A snack wrap outside a historic building in Paris, France. Right: Macarons in the case at McDonald's in Paris. ​

A snack wrap outside a historic building in Paris, France. Right: Macarons in the case at McDonald's in Paris.

This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

McDonald's in France is completely different, and stores in the United States could learn a thing or two from their French counterparts.

l always poke fun at Americans who travel to destinations with some of the best food in the world and still end up at familiar chain restaurants. But after a long night in Paris, I made the "walk of shame" to the golden arches, and I regret nothing.

While honeymooning in the city of love, my husband and I stayed out a little too late with some good friends at a bistro.

On the walk back to our Airbnb in the 14th arrondissement, we had a serious case of the munchies.

After a day that consisted of ten miles of walking and several glasses of wine, I saw the warm glow of McDonald's neon sign and became a moth to a flame.

Despite the time, inside was buzzing. It turns out the French love McDonald's, which they affectionately call "McDo."

The country is home to nearly 1,500 restaurants, 73 of which are in Paris. Here is what they are doing better than America:


They have fresh pastry cases with colorful macarons

The pastry selection in France beats the U.S. by a long shot. When you walk in they have everything from cheesecake to a rainbow of macarons.


McDonald's in France serves beer

It is actually pretty common in Europe for McDonald's to offer a selection of beers. This is great for people looking to fully "go for it" and drink a cold one with their burger.

They never got rid of McWraps

@mcdonaldsfrance

Oui, ça y est, il est de retour en restaurant... le #McWrapChèvre 🙌.

McDonald's in the U.S. discontinued their popular snack wraps back in 2019, but the McWrap is alive and well in France. I tried the vegetarian Chèvre wrap which was probably the best fast food item I've had. It was fresh and savory and the perfect portion for a snack.

They have a separate meat-free menu

McDonald's has an entirely separate Veggie Menu making it inclusive to people with a variety of dietary restrictions. Their meat-free "chicken" was shockingly delicious.



They have salads, and they're actually delicious

McDonald's salads regularly appear and disappear off U.S. menus but they're consistently disappointing. The salads offered in France are less of an afterthought and taste much fresher and more flavorful.


You can drink cappuccinos in an actual mug

This may just be a "me thing," but coffee tastes better in an actual ceramic mug. McCafé lattés in the States can be overly sweet, but without the sugar, it tastes more like milk and paper than coffee.

At the McDonald's I went to in Paris, the store was selling actually espresso drinks served in for-here mugs, which made the experience feel a bit classier.

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