Enjoying McDonald's Around the World: My Top 4 Countries

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One of my favorite traditions I’ve come up with while journeying around the world is eating at McDonald’s. I know it seems ridiculous to eat at an American food chain in France or Japan, but hear me out!

I just came back from my 30th country. I’ve been able to see the world because of my nomadic lifestyle. I’ve been worldschooling for the past eight years, which includes eating a lot of pretty weird things—but at least I know fish sperm is edible now! Whenever I’m on the road and tired of putting effort into trying new dishes, I’ve found comfort and a fun time at McDonald’s. It’s always roughly the same familiar interior with the aroma of fries in the air.

Still, the menu also comes with a twist, something new only available in each specific country. Visiting McDonald’s around the world is a tradition my mom and I have come up with together, and it feels almost nostalgic to enter somewhere I’ve grown up eating at, but it’s also exciting and fun to try something different.

McDonald’s invites the culture and flavors of each country around the world to better target their local audience. Think Toblerone Mcflurries in Switzerland or milk tea in Hong Kong. You should definitely give this fast food joint a visit the next time you’re somewhere new!

Enjoying McDonald's Around the World: My Top 4 Countries

Hong Kong

I’ll start off with my absolute favorite city for visiting McDonald’s: Hong Kong. I think of it as my second home, and I spend a lot of time there visiting family and haunting my favorite restaurants. Whether I’m with family or friends, I somehow always make my way back to McDonald’s, and it never disappoints. I love walking into the cool, air-conditioned diner for a snack after escaping the loud, crowded streets of Hong Kong. The best visits are when I go in a big group with my parents, my grandparents, and my aunt and her family. We all pull the reliable chairs around a small table, share our favorites, and try something new. Here are some of our top picks: 

Macaroni & Soup (No Cheese Harmed!)

Most of the time, you can find macaroni and soup on the menu here. It’s a fairly typical breakfast for people in Hong Kong, like eggs and bacon or pancakes in the States. This dish consists of smooth macaroni noodles in clear broth with an egg, some vegetables, and sometimes a piece of meat like spam. It has the same warm comfort as a chicken noodle soup. There is no cheese involved for anyone concerned about wet mac and cheese. 

Milk Tea

In terms of drinks, you can find AMAZING milk tea all over Hong Kong, and McDonald’s offers it too. Milk tea is a staple drink at most cafes throughout the city. Milk tea in Hong Kong is traditionally served hot but typically consumed both warm and cold now. If you are familiar with classic bubble tea, it’s like that but without tapioca. This popular drink probably gained popularity when Hong Kong was under British rule. In McDonald’s, they serve it warm, which is pretty tasty, but I would recommend going to one of the small diners/cafes found on almost every street for a more authentic taste.

HK Kennedy Town 士美菲路 12 Smithfield 文光閣 Man Kwong Court shop 麥當勞 McDonalds Restaurant food iced milk tea August 2020 via Wikimedia Commons: Kasomen Kwong Faitenoo. From Enjoying McDonald's Around the World: My Top 4 Countries
HK Kennedy Town 士美菲路 12 Smithfield 文光閣 Man Kwong Court shop 麥當勞 McDonalds Restaurant food iced milk tea August 2020 via Wikimedia Commons: Kasomen Kwong Faitenoo

Ovaltine Ice Cream

The seasonal desserts at Mcdonald’s are an absolute staple every time we visit, and Hong Kong does an especially spectacular job with these! OMG, you can’t turn down a good McDonald’s dessert in Hong Kong. They offer a variety of familiar flavors and brands tied into their desserts, which typically consist of soft-serve ice cream. I’ve had a pretty funky but delicious sea salt ice cream as well as Ovaltine, red bean, green tea, and other popular flavors infused into ice cream.


