The worldwide fast food chain McDonald's and the word "posh" invoke essentially opposite images when thought of, do they not? Whether due to the cheap and greasy (though arguably satisfying) food or the fact that it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of so many (despite tasting oh so good!), the fact is that McDonald's somehow remains at the bottom of the fast food chain in the minds of many.
But around the world, other countries have begun to construct very fancy versions of the regular old McDonald's, and now the U.S. has followed suit. Gone are the days of sticky plastic booths and nasty bathrooms (ok, well not really, but at least those days are gone for the places on this list!).
Each of these 15 locations, from America to Guatemala to Georgia to Japan, have been called by one media outlet or another the "Most Beautiful" or "Nicest" McDonald's in the country, or even in the world. Personal preference and which ones people have actually been privy to aside, they each have their own stunning qualities that will make you do a double take when you realize that yes, you are looking at a McDonald's.
This is not an article about just the exterior, or just the interior, but it is an article about luxury. When both outside and inside are combined to create a luxurious and unique dining experience for McDonald's diners, the following is what you get: elegance, opulence, and grand - all words that are in no way synonymous with McDonald's. You'll see what I mean.
Read on to learn more about which McDonald's around the globe should be at the top of your list to visit someday, should you be in the area. And you very well may be - there are nearly 137,000 of them in 119 countries, after all.
12 Rotterdam, Netherlands
This restaurant is actually a farmhouse that was built all the way back in 1775- adding to the list of historic (and thus inappropriate, depending on your perspective) places this franchise is inserting itself around the globe. Somehow the thought of greasy french fries and little kids with ketchup smeared all over their toothless mouths does not seem worthy of such a site. This one is called the Denton House, and was once a private home after World War I. It later transitioned into a funeral home, and then a series of restaurants. Now it boasts the title of the country's (if not the world's) most notorious fast-food chain. And again, by yet another source (a New York travel guide, scoutingny.com), calls this location the "most beautiful".
And no, not the state. I am talking about the former Soviet country by the same name as one of our southern states, a country at the intersection between Europe and Asia where there are Black Sea beaches and Caucasus Mountain villages. And, a country whose resort city of Batumi holds bragging rights to one of the planet's coolest McDonald's (just for the record, Georgia's capital city Tbilisi also has a pretty cool one). It was designed by the Harvard-educated Giorgi Khmaladze, and its exterior is covered by 460 glass panels, surrounded by a reflecting pool. Inside, diners can enjoy their American-style meal whilst looking out upon said reflecting pool, or on an open-air patio which features quite a bit of vegetation. Totally invisible to customers, the cantilever protects a busy gas station (random, yes, but cool).
11 Antigua, Guatemala
10 Porto, Portugal
9 Asheville, North Carolina, USA
8 Rome, Italy
About 150 steps to the right of the Spanish Steps is a McDonald's. As you can imagine, being in such close proximity to one of Rome's most famous landmarks and in a location with so much foot traffic, the restaurant does pretty well. And like so many who walk through its doors, I too was taken aback by how nice it was. Never before had I seen such an elegant McDonald's in all of my 16 years (yes, this was quite awhile ago!). Like all the others reviewing all the other locations on this list, I found myself in a sort of pleasant state of shock.
7 Hong Kong
6 Tokyo, Japan
5 Frankfurt, Germany
4 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
3 Los Angeles, California, USA
So not shockingly, our nation's first feng-shui McDonald's has opened its doors in none other than Los Angeles, home of the (often-times) ridiculous. But I do get it- they want to redesign hundreds of restaurants to encourage people to hang around and socialize, like they do at Starbucks, for example. According to eater.com, the "earth tones and exotic fauna will replace the former Hi-C red and electric yellow palate. There will also be a McCafe, an upscale coffee bar, and exterior water elements symbolizing life and relaxation. The dining area also features symmetrically balanced seating arrangements in earth tone shades, pendant lights to warm up the interior, an elevated PlayPlace and three plasma televisions."
2 Kristiansand, Norway
1 Plano, Texas, USA
We round out our list back home in the Lonestar State, where there are actually a surprising number of unusual McDonald's. But this one, in my opinion, takes the cake (or, you know, the McFlurry). This restaurant has chandeliers, art on the walls, and antiques, making it look more like a 5-star restaurant than a lowly McDonald's. Even the bathrooms have gold-plated fixtures! Mahogany benches and plenty of seating both in the dining area and for parents to watch their children in the Playland are added bonuses to the pretty interior. Locals say that there are a few McDonald's nearby that look like this on the inside but that it does not necessarily equate to better food. Same food, just a nicer atmosphere. Well yes, it is- I mean, just look at the wallpaper, light fixtures, and ornate ceilings! Beautiful by any standards, and let's be honest, McDonald's is not the highest standard by which to compare something... or anything.
Sources: www.rferl.org; www.gazettelive.co.uk; la.eater.com
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