In America, we like to think we have everything we could possibly need, especially in terms of restaurants. From McDonald’s to Taco Bell to the delicious KFC, you might think that you’re all set and that nothing could ever top those. And you would be oh, so wrong! Yes, we do have amazing restaurants but have you ever stopped and wondered what resides on the other side of the world? Here are the Top 10 Restaurants We Wish We Had In America (Part.2)
10. Harry Ramsden’s (UK)
Fish and chips – or french fries on this side of the pond – is a classic dish from the United Kingdom that has made its way into our North American food culture. Although it’s become a common dish in the U.S., it can be quite a challenge to find authentic and truly delicious fish and chips, and practically impossible to find at a fast-food restaurant. Wait. Cue the fast-food chain Harry Ramsden’s. Not only is it one of Britain’s longest established restaurant chains, but there are over 35 owned and franchised locations all across the UK and Ireland. It was first founded in 1928 in a little wooden hut in Leeds and has since become the British standard-bearer for great fast-food fish and chips, which is a pretty respectable and encouraging title, to say the least. It even went global in the 1960s and expanded to places like Australia, Hong Kong, and even Saudi Arabia. Hey, what about America! We like fish and chips, too! With some tasty cod or haddock, fried to a light, golden crisp and served with exquisite chips and mushy peas, it’s easy to say that Harry Ramsden’s would be a huge hit in America. Maybe if they just give it a try, they would see how just motivated we are. Oh, Harry Ramsden’s, how we long before your fish and chips make their way into U.S. stomachs!?
9. MOS Burger (Japan)
Tired of your good old burger recipe? Do you find that the standard beef and the cheese are just too predictable these days? Well, if that’s the case, MOS burger in Japan is the perfect spot – if they bless us all with their presence in the U.S. in the near future, that is. MOS Burger is a hamburger chain born and raised in a little town in Japan called Narimasu and carries a menu that highlights Japanese food culture fused with American hamburgers. First started in the 1970s, the chain quickly grew into a nationwide franchise, and there are about 1,300 MOS BURGERs in Japan alone, and over 370 located overseas. MOS is mostly known for its ingenious Rice burger, which replaced the beloved traditional buns with two patties of rice. According to their website, MOS burgers offer hamburgers featuring original sauces with crispy lettuce, fresh tomatoes, savory patties, all made to order, and pursue delicious food and friendly service to make their customers happy. Basically, all criteria that we all look for in a good burger experience. This fast-food chain just sounds too good to be true and we need to test it out ourselves, so please, MOS, we beg of you, come to America so we can enjoy your original and delicious delicacies. MOS stands for Mountain, Ocean, and Sun, which is what we’re all willing to climb, cross, and face to get our hands on these special burgers!
8. Harvey’s (Canada)
You might be a little familiar with this specific burger joint since it is technically in North America, just not on the U.S. side of the border. Our neighbors from the Great White North can enjoy nice, juicy burgers from Harvey’s, a Canadian fast-food chain, that exists in every single province. Recognized for its flame-grilled burgers and fresh toppings, Harvey’s has been the home of deliciousness since 1959, and we’ve been jealous of it since Day 1. With the possibility to customize your burger exactly how you want it, it’s kind of like a Subway but for burgers. You choose your burger “base” and then you go from there. You can choose and load up on all the toppings and sauces available – oh, and don’t forget the pickle. A Harvey’s burger is not a Harvey’s burger without the long thin-sliced, iconic pickle. What makes a Harvey’s burger so tasty – apart from the pickle, of course, is the thick, cooked to order barbecued beef patties that are uniquely made from 100% Canadian beef. Long gone are the times when you would get an old patty that’s been sitting under a heat lamp all day. At Harvey’s, it’s made fresh, just for you. But the magic doesn’t just stop at the burgers, no siree. When you go to Harvey’s, you can also treat yourself to some fresh cut french fries, hot dogs, onions rings, and even poutine, a traditional Canadian delicacy. Harvey’s is basically the perfect rendezvous spot if you’re craving some real, savory burgers or fast-food of any kind, and let’s just say that the U.S. would be blessed to have even one location. Something to look forward to? One day, hopefully.
