Just because you head to a familiar fast food restaurant overseas doesn’t mean you have to stick with the same ole familiar items. Many fast food chains serve up regional dishes to delight the locals, and these interesting dishes may be equally delightful for international travelers bored with Big Macs.
Custom Cheeseburger: Many McDonald’s in Italy let you pick from various cheese choices on your burger. The burgers already come spruced up with tomato, basil and mozzarella mixed right in, and the bun is bursting with oregano.
Maccas: Three types of pies, known as Maccas, are on the menu in New Zealand. Choose from ground beef and cheese, plum and custard, or buttery chicken.
McAloo Wrap: Curry is a must in India, and McDonald’s capitalizes on its popularity with a patty made of potato curry known as aloo. This highly popular street food comes with veggies and sauce, wrapped in a flour tortilla.
McCormick Chicken Porridge: Enjoy a morning porridge vamped up with ginger, scallions, fried shallots and chilies at McDonald’s in Thailand.
McLobster: Some summer seasonal menus in Canada offer the McLobster, a lobster salad sandwich served up on a long, skinny bun.
Twisty Pasta with Mixed Veggies and Egg: Mini twisty pasta swimming in chicken broth, mixed with veggies, and topped with an egg is one way to start your morning at McDonald’s in Hong Kong.
Rice Cheese Balls: You can forget the cheeseburger but still enjoy the cheese with the crispy, fried rice cheese balls in Japan.
Churrasquito: Grilled on hot coals and served up with lettuce, tomato, mayo and cheese, Burger King’s Churrasquito in Chili is similar to an American submarine sandwich.
Chili Cheese Nuggets: Not to be outdone by McDonald’s rice cheese balls in Japan, Burger King offers its own cheesy side dish in Hungary. Jalapeno peppers and cheese are stuffed inside a fried outer crust.
Pumpkin Burger: You don’t have to wait for Halloween in Japan to dive into a pumpkin burger. This beef patty comes topped with bacon, lettuce, nut sauce and two slices of kabocha squash.
Brekky Dog: Add a frankfurter to your egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich by ordering the Brekky Dog at select locations in Australia.
Wencatracho: Eggs, rice, beans, and fried banana make up this Wendy’s breakfast platter in Honduras.
Chicken Fusilli Pizza: Get ready to release your belt a notch in Indonesia if you select this heavy pizza topped with pasta, chicken, cheese, peppers and cream sauce.
Deviled Fish Pizza: Spice-coated fish joins hot chili peppers and onions on this spicy pizza option in Sri Lanka.
Seafood Pizza: A medley of crab, calamari, shrimp and veggies dance on a thin crust pizza in Saudi Arabia.
Shrimp and Avocado Burrito: Guacamole and shrimp are the stars of this Japanese dish, which also features shredded lettuce and wasabi mayo.
Cheese Potato Burrito: Melted cheese cascades over a stuffing rife with potatoes, onions and scrambled eggs in this wrap available at several Taco Bell locations in India.
Whether you’re starting your morning with Hong Kong’s twisty pasta or taking a pumpkin burger break in Japan, you can certainly perk up your palate with intriguing fast food choices across the world. Travel to one of these destinations this year (and get an expedited passport to ensure a chance to order off these menus.)
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.