In a time when different fast-food chains aren’t more than a block away from one another, not a whole lot of thought goes into making them individually unique. After all, that would take time and money, both of which fast-food corporations aren’t all that interested in spending. Yet, some of these establishments have slipped through the cracks and are either different from the rest in their appearance or they’re located in particularly bizarre locations. Hope you brought your appetite!
Taco Bell In Paradise
For most people, the Taco Bell sign is most commonly seen off of a freeway off-ramp or tucked away on the corner of a busy city street. There is certainly no shortage of them. This Taco Bell, on the other hand, is quite a bit different from others.
Located in Pacifica, California, this store is literally just steps from the beach and has managed to make Taco Bell look luxurious more than anything. We wouldn’t mind enjoying their signature Baja Blast with that view.
It’s no secret that Kentucky Fried Chicken is a major fast-food company, with thousands of establishments all over the world. In fact, they even have one in Baku, Azerbaijan, and it’s much different from the ones usually seen on the side of the road.
It’s special because it’s built inside a former train station from the 1920s. It’s currently the world’s largest KFC with more than 1,7000 square feet! The Colonel would be proud!
Porto, Portugal’s McDonald’s Has A Nickname
If you’re in Europe, chances are that you’ll come across your fair share of cafes. But one that’s been turned into a McDonald’s? Maybe not as likely. However, that’s exactly what you would find in Porto, Portugal.
Nicknamed “McDonald’s Imperial,” the restaurant moved into the building in 1995 and was given its name after the eagle sign out front that once belonged to the building’s Imperial Cafe. This location is so different that it even has some special items on the menu!
Starbucks Gone Traditional
For anyone who’s been inside a Starbucks, you will know that it’s not necessarily the most relaxing experience. It’s usually packed, people are impatient for their orders, and you’re probably already late to work.
However, that’s not the case of this Starbucks in Kyoto, Japan. This location is constructed inside an old Japanese townhome and adopted the culture’s ancient style of sitting to eat and drink. Here, customers can sit on tatami mats for traditional Japanese dining.
Historic Views At Pizza Hut
It’s almost a guarantee that you won’t have the best view in the world when you sit down to eat at a fast-food restaurant, although one Pizza Hut begs to differ. Although not all of their locations can boast this title, their store in Giza, Egypt, definitely can.
This Pizza Hut location overlooks the Great Pyramids, something that many people could only hope to see in their lifetime, especially while enjoying a pizza. We wouldn’t want to wait in line, though.
One Of The World’s Most Controversial McDonald’s Locations
In Hangzhou, China, there is a McDonald’s restaurant in a 90-year-old villa that was once the home of a Vietnamese leader. Prior to being a place where someone could pick up a burger and fries, it was a cultural relic and the home of politician Chiang Ching-Kuo for a month during the 1940s.
Construction of the McDonald’s was considered to be highly controversial, as it can be seen as a symbol of Western commercialism integrating with Chinese culture.
In 2008, KFC India became part of a movement to provide education geared to those that are specially-abled. Now, they have locations throughout the country where the managers and other team members are either deaf or have speech impairments.
To top it off, they have signs that provide customers with instructions on placing their order. Since 2008, they have hired more than 300 people. That’s something we can hope to see in the United States soon.
Subway For World Trader Center Workers Only
This is a Subway that was built using shipping containers. However, there was a catch to get into it. You had to be a member of the construction crew working on New York City’s 1 World Trade Center site.
As the tower was built higher and higher, it made more sense to bring food to the workers rather than the other way around. Interestingly, other restaurants wanted the honor but were all beat out by Subway.
Next Stop: McDonald’s!
To this day, Barstow, California, remains one of the biggest transportation junctions in all of California. Yet, back in the 1840s, it was even more of a major hub.
To honor the city’s history, located on East Main Street is a rest stop that’s built to look like a train station. It’s there that you’ll find a McDonald’s that’s made out of the old train cars with the caboose even being converted into the restaurant’s bathroom!
In 2012, it was reported by On The Snow that Starbucks had opened its first-ever ski-thru location in Squaw Valley, California. This Starbucks is nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, catering to winter sports enthusiasts who don’t have the time or energy to take off their gear to grab something to drink or eat.
Of course, there’s also a regular Starbucks inside for the people that prefer to watch from the comfort of a warm coffee shop.
