No matter which city, country, or continent we call home; a 6-pack of McNuggets and a Quarter Pounder are never too far away. Despite no longer holding the record for the most individual franchise locations around the world, it can't be denied that McDonald's, Macca's, Micky-D's, or whatever we might call it, is still the world's most famous fast food chain.
With thousands of locations worldwide, there are bound to be a handful that caters more toward the elite crowd. Some of these Golden Arches establishments are even deemed worthy of a visit by some of the world's most high-profile celebs.
10 Independence, Ohio - Fancy chandeliers don’t enhance the taste
The inaugural McDonald’s restaurant was founded back in 1937 in San Bernardino, California which still stands today as a museum). Therefore it seems only fitting that we kick off our fancy fast-food journey in the vast, burger-centric nation of the United States.
Located in the USA's Midwest town of Independence, Ohio; this outlet sports classy chandeliers and self-playing pianos, offering hungry customers a unique dining experience. Above all else, this location is famous for its elegant colonial-style façade. Despite the over-the-top building, the menu remains stock-standard, with Cleveland 19 News reporting that customers saw no real change in the chain’s classic snacks.
9 Taupo, New Zealand - Nothing plane about these burgers
When sitting in a four-walled restaurant becomes a little too mainstream and conventional, why not opt for something with a touch more flair and character, like a commercial airliner, for example? That’s exactly what this New Zealand McDonald’s branch decided to do after acquiring the plane back in 1990.
While sipping on a chocolate shake and nibbling on a few crispy, golden fries, customers can sit inside one of the twenty-plus onboard seats before checking out the cockpit and some memorabilia of the plane's history. Unfortunately, the plane is permanently grounded, so there’s no one-way ticket to paradise included with this Happy Meal.
8 Clifton Hill, Australia - The fanciest Maccas Down Under
Situated Down Under, specifically, the Melbourne, Australia suburb of Clifton Hill, this Maccas (yes, Australians shorten everything, including McDonald’s) sits inside a traditional art deco hotel, which was originally built in the late 1930s.
What was formerly the fancy United Kingdom Hotel is now an even fancier McDonald’s, offering the classic menu of everything from a juicy Big Mac to a crispy McChicken behind the historic and architecturally-marvelous facade. The building is eye-catching and impressive, without a doubt, but it seems like it’s a bit of a waste using it to sell $0.50 ice cream cones and $2 hamburgers.
7 Roswell, New Mexico, USA - The burgers are out of this world
Considering that the town is synonymous with alleged alien appearances and unconfirmed UFO sightings, it should come as no surprise to us that Roswell, New Mexico’s McDonald’s has been built with an out-of-this-world theme. Aliens can appreciate a juicy Big Mac too, people.
While we can’t say for certain that you’ll run into any extra-terrestrial beings on your vacation to Roswell, we can humbly guarantee that this intergalactic McDonald’s will be serving McNuggets and Quarter Pounders to any hungry lifeforms - human or otherwise. This flying saucer might be grounded for the foreseeable future, but it won’t be running out of fries, that’s for sure.
6 Budapest, Hungary - A feed we’d miss our train for
McDonald’s establishments are no stranger to train station interiors around the world, having fed rushing commuters with rapidly-prepared breakfast wraps and orange juice for decades. However, this particular railway station in Budapest deserves a special mention.
Thanks to its impressive, high ceilings, sparkling chandeliers and beautiful, light-welcoming windows, this Western Railway Station food joint is widely considered by locals and tourists alike to be one of, if not the most beautiful McDonald’s around the world. We wouldn’t encourage anyone to take a love interest to McDonald's on the first date, but you could certainly be excused if it was at this location specifically.
5 Dallas, Texas, USA - Even the Happy Meals are bigger
Our next stop on this fancy fast-food tour is the behemoth of a city, Dallas, where this building treads a fine line between luxurious and straight-up tacky (we’ll let you be the judge on that one). As the famous saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas, and this McDonald’s location does no harm in supporting that cliché.
Never judge a book by its cover, because even though this storefront seems childish, shaped like a giant Happy Meal box, the interior features stylish Ralph Lauren wallpaper, glimmering crystal chandeliers, and charming mahogany booths. If you’re still craving a fix of unique Dallas McDonald’s, there’s also a safari-themed Golden Arches with a 50-foot giraffe statue not too far away.
4 New York, USA - A true Long Island McMansion
Located in the upscale North Hempstead neighborhood along New York’s Long Island, this McDonald’s is conjuring up some undeniable low-budget Great Gatsby vibes. The building is known as Denton House and has centuries of history associated with it. According to Newsday, it was initially built in 1795 as a farmhouse before being converted into a Georgian mansion a handful of decades later.
Following all of that history, the property was swept up by our favorite fast food company back in 1985 and has been serving juicy cheeseburgers, crispy french fries, and thirst-quenching shakes ever since.
3 South Korea - A neon McBeacon
What makes this particular outlet stand out, undoubtedly, is the massive, overarching, butterfly-like neon awning structure. Located in Ulsan, South Korea, the small building beneath it certainly isn’t all that special, particularly considering that it’s a small drive-through adjacent to an off-highway gas station, but hey, let’s look at the bigger picture here.
To go with a unique menu (compared to what we're used to in the Western world) that features mouthwatering items such as shrimp burgers and bulgogi burgers, some McDonald’s locations throughout South Korea have also begun offering beer to help wash down that handful of greasy french fries.
2 Milan, Italy - When McDonald’s battles fashion
Labeled the fashion capital of the world, Milan is a city overflowing with style, class, and sophistication. Generally, those words would never be seen anywhere close to a fast food company, let alone a McDonald’s branch. At this particular Milan mall, however, it seems as though the burger-and-fries conglomerate has pulled it off. Just make sure that you don’t spill any Sweet N Sour sauce on that brand new $800 Armani three-piece suit from four doors down.
Over the years, the store has been battling stiff competition from Prada for the floor space (as reported by Fashion Avec Passion) but it hasn’t thrown in the oil-soaked towel just yet.
1 Hong Kong - The Next of its kind
As the first of its type worldwide, Ronald McDonald introduced us to McDonald’s Next with a brand new store in Hong Kong. Unlike many of the other locations on this rundown, it’s not about the look, rather the revolutionary feel, quality, and innovation.
At the gourmet outlet, customers can purchase bourgeoise items like Perrier water, macarons, and truffle sauce. Of course, these are all delivered via table service. The menus are presented on a touchscreen and the cutlery is real silverware - it is widely considered the most luxurious and upper-class representation of the entire McDonald’s brand. In utterly un-McDonald’s fashion, the Next outlet offers a 19-ingredient salad bar, to top it all off. So, who’s hungry?