While the Golden Arches may be recognizable the world over, the McDonald’s menu is not standardized across the globe. Boasting over 36,000 locations worldwide, the fast food chain has become a pro at adapting its offerings to local tastes. So, if you step out of America, you’ll find some weird and wonderful dishes that will make the Big Mac look boring.
40. Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Toastie – Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Toastie does exactly what it says on the tin. But just in case you need the McDonald’s specialty explaining to you, the grilled sandwich involves macaroni coated in a brace of different cheeses, layered with bacon served between two toasted slices of bread. It forms part of the McCafé menu, meaning it’s meant to be enjoyed with a coffee, rather than guzzled down with soda.
39. Chocolate Salami – Italy
While this treat sounds strange to those unfamiliar with the delicacy, you may be glad to learn that it contains zero meat. Instead, it’s a dessert made from crushed-up cookies, chocolate, eggs and butter which, oddly enough, just looks a bit like the aforementioned sausage dish. You’ll find it available at McCafé restaurants across Italy, where the chocolate salami – or salame al cioccolato – is a pretty popular confection.
38. Nasi Lemak McD – Malaysia
Appealing to its native market in Malaysia, McDonald’s launched its take on the country’s national dish, the Nasi Lemak McD. The meal consists of coconut-infused rice accompanied by fried egg, anchovies and cucumber, topped with a spicy chili sauce known as sambal. The dish can be served in three ways, either alongside chicken rendang, a Spicy Chicken Deluxe burger or the dish Ayam Goreng, to make for a meal that’s truly locally inspired.
37. McKroket – Netherlands
According to Dutch McDonald’s, the McKroket is world-famous – or wereldberoemd – but, chances are, you’ve never heard of the dish. So what is it? Well, put simply, it’s a breadcrumbed cheese and beef patty tucked between a hamburger bun. The result is gooey, salty and satisfying – exactly what fast food should be.
36. Chicken Legend – U.K.
At first glance, the Chicken Legend is simply a souped-up version of McDonald’s standard chicken burger. But fans of the sandwich will no doubt tell you it’s so much more. That’s because it consists of fried chicken breast served with a variety of toppings on a longer bakehouse roll. It comes with a choice of condiments, including both hot and cool versions of the chain’s bespoke mayonnaise, or if you prefer, BBQ sauce instead.
35. Local Deluxe Breakfast Platter – Hawaii
In Hawaii, you can wake up like the natives do thanks to McDonald’s Local Breakfast Platter. The dish is made up of Portuguese sausage, scrambled eggs, rice and – you guessed it – Spam! While the array of foods might seem like an odd combination, they actually form one of the most common morning meals on the island.
34. Korean McCrispy – Taiwan
Contrary to its name, the Korean McCrispy can be found at McDonald’s restaurants in Taiwan. Though there’s little information about the dish readily available online it seems to be an update on the old Chicken McCrispy – a deep-fried chicken wing known for its crunchy texture. But this time it comes drizzled in a sticky sauce.
33. EBI Filet-O Burger – Japan
The EBI Filet-O Burger consists of a panko-breaded shrimp patty served in McDonald’s signature sesame bun with lettuce and onions. It’s somewhat unusual name derives from Yuri Ebihara, a Japanese model, who was the face of its marketing campaign. The seafood sandwich forms part of the fast-food chain’s regular menu in the country, where it’s proved a hit with customers.
32. McNoodles – Austria
Though McNoodles might take their inspiration from Asian cuisine, they were actually introduced in Austria as a limited-edition menu item in 2012. At the time, the central-European consumers were going wild for boxed noodles, so McDonald’s decided to put its stamp on the trendy dish. The meal took 18 months to devise, and its ingredients were imported from Thailand. But in the end, its availability was short-lived.
31. Camembert Donuts – Germany
Judging by the Camembert Donut, it would seem that the Germans pay serious attention to their choice of sides. These rings of deep-fried and breadcrumbed cheese are served in a box of seven alongside a cranberry dipping sauce. According to McDonald’s Germany, the snacks are “crispy on the outside [and] creamy on the inside,” making them “a hearty side dish.”
30. Cheesy Rice Bowl with Chicken Strips – India
Rice bowls form part of the menu in an Indian McDonald’s and are available in both cheesy and spicy varieties. The former claims to have an Italian vibe, containing zucchini along with corn, carrots and green peas. The latter, meanwhile, has a Mexican flavor, being infused with tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, herbs and spices. Both can be combined with wings, nuggets of strips of chicken to turn the vegetarian dishes into something meatier.
29. Germknödel Donut – Austria and Denmark
The Germknödel is already an Austrian delicacy; basically it’s a sweet yeast dumpling that when cut into, reveals a centre oozing with plum-flavored jelly. Putting its own spin on the specialty, McDonald’s offers its own take on the dessert in both Denmark and Austria. The treat features the same filling as the original but comes in a heart-shaped dough, decorated with poppy seeds and icing.
