20 International McDonald's Items We Really Wish Were In The US

Have you ever visited a McDonald's in another country? You'll notice the classics like Big Macs, chicken nuggets, and fries, but other menu items might stand out — because not all McDonald's offer the same foods. And while the U.S. menu seems stacked, the grass is always greener.

McDonald's has over 38,000 restaurants in over 100 countries, making them a well-established global brand. So if you're traveling to Asia, Africa, Europe, or beyond, pop into a local Mickey D's and check out the competition. You'll find international menu items that bring a unique flavor to the table and are inspired by the cultures they come from.

It seems only natural that bulgogi would make its way into Korean McDonald's. And Panzerotti feels like the perfect addition to the Italian branches. So if you want to develop some serious food FOMO, keep reading. From breakfasts and burgers to desserts and sides, we've scoured the globe and found 20 international McDonald's items we really wish were in the U.S.

1. McFlurry Tres Leches

We love Oreo and M&M McFlurries, but Venezuela's Tres Leches would round out the mix. If you're unfamiliar with tres leches cake, it's a light sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: condensed, evaporated, and milk cream. It's often crowned with cinnamon to give it a nice golden-brown glaze.

The Tres Leches McFlurry uses vanilla soft serve as a base with chunks of vanilla cupcake. Dulce de Leche (the Latin equivalent of caramel) and cinnamon or mixed in just the perfect amount. It's basically the ice cream version of this Latin American cake. And if you love cream, caramel, and sugar, you're missing out on this McFlurry.

2. Big Brekkie Burger

Australians love a good nickname, and in their world, McDonald's is "Macca's" and breakfast is "brekkie." Despite shorter names, their McDonald's menu seems longer, including everything from fancy grilled cheese sandies to custard-flavored desserts. But one item, in particular, stood out from the rest. Because although Americans go all out with breakfast, Australians one-upped us with their Big Brekkie Burger.

This burger is the breakfast of champions. You've got crispy hashbrowns, melted cheese, bacon, 100% Aussie beef, a fried egg, and barbecue sauce — all sandwiched between a toasted sesame seed bun. So if you're traveling to the land down under, stop by Macca's in the morning, and bring your appetite.

3. Smokey Chili Tomatoes McFlavor Fries

According to a Statista survey, McDonald's sells America's best fast-food French fries. But we're not the only ones who appreciate them. The company trademarked them as "World Famous Fries" for good reason. Their reliability is unparalleled; no matter where you go, these potatoes are always fried to crispy hot perfection. While we love the dependability, sometimes we want to spice things up — and Belgium's Smokey Chili Tomatoes McFlavor Fries is the perfect remedy.

These fries are topped with smoked chili sauce and fresh tomatoes. McDonald's Beligum also advertises them as "veggie and crispy fries," which might be a nod to a previous McDonald's scandal in the States. People became aware that American McDonald's fries are cooked with beef flavoring, making them unsuitable for vegetarians. But whether you're a vegetarian or just like flavorful fries, McDonald's Belgium has your back.

4. Wacko Guaco Burgers

Although Belgium is in Europe, it's really bringing that south-of-the-border flavor. Its Wacko Guaco burgers are topped with cheddar, lettuce, pico de gallo sauce, and guacamole. It tastes extra fresh thanks to the guac and chopped tomatoes, while fried onions give it a nice crunch. If you pair it with Belgium's Smokey Chili McFlavor Fries, you've got the perfect flavor combo.

Initially, the Wacko Guaco Burger was only available with chicken, but thanks to its widespread popularity, McDonald's Belgium added a veggie and beef option, so there is something for everyone. It seems the avocado craze isn't over in Belgium — and we wish we were there for it.

5. Poutine

Poutine holds a special place in Cannucks' hearts. This French Canadian comfort food is a hearty serving of fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. And as one of the country's national dishes, it's only fitting that McDonald's Canada has Poutine.

Canadians take their poutine seriously; some might frown upon this mass-produced version. But in the States, we don't have access to this delish dish regularly. Adding it to our McDonald's menu would give us a little taste of our northern neighbor's cuisine. And with each fry generously coated with gravy and cheese, we're willing to put aside any feigned rivalries.

6. Taro Pie

Taro is a starchy root vegetable with a slightly nutty taste. It comes with purple or white flesh that, when mixed with sugar, takes on an earthy sweetness. Several international McDonald's chains capitalize on this by creating colorful desserts like the Taro Pie.

It's available in China, Taiwan, and even Hawaii on occasion. One Foodology blogger visited a Hawaiian branch to taste this limited-time-only dessert: "The Taro Pie has chunks of purple taro on the inside, which was slightly sweet. All the filling was encased inside their pie dough, deep-fried to a golden brown. I was surprised that the exterior was different than the ones in North America...it felt more flakey. Upon the first bite, I was hooked" — and we'd imagine we would be too.

