Started by the McDonald brothers Richard and Maurice in the late 1930s, the brand has become one of the most recognized in the world. Their fast food chain has branched from one small restaurant in San Bernardino to over 36,899 all over the world. And their success can be attributed to the great tasting chicken recipe and burgers that many will easily recognize.
The restaurant is available in 119 countries and has locations in five of the seven continents in the world. McDonald’s employs nearly half a million people and estimates show the restaurant serves a total of 68 million people per day. With so many franchises all over the world, it is not surprising for their menu to evolve from a simple burger to much of what the local palate of that country has to offer.
Although the staple chicken recipe and most of its original menu remains unchanged, there are just some menu items that are unique to the country’s cultural taste and culinary traditions. The McDonald’s company is also keen on recognizing laws and religious beliefs and often modifies their menu to blend in with what the locals want.
Here are just some of the most questionable and interesting McDonald’s menu items from around the globe.
The infamous to-go sandwich was once offered as a seasonal sandwich in the United States but was discontinued for some time. It has become a staple summer menu in Atlantic Canada and in the New England region for its abundant lobster source.
Introduced in 1993, the great tasting lobster roll is served in a hot dog bun with a rich slob of lobster sauce and shredded lettuce. Lobster supply and the skyrocketing market price of its main ingredient was the reason why production was halted in the US.
McDonald’s Canada attempted at making pizza in the 1980s and the craze was quickly picked up in the US. Sadly, the product was discontinued during the 1990s because of long waits that contradicted the fast service McDonalds is known to offer. McPizza started as a regular sized raised-on-the-rack pizza but the size was scaled down to a personalized one.
Canada still has the McPizza in some of its McDonald’s restaurant menu and preserved the exact same recipe that was served in the test markets during the 80s.
28 Flaming Hot Doritos Quarter Pounder
Flaming Hot Doritos Quarter Pounder is only served in Mexico and has the rich Mexican taste with a surprising twist. Made from Angus beef, a dub of guacamole, and spicy Doritos, the Flaming Hot Doritos Quarter Pounder is a pure Mexican delight.
The recipe itself was controversial in Mexico as another fast food chain replicated the sandwich and McDonald’s Mexico followed suit. The sandwich chain created another sandwich akin to the McDonalds’ Flaming Hot Doritos Quarter Pounder, but people still love McDonald’s controversially hot Doritos infused burger.
27 The Signature Guacamole Burger
Because Mexico adores guacamole so much, McDonald’s Mexico created a signature burger entirely created for the Mexican population. The succulent Signature Guacamole is made of two burger patties with melted cheddar cheese. It has lettuce leaf for an added crisp and freshness and the crème dela crème, guacamole and pico de gallo sauce.
This rich and flavorful Signature Crafted burger brings in a deluge of guacamole into your hands which you better are prepared for. It is a pure indulgence for all who want a Tex-Mex treat.
Argentina’s McNifica is just as it sounds. It is a big burger with an enormous amount of pure Argentinean Angus beef patty and melted cheese. It comes with freshly sliced tomatoes, a crisp lettuce leaf, an onion, ketchup, and mustard and mayonnaise for dressing. It’s a wonderful bite with some magnificent taste rich in protein and lipids, but low on calories.
What’s different about this Argentinean burger is it is barbecued rather than fried. Besides Israel, McDonalds Argentina has a full kosher for barbecuing burger patties.
25 Big Tasty Angus Burger
Argentina’s Big Tasty Burger is a variation of the Big N’ Tasty hamburger sold in Saudi Arabia. The only difference the Argentinean counterpart has with the rest of the world is they use pure Argentinean Angus beef meat for their patties. The great tasting burger has ketchup, mayonnaise, dill pickle slices, a lettuce leaf, slivered onions, and sesame seed buns.
This burger has great quality compared to other menu releases with nugget-sized patties. It fairs well with other side dishes including the Salad with Chicken and Gourmet Salad.
24 Cheese Empanadas
Empanada is a pocket bread and Latin countries are famous for this snack. McDonald’s Chile created a sumptuous mix of empanada and filled it with creamy cheese for starters. The deep fried Cheese Empanada has great looking fried dough and the cheese delectably melts in your mouth. It is one of the McDonald’s creations the US is surely missing.
This pocket bread is similar to what other countries offer including the Mango Custard Pie and Apple Pie in several Asian countries.
23 Cuarto Palta
Cuarto Palta is an avocado-based quarter pounder hitting the Hispanic world big time. McDonald’s released several versions of their guacamole infused hamburgers catering to the taste buds of the people in the Southern hemisphere. It has gained a huge following among the people and represents the versatility of the global fast food chain.
Cuarto Palta is an avocado quarter-pounder with salsa dressing that makes it unique-tasting and genuinely attractive to Chileans. It has a slice of onion, lettuce, beef, and goes well with several avocado-based releases.
22 Curry Sauce Dip
Singapore offers a sauce dip for their chicken nuggets not found anywhere else in the world. It became extremely popular in the country that McDonald’s issued a public statement that they would only be giving out one free Nugget sauce for every meal because of limited supplies.