28. The Kiwiburger – New Zealand
McDonald’s Kiwiburger is said to be iconic in its native New Zealand. Introduced to the menu 30 years ago, it consists of a beef patty, fried egg, tomato, lettuce, cheese, onions, ketchup and mustard, all contained within a sesame bun. The special ingredient, though, is beetroot, which isn’t ordinarily considered a burger topping in the U.S.
27. Taro Pie – Asia and Hawaii
Just like McDonald’s Apple Pie, the taro variety – available in locations across Asia and in Hawaii – looks nothing like a traditional pastry. And the Taro Pie’s appearance is even more bizarre, given that it’s filling is a vibrant deep amethyst color thanks to the root veg, which is grown in various Pacific island nations. The texture is supposedly similar to lumpy mashed potatoes – but don’t let that put you off trying this colorful wonder if you ever get the chance.
26. McChoco Potato – Japan
The McChoco Potato is an out-there concoction available only in Japan since its launch in 2016. The dish consists of regular house fries which customers are encouraged to douse in an accompanying double-chocolate sauce to give diners a sweet and salty kick. Strictly speaking, is it a side or a dessert, though? We just can’t decide…
25. The Aussie Brekkie Roll – Australia
McDonald’s fans Down Under can start the day with the Aussie Brekkie Roll. This hearty breakfast sandwich comes in many different varieties, from smoky BBQ flavor to spicy chorizo and egg. In 2018 it was joined by the Big Brekkie burger containing a beef patty, hash brown, bacon, cheese and egg.
24. McArabia – Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Morocco and Pakistan
The McArabia is a warm pita containing grilled chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and garlic sauce. While it’s only available in certain Arabian countries and Pakistan under the McArabia guise, there are similar sandwiches available elsewhere. For instance, in parts of Asia and South Africa, they have the Grilled Chicken foldover, while some European McDonald’s outlets offer the McOriental.
23. Ham N’ Egg Twisty Pasta – Hong Kong
If you thought having any kind of pasta dish on offer at McDonald’s was weird, you might want to consider that Hong Kong’s Ham N’ Egg Twisty Pasta is available on the breakfast menu. The curvaceous carb is served with finely chopped vegetables, an egg and a single slice of ham, making it quite the concoction.
22. Cheesy Eggdesal – Philippines
The Cheesy Eggdesal is a breakfast meal on offer in the Philippines. Given that its name doesn’t give much away, you’re probably wondering what, exactly, it entails. Well, think of a cheese omelet sandwich. According to the description on McDonald’s website, it involves, “melty cheese wrapped in a fluffy, folded egg, sandwiched between a soft, toasted pandesal bun.” Sounds delicious if you ask us.
21. Samurai Pork Burger – Thailand
McDonald’s Thailand is known for its unique menu, and this tasty snack is no exception. The Samurai Pork Burger is served with mayonnaise and complemented by a salad of lettuce, onions and tomato on top. The meat is prepared using a teriyaki sauce, giving the dish the Japanese flavor that inspires its name.
20. Golden Mayo Cheese Steak Burger – Indonesia
The Golden Mayo Cheese Steak Burger is one of Indonesia’s local McDonald’s offerings. It consists of a juicy beef patty, drizzled in a Golden Mayo sauce and topped with onions and cheese. Unlike other burgers, this sandwich is served in a longer sesame bun. The result is gooey and satisfying – not a million miles away from the American Philly cheesesteak.
19. McNürnburger – Germany
The McNürnburger is about as German as McDonald’s gets. It’s made up of three Bratwurst sausages topped with onions and mustard and enclosed in a bun. The name plays on the regional Nürnberger sausage and, interestingly, the concept was devised by the soccer player Uli Hoeneß, who happens to own a sausage factory. Unfortunately, though, the success of the snack was short-lived, and it was only available for three months.
18. Mashed Potato Burger – China
If China’s Mashed Potato Burger didn’t sound strange enough, its story of origin is even weirder. The dish was launched as part of the “Beef 2012 Manly Campaign” in the country to celebrate the notion of masculinity. And, apparently, nothing champions possessors of Y chromosomes like a heap of pulped potatoes piled onto a meat patty and served with bacon.
17. Chicken McDo with Spaghetti – Philippines
This unusual dish might sound Italian-inspired but it’s actually on sale in the Philippines. It involves long pasta, a meaty marinara-type sauce and a topping of shredded cheese. As for the McDo, that refers to a golden chicken drumstick, which is inexplicably served alongside the noodles.
16. Prosperity Burger – Malaysia
The allure of Malaysia’s so-called Prosperity Burger is seemingly in its black pepper dressing, which according to the McDonald’s website “packs a peppery punch.” But a sauce can’t hold up a sandwich all on its own. The dish is completed with either a beef or chicken patty, onions and a warm sesame seed bun.