7. Chicken Treat (Australia)
Chicken dinner is always a winner, no matter what country you live in. It just seems to be an international comfort food. In Australia, the restaurant Chicken Treat is the perfect example of everything we wished we had here. Available either fried or rotisserie-roasted, the chicken at this barbecue fast-food joint is phenomenally delicious and has helped the restaurant rise in popularity since it first opened in 1976. With over 50 locations in Australia today, maybe one more in America wouldn’t be so bad. We are suckers for great chicken, after all. If you decide to get the fried chicken, you’re going to get to taste the very special Southern Australian seasonings, and if you go with the juicy chicken, worry not, it still gets the same herbal treatment, it just doesn’t get to hit the fryer. As you all know, chicken is delicious in all forms, which is why you can enjoy an amazing array of burgers, wraps, and sides at your hopefully-soon-to-be local Chicken Treat. There’s something tasty for every hungry belly and appetite, as they so proudly say on their website. They even do catering! They could be catering your next event, think about it! Some hot, savory, Australian-style chicken for everybody. What a chicken treat indeed, mate!
6. FEBO (The Netherlands)
Okay, let’s be honest. How great would it be to be able to order fast-food with no human interaction? To just show up, order at a machine, and get it immediately, without having to communicate with anyone? The self-service kiosks at McDonald’s do come pretty close to this reality, but in the Netherlands, they were one step ahead when they came up with FEBO, a chain of Dutch walk-up fast food locations in the 1940s. This futuristic-looking restaurant is most notable for its automatic format, which is a counter, set up for you to purchase anything from french fries, burgers, chicken… pretty much anything you might be craving. You can also get some Dutch delicacies like krokets, frikandellen, and kaasouffles (say that three times fast). It’s basically a wall full of goodies and you get to just take your pick, all with no human interaction whatsoever. Or almost. You never know when some lunatic is going to try and cut the line. FEBO has almost 60 shops all over the Netherlands, and there are 22 just in Amsterdam alone. It’s a pretty good alternative for when you don’t feel like interacting with people. You just show up to the place, put money in, and take the food from the slot. Easy peasy. Not only that, but it also saves a lot of money for the company since they don’t have to hire staff to serve the food. FEBO has taken the concept of fast-food and convenience store food to a whole new level and we definitely, definitely need this in America, ASAP!
5. Pizza School (South Korea)
Alright, who’s out there saying that Korean pizza isn’t real pizza? And who said it didn’t taste good? Because the pizza at Pizza School in South Korea might just put all the haters to shame. Spread all across the country, the Pizza School franchise is one of the best and cheapest spots to get good pizza in South Korea. Pizza can usually be quite pricey in Korea because of all the imported ingredients and because, well, it’s not a local cuisine. But at Pizza School, you can get a whole pizza for only 5000 won – which is roughly $4.50 US. Not too shabby, indeed. But the deal doesn’t stop there. Since this is Korea, it goes without saying that the pizza has its own Korean “twist” to it. You can order any toppings like chili shrimp, beef quesadilla, grilled short rib patties, and even dumplings! A dumpling pizza, if that’s not the ultimate food fusion, then what is? Maybe that’s why some people claim that Korean pizza is an “impostor” and not actual pizza. Because it’s wildly different from Western pizza, but that’s nonsense. Pizza is pizza. And pizza is delicious. This little all-things-yellow pizza joint is sure to satisfy your need for pizza at any time of the day. We just really need that imaginative take on pizza in our lives, okay! Oh, and don’t worry, they have an English menu for tourists, so that’s one ;ess thing to do if they finally decide to come overseas!
