A Visit To The First McDonald’s In Russia

During our trip I had to visit the very first McDonald’s to open in Soviet era Russia.The location opened in Moscow in 1990 and I remember it being major news due to the lines of people that went on for blocks, all wanting to get inside for a taste. This was one of the first stops we made during the trip. (Read a recap about our stay in Moscow HERE.)

I rarely eat McDonald’s at home but always try to check them out while traveling. One of my top things to do while abroad is try local food but sometimes it feels good to walk into a place and pretty much know what to expect both price and taste wise (plus McDonald’s pretty much always has free Wifi). One of the main highlights for me is seeing what items are offered that differ from the McD’s at home. I always try to get a menu item that seems  to have a local feel.

This location was huge and packed with diners. There were lots of registers open so we didn’t have to wait to order. When it came to finding a table, that was the issue. Based on how busy this location and others we stopped in were, you’d think McDonald’s was a high end dining destination! We also noticed that the restaurant was as clean as could be. Employees were busy cleaning tables as soon as customers got up.

I was disappointed by the lack of local menu inspired items. A couple of items stood out though. There was a wrapped sandwich filled with either a burger or chicken patty and potato wedges. I’m not sure that either item screams out local Russian food to anyone but they were different. I was wondering where the McCaviar or McBorscht were.

I opted to order a cheeseburger while Kim had the wrapped chicken sandwich. Kim really liked the sandwich and I was impressed with the burger. The burger was actually pretty good for a fast food item. It was actually better than the burgers in McDonald’s at home. We also had an order of the potato wedges which were pretty good too.

A few days later we stopped at another McDonald’s location in Moscow. It was just as busy as the original location and once again a table was not easy to come by. This time I tried the wrapped burger. Using Google Translate, I learned that the item was a Beef Roll.
The beef roll was decent. The meat inside was not the same as the burger I had days earlier. It was an interesting item but I can’t say that I loved the taste.

Before heading back to the hotel I figured that the first McDonald’s in Russia was a great place for a jump. I had to be careful on the icy and snowy streets but I think the result was pretty good!

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