While traveling the world, you probably have plans to immerse yourself in the culture of each country you visit, and to do so in part by enjoying the local cuisine. However, since the chain is so universally prominent, odds are, you’ll find yourself at a McDonald’s at least once during your travels. It may be on a day when you’re rushing to get to the airport, or on a day when you have such a jam-packed schedule of sightseeing that you don’t have time for a full sit-down meal. If that’s the case, you don’t have to resort to ordering the same old meal you order from the McD’s in your hometown. Instead, you can try something new by ordering a meal available only at McDonald’s in that country. Here are ten of our recommendations!
10. Pineapple Oreo McFlurry
You really can’t go wrong with a McFlurry. It could be the coldest day of winter, and it would still hit the spot. Since the dessert is so popular, it’s no surprise that McDonald’s has tried to expand their market by experimenting with new flavors. Colombia is home to one of the more out-there versions of the McFlurry: the Pineapple Oreo McFlurry. Now, Oreo McFlurries are well-established as one of the most popular flavors McDonald’s offers, right alongside M&M and SKOR. The choice to throw pineapple into the mix was…well, it was a bold move. On its own, a pineapple McFlurry would probably be a solid dessert; the fruit would pair nicely with the ice cream. But the combo of pineapple and Oreos seems like a bit much. Although, pineapple tastes great in chocolate fondue, so you can kind of see where they were going with this concept. And, like we said before, you really can’t go wrong with a McFlurry. It would be impressive if they’d actually managed to ruin the beloved dessert, but that doesn’t seem like it’s the case. While the Pineapple Oreo McFlurry definitely seems a bit strange at first glance, reviews seem to be overwhelmingly positive. The frozen dessert has been making pretty major waves in Latin America lately, so don’t pass up a chance to try this one out. In the case that it becomes a new favorite, and you end up missing it when you return home from Colombia, you can recreate the dessert by ordering an Oreo McFlurry at your local McD’s and topping it with pineapple yourself.
9. Shrimp Beef Burger
Surf and turf, anyone? Although this isn’t quite your traditional steak and lobster meal… In a surprising twist, Korean McDonald’s have decided to put out a burger that contains not only a beef patty, but a shrimp patty as well! It’s definitely a good way to get your protein fix for the day, so bodybuilders, get in line. The addition of shrimp to the menu has been a pretty common trend at McDonald’s worldwide, but the choice to mix it with beef is far less common. It’s also mildly questionable. The burger’s other ingredients are pretty normal. They include lettuce, onion, tomato, spicy onion sauce and a corn wheat bun. The shrimp patty has a crispy exterior and McDonald’s beef patties never disappoint. While the combination is odd, it may very well be worth trying. This is especially true, because the unique food items Korea McDonald’s comes up with tend to be amazing. Korean food is so good that we really expect nothing less than perfection from them. Unfortunately, the Shrimp Beef Burger was originally released for a limited time only, so getting your hands on it might be a bit trickier than originally anticipated. Hopefully McDonald’s Korea decides to make it a permanent addition to the menu so that everyone has the opportunity to try it and see if this risky combination pays off!
8. Apricot Sundae
This is another fresh take on a classic dessert. Don’t be fooled by its appearance; this ice cream may look like just another caramel sundae, but it’s actually topped with apricot sauce, along with tiny chunks of the fruit. It’s probably safe to say that this food item won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. Apricots aren’t necessarily the most beloved fruit out there, and there are a lot of people who would probably recoil at the thought of this sundae. On the other hand, there are likely plenty of people out there who would jump at the chance to try it. When it comes to sundaes, there really isn’t all that much variety. There’s chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce and caramel sauce and that’s really about it. It’s nice to see McDonald’s thinking outside the box with this one. Unfortunately, since apricots generally aren’t the most hyped up fruit out there, many people may end up skipping out on this ice cream completely, without ever giving it a fair shot. But, come on, it’s ice cream. How bad can it be? This dessert was first released in Turkey, and only for the summer months. Whether or not they decide to bring it back for subsequent summers probably depends on its initial reception, so fingers crossed that we’ll be able to try it out one day.