Prepare For Takeoff In This McDonald’s
Although McDonald’s isn’t often a tourist destination for many people, if you find yourself in New Zealand, it might have to be. This is no ordinary McDonalds, but part of a decommissioned DC-3 plane, which has been around since the 1930s!
Located in Taupo, New Zealand, customers can eat inside the aircraft and even take a look into the cockpit just for proof that it’s real. However, if you flew to New Zealand, chances are you don’t want to sit on another plane.
A Starbucks Made Out Of Shipping Containers
Located in Tukwila, Washington, Starbucks opened this shipping container store made out of four reclaimed shipping containers. Customers can choose to either enter the store or go to the drive-thru to fulfill all of their Starbucks needs.
Not only are these kinds of stores more environmentally friendly, but they’re also portable, and the entire thing can be picked up, moved, and put back together in just a matter of days. Could Starbucks be onto something?
Arizona’s Turquoise Arches
McDonald’s is known for their “golden arches,” that adorn just about every McDonald’s built. Not only are they a symbol for the fast-food restaurant but even for the United States. However, one restaurant in Arizona got to do things their own way.
Established in Sedona, Arizona, in May 1993, the building had to adhere to Sedona’s guidelines on building design and signage, which the yellow arches didn’t adhere to. So, they have to use a turquoise color instead to match with the surrounding landscape.
A McDonald’s That Keeps The Status-Quo
Bray, Ireland, near Dublin, refers to itself as the “longest established seaside town in Dublin.” There’s so much history in this town that even their McDonald’s looks the part. The Tudor-style building that the McDonald’s is located in was built sometime during the early 1880s.
To this day, part of the same building even serves as the town hall. We doubt that anyone could imagine it would one day service the world-famous Big Mac during its construction.
Head Into Outer Space At This McDonalds
Roswell, New Mexico, is made famous by the Roswell UFO incident after a UFO supposedly crashed 75 miles from the town. Because of this, the city’s tourism industry is based on aerospace engineering and ufology, along with ufo-related museums and iconography.
This includes one of their McDonald’s, too. There is a McDonald’s in the shape of a UFO in the city, which only fits its history. Their food better be out of this world!
Sweat Out Those Calories
Believe it or not, in Helsinki, Finland, there is a Burger King that’s taking things to places you never imagined a Burger King could go.
This particular Burger King stands out because it’s (shockingly) equipped with a spa that includes a 15-person shower, locker room, and media lounge. We’re not sure who wants to enjoy their Whopper in a place where people are sweating, but to each their own! Something to definitely check off the bucket list!
Long Island Takes McDonald’s Seriously
Most McDonald’s restaurants are erected wherever there’s a steady flow of either street or foot traffic. Not in New Hyde Park, Long Island. Located there is a Georgian mansion that dates back to 1795 and was previously known as the Denton House.
McDonald’s bought the property in the mid-1980s, and while they planned to tear down the structure and start new, the residents of New Hyde Park wouldn’t let it happen. So, they were forced to convert the original building into a McDonald’s.
The Original McDonald’s
Located in Downey, California, is the oldest McDonald’s location in the world. It looks almost identical to when it was first built and doesn’t even have a drive-thru, so customers have to walk up to the window to order like in the old days.
Opening on August 18, 1953, it was the third McDonald’s location and was the second restaurant that was franchised by Richard and Maurice McDonald. Along with its sign, it was deemed eligible for addition to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
In Houston, Texas, there is a McDonald’s that stands out from all of the rest. Because of its proximity o the nearby NASA space center, this restaurant is NASA-themed. On top of its unique building design and lettering, there is also a statue of an astronaut holding a container of french fries.
But it doesn’t stop there. Inside, Ronald McDonald and the other characters can all be seen wearing spacesuits while floating in front of a starry background.
Independence, Ohio Claims To Have The Fanciest McDonald’s
Located in Independence, Ohio, there is a McDonald’s that is considered to be one of the fanciest fast-food restaurants in the United States. It was constructed in accordance with the building requirements of the city, in which the average household income is more than $100,000.
Not only is the exterior impressive, but inside, guests are greeted by golden chandeliers and elegant banners. From both the in and outside, it’s hard to tell you’re in a McDonald’s!