Traveling is one of the best ways to get to see and understand different cultures from around the world. It’s also amazing to submerge yourself in these cultures. One way that people are able to submerge themselves in the culture of the country they’re visiting is through sampling some of their cuisines.
While many people feel like the experience of traveling to a country is incomplete without trying out their food, others just want a little taste of home every now and then. MacDonald’s can feel like “a little taste of home” to many people, whether or not their American.
One thing we also love about McD’s is how you always know what you’re going to get. Whether you’re looking for just a burger and fries or even dessert, the food should taste the same no matter where you are, right? Well, sorry to burst your little bubble but the answer is a big NO.
The golden arches restaurant started as classic burgers and fries fast food place but since opening in different countries around the world, unique dishes have been added to the mix. Read below as we take you through the odd and interesting dishes you’ll unexpectedly find in McDonald’s around the world.
25 Japan: Shrimp Burger
We know that a burger doesn’t always have to be beef. There are chicken burgers, turkey burgers and oh yes – Shrimp Burgers! This is a panko-battered shrimp with ebi shrimp tempura sauced called the Ebi Filet-O Shrimp Burger and it’s found in one of the most visited countries in the world – Japan. Being adventurous while eating out is something we at TheTravel love because hey, that comes with the adventure of traveling. However, changing our beloved McD patty into a shrimp one has us feeling all sorts of ways.
24 Germany: McNurnburger
We’re bringing you yet another interesting take on a burger and this time, the dish is from Germany. The McNurnburger comprises of three bratwursts sausages with mustard and onions in the mix. The most interesting thing about this addition to our list is the fact that this concept was brought to life by a former German soccer player, Uli Hoenel, who is currently also an owner of a sausage factory. This concept didn’t seem to be much-loved though because the trial run only lasted 3 months.
23 Australia: Bubblegum Squash McFlurry
There is no way that we could possibly do a whole article about McDonald’s menu items from around the world without mentioning the McFlurry. The Oreo McFlurry has become a fan favorite dessert. The soft serve ice cream mixed with the perfect amount of Oreo cookies just couldn’t go wrong. If you’re into the Oreo McFlurry concept, perhaps you’d also consider the bubblegum squash McFlurry which is basically a mixture of the soft serve ice cream with marshmallows and bubblegum-flavored syrup. If you’re thinking this sounds like a sugar rush waiting to happen, so are we.
22 China: Bacon, Macaroni & Cheese Toastie
Number 22 on our list will either be a hit or miss, depending on who you’re asking. Mac and Cheese is a favorite for many people, in fact, if you’re having a large family feast and you don’t have Mac and Cheese, most people feel like it’s all incomplete. Now, how about we add a bit of bacon to this classic Mac and Cheese and then add it to a sandwich? Anyone? While many Chinese locals seem to like this idea, the true Mac and Cheese fanatics out there prefer the classic in the old fashioned way.
21 Germany: McToast Chocolate
At number 21 on our list, we have yet another odd addition and this time, it comes all the way from Germany. So, having a McToast Bacon, McToast Ham, and McToast Cheese all makes sense. But a McToast Chocolate? Although we're a little puzzled about this addition, it actually kind of makes sense but who would want to go out for it? We, of course, love our chocolate sandwich and maybe this was inspired by Nutella sandwiches but still, we’d rather have this type of a simple sandwich at home and not when we’re out to one of the biggest restaurant chains in the world!
20 China: Taro Pie
This one on our list tastes a little like the traditional apple pie except, it looks nothing like it. The Taro Pie is an invention from China and has become very popular with the locals. First We Feast highlights that “the taro pie has the same crispy shell as the classic McDonald’s apple pie, but it’s stuffed with bright purple taro root.” If you’re planning on taking a trip to China soon, perhaps you can try this interesting item out and be the one to decide on whether or not it’s better than the original McDonald’s apple pie.
19 Turkey: Apricot Sundae
Now, we’ve heard of a chocolate sundae, a strawberry sundae, a mixed berry sundae, and now an apricot sundae? We’re trying very hard to keep our minds open right now but this one definitely forced us to take a step back. The McDonald’s Arabia Facebook page explained that “You probably tried dipping Chicken McNuggets in garlic mayo sauce already, but have you tried our Apricot Sundae yet?” Just like a number of the previous items on this list, this was only a seasonal try.