7. McPinto Deluxe

Breakfast McMuffins are one thing. But sometimes, we crave a full-blown plated meal in the morning. This is where Costa Rica's McPinto Deluxe comes to the rescue. In Central America, gallo pinto has a rice and bean base and several sides. At McDonald's Costa Rica, this includes scrambled eggs, fried sweet plantains, sausage, warm tortillas, and creamy custard.

It's a well-balanced meal that somehow only has 367 calories. With busy morning schedules, it would be nice to have a McDonald's option that is healthy yet filling. And with McDonald's McPinto Deluxe, you feel like you're getting a luxury breakfast for a fraction of the price.

8. Tasty Basket

Italy's Tasty Basket would make the perfect party platter or Superbowl snack. This giant bowl of fried treats comes with six chicken nuggets, six chicken wings, three Panzerotti, and three dipping sauces. We're familiar with chicken nuggets and wings, but where this basket really shines is the Panzerotti.

Panzerotti is the Italian version of dumplings stuffed with 100% Italian tomato and mozzarella cheese. McDonald's Italy describes it as "a warm and racy heart to give you a moment of goodness." The translation is a bit poetic, but ultimately, they remind us of piping-hot miniature calzones. If anything is missing from McDonald's, it's that Italian flair. With this Tasty Basket, we could truly have it all.

9. Spicy Chicken McNuggets

Did you know McDonald's Chicken McNuggets only come in four different shapes? In a four-piece order, you might get a ball, a boot, a bell, or a bone. While we love these nuggets in all their shapes and sizes, we wouldn't mind more flavor variety. In many countries, Spicy Chicken Nuggets occasionally appear as a limited-time item. They've popped up in Japan, China, and even the United States.

Every time these Spicy Chicken McNuggets return, they receive a slight upgrade. According to Sora News 24, the 2020 release in Japan saw a more fiery-red coating and two dipping sauces, jalapeno cheese, and black mapo. Although we're unlikely to get the tingling black mapo sauce Stateside, we're not sure why spicy nuggets aren't a permanent item. Perhaps the novelty of limited availability creates a buzz — but we'd prefer seeing these spicy chicken bites every day.

10. Roasted Soy Sauce Double Thick Beef Burger

According to Japan Today, McDonald's Japan released limited-edition samurai-themed burgers in 2020, including its Roasted Soy Sauce Double Thick Beef Burger. However, due to its extreme popularity, it was made a permanent menu item in 2021. This burger has not one, but two extra thick beef patties topped with cheese and a roasted soy sauce. It's not the powerful patties that make it samurai-inspired, but the uber-rich soy sauce that fills your mouth with that umami flavor.

As the article describes, these samurai burgers come with their own tagline, "otona wo tanoshime," which translates to "Enjoy adulthood." Finishing one of these is definitely not child's play. And when we have an adult-sized appetite, we wish we could enjoy this Samurai-sized burger.

11. McSpicy Paneer

McDonald's India brings its A-game when it comes to veggie burgers. Its McSpicy Paneer has a spicy paneer patty with creamy tandoori mayo and crisp lettuce on a sesame bun. It sounds simple, but making a tasty paneer patty is no easy feat. Paneer is a soft Indian cheese made from full-fat curdled milk. It's rich and creamy but has a soft, crumbly texture. 

Keeping this patty together requires using a large chunk of cheese with a thick breaded coating. What we love about this burger is that it's not pretending to be meat at all. The McSpicy Paneer is its own unique cheesy creation, bringing some fire to the veggie burger world.

12. Gluten-free burgers

According to McDonald's, the company has no intention of creating a gluten-free burger anytime soon. While you can always order burgers without the buns, things can get messy. But in some European countries, you can get your entire burger gluten-free — bun included.

The Dutch McDonald's offers three different options sans gluten: a regular burger, a cheeseburger, and a Quarter Pounder. One McDonald's fan also spotted gluten-free buns in Italy, commenting on Twitter, "Here, they cook them in a bag so that there's zero risk of cross-contamination." This is excellent news for the celiac community — which is a significant one. Beyond Celiac reports that an estimated 1% of the population has celiac disease, and this number appears to be increasing.

If you're a member of this ever-growing club, you've probably tried eating fast-food burgers without buns. It's a tricky endeavor that may end up with a few ketchup stains. McDonald's Netherlands is not only considerate, but it's considerably ahead of the game. So for all those gluten-free burger lovers out there, we hope more McDonald's follow suit.

13. Sweet & Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad

Fortune reports that due to labor shortages, U.S. McDonald's bid farewell to salads during the pandemic. We know what you're thinking ... who goes to McDonald's for salads, anyways? But occasionally, it's nice to have refreshing veg alongside that double cheeseburger.