4. Abrakebabra (Ireland)
No, this isn’t an attempt to trick you into buying more food – or is it? No. It’s the name of an Irish fast-food restaurant established in Dublin in the 1980s. Abrakebabra might not be a spell to bewitch people, but the food there is in fact, magical. With offerings like loaded fries to burgers to kebabs and baguette sandwiches, this restaurant has become the perfect late-night hangout spot for the Irish youth. I mean, who doesn’t love a good old kebab after a night of dancing? Abrakebabra is actually the restaurant that introduced the delicious doner (or lamb) kebab to the Irish market. You’re welcome, earth! And it just so happens that kebabs are its specialty. A bundle of meat, like chicken shawarma, falafel, pulled pork and fried chicken, vegetables, and sauce all wrapped up in a pita? A mouthwatering experience, to say the least. As of 2020, there are over 33 Abrakebabra, with 11 in Dublin. And the best part? They have Gold Cards (aka Doner Cards) that allows the holder to get free food for life. Okay, you have to be a public figure to receive one but, still, free food. The restaurant sends it unexpectedly to public figures when they express their love for the brand. Maybe if our famous folks started saying how much they love kebabs, it would be enough for Abrakebabra to do a little magic trick and wind up on our continent. It’s not as simple as snapping your fingers, of course, but with a little bit of faith and magic, anything is possible.
3. Fairwood (Hong Kong)
Don’t you just love it when you go to a restaurant and you can literally choose from any type of food your palate desires? Whether it be burgers or pasta or even Chinese food (which obviously in China is just called food). Well, this restaurant in Hong Kong gives you all the options you could ever hope for. Fairwood is the second-largest fast-food chain in Hong Kong and offers both Chinese and Western food. So, with your bowl of ramen, you can also enjoy a nice spaghetti Bolognese or even some baked pork chops and even curry that contains over 30 spices – basically, anything you could possibly want to eat, they have it. First established in 1972, Fairwood now has almost 140 outlets all over Hong Kong, including restaurants and cafes, and keeps on growing every day. When a company’s motto is “Enjoy Great Food. Live a Great Life”, you can’t help but expect a quality food experience, as well as a good human experience when visiting the restaurant. The orange color theme is recognizable throughout Hong Kong and is proudly associated with the brand’s kindness towards its customers as well as the food. Why wouldn’t we want an experience like that here in America? Good food, good people, what’s not to love? The company also believes that employees and customers should always come first, something we could all learn and benefit from. Plus, did we mention the yummy food? Fairwood, please come to the U.S. Pretty please?
2. Nordsee (Germany)
If you love fish – don’t worry if you don’t, a lot of people don’t – but if you do, this next restaurant might just be right up your alley. Nordsee is not only one of the oldest fast-food chains in the world, but is also one of the very few that focuses solely on all-things-fish. Starting out in Germany in 1896, so over 124 years ago, Nordsee has now expanded all over Europe, Russia, and even into Dubai – and hopefully one day soon enough, America. Nordsee figured out long ago that fish is the new beef and has been successfully basing their entire menu on the under-the-sea world. It originally started out as a fish supply shop but quickly settled into the restaurant business and now offers tons of options. From seafood buffets to snack shops, you can literally get anything you want, and with over 400 locations spread out, you can get it almost anywhere, too. Pollock, salmon, codfish cooked to your preference, and even fresh sushi, there’s a little something for everyone. With the catch on the restaurant’s menu being over 82% wild, the freshness and deliciousness are just too powerful to compare to any other seafood chain. Nordsee is actually the largest quick-service seafood chain on the continent. And if it moved over to our continent, then maybe it could even become the world’s largest, who knows.
1. Old Chang Kee (Singapore)
Have you ever heard of curry puffs? The small pies with curry, chicken, and potatoes, either deep-fried or in a nice pastry shell? Well, if you haven’t, first of all, you’re missing out on a true Malaysian delicacy, and second of all, they’re delicious. But, not all hope is lost as a restaurant in Singapore specializes in these tiny pockets of goodness, and we’re hoping it’ll make its way over to America some day. That restaurant is Old Chang Kee, and it was first established in 1956. It apparently serves one of the best curry puffs ever. But that’s not all they serve. There’s a variety of Singaporean fast-food staples like gyoza, fish balls, fried chicken wings, cheesy chicken sausage, and many desserts to choose from. Old Chang Kee is also a pretty suitable place to enjoy a nice breakfast, as its breakfast menu features over 20 traditional options. You know, no big deal. It’s not just your typical choice between sausage and bacon, that’s for sure. Plus, almost all the food comes served on little wooden sticks, which makes everything so much more practical! If there’s one thing we sure love in the U.S., it’s practicality. And of course, good food. So, why not bring Old Chang Kee to America? That way we can give these little curry puffs a try and discover an array of other delicious food, all the while staying in sync with our busy schedule.