18 Peru: Chicha Purple Temptation
Looking at the pic and also reading its name, it is natural to be a little confused about what this item on the list is. If you’ve traveled to Peru before and was in a mood to find out what interesting desserts they have in their McDonald’s menu items, you may have come across the Chicha Purple Temptation. You might have been excited to try it out and when you asked the locals what’s it’s made of, you get the shock of your life – blue corn. Yep. That’s right. A dessert made out of corn. It’s official, this has to be one of the most questionable menu items by far.
17 Italy: Spinach and Parmesan Nuggets
To be honest with you, we’re not quite sure how we feel about this particular addition to our list. On the one hand, Italy is one country that has given us some of the best foods. From pizza to pasta and lasagne, besides the amazing art and history, a good portion of people visit the country just to enjoy the cuisine. Spinach and Parmesan nuggets don’t sound bad, however, we’re not quite sure if we want to taste that while we’re at McD’s.
16 Korea: Shrimp Beef Burger
Yep, you read this one right people. A mixture of shrimp and beef is exactly what you’ll get here. If you’ve been reading this article closely, you’ll notice that quite a number of restaurants around the world have decided to add shrimp dishes to their menus and we can’t help but wonder one thing – Why? Yes, we love shrimp but not with our beef burgers! How about we try one at a time. You know, either have a beef burger or a shrimp one. Not a mixture of the two.
15 Brazil: Ovomaltine McFlurry
Now, at number 15 on our list, many people may get really uncomfortable with this item. Why? Because every true McDonald’s lover knows that the Oreo McFlurry is one of the best desserts to be made by the golden arches. We were a little taken aback then to realize that there’s apparently another version of this favorite dessert. The Ovomaltine pounder is blended with ice cream, chocolate chips, and sauce and is said to be a big hit in Brazil and many other European countries as well.
14 Colombia: Pineapple Oreo McFlurry
Keeping up with odd adds to our favorite McDonald’s dessert, we have another interesting addition to the McFlurry and this time, Colombia decided to add the sweet fruit, Pineapple. Yep, you read right. The Oreo McFlurry as you know it, just with a bit of pineapple to the mix. This pairing is something that most people can find rather odd, however, in Colombia and many other Latin American countries, this has been a major hit. If you’re planning on traveling to Colombia soon, perhaps trying out this much-loved dessert will be the highlight of your trip.
13 China: Sausage and Egg Twisty Pasta Breakfast
We’re not quite sure how to explain this menu item on this list and we certainly think that we can all agree that this one has to be one of the most questionable menu items. We love our pasta. We love our sausages and eggs for breakfast. But all together at the same time? We’re very confused here. If you regularly head to McDonald’s for their breakfast, then it is understandable to feel some sort of way about this one. The dish is made of soup with noodles and it is topped with sausage and boiled egg.
12 Canada: McLobster
This is, perhaps, one of the oddest additions to a McDonald’s menu. It's not only found in Canada, but also in a number of countries based in North and South America. What’s puzzles us about this dish is the fact that they clearly don’t go well together. So, everyone knows that McD’s is a fast food restaurant that’s all about burgers and fries (and sometimes desserts), but the main dish is burgers and fries. So why would anyone go to the golden arches looking for Lobster? Don’t get us wrong, we love lobster but at McD’s? Well, this interesting dish is no longer available and was discontinued due to rising lobster prices.
11 Mexico: Guacamole Burger
Number 11 on our list totally makes sense and although it started in Mexico, of course, more countries soon followed the trend. One of the things we love most about Mexico is how it brought us our beloved guacamole and we weren’t really surprised when we found out that they decided to add this ingredient to their McDonald’s menu. This amazing Signature Guacamole burger is probably one of the only odd dishes that were “okay” with. It’s made of two patties with melted cheddar cheese with guacamole and pico de gallo sauce that will leave your mouth watering.
10 Austria: McNoodles
Okay, number 10 on our list has to be one of the most questionable McDonald’s items by far. Last time we checked, McDonald’s was a fast food place that is well known for its burgers and fries. Sure, over time, creatives may include items on the list that may do well with locals but noodles, really? Don’t get us wrong here. We love noodles but who goes to McD’s looking for noodles? It turns out that this was actually available for a limited amount of time in Austria and the dish did surprisingly well.
