Whether it's grabbing a quick bite with their parents, receiving a Happy Meal as a reward for an exemplary report card, or just hanging out with friends over burgers and fries after school, McDonald's has been an integral part in the lives of millions since their early youth.
As with any chain, McDonald's has undergone numerous changes throughout the years. Menu additions such as The McDouble Burger, The Smokehouse Chicken Sandwiches, salads, the McFlurry Dessert, the McCafe coffee line, and seasonal items are constantly expanding to appeal to mass audiences; but the food offerings are only part of the movement.
McDonald's has also spread worldwide and adapted to the culture of each country it reaches. From locations in artistically rich countries such as Italy and Spain, the metropolitan London, Cosmopolitan Japan, and unique branches within its home country, McDonald's is limitless in its ability to reach consumers and always offer something new.
But that's only half the story; for the hundreds of beautiful McDonald's locations around the world, there are several that fall into the category of complete disappointments. Unfortunately, these too find their ways into social media pages and headlines.
Interested to see both sides of this spectrum?
Here Are 15 Pics Of Surprisingly Luxurious McDonald's (And 10 That Are Dumps)
26 Surprisingly Luxurious: New Zealand
Probably one of the most unique in its design, this McDonald's started off as a plane that was part of an Australian Car Dealership, The Aeroplane Car Company. It was stationed outside the company's central building and when it was bought over by McDonald's in 1990, it was included in the package.
Now its twenty-plus seats are embroidered with the franchises golden arches for people to sit on while chowing down and enjoying a scenic view of the Kiwi Country.
Its interior also includes memorabilia of the plane's history including its preserved cockpit for visitors to admire.
25 Surprisingly Luxurious: Clifton Hill, Australia
This Mickey D's is one of the fanciest in Clifton Hill Australia. Designed by James Hastie Wardrop in the late 1930's as a United Kingdom Hotel, it's maintained its splendor even after being renovated into a McDonald's decades later.
Part of the art deco club of Australia, this building remains as an iconic part of the country's culture and offers a different spin on fast-food dining, with a multi-floored arrangement and neon-lighting giving it a club-vibe where burgers and shakes take the place of fruity cocktails and hard spirits.
24 Surprisingly Luxurious: Olympic Park, London
This McDonald's opened its doors during the 2012 Olympics and was 100% recyclable. Which means that since it was demolished (which was immediately after the Olympics), all of the materials used in its construction were recycled; from its chairs being sent to other restaurants around the U.K to its cooking oil being used a bio-diesel fuel for UK delivery trucks.
During its short existence, the location wowed visitors with its ample seating (seated over 1,500 people) and two-floor spaciousness. It's a shame it was short-lived!
23 Surprisingly Luxurious: Budapest, Hungary
This McDonald's was built in Budapest's Western Railway Station in the late 1980's and it introduced Hungary to the golden arches.
It's considered by both tourists and locals to be the most luxurious McDonald's in the world--and for good reason.
With its chandeliers, indoor incandescent lighting poles, glass case full of desserts, and overall grandiosity, it's representative of Hungary's architectural aesthetic and gives new meaning to going out for burgers and fries. It's even nice enough to take someone on a first date!
22 Surprisingly Luxurious: Downtown Hangzhou, China.
Another one on the list for representations of architectural history, this Hangzhou location is one of the fanciest in China. Unlike many McDonald's chains that stick solely to the franchise's staple offerings, this specific location offers a mixed variety of Chinese cuisine along with burgers, fries, Chicken Mc Nuggets, and adds desserts such as banana and pineapple pies to its classic pies list.
In keeping up with innovations such as Uber Eats and Door Dash, this McDonald's also offers a delivery service for its customers.
21 Surprisingly Luxurious: Denton House, New Hyde Park, New York
This location is often referenced as the most beautiful location in the U.S and it goes without saying that it's quite the sight.
It's a spacious, two-stories high and dating back to the country's beginnings, this McDonalds is a U.S national landmark.
Built in 1875, it served as New York's first farmhouse before being transformed into a mansion in the mid-1860's, and finally a McDonald's during the late-1900's. Along with its historical nostalgia, this location also gives visitors a grand view of its lushes surroundings to enjoy during their meal.
20 Surprisingly Luxurious: Ulson, South Korea
While having a McDonald's inside a gas station convenience store isn't a new occurrence, this location takes it one step further by serving as the first-ever McDonald's gas station.
It certainly stirred up commentary from Ulson residents when it opened in 2010, operating as a full-service McDonald's restaurant/drive-thru/ gas station.
To add to its awe there is a large, purple-wing-like covering, which makes it resembles something from a futuristic era more than another McDonald's branch. This location is a must for any McDonald's lovers visiting South Korea!