15. Gratin Croquette Burger – Japan
Despite the French-sounding name, the Gratin Croquette Burger actually hails from Japan. The croquette contains fried crab and a creamy macaroni, enclosed in a crispy, breaded exterior. It’s served on a bun alongside cheese and lettuce. The sandwich was first launched in 1993 and is only available to hungry customers during the winter period.
14. Tomato & Mozzarella Turnovers – Italy
Known in their native Italy as panzerotti, these tomato-and-mozzarella turnovers have been described as mini-calzones. Interestingly, though, in 2013 Italian McDonald’s also launched the Pizzarotto, a similar-sounding dish that was available to buy as a side or as the main component of a Happy Meal.
13. Poutine – Canada
Poutine is a Canadian specialty, so it’s little wonder that McDonald’s has decided to offer the regional dish across the country. In case you don’t know, the hearty foodstuff is made up of French fries laden with cheese curds and slathered with gravy. The dish launched in 2013 and pleased poutine purists by using proper curds rather than shredded cheese.
12. Veg Pizza McPuff – India
The Veg Pizza McPuff is apparently one of the most popular side snacks on the Indian McDonald’s menu. It’s basically a deep-fried puff pastry parcel loaded with marinara sauce and veggies. The dish takes the form of a typical McDonald’s pie but is clearly of the savory variety rather than fruit-filled.
11. D24 Durian McFlurry – Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong
The McFlurry comes in many varieties across the globe, but the durian version has the potential to be the most divisive yet. The durian is a fruit found throughout Southeast Asia. It’s known for its pungent smell, which some have likened to decaying food or perhaps an especially ripe-smelling pair of sneakers. That being said, others love its tangy flavor.
10. Pancake Helado – Uruguay
Uruguay’s Pancake Helado is possibly the most decadent dish on the McDonald’s breakfast menu. It consists of soft, caramel-filled pancakes topped with vanilla ice cream. The meal might not be the healthiest start to the day, but it’s a good sweet alternative to the sea of McMuffins, bagels and sausages.
9. BigSpicy Paneer Wrap – India
The BigSpicy Paneer Wrap is a vegetarian-friendly offering available at McDonald’s in India. The meal involves chunks of paneer – a kind of curd cheese popular in South Asia – which have been coated in a spicy batter. It’s served alongside veggies, melted cheese and a dollop of mustard to complete the sandwich snack.
8. Shaka Shaka Chicken – Japan
McDonald’s Shaka Shaka Chicken meal encourages customers to – yes, you guessed right – violently jiggle their food before tucking in. The dish consists of deep-fried chicken served in a special folded-over bag alongside a packet of seasoning which you combine yourself to make the perfect taste. You can choose from cheese, lemon or pepper flavorings to make the meal truly your own.
7. McOreo Spam Burger – China
Possibly the single strangest flavor combination on offer at any McDonald’s anywhere: we proudly present China’s McOreo Spam Burger. As the name suggests, this meal throws together two thick slices of Spam with a topping of Oreo crumbs. And if that wasn’t enough of a mix, it comes drizzled in the restaurant’s signature burger sauce – just for good measure.
6. Pizza Mac – Germany
The Pizza Mac is a tasty Italian-inspired treat available on McDonald’s Germany’s Basics Menu. According to the chain’s official description, it’s a “funky burger who shows at first glance how much flavor he has. Crispy outside with delicious mozzarella spread, inside with double beef, delicately melting cheese, onions and spicy tomato sauce.”
5. Bubur Ayam – Malaysia
Bubur ayam is the Indonesian term for “chicken congee” – a kind of rice porridge with poultry meat. Despite its origins, the dish is popular throughout Southeast Asia. It’s usually served with side dressings, so McDonald’s Malaysia’s take on the delicacy also includes sliced ginger, chilies and scallions.
4. McShrimp – Russia
Only available at McDonald’s outlets in Russia, the McShrimp is a breaded seafood snack. It is available as a side or as a combination meal served with fries and a drink for 299 rubles – just under $4. Rather than tartar sauce, though, the accompanying seasoning of choice with the food is Thousand Island.
3. Pita Mac – Germany
The doner kebab is of Turkish origin, but the meaty treat is particularly popular in Germany. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that McDonald’s joints in the country offer their own take on the fast-food classic – the Pita Mac. The flatbread burger was launched in 2018 and features a meatball filling with onions, tzatziki and “hot kebab sauce.”
2. McRaclette – Switzerland
The Swiss are known for their epic cheesemaking skills, so it’s no surprise these are celebrated at McDonald’s in the country. The McRaclette burger is built on gooey, dairy goodness, featuring two slices of raclette cheese served over a beef patty alongside onions, pickles and cheese sauce.
1. McCurrywurst – Germany
Currywurst is a widely-consumed street food in Germany. Put simply, it’s a fried pork sausage cut into small chunks and served with spicy ketchup and a sprinkle of curry powder. It often comes with French fries, meaning the dish was the perfect addition to McDonald’s menus in the country when it was launched in 2013.