Once again, the Dutch have healthy eating in mind. McDonald's Netherlands offers a Sweet & Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad, which rings in at just 138 calories (excluding dressing). It might be light in calories, but it's full of flavor. The salad starts with a base of mixed greens and grilled, marinated chicken topped with sour apple pieces, corn, tomatoes, and spicy crouton crumbles. There's no false advertising with this menu item. It's sweet and spicy, as promised. And on those hot summer days, we wish we had a go-to salad on the McDonald's menu.

14. Almighty Texan BBQ

McDonald's is famous for its Big Mac. And while we love this double-decker classic, we often crave less bread and more meat. Clearly, the inventors of the Almighty Texas BBQ felt similarly. Although this burger was inspired by Texan cuisine, you'll find it at New Zealand-based McDonald's. 

It's a meat-lover's dream, with two juicy 100% Angus beef patties loaded with cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions. But the goodness doesn't stop there. This gourmet burger has mayo and barbecue sauce on both the top and the bottom buns; so every bite is just as saucy as the next.

15. Chocolate Lava Pudding

Step aside cookies and pie; there's a new dessert in town. Chocolate Lava Pudding is an international favorite, and in New Zealand, you can find it at your local McDonald's. New Zealand has its fair share of volcanos, but this lava is the type we love.

It's a rich chocolate cake filled with molten liquid chocolate. When you cut into it, expect an eruption of chocolatey gooey goodness. The cake could stand alone, but the vanilla soft-serve ice cream really takes it over the top. It's decadence at a discount. If only the U.S. McDonald's would offer it as well.

16. Bulgogi Burger

Bulgogi means "fire meat" in Korean, and truthfully, the flavors are fire. With bulgogi, thin slices of meat are marinated in soy, sesame oil, onion, garlic, ginger, and more before being grilled to juicy perfection. But if you're visiting Korea, you don't need to make this meat yourself because you can order the Bulgogi Burger at any local McDonald's.

The burger patty is loaded with bulgogi sauce, creamy mayo, and lettuce. If that's not enough to satisfy those taste buds, opt for a double or add a fried egg. The overall flavor is a bit sweet but still has that umami quality we crave. Eating McDonald's in a foreign country might be frowned upon, but this burger seems worth it.

17. Buttermilk Crispy Chicken

The Buttermilk Crispy Chicken gets our award for the prettiest presentation. This breaded chicken buttermilk patty is sandwiched between only the most colorful produce. It has crunchy green lettuce underneath and grilled pineapple and purple cabbage on top. Since it comes from Singapore, it's no wonder it has that island flair. However, pineapple is one of many divisive foods. As such, not everyone would love this gourmet chicken burger.

But those that like pineapple on savory dishes can rejoice — because, as it turns out, pineapple and chicken are the perfect pairing. According to Healthline, pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that helps you digest proteins. So these sandwich toppings aren't just pretty; they're also healthy.

18. Jalapeno Chicken Burgers

South Africa's Jalapeno Single is a grilled chicken patty topped with lettuce, tomato, and onion. It's a simple burger tied together by one ingredient: jalapeno sauce. This sauce is creamy with an undoubtedly jalapeno flavor.

Most chicken burgers at U.S. McDonald's are breaded and fried. However, the Jalapeno Single's chicken patties aren't breaded at all, making this sandwich an excellent option for those avoiding deep-fried foods. Plus, you can add a double or triple patty to get even more protein. There would probably be a decent demand if added to the U.S. McDonald's menu. And without the breading, gluten-free consumers can enjoy this chicken sando (sans bun, of course). Although eventually, we hope Mickey D's expands to gluten-free buns as well.

19. Macarons

Leave it up to the French to sell macarons at McDonald's. Sarcasm aside, we're pretty jelly. These ganache-filled cookie sandwiches are just as delicious as they are beautiful. We've seen apple pies and chocolate chip cookies at many Micky D's. But macarons would make quite the colorful addition to the dessert display. And with each bite, you could be transported to the quant, cobblestone streets of Paris.

Rumor has it that the McMacarons even rival that of Ladurée, one of Paris's top macaron bakeries. Delishably decided to put this to the test, conducting a blind sampling of basic flavors. The end result was officially a tie. But rather than take their word for it, we'd prefer to sample McMacarons right here in the States.

20. Mango Chili Chicken and Kale Salad

Sweden really tempts us with its salad options. Many fast-food salads can be pretty dinky, with a few cherry tomatoes haphazardly thrown onto iceberg lettuce. But there's a lot of intentionality — and color — behind Sweden's Mango Chili Chicken and Kale Salad. This health bomb mixes kale, collard greens, soybeans, chicken, rice, and beans. It's topped with a mango-chili sauce to give it that sweet and savory flavor. 

Not only is it filling, but it's also packed with nutrients. Kale alone is known to have many antioxidants along with Vitamins C and K. They say painting your plate with colors gives you all the nutrition you need. And with this Swedish salad, you can eat the whole rainbow.