19 Surprisingly Luxurious: Roswell, New Mexico
This McDonald's is luxuriously cool. How so? Located in Downtown, Roswell, it pays homage to the town's reputation for UFO sightings through its exterior design.
Additionally, it has flying Ronald McDonald rockets soaring around the playroom and fluorescent lights flashing throughout the sky during its night-time hours, making eating at this particular branch similar to stepping into an episode of The Twilight Zone or The X-Files.
Visiting this McDonald's should be on any sci-fi lover's bucket list when strolling through New Mexico.
18 Surprisingly Luxurious: Dallas, Texas
This McDonald's is the world's most luxurious Happy Meal.
Its interior only gets swankier with Ralph Lauren wallpapers, European chandeliers, a large playpen, and the overall feeling that this isn't an everyday McDonald's.
The food itself is considerably bigger portioned than at other locations; from the burgers, fries, fountain drinks to just about anything on the menu, it's more than one can feast through in one sitting. It's cost-effective in every sense of the word and gives new meaning to everyone favorite McDonald's childhood item.
16 Surprisingly Luxurious: Bray Town Hall, Bray, County Wicklow-Ireland
No one would think this is a McDonald's at first sight, but the golden arches on its front door prove otherwise. Located in the Town Hall of County Wicklow, it was built in the 19th century and operated as a market house for years before being bought by the McDonald's emporium.
Currently, its upstairs operates as the Bray Town Council while the lower floor serves McDonald's signature burgers and fries.
With so much history behind it, there's a reason why this location ranks as number five in USA Today's top ten McDonald's around the world.
15 Surprisingly Luxurious: Coolsingel 44, Rotterdam-Netherlands
With many Mcdonald's claiming to be the most 'beautiful,' this one places as the fanciest according to Rotterdam residents.
Located in the highly-trafficked Coolsingel 44 (the Beverly Hills of Rotterdam) and counting with a two-floor, glass-structure design along with a line out the door, this is a well-earned reputation.
Nevertheless, it's also received criticism from residents for blocking historic buildings and being obtrusive to the overall capacity of the shopping area--but that isn't stopping anyone from going on a McFlurry break during their shopping sprees.
14 Surprisingly Luxurious: Porto, Portugal-Spain
Located in Porto, Portugal, this structure started as a popular coffee shop called "Cafe Imperial" and attracted people due to its art deco aesthetic. When it was sold to McDonald's in 1995, its original architectural design was left mostly intact in hopes of making it a chic spot opposed to just a fast-food joint.
Welcoming people with its giant, bronze Eagle stationed over its front entrance, chandeliers adorning its ceiling and an interior stained glass window, this strategy has worked wonders with hundreds of visitors walking through its doors daily.
13 Surprisingly Luxurious: Spanish Broadway, Spain
Not just is this a luxurious-looking McDonald's, it also offers several Spanish-cuisine inspired changes to the U.S. menu. Some items on the menu include a Big Mac Chicken Sandwich, Gazpacho, Fish Mcbites, a follow-up version to the Chicken Big Mac which substitutes beef for Crispy Chicken, and perhaps the boldest change is potato wedges 'Patatas Deluxe' in place of fries.
Yes, there are no fries served at this McDonald's!
Its dessert menu is also on the fancier side with macaroons and scones replacing the staple apple pies McDonald's is known for.
12 Surprisingly Luxurious: Time's Square-New York
This McDonald's is in the heart of all the fun in New York City and offers much more than a quick-stop, fast-food joint located in the Big Apple.
Its interior consists of murals representative of the city, over two-hundred seats, and a grand view of the lively nightlife of Time Square.
Better yet, it's within walking distance of major attractions such as One Times Square Tower, MTV Studios, Broadway Theaters, and ABC Studios. To add to its list of conveniences, it's also open 24 hours a day.
11 Surprisingly Luxurious: Milan, Italy
Located in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan Italy, this McDonald's takes it up a few notches by situating itself in the ritziest shopping center in the country.
Surrounded by Prada, Gucci, and other top designer brands, it's aimed at the affluent crowd and visiting tourists in Italy.
Its menu expands beyond burgers and fries by offering gourmet salads, customizable pasta, and overall healthier options to go along with its posh vibe; but what truly makes it stand out is its beautiful Baroque architecture.
10 A Dump: Beijing, China
Contrastingly to it's glamorous Hangzhou location, this China-based McDonald's is anything but luxurious. There was controversy surrounded it when an influx of destitute civilians began taking shelter inside it.
The employees of the establishment try to wake them up and get them to go home, but to them, it's their only home.
