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The World's Top 10 Coolest McDonald's

The World's Top 10 Coolest McDonald's

From New York to New Zealand, We Rank the World's Wackiest

These days it seems like you can’t go anywhere in the world without being greeted by those familiar Golden Arches.

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Sometimes the vision of them can be comforting, especially when you’re traveling abroad and surrounded by mysterious, slightly intimidating food. Sometimes it can be annoying, like when you get off the interstate craving a steak and McDonald's is the only restaurant within sight. Usually, though, that meal of a Big Mac and fries is always welcomed.

Most McDonald's are comfortingly identical: red and yellow color scheme, beige floors, plastic tables, cardboard cutouts of Ronald McDonald, and ball pits for the kids. Around the world, though, there are some pretty innovative examples of how creative franchise owners blend into (or stand out from) their surroundings., as the brand has brought on some of the world's top architects to craft some incredibly creative restaurants. From the New Zealand location that incorporates a decommissioned airliner to the minimalist "Quarter Pounder" store in Tokyo, read on to find out the top 10 coolest McDonald’s locations in the world.

Fries With What? The 10 Craziest McDonald's in the World

Fun facts: McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast food chain, with more than 35,000 restaurants spread across 119 countries. Sixty-eight million hungry customers pass through its doors each day.

That’s a lot of restaurants (and Big Macs) since the original McDonald’s was opened as a drive-through barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino, Calif., by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald. They turned that family business into a hamburger stand that mass-produced burgers and fries, until the company was bought by businessman Ray Kroc in 1955. Kroc is responsible for the first set of huge golden arches out in front of the first McDonald’s as we all know and love it, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Design by Erik Mace for Yahoo Travel.

While those golden arches can be found in almost every major city across the world, there are some restaurant locations that are, well, McCrazy. From a McDonald’s owned by the queen of England (really) to one in a plane, here are the coolest McDonald’s on earth.

Surrounded by barbed wire and just a short distance from the infamous Gitmo detention camp (home to some of the world’s most infamous terror suspects), the Guantanamo Bay McDonald’s is the only one in Cuba. It is accessible only by U.S. military personnel who live on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. However, with the recent changes in diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S., it would be no surprise to see McDonald’s popping up all over the island very soon.

When driving through the Israeli desert, you might assume that the sight of golden arches would be a mirage. Yet 100 miles into the Nagev Desert sits one of the remotest McDonald’s restaurants on earth. The 100-percent-kosher location is situated alongside the main road from Tel Aviv to Eilat — the thoroughfare city dwellers use when heading south to the resorts on the banks of the Red Sea. The perfect location to grab a McShawarma (Yes, that’s a real thing!), consisting of turkey meat, pickles, and tahini. Yum!

Windsor Castle, England

In 2008, the Crown Estate (the official title for the queen of England’s property portfolio) purchased a retail park on the periphery of Windsor Castle — Her Majesty’s secondary residence, located in the southern county of Berkshire. Part of the deal included the deed to a McDonald’s restaurant, which is still open today, meaning that, technically, the queen of England owns a McDonald’s drive-through. The restaurant is just a stone’s throw from the royal residence, but no word on whether Elizabeth II is a fan of the Big Mac.

Photo: David South / Alamy Stock Photo

The picturesque village of Yangshuo, in the Guangxi Province, has become one of China’s most popular tourist locales, largely due to its striking scenery — dramatic mountain-scapes enveloped in lush greenery are interwoven with lazy, meandering rivers dotted with traditional pagodas and historic temples. Yet amid all this exotic beauty sits the unusually jarring sight of the red, white, and yellow McDonald’s frontage. And so no tourist ever has to miss an opportunity to eat a Big Mac, the restaurant is open 24 hours a day.

Forget the drive-through: How about a fly-through? For more than 25 years, the McDonald’s in Taupo, New Zealand, had a decommissioned DC-3 plane parked beside it. But last year the grounded passenger plane, originally built in 1943, got a special refurbishment, including the installation of seating for 20 and a new red-and-silver paint job. Hungry visitors can now enjoy their fries onboard before taking a tour of the cockpit, which is still in its original state.

Photo: Jason O. Watson / Alamy Stock Photo

In 1947, an alleged UFO crash-landed in the desert on the outskirts of Roswell, N.M., and almost 60 years later the remote town is the world’s number one destination for hunters of the extraterrestrial. Taking advantage of the millions of ET-seeking visitors who descend on the town each year, McDonald’s has fashioned its local restaurant in the form of a spaceship. So you can chow down on your McNuggets while feeling one step nearer to a close encounter.

