You probably think that most McDonald’s locations around the world look more or less the same, and that’s because they do: a rather plain-looking building or storefront (some more modern than others), with an interior of chairs and tables bolted to the floor, a counter, maybe a Playplace, and not much else. But there are some outposts of this ubiquitous chain out there that are completely unique, and we’ve tracked down 20 of them.
Founded in 1948 by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald in San Bernardino, California, the first McDonald’s was a self-service drive-in restaurant serving 15-cent hamburgers, potato chips, and soft drinks. It wasn’t long before franchised locations began opening up across the U.S.; the 500th restaurant opened in 1963 in Toledo, Ohio, and the first international locations opened in Canada and Puerto Rico in 1967. Originally, just about all McDonald’s looked the same, and any changes to the design were implemented system-wide. But somewhere along the way, some franchise owners decided to take matters into their own hands.
MacDo, Maccas, Mickey D’s… no matter what the locals call it, the majority of McDonald’s restaurants are adorned with golden arches and maintain a similar image, but we’ve found the locations with the most novel designs, both inside and out. Some are standalone buildings with outrageous designs, some are city buildings that incorporate the design of past tenants, but all of them are unlike any other McDonald’s on earth.
Additional reporting by Lauren Mack.