It's a sad situation on both ends of the spectrum; while this branch is constantly riddled by crumbled napkins on the floor and spilled fountain drinks on the tables and counters, the people causing these messes are really victims of circumstance with nowhere else to go.
9 A Dump: LaPlace, Louisiana
Everyone's heard their share of negative stories about fast-food chains; from hair in their burger, a bug in their shake, and sometimes more icky crawlers making their way into a salad.
This specific McDonald's is on a whole different level due to its lacking sanitation.
In 2017, a McDonald's employee found a build-up of mold inside one of the ice cream machines. When he confronted his superiors about the matter, they resolved to terminate him. When the discovery went public, a McDonald's spokesperson declared that "the tray never came in contact with the ice cream." Right...
8 A Dump: Koreatown-Los Angeles, California
The up-and-coming Koreatown district is renovating its streets with late-night coffee shops, karaoke bars, and other nocturnal venues. But one that has stood the test of time (and apparently the Koreatown Renaissance) is the McDonalds inside Wilshire Center on Western Ave.
From vagrants, loiterers, to the litter on its tables and counters, this McDonald's falls short compared to its countless sister branches. Maintenance aside, its poor product quality also reflects in customer complaints flooding dining search engines with stories of incomplete orders and stale-tasting fries.
7 A Dump: Maidstone, Kent-England
There was footage recorded by a Maidstone resident while stopping in for a late-night snack with his friends. Soda cans, crumpled paper bags, dirty napkins, and worse yet--half-eaten food-- litter the floors, underneath the tables, and just about every corner of this McDonald's.
The videographer commented that "Being 3 a.m in a busy town, it's expected to get a bit dirty, but I've never seen anything like this".
Maidstone's busyness aside, it doesn't help that this branch switches to paper bags over trays after a certain hour; an invitation for trash production.
6 A Dump: Surra, Kuwait
This clip was taken by a Kuwait resident while they were working from their laptop before a meeting. A few minutes into their arrival, a group of teenagers entered the establishment to loiter before school. They began smoking and according to the staff, had previously been told they couldn't do so inside the premises only to brushed-off with rude commentary. Additionally to the rule-breaking, they left behind a trail of cigarettes, dirty wrappers, and left-over food before finally making their way to school (assumably); this McDonald's is long overdue for a security team.
5 A Dump: Broadway, San Antonio
This is a case of 'pictures speak for themselves,' as a San Antonio man discovered when he excitedly unwrapped his McDouble. To his disappointment, he discovered a sad and unappetizing sight consisting of burger patty (yes, that's a patty) slipping out of the buns, a bun that looks like it's been bitten into before this man's first taste, and an overall sloppy presentation that is far from appealing. If this is how their product looks, one can only imagine what the inside of this McDonald's looks like.
4 A Dump: Rome, New York
This McDonald's is another example of 'pictures speak for themselves,' as the above image reflects. In their need for smaller bills, employees have taken it upon themselves to request this currency from customers during transactions.
The restaurant itself stands in poor condition, with food containers all over the floor, a disarray of napkins on the counter, extremely dim lighting, and complaints of slow service.
This noted, these issues are likely a result of the restaurant's negligent chain-of-command extending from management to the HR team.
3 A Dump: Brixton, London
This McDonald's attempts an 'edgier' look by paying homage to the skatepark scene. In turn, it's filled its walls and lamp shades with graffiti designs replacing the traditional images of Ronald McDonald; unfortunately, the renovations were not an immediate success amongst Brixton residents.
Their major complaints are that the graffiti poorly represents the community and also insults the contributions of local graffiti artists. In the chain's defense, a McDonald's spokesperson highlighted that the renovation has been implemented and well-received throughout the rest of the U.K.
2 A Dump: South Goulburn, Whales-Australia
Located in an area that’s generally known for its subtropical weather and popular historical landmarks, this McDonald's somehow manages to fall on the list of extremely untidy.
The picture was taken by a South Goulburn resident while stopping by for lunch.
Aside from the overflow of thrash shown in the picture, he adds that his experience included dirty floors and tables. Considering that sunshine is radiating on this mess and there seems to be no one in sight, employees and customers included, this branch's lack of maintenance is rather questionable.
1 A Dump: Norkem Park Store-South Africa
This McDonald's isn't technically a dump in itself, but it's situated right next to a garbage dump! Visitors have posted their opinions online criticizing the chain for even having a location next to such an unhygienic site, while also pointing out the branch's lack of security measures.
Garbage dump aside, the industrial life and chemical operations of Kempton Park (the sector of Gauteng Province, South Africa that Norkem Park is located in) fail to add any aesthetic to this McDonald's nor lessen its hazardous ambiance.
References: reddit.com ; mccronicles.blogspot.com