Due to the nature of the business, many McDonald’s restaurant locations are built from scratch. But not in Maine. The fast food company bought this 19th-century sea captain’s home in Freeport with the idea of tearing it down. But a local group called the Mac Attacks protested the plans and persuaded the company to leave the Colonial-style house intact. The only signs that it is even a McDonald’s are the subtle golden arches visible in one of the upstairs windows and a small sign on the lawn. This beautiful venue also has another distinguishing quality: It is one of the only McDonald’s outlets to sell lobster rolls … of course.

Built in 1897, this beautiful Romanesque structure was once a bank where locals deposited cash and received loans. But in more recent times, the impressive building became home to the town’s McDonald’s franchise. Sadly, the dramatic columned frontage is not in use, despite the large McDonald’s sign above the door, and visitors are required to use a side entrance.

The city of Barstow in Southern California is almost exactly halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and has long been a major hub for rail traffic along the Union Pacific Railroad. Barstow Station is a collection of disused railcars that have been turned into fast food restaurants. Originally, beginning in 1975, McDonald’s took up all the cars, making it the chain’s largest branch at the time, but it has since been downsized to just one car. Diners can take their seats to eat in the refurbished wagons while working freight trains trundle past on the line behind the restaurant.

Planes, trains, automobiles, and … skis? That’s right, aside from bringing the world the wonders of Ikea, Sweden has the world’s first-ever McDonald’s “ski-through,” where snow sports enthusiasts can indulge in some apres ski burgers and shakes. Known affectionately as McSki, the Lindvallen McDonald’s has been open since 1996 and is still the only one of its kind.

WATCH: The Oldest Operating McDonald’s in the Country

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5 Unique McDonald’s Meals from Around the World

Entire books have been written on the global phenomenon that is McDonald's. One of best-known chains around the world, McDonald's is a global force in the fast-food industry and consistently shows no signs of slowing down. Its popularity has remained unaffected by lawsuits and exposés, a testament to the questionable, albeit valid magnetism of its brand.

Even though we might not want to admit it, many of us get a small feeling of comfort when we see a McDonald's while traveling in a foreign country. The notion that even thousands of miles away from home, a double quarter pounder with cheese is not that far can be reassuring.

To be expected, though, McDonald's abroad have menus that are tailored to their home country. These foreign McDonald's menus include combos that might seem surprising to us, but make perfect sense to the demographic in a given location.

But classic McDonald's lovers needn't worry: No matter where you go, any given McDonald's combo can be ordered with the option of french fries and a Coca-Cola. The differences around the world did surprise us, though, so check read ahead to see how the menus change in different countries!

Scandinavians are known for their healthy diets, which is why it's no surprise that this vegetarian burger is on the menus in Sweden. The McBean patty is a blend of cannellini beans, kidney beans, onions, carrots, and green peppers, served on a bus with lettuce, tomato, onions, and a special sauce. The Swedes also took a page from Italy's book with salad choices like a prosciutto and melon combination.

This McDonald's porridge comes with chicken strips, onions, ginger, fried shallots, and chiles. On the McDonald's Malaysia website, it promises to be "just like mum's cooking!" Malaysian McDonald's also offers Samurai Delights like taro pie for dessert and McFlurries made with passion fruit.

Chicken McDo with Spaghetti, Philippines

This popular combo in the Philippines combines a fried chicken drumstick and spaghetti with Bolognese sauce. For breakfast at a Philippines McDonald's, one can expect traditional breakfast items like longgasnsia (sausage) with garlic rice and an egg.

Ham and Cheese on a Pita, Ukraine

In Ukraine, you can order a Ham and Cheese Pita, but that's not really why this item made the list. In a combo, you can swap classic McDonald's fries for "country fries," which look like what we might call steak fries in the United States.

This "Kiwi Legend" was discontinued from the permanent menu, but has returned at some New Zealand McDonald's locations. Made up of minced steak and cheese, these pies are square and can be served with other McDonald's options like frozen Cokes.

The coolest McDonald's restaurants in the world

Deep-fried pickles. Apparently, they are just a beloved former menu item.

35 of 56 Sonic Drive-In Frito Pie
What is it?

A Texas fave, it's Sonic's Coney toppings (chili and cheese) on Fritos instead of a hot dog.

37 of 56 In-N-Out Animal Style Burger
What is it?

A burger fried with pickles, extra spread, grilled onions and mustard

38 of 56 In-N-Out Grilled Cheese
What is it?

Order a burger without meat. That's pretty much it.

40 of 56 In-N-Out Neapolitan Milkshake
What is it?

A layered blend of the strawberry, chocolate and vanilla shakes, all in one cup.

41 of 56 Chipotle Burritodilla
What is it?

This is like a half Quesarito, half the toppings, but all of the flavor.

43 of 56 Chipotle Nachos
What are they?

This is one of the easier hacks. It's one of the restaurant's Burrito Bowls with chips at the bottom instead of rice.

44 of 56 Taco Bell Superman Burrito
What is it?