9 Russia: Fried Shrimp
We talked earlier on this list about shrimp being added to McDonald’s dishes in Japan and here, we have yet another shrimp addition, this time all the way in Russia. As opposed to the shrimp burger that Japan has though, it seems as though the Russian population loves shrimp so much that they have made this an entire side dish. Customers can order fried shrimp on the side with any of the meals that they prefer so if you’re into trying a shrimp at McD’s but don’t want to spoil your classic burger, perhaps this is the perfect option.
8 Philippines: Chicken McDo with McSpaghetti
The Philippines is one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse countries in Asia. It offers visitors lots of site seeing and of course, lots of interesting and amazing cuisine to try out. As frequent travelers, it is natural to want to try out all the different foods of the land you’re in – that’s a part of the whole adventure. As exciting as it is to try new foods, this one on our list will just make us question a whole lot of things. Starting with - why is there spaghetti at McD’s?
7 United Kingdom: Bacon Roll
This particular dish is exactly as it sounds like – a whole lot of bacon on a roll. And pretty much nothing else, except for some sauces. Now, of course, all our bacon-loving readers out there are going to be happy about the addition of this dish to a McDonald’s menu but, for everyone else – this is a little too simple. This is a breakfast dish so where are the eggs? Can we perhaps get some fires with that? How can you go to a restaurant just for bacon on a roll? We don’t get it.
6 Singapore: Curry Sauce Dip
Chicken Nuggets are one of the best side dishes from the McDonald’s menu. All around the world, this side dish is being enjoyed by people from all walks of life. While most countries have the standard barbecue sauce to dip the nuggets into, Singapore has decided to do things a little differently. They are the only country in the world to have a curry sauce dip for their chicken nuggets and it seems to be loved by many people that customers would even request more than one sauce at a time. This caused the company to officially announce that they would only give one dipping sauce for one order.
5 India: McCurry Pan
Now, number 5 on our list is an odd item to add to a McDonald’s menu, however, when you consider the fact that this dish is from India, we’re not that upset about it. Why? Well, because everybody knows that Indian curries are simply the best. The McCurry Pan consists of curried vegetables that are baked in a cream sauce. One of the most exciting things about this dish is that if you're eating from the restaurant, sometimes the curried dish comes as it is to your table – including the pan.
4 China: Mashed Potato Burger
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. There is a mashed potato burger out there. Nope, there is no typo here. Yes, you read right. Most people love their McDonald’s burgers. Many other people love their mashed potatoes. Combining the two though is something we’d never think of doing. In China though, this was part of a major campaign. First We Feast highlights that “the burger is part of McDonald’s ‘Beef 2012 Many Campaign in China.’” This mashed potato burger is also topped with bacon.
3 Malaysia: Prosperity Burger
At number 3 on our list, we have a questionable menu item all the way from Malaysia. This isn’t really about the fact that the burger resembles a McRib. Nope, it has nothing to do with that. The most questionable thing about this particular item is the fact that the burger doesn’t have an "Mc" prefix. Like, what’s going on here? Many people may be excited and feel that not all of the burgers need to have the prefix, however, all true McDonald’s fans out there will obviously feel some type of way about a burger that claims to be from the golden arches but doesn’t have the famous Mc attached to it.
2 China: Black and White Burgers
These black and white burgers are named obviously after how they look. Eat This explains that “the black one is dyed with squid ink, and the white one is covered in black sesame seeds. And although you may have thought they were burgers (because that is what they’re called) the white one is really just a fried chicken sandwich.” What puzzles us even further is the fact that these “burgers” have mashed potatoes and slices of bacon added to the mix because, you know, they obviously weren’t odd enough.
1 New Zealand: Georgie Pie
Number 1 has to be, by far, the most questionable item found on a McDonald’s menu. Why on earth would people go to a fast food restaurant that is popular for selling burgers and fries, to get themselves pie? We love pie, but we don’t go to McD's for pie, which is why we're extremely puzzled here.
This particular pie is a steak mince and cheese pie that is baked in pastry and judging by the fact that it has been on the menu for quite a number of years, the locals don’t seem to love this addition to the menu.
References: First We Feast, Eat This