if you’re a traveler, backpacker, or digital nomad, then you’ll probably know that most McDonald’s offers FREE Wifi inside!

The following 5 reasons will explain why you should dine at a McDonald’s, wherever in the world you may be:

*Disclaimer: if you only have 48 hours or less in any destination, then you should probably enjoy the local foods as much as possible (i.e. don’t eat McDonald’s.) However, if you have more than a few days, then you can travel McHappy style.  

1) Different Menu Options

This is the #1 reason that draws me into McDonald’s every time I am on the road.  I am always curious to see what they put on their menu!

Different regions of the world have their own local specialties dishes on the menu.  In addition, some places just have wacky and unheard of food items that will make you laugh when you read them. 

In a way, I can learn something about which dishes a specific country takes the “most pride in,” because they’ve put it on the McDonald’s Menu!

Some of my favorite (and most bizarre) McDonald’s dishes around the world are:
–       BubbleGum Squash McFlurry- Australia and New Zealand
–       McShrimp- Russia
–       McRice Burger- Singapore
–       McSpaghetti- Philippines
–       McFalafel- Israel
–       Bulgogi Burger – Korea
–       Samurai Pork Burger- Thailand

Click this link to read some more of the crazy food options that you can order at McDonald’s around the world!

2) The “Experience” of eating at a Foreign McDonald’s

Every time I step into a McDonald’s in a foreign country, it’s a different cultural experience.

As I previously mentioned, some countries really think that McDonald’s is a fancy restaurant.  For example, at my current home in Korea, many Koreans do not think of McDonald’s as fast-food option, but rather a sit down restaurant with their family.

The interior design and decorations always vary from country to country.  It is interesting to see which McDonald’s has the newest technology (TV’s, ordering systems, etc.), as opposed to which locations have been left untouched since the 80s.

And people watching is the best! Sometimes, I walk into the McDonald’s near my house in Korea, just to watch all the Koreans obsess over eating McDonald’s.  It is so funny.

I’m sure you noticed this picture already, but Koreans really do love their french fries…

3) Sometimes, it’s the Cheapest Option 

Dining at McDonald’s has probably saved me hundreds of dollars over the years. Specifically, in extremely expensive countries like NorwaySwitzerland, Finland and Denmark.

When I went to these countries, a local meal at a restaurant is upwards of $20USD, so I just resorted to a McDonald’s to fulfill my hunger.   I don’t want you to think that I do this all the time, but just on the occasions where I have eaten the local foods for 6 consecutive meals and I want a change!

Some form of the dollar menu exists in almost every McDonald’s that I’ve been in.  For about $5USD, you can pretty much get a meal that will fill up your stomach.  And better yet, you can try a local specialty dish!

4) Awesome Delivery Service

Wake up world, McDonald’s delivers.

Yep, that’s right.  In 18 Asian countries, you can pick up the phone, dial a number, and have a Big Mac and fries delivered to your door within minutes.

Some of the countries with top-notch delivery service include Egypt, India, Japan, China and my home country of Korea

I am telling you that I see McDonald’s delivery guys EVERY DAY on the streets in my neighborhood.  They drive a little scooter around with the McDonald’s logo on the back and they are out and about all day long. I’ve also seen a McDonald’s delivery van (for big orders) and delivery bicycles (for smaller orders).   They have the whole system down to a science.

It’s hilarious whenever I go into a McDonald’s, to see the delivery guy working his ass off in the back of the store.  Scramming to get burgers and fries to loud up his little scooter and hit the road.  And their little fancy decorated helmets are priceless!

In Malaysia, McDonald’s has a 24 hour delivery service.  Watch this television advertisement to see what I am talking about.

Can you even imagine if the U.S.A. adopted this delivery service?  We would have even more of an overweight problem…

5) A Nice Change of Pace

Let’s be honest, it’s just nice to have a change of pace from all the local foods that you eat on the road.  

Just like you see below, at McDonald’s in India, they don’t serve meat (I went vegetarian in India due to the poor quality of meat).

In Istanbul, I got pretty sick of eating Kebabs everyday and I wanted a change.  So, I ordered a nice Quarter Pounder with cheese and it hit the spot.   In Korea, I frequently get sick of eating Korean food 24/7 and I crave some greasy French fries.  From time to time, you just gotta do it!

Sometimes, you just need that change of pace that will boost your level of happiness for the day.  McDonald’s is the answer 🙂

Which specialty dishes have I eaten at McDonald’s around the world?

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My Jr. Nacho Cheeseburger in Helsinki

* This is the list of the meals that I can remember.  I forgot what I ordered in many other places…

– Samurai Pork Burger- Bangkok, Thailand
– McSpaghetti- Cebu, Philippines
– McFalafel- Jerusalem, Israel
– Jr. Nacho Cheeseburger- Helsinki, Finland
– Veg McPuff – Mumbai, India
– Fried Cheese Sandwich- Prague, Czech Republic
– McArabia Chicken- Dubai, UAE
– Durian Crunch McFlurry- Singapore, Singapore
– Wild Shrimp Burger- Seoul, Korea

… But my undisputed all-time favorite is (drum roll….)

-A Quarter Pounder with Cheese in the USA.  I’ve eaten it too many times… (ewwww)

I’m lovin it.

What is your favorite McDonald’s dish around the world?