The condiment has a secret recipe and has been considered as one of the best sauce dips in the whole McDonald’s franchise. The curry sauce dip was introduced in the Singaporean market about two decades ago.
21 Gula Melaka McFlurry
The Gula Melaka McFlurry was available for a limited time in several outlets around Singapore. Combined with old McDonald’s favorites, the McFlurry variant was created for the changing Singaporean taste buds.
What made the Gula Melaka McFlurry different was the combination of vanilla soft serve and cake bite toppings. Singaporeans went gaga over the Gula Melaka McFlurry because of the deep caramel flavor and the pleasant taste of the kueh lapis (layer cake) that melts like soft biscuits in the mouth.
20 Ebi Fillet-O
“Ebi” in the Japanese language means shrimp and this is what Ebi Fillet-O means. It’s a shrimp burger made of a shrimp patty, sesame-seed bun, and lettuce. The burger also comes with a spicy sauce on the side for an extra kick and flavor.
The Ebi Fillet-O is the perfect example of how the McDonald’s brand adopts to the changing taste of the market it caters to. Though it is an authentic Japanese recipe, Ebi Fillet-O is also served in Hong Kong, but not in the United States.
19 Tamago Burger
McDonald’s Japan has many signature dishes only available in the country and some chosen ones. The Mega Tamago is an altered version of the Double Big Mac consisting of a sesame bun, several layers of burger patties, lettuce, cheese, bacon, and an egg.
The egg topping and bacon is what makes the difference from the original burger that originated in the United States. It adds an extra taste that only a combination of bacon and egg can add to a burger. It’s the perfect brunch option if you have a hectic day.
McDonald’s has acquired the colloquial name of McDo in the Philippines, similar to Mickey D’s in the US. The fast food chain competes with a local brand, Jollibee, which offers sweet blend Filipino-style spaghetti.
To compete with the Filipino fast-food retail, McDonald’s Philippines started offering spaghetti as one of its meals. This is the only country in the world where McDonald’s serves spaghetti. They serve it with sliced hotdogs, cheese, and sweet-blend tomato sauce similar to what the other brand offers.
17 Longanisa and Pandesal Breakfast Meals
Breakfast menu in the Philippines are also unique to their culinary taste. Breakfast meals include rice with the Philippine sausage called longanisa and egg. Longanisa is a Filipino sweet sausage from Spanish origins and is one of the common breakfast dishes in the country.
Pandesal is an everyday breakfast menu in the Philippines and McDonald’s offer variants of the bread in the early mornings. They offer the neatly folded cheesy eggdesal or you can get them with a sausage. The burgerdesal has a burger patty with a slosh of mayo.
With a four ounze Angus beef patty, beetroot, lettuce, onions, mustard, griddle egg, ketchup, and tomato, the McOz was served for some time in the Australian market. It was a famous foodie until McDonald’s Australia decided to remove it from the menu in favor of a new but similar product called the McFeast Deluxe.
What made the McOz truly Australian was the addition of beetroot not found anywhere else. It was introduced in 1999, discontinued in 2008 and reintroduced in 2011.
15 Truffle Mayo with Parmesan Loaded Fries
McDonald’s in Australia is colloquially known as the Maccas and its Truffle Mayo & Parmesan Loaded Fries is one of the best sellers. Only found in Australia, the meal is made of fries, drizzled with truffle flavored mayonnaise, and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
It is a McDonald’s Australia children’s favorite side dish because of the great tasting and cheese-loaded fries. Australia is also known to carry several flavors for their fries including Guac and Salsa, Gravy, Sweet Chili, Sour Cream, and Bacon and Cheese.
The Kiwiburger in New Zealand is similar to Australia’s McFeast Deluxe only that the New Zealand version has an extra egg. The ingredients are the same and the added egg brings an extra twist to the overall taste of the burger.
The McDonald’s New Zealand Kiwiburger is a to-die-for burger recipe because it is very tasty and works well with McDonald’s all-time favorite fries. The burger was launched in 1991 and has stayed in the menu since then. It currently ranks as the 8th most popular burger in McDonald’s NZ.
13 Georgie Pie
Georgie Pie is a local brand known for its variety of meat pies. The company suffered from a recurrent downfall because of stiff market competition and closed in 1998. Seventeen of its outlets were converted into a McDonald’s restaurant and the company decided to adapt some of its great-tasting treats.
McDonald’s Georgie Pie Steak Mince ‘N Cheese is one of the original recipes embraced by the fast food chain. It is made from New Zealand Angus beef, loaded with cheese, and freshly baked for that extra crisp.
Kofte is a traditional Turkish dish adopted by the McDonald’s franchise for the local people. It is like a kebab, but what makes the Kofteburger special is the parsley-topped bun. Instead of having sesame seeds, the buns are sprinkled with herbs and toasted for that added crisp and delicacy.
The beef patties are highly spiced for a flavorful bite and combined with the yoghurt sauce makes it truly unique. Kofteburger usually is filled with ketchup, has a slice of onions and lettuce.