7. Bacon, Macaroni and Cheese Toastie
For some people, this is the food item of their dreams. For others, it’s the food item of their nightmares. The latter are typically concerned parents or anyone with a background in medicine. This dish takes the trifecta of foods that are bad for your health but good for your heart and combines them into one glorious sandwich. It’s essentially grilled cheese meets macaroni and cheese meets bacon. It’s actually kind of reminiscent of a college student’s kitchen. All it’s really missing is some instant ramen. The macaroni and cheese is mixed with bacon bits and served between two slices of perfectly toasted bread. A lot of macaroni recipes incorporate bacon, so the fact that they’re paired in this food item makes sense. It was the idea to put it all in a sandwich that was the real risky play here. There’s a good chance that the risk paid off, because the finished product looks like the ultimate comfort food. Honestly, there’s probably not a kid (or adult, let’s be real) out there who wouldn’t love it. The Bacon, Macaroni and Cheese Toastie is available only at McDonald’s in China. It’s such an Americanized dish that you might not want to try it when exploring a country with such delicious cultural foods, but it’s understandable if you don’t want to pass up the chance to try it since it can’t be found anywhere else. Maybe save it for a day when you don’t have time for a sit-down meal and need to grab something quick to go.
6. Guacamole Burger
This one is for all you millennials out there. While it’s not as fancy as avocado toast, Mexican McDonald’s burger will still allow you to get in your daily avocado. Inside they Guacamole Burger you’ll find two patties covered in melted cheese, lettuce, salsa, pico de gallo sauce, and, of course, a hearty serving of guac. Unlike some of the other items on this list, there’s nothing questionable about the Guacamole Burger. It’s really the menu item McDonald’s has been missing all along. Because it has avocado in it, and is therefore a high-class burger, it comes with a lime wedge on the side. For those of you who prefer your burger with a side of fries, this singular wedge might come as a bit of a let-down. It’s presumably there for you to squeeze extra lime juice into you guac if you find it to be lacking in flavor, but no one’s stopping you from using it as a chaser if you decide to pair your burgers with tequila. Since avocado isn’t exactly cheap, this burger will cost slightly more than some of the other food items at McDonald’s. It’ll probably set you back about five to seven dollars. However, if there’s one thing millennials don’t have trouble spending money on, it’s avocado, so that shouldn’t be a problem. The Guacamole Burger actually got so popular that McDonald’s locations outside of Mexico, particularly in the United States, began serving it as well. This is proof that, while most of the items on this list started out being sold in only one country, if they get popular enough, there’s hope for them to one day be added to menus in McDonald’s locations in other parts of the world.
5. Chicha Purple Temptation
This Peruvian dessert feels extremely out of place on the McDonald’s menu. When you think of McDonald’s desserts, it’s usually ice cream, be it a McFlurry or a sundae, that comes to mind. The Chicha Purple Temptation is a little different, because its main ingredient isn’t cream…it’s blue corn. While the grain gives the dessert a stunning purple hue, it’s certainly a little unconventional. To be fair, corn is quite sweet, so you can see how it could be incorporated into a dessert, but that doesn’t make it any less unexpected. This food item has quite an interesting history, as it was inspired by the traditional Peruvian drink, Chicha Morada. This drink was prepared by boiling blue corn with pineapple peels, and then spicing it with cloves and cinnamon. Once it’s cooled, the drink is strained, and sugar and chopped fruit are added. It’s so cool to see McDonald’s drawing inspiration from local cultural dishes to come up with something new and interesting. If you’re ever in Peru, it could be worth making a special trip to McD’s, just to pick up a couple of these. Considering the fact that the drink it’s based on is so popular, chances are that Chicha Purple Temptation will turn out to be pretty great – even if you’re hesitant to try a dessert with corn in it. But when you think about it, carrot cake is pretty delicious, so why should these corn pastries be any different?