33 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why You Should Eat at McDonald’s in Every Country

  1. Her’s a good reason to never eat McDonalds anywhere: It’s super-unhealthy!
    “In Istanbul, I got pretty sick of eating Kebabs everyday and I wanted a change.”?! Sums you up mate. You were in Turkey; home to one of the world’s grand cuisine’s. Did you try any of even their street food like Borek? Did you try any of their market food like Pilaki or Carbbage rolls? Did you try any of their cafe food like Menemen or any of their soups (red lentil, tripe, etc)? Did you dog to any of their wide variety or restaurants?
    Nah, you had Donor kebab! A Germanification for heir food. LOL “obsesses with eating the most local and authentic cuisines around the world”?! Could’ve fooled me…

  2. bro let me tell you India has already banned meat due to Hinduism so don’t degrade the name of India by saying you didn’t got good quality of meat ,

  3. I know this is an old post but yes, in my home in Belarus McDonalds is one of the cleanest, tastiest places to eat at, I’ve been to tons of Mickey D’s in the U.S. after 15 years of living here, and most of them have sloppy food, dry burger patties, bad service and disgusting hygiene, but back home they simply do not hire people who refuse to be polite or clean up, and toss away all the food that has any defects or isn’t fresh. People go there to celebrate birthdays. We used to study at McDonald’s ? But I would say visit at your own risk, political situation there is sadly not the most stable.

  4. This post is great. McDonalds is a guilty pleasure for me at home, I love hearing about how it perceived in other places around the world. I love the pic of the fries being devoured family-style! Awesome!

  5. I never ever eat at McDonalds in the states unless I am very drunk and its 3am. However when I was in India we went and since they don’t eat beef they had a really interesting menu. An amazing veggie burger made of peas and carrots. McPaneer which is basically fried cheese! It was a great dining experience.

  6. I hate to say it, but mcdonalds is one of my go-to places when I land in France. There is always one somewhere nearby, and the free wifi is so reliable! Then I realized that they have some really interesting menu items in each country haha. I never eat it at home, and I’m trying to be anti fast food but you make so many good points!

    1. Francesca – YES! I am glad you agree with me 🙂 If you come to Asia, make sure to eat at McDonald’s because the menu’s are all different!

  7. I’ve got to say that sometimes that little cardboard box of fries and a taste from home does hit the spot like nothing else. And, another bonus, is having a nice clean reliable bathroom.

  8. Actually the McRice burger is also from the Philippines 😛 though we do have shaker fries and black pepper Prosperity Burgers occasionally (and the durian McFlurry while I was away) here in Singapore.

    I hardly eat at McDonald’s wherever I go – junk is junk even in a fancy setting, but when I’ve resorted to having a bit, I found the McKroket in the Netherlands and the Polish WiesMac interesting. I bet you noticed the blue Kosher outlets in Israel too, and that the burgers are called sandwiches in the UK.

    1. Thanks for sharing Nicholas! I have tried the Kosher McDonald’s in Israel, and also the one in the Netherlands,.. but the durian McFlurry sounds amazing! Next time I’m in Singapore.. I’m going all out 😀

  9. Haha I totally agree with this post as much as I hate to admit it. Sometimes it’s just the easiest and cheapest option plus it is really interesting to check out the different specialties each country has. It is interesting in Asia they see McDonalds as a normal restaurant, in Taiwan I see businessman doing their work and holding meetings in there! Have you tried Korea’s bulgolgi burger? I tried it and euuughh didn’t like it haha.

    1. Yes Yes Yes! Here in Korea, I always see businessmen having meetings at McDonald’s.. It bizarre, and crazy to think that this would NEVER happen back home in the states. And yes I had the bulgogi burger a few weeks ago, and it was just ok.. I prefer a big mac 😀

  10. I have lived in six countries overseas: Taiwan, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, The United Arab Emirates, and Japan. I love McDonalds in all of these countries. But it was best in Taiwan. I enjoyed eating some kind of noodle dish and something with rice.
    Enjoyed your post very much! Keep up the good work!
    Amy

    1. Thanks for your comment Amy! Wow, that’s an impressive list of countries under your belt. I also really enjoyed McDonald’s in Taiwan, but it’s my favorite in my current home of Korea!

  11. I love going to McDonalds in the countries I visit too! And you reasons are pretty similar to mine. In Ukraine, where I come from it’s sort of a fancy place too with nice decor and free Wi-fi 🙂

    Some specialties I’ve seen and tried: veggie burger in India. Actually, there’s no hamburger or cheeseburger on the menu, just veggie and chicken burgers (not tasty at all).

    In France they have lot’s of burgers with local cheese, but the place’s not popular.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Elena!!

      The McDonald’s here in Korea is like a nice restaurant. It’s really funny to watch families go out to dinner here.. And all the delivery guys on mopeds!

      I will have to check out McDonald’s in Ukraine next time I visit there 🙂

  12. I love it! I never saw the Nacho one in Helsinki but it’s definitely the most expensive McDonalds I’ve ever bought! Going to NYC next week and been told the American McDonalds are “out of this world” – bring it on!

    1. Yes the one in Helsinki was SO expensive! But the one in Switzerland takes the cake… I couldn’t believe how expensive it was (but still much cheaper than all the other food).. Have fun in NYC and YES the McDonald’s is so much better in the USA! 😀

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