A Cheesy Double Beef Burrito (beef, cheese and rice), but with potatoes, sour cream, guacamole and tortilla strips. So, pretty much everything.

46 of 56 KFC Poutine
What is it?

It's a Canadian delicacy — French fries in gravy with cheese curds. In the U.S., it seems some take advantage of the fact that a lot of KFCs and Taco Bells share a restaurant, and use the Taco Bell cheese sauce.

47 of 56 KFC Triple Down
What is it?

One of the restaurant's bunless chicken Double Down sandwiches (two chicken patties with cheese and bacon in the middle), but with an extra cheese-bacon-chicken layer.

49 of 56 Five Guys Patty Melt
What is it?

A cheeseburger from the menu with grilled buns.

50 of 56 Chick Fil-A Quesadilla
What is it?

Pretty simple here, a tortilla filled with chicken and cheese.

52 of 56 Subway Pizza Sub
What is it?

A beloved former menu item, it's a heated sub with pepperoni, cheese and the marinara sauce from the Meatball Sub.

Crisco 1492/Wikimedia Commons Show More Show Less

53 of 56 Burger King Chicken Club Sandwich
What is it?

One of the chicken sandwiches, with the addition of bacon, tomato and cheese for a "club" feel.

55 of 56 Burger King Suicide Burger
What is it?

It's no 100x100, but the four patties, four slices of cheese and a pile of bacon will probably clog your arteries just the same.

McDonald's is ubiquitous. It has 36,000 outlets in 119 countries worldwide. Most franchises are not much aesthetically.

That's not the case for the 11 amazing locations in the gallery above. Most are repurposed buildings &mdash which explains the lovely vaulted ceilings and antique light fixtures. We can't promise the food is elevated too (it's almost certainly not), but if you're going to get fast food, there are worst places to stop.

Before being converted into a McDonald's and McCafe restaurant, the building was known as a cultural relic that was the residence of politician Chiang Ching-kuo for one month during the 1940s.

Many locals objected to the restaurant opening inside the historic building, calling it a prime example of Western commercialism invading Chinese culture.

However, the restaurant has become somewhat of a tourist attraction since it opened in 2015, welcoming visitors from all over the world.

Homemade Chips That Taste Better Than McDonald&rsquos Fries Are Easier Than You Think

These homemade oven chips are so tasty and easy to make!

For decades, we&rsquove been arguing about which fast food place makes the best fries. The general consensus is that KFC&rsquos chips are not even in the running (soz, Colonel &ndash your chicken&rsquos ace though) but McDonald&rsquos and Burger King fries have been pitted against each other since the beginning of time. Then Five Guys and Shake Shack arrived with their fries and turned everything on its head.

Anyway, here&rsquos an idea&hellip what if you could make homemade chips that were even better than any of the fries sold at these places? You might not believe that&rsquos possible, but this chef on TikTok swears his homemade oven chips are a tastier and healthier version of takeaway fries &ndash and in particular, McDonald&rsquos fries.

Morgan Hipworth, who owns Bistro Morgan Bakehouse in Melbourne, has shared a TikTok showing you how to make his delicious chips in your very own kitchen.

Morgan starts by peeling potatoes and cutting them into fries. He then pops them in a saucepan with cold water and salt, and parboils them for just two minutes. Any more than that and they&rsquoll go all mushy.

He then places the fries in an oven tray with olive oil and whatever herbs and spices he fancies &ndash the world&rsquos your oyster, guys. Go wild! Then the chips simply need to go into an oven that&rsquos been pre-heated to 200°C for 25 minutes!

Try these yourself at home and tell us they&rsquore not the tastiest chips you&rsquove ever had in your whole damn life.

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Big Macs Around the World

Despite your own personal opinion on the Big Mac, it is difficult to argue against the prevalence and influence that its mother fast-food chain has had on so many aspects of our lives. Its presence has been so profound that even sociologists have keyed the term "McDonaldization" as a way to describe and study the impact that the McDonald's brand has had on modern global society.

After taking inspiration from The Economist's Big Mac Index, which essentially compares currencies in different countries based on the relative price of a Big Mac, we decided to take a closer look at different Big Macs from around the world. Obviously price varies, but do they have the same ingredients? What about nutritional value? Are they as big as the 'Mac that we know in the States?

Just as their price varies, our research concluded that, in fact, Big Macs around the world come in very different shapes and sizes. To get a better idea of how these burgers size up when compared against one another, we considered their price, typical ingredients, and nutritional information. We then ranked them from least to most expensive.

For example, in the United States, your typical Big Mac has 550 calories, 25 grams of protein, 29 grams of fat, 46 carbohydrates, and 970 milligrams of sodium. It comes with two slices of American cheese and typically costs around $4.56. Head to South Africa, though, and you'll find the menu staple for as cheap as $1.82, while if you're in Norway, a burger will cost you around $7.51.