McDonald’s in Switzerland is absolutely incredible (and incredibly expensive) and is a close second to Hong Kong’s McDonald’s. During my first time in Switzerland, my mom and I probably went to McDonald’s around ten times in our short time there. Here’s what we found:

Rosti fries…

This item drew us to McDonald’s again and again. No joke, I think about these treats all the time. A rosti is a traditional Swiss dish that resembles a typical diner-style hashbrown, made of grated potatoes fried in a patty shape. I love it. As fries go, a rosti is around the size of a mozzarella stick and the thickness of a tater tot. I cannot express how good they were after walking in the freezing cold weather of Switzerland. Rosti fries made my day every day. 

…Paired with McFlurries

My mom would say otherwise, but rosti fries paired with either KitKat or Ovomaltine Mcflurries was insanely good. Ovolmaltine, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a malted chocolate drink made from Ovolmaltine powder and milk. In Switzerland, they also had it as a chocolate bar, which at McDonald’s was one of the main ingredients in their Mcflurry, and it was delicious. I never got tired of the hot, crisp, and soft rosti fries combined with the cold sweet chocolate-y Mcflurry. Unfortunately, I recently returned to Switzerland on a day trip from France, and I immediately searched for a McDonald’s, but I failed to find rosti fries. 

Rosti fries and Mcflurrie in Switzerland. From Enjoying McDonald's Around the World: My Top 4 Countries

Slovenia is one of my favorite countries, and McDonald’s did offer something unique, but I wouldn’t rank it near the best. Still, I’m glad I carried on the tradition of trying McDonald’s while on the road.

Deep-fried shrimp

We also tried deep-fried shrimp, which, unfortunately, came out as a disappointment. I didn’t really like it because I could taste the doughy crust of the rubbery shrimp. I guess there shouldn’t be high-quality standards for McDonald’s, but I wish the shrimp tasted better as I usually enjoy any form of shellfish.


My favorite country in the world is Japan, so of course, I have to include McDonald’s there. I haven’t returned in about three years, so these are items that I’ve researched, but if you ever get the chance, I encourage you to seek them out and try them! Let me know what you think!

Sakuramochi pie

Like Hong Kong, the Japanese McDonald’s has frequently changing seasonal desserts. One of their current sweets is the sakuramochi pie! Since it is Spring, this pie reflects the well-known sakura blossoms of Japan, and it is available for a limited time only. Among other things, McDonald’s has also served KitKat Strawberry Mcflurry, Cheesecake Mcflurry, and Pineapple Pie. 

Japanese-American fusion

The Japanese often find American culture to be cool or hip. The McDonald’s menu in Japan offers various dishes to show the Japanese’s interest in America. They’ve served many burgers named after states of the US such as the Idaho Burger, which contains a potato patty; the Hawaiian Burger, which includes egg and gravy; the Texas Burger, which has mustard seed relish and BBQ sauce; and the California burger, with special red wine sauce. 

McDonalds in Japan - with Tsukimi burger ad via Wikimedia Commons: nesnad. From Enjoying McDonald's Around the World: My Top 4 Countries
McDonalds in Japan - with Tsukimi burger ad via Wikimedia Commons: nesnad


There are 195 countries out there, so I obviously haven’t covered them all, but boy, would I like to! Visiting McDonald’s around the world is a lot of fun, and I encourage you to try it, too. Let me know what crazy things they offer in your next destination!

Enjoying McDonald's Around the World: My Top 4 Countries

Nomadbehappy is a 15-year-old worldschooler learning through her travels and adventures. She is passionate about encouraging others to travel and see the world more because she's seen firsthand how travel positively affects a person. She's an aspiring author and philanthropist with a few successful fundraisers to support friends she's made internationally. One of her many dreams is to travel to Antarctica to experience the indescribably unique landscapes there, unlike anywhere else in the world. In her free time, she indulges in Anime, K-pop, and various music from different parts of the world. 

Read more of her adventures at https://medium.com/@Nomadbehappy


All photos courtesy and copyright Nomadbehappy, except where noted