Reflecting the regional cuisine of Turkey, McTurco is similar to a Kofteburger which has a Turkish-spiced beef patty, toasted buns with dried parsley, ketchup, onions, and yoghurt sauce. The McDonald’s version is loaded with Kofteburger patties, onions, hot pepper sauce, lettuce, and tomato slices wrapped in pita bread.
McTurco also comes in the chicken variation where the beef is replaced with a chicken patty. It has a distinct flavor of either mayo or a peppery yoghurt sauce and a Turkish wrap.
10 McAloo Tikki
McDonald’s McAloo Tikki is an Indian recipe but was adopted by UAE for its distinct taste. It is made with a special patty made from a combination of potatoes, peas, and selected Indian herbs and coated with breadcrumbs.
With a taste of the Indian palette, the McAloo Tikki found its way into the hearts of the Arabians because of the modest yet flavorful combination of ingredients. It goes with a sweet tomato mayo sauce, a slice of fresh onions, and topped with a tomato slice.
9 McArabia Chicken
McArabia Chicken is a variation of the chicken fold over in some parts of the world. It is distinctly created to blend with the taste of the people in Arab countries and in Pakistan. The menu is a pita bread sandwich loaded with grilled chicken patties, some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and garlic sauce.
The product was introduced in 2003 and became part of the permanent menu because it was well-received by the people. It comes with a variant recipe made of grilled kofia and wrapped in Arabic styled pita bread.
8 Halloumi Muffin
McDonald’s Halloumi Muffin is available not just in Kuwait, but in some of the Arab countries. It is available during breakfast hours and the burger alternative has delightful flavors that bring the true taste of Arabian palate to the diversity of the McDonald’s menu.
Made from grilled halloumi, a hard brine cheese, the Halloumi Muffin adds the crisp and flavors of shredded lettuce, a slice of juicy tomato, and the savory flavors of an olive paste. The menu is also available in Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE.
McRoyale as the name of the food grab is fitting for a royal. It has a blend of specially selected ingredients that truly gives a unique taste reminiscent of the Arab countries. The burger patty is made from 100% Angus meat and the melted cheese really gives the delightful taste you need.
It is topped with a fresh slice of tomato, crispy lettuce, an onion, and sloshed with mayo. A warm sesame seed bun always makes the McRoyale a must-have for a pure McDonald’s indulgence.
Finland is paving the way for healthier food choices with the McVegan. It has been added to the McDonalds menu and is seen to be a boost in consumer interest. The new McDonalds product sold more than 150,000 during the first months of production and through its initial marketing tests.
The plant-based burger was conceptualized with the help of a Finnish nutrition and health company. The McVegan revolutionizes fast food alignment with the McVegan entirely made from soybean steak and a sauce made from tomato lettuces and pickles.
5 El Maco Burger
Finland has a Mexican inspired burger called El Maco. It is made from 100% beef steak topped with cheddar, tomato, and lettuce. It comes with spicy salsa sauce and Sour Cream sauce to add to the authenticity. The burger also comes with fries that can be ordered with a barbecue spice flavor.
The fries is something special because you have to pour the flavoring powder along with the fries into a paper bag and shake it similar to the Philippines’ Twister Fries and Japan’s Shaka Shaka Chicken.
This pork bratwurst sausage chunk meal is a one of a kind product for the McDonald’s franchise. It comes with spicy tomato sauce gravy and has an extra shaker pack that includes a mild or strong curry powder mix. Bratwurst is an extremely popular meat dish in Germany and McDonald’s is taking gambles by adding a new twist to the delicacy.
The McCurrywurst is another embodiment of how McDonald’s infuse the local and traditional cuisine with an extra twist. It is similar to the crowd’s favorite McRib in the US.
Fruhstuck or McCroissant is a breakfast menu offered only in Germany. It is a ham, cheese, egg, on a warm and crisp croissant combination. This tempting breakfast delicacy has evolved to three variants including the Sweet Croissant with delicious butter, strawberry or apricot dip, and the Croissant Schoko, a milk chocolate filled scrumptious treat.
Much like the breakfast menu around the world, the McCroissant is only served until 10:30 am on weekdays and until 11:30 on weekends. The McCroissant and a hot espresso make the perfect breakfast combo.
The McItaly burger was added to the Italian line of products in 2010 to give a new flavor to the younger generation. It infused a devilish combination of artichoke spread, Asiago cheese and crispy lettuce entirely sourced in Italy. The tender Bresaola beef patty and hamburger bun are also real Italian to bring an extra zest to the McDonald’s Italia brand.
It is a hamburger with a national twist invading the culinary traditions of the Italian peninsula and bringing new hopes to farmers and the young.
McDonald’s Italia created a special menu for the EXPO2015 in Milan. The McVeggie was conceptualized to bring a new meaning to vegetarian burger and launched it along with several other go-green products. Made from broccoli, carrots, corn, spinach, peas, and cheese, the veggie burger doesn’t taste like grass at all. It is really delicious and crispy.
The burger is topped with toasted burger buns, a slice of smoked scamorza cheese, red pesto sauce, and 3 slices of tomatoes. It brings a new flavor to the vegetarian market and fast food cuisine.