Curious to learn more about how Big Macs compare across borders? Check out the slideshow to see how these global Big Macs stack up against one another!

McDonald's in Bray makes 'world's coolest' list

USA Today this week published a list of the 'World's 10 Coolest McDonald's'.

You might be somewhat surprised that the Mickey D's in Katie Taylor's Wickla hometown weighs in at number 5, beating off competition from Tokyo, NYC and Roswell, New Mexico.

The Bray Town Hall burger joint was described as a "pastoral location".

(Picture: Infomatique via Flickr)

"Around the back of this picturesque Irish building dating back to the 19th century, McDonald's has once again found a home in a historic building," wrote USA Today food scribe Rosemary Pantaleo.

"The walk-up restaurant looks a tad out of place in such a pastoral location, but with a location right inside the Town Hall, they've certainly figured out the most central location in the city!"

The hall, built in the Tudor Revival style at the top of Bray's Main St, was builtin in the 19th century from local red brick. McDonald's has been there since 1997

In case you're interested, the coolest McDonald's on the globe is in Taupo, New Zealand , "home to the only McDonald's location that includes a decommissioned DC3 plane as part of the store".

Taupo McDonald's named ɼoolest' in the world

The owners of McDonald's Taupo are soaring on the news that their business has topped the list of the world's coolest top 10 McDonald's, sneaking in ahead of locations like Rome, Tokyo and New York.

Foodie website The Daily Meal said: ''Taupo, New Zealand, has the honour of being home to the only McDonald's location that includes a decommissioned DC3 plane as part of the store. There are seats inside the plane for your dining enjoyment, and you can view the cockpit as well! Maybe they hand out wings to first-time customers.''

Owner Eileen Byrne said it came as a complete shock.
''Competition looked pretty stiff, but clearly they were really impressed with the plane. There are close to 35,000 McDonald's in the world, so to think we've been noted not just in the Top 10 but number one is pretty cool,'' she said.

The plane, a Douglas DC3 aircraft, was built in 1943 and was one of three used by South Pacific Airlines of New Zealand from 1961 to 1966. In 1971 it was renamed Whio and used by Fieldair Holdings as a top-dressing plane, before being decommissioned in 1984.

In 1985, Taupo Mayor Rick Cooper bought the plane during a stopover in New Plymouth.

''I was wandering around, stretching my legs and I came across this plane,'' Mr Cooper said. ''I got talking to the owner who said he was going to refurbish it but it was going to cost too much, so he was going to sell it. I asked how much, and bought it for around $20,000.''

He said the original plan was to use it as his office at the Aeroplane Car Company but a representative from McDonald's , upon seeing the plane, asked if it could be installed at their intended site.

Mrs Byrne said children - and their dads - loved exploring the DC3, which still had its cockpit intact.

''We've had some really special moments over the years, like we had one man in his late eighties, Ray Misson, who was the last person to ever fly that plane when it was a top-dresser. It was quite a job to manoeuvre him into the seat but once we had him sitting there, it was a dream.''

Mrs Byrne said the plane was a popular subject for passing tourists too, with many stopping daily to take photos.

World Number two is a McDonald's based in a Georgian mansion in New Hyde Park, New York, and the third on the list is in Rome, a marble- and mosaic-filled de light.

Other striking restaurants included a UFO-shaped restaurant in Roswell, New Mexico, and one in Dallas, Texas, shaped like a giant Happy Meal, complete with a towering burger, drink and fries.

It is not the only top honour bestowed onto Taupo of late, with All Blacks superstar Dan Carter naming Taupo his favourite spot in all of New Zealand.

Bray McDonald's restaurant voted one of world's coolest

McDonald's in Bray, Co. Wicklow has made the top 5 coolest McDonald's in the world. The top 10 was put together by USA Today.

It describes the branch as picturesque and historic naming it number 5 on the list. The building also houses the Town Hall and dates from the 19th century.

It says " McDonald's has once again found a home in a historic building. The walk-up restaurant looks a tad out of place in such a pastoral location, but with a location right inside the Town Hall, they've certainly figured out the most central location in the city".

Other regions in the running were places like McDonalds' from Italy, New Zealand and South Korea.

A plane, a mansion, a Happy Meal

Taupo in New Zealand topped the list as it has "the honour of being home to the only McDonald's location that includes a decommissioned DC3 plane as part of the store" complete with seats inside the plane where people can eat.

A Georgian mansion in New York that dates back to 1795 comes in at number 3 which is described as "one of the most beautiful McDonald's restaurants in the US".

A marble and mosaic-filled restaurant in Rome is next on the list. It is located next to the Spanish Steps in the Italian capital.

Meanwhile a restaurant-sized Happy Meal in Texas comes just ahead of Bray at number 4 on the list.