The Canadian entry on this list is another one that really doesn’t seem like it fits in on the McDonald’s menu. The McLobster is, at its core, a glorified lobster roll. The massive hotdog bun is stuffed with Atlantic lobster, shredded lettuce and a special “lobster sauce.” It’s available at McDonald’s locations in Atlantic Canada and New England (prime lobster territory) during the summer months (prime lobster season). It’s an unusual for McDonald’s to be carrying; when you go to McD’s, it’s usually with the goal of getting your hands on some burgers and fries. Lobster is typically reserved for fancy nights out. However, this sandwich was introduced in 1993, and has gain surprising popularity since then, so McDonald’s must be doing something right. Unfortunately, in 2017, this food item, which was once going strong, hit a bit of a road block. That year, lobster prices skyrocketed, and it was no longer worth it for the fast food franchise to add it to their menu. Many people look forward to the annual return of the McLobster, so needless to say, this came as quite the disappointment. Sadly, since then, the McLobster has been an elusive meal. We can only hope that someday (preferably in the near future), McDonald’s brings it back. Because, as weird as it looked on their menu, it’s delicious enough to have earned a place there.
3. Spinach and Parmesan Nuggets
Spinach and Parmesan Nuggets joins the ranks of the McLobster and the Chicha Purple Temptation in the category of “sounds amazing, but what’s it doing on the McDonald’s menu?” This twist on the classic chicken nugget doesn’t actually contain any chicken, or any meat at all. Beneath the delightfully crispy layer of breading, you’ll find, as the name would imply, spinach and parmesan cheese. They call it a nugget, but it really has more in common with a deep-fried cheese stick. Which isn’t something to complain about. Taking your first bite can be a bit jarring, as the spinach has turned the cheese completely green. This food item wouldn’t be out of place at a St. Patrick’s Day party. If you can get past the green cheese, you’re in for an incredibly savory experience. You really can’t go wrong with breaded cheese, and the spinach adds a little extra flavor that makes these nuggets truly delicious. Plus, these nuggets might actually get your kids to eat spinach, which is a win in itself. This food item was sold at McDonald’s locations in Italy, as part of a limited time promotional sale. It’s really not at all surprising that these nuggets originated in Italy, since the country is famous for its amazing savory meals. And it looks like they’ve done it again. Although, it still seems like too much of a delicacy for McDonald’s to be serving. But, hey, if it tastes good, who are we to question it?
2. Bubble Gum Squash McFlurry
Unlike the Spinach and Parmesan Nuggets, this food item doesn’t actually contain any vegetables. There’s never been any real clarification as to what the term“squash” is referring to here, but, whatever it is, it’s certainly not butternut or spaghetti. No, instead of being comparable to everyone’s favorite gourd, the Bubble Gum Squash McFlurry is actually far more reminiscent of the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino. In this variation of the McFlurry, the vanilla soft serve is mixed with a blue bubble gum-flavored syrup and topped with soft pink and white mini marshmallows. Every other country is jealous, because it can only be purchased in Australia and New Zealand. Someone needs to start a petition to make the Bubble Gum Squash McFlurry available internationally, because it really feels like we’re missing out on something great here. With the various shades of pink, white and blue, this McFlurry looks like the perfect springtime treat, especially for around Easter. The only downside to this dessert is that you would probably need to have a pretty strong sweet tooth in order to enjoy it. Between the syrup and the marshmallows, it’s on a whole other level of sugary. If you prefer your desserts a little tart, or don’t generally enjoy the experience of being able to actively feel cavities forming as you eat, this probably isn’t one for you. But if you live for the sugar rush, it sounds like the Bubble Gum Squash McFlurry would be right up your alley.
1. Bacon Roll
There’s something to be said for keeping things simple, but the Bacon Roll takes it to the extreme. If you find yourself in a McDonald’s in the United Kingdom and take notice of an item on the menu called the Bacon Roll, you may think that the name is lacking in description. What other ingredients does this breakfast sandwich contain? Is it bacon and eggs? Bacon and a hash brown? Some cheese, perhaps? Alas, Bacon Roll was no misnomer. The sandwich is composed of several slices of bacon stacked inside of a roll. There’s a bit of sauce thrown in there too, to keep things from getting to dry, but, at its core, this is a bacon sandwich. There are probably several self-proclaimed carnivores out there who would devour this in an instant, but there are also many people out there who enjoy getting some nutrients with their meal. It’s also kind of a strange meal to go order from a restaurant. You could easily whip this up at home in far less time that it would take you to get to your local McDonald’s. Which works out for those of us who don’t live in the United Kingdom but are interested in trying out this food item. Since it’s so easy to DIY, you don’t have to miss out on this one. Meanwhile, if you do live in the United Kingdom and hit up McD’s around breakfast time in search of a greasy hangover cure, this might be your best bet.