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Do You Eat at Fast Food Restaurants when Traveling?

Do You Eat at Fast Food Restaurants when Traveling?

Old Jun 25, 19, 11:37 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by wolfpacktrojan View Post
I haven't tried the durian McFlurry but that sounds delicious! Ever since stumbling into the McDonalds right outside of the Chinatown MRT station a few years ago after a long night of drinking, I've always stopped in for a McSpicy or two at some point when visiting Singapore.
You sound like a seasoned traveller so you must have a must eat morning after hangover cure that is easily available at McD's in every country.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 11:47 pm
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Glad not to be amongst the elite. We make a point of eating at a McDonald's at least once in every country. A few days ago it was crispy shrimp in Bratislava. Then a beacon egg thingy in Vienna. A few more to go before returning home where we almost never eat there.

Local food is awesome and we enjoy all of it but good ole American junk food from McDonald's is always a welcome treat.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 8:52 am
  #33  
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I don't look for American chains while traveling but I definitely eat various kinds of "fast" food while traveling. I'd say a typical day in a foreign country is hotel breakfast + some sort of quick option for lunch + more of a traditional local (slow) meal for dinner. What constitutes "fast" kind of varies a bit by country, and isn't always exotic. Sometimes streetfood, sometimes a market, and sometimes a fixed restaurant not too different from what an American fast food setup would look like.

While roadtripping in many parts of the world, you'll find service areas on toll roads that don't look too different than a turnpike oasis in the U.S. Mini-food-court + convenience store, etc. We've lunched at those before as well. The food court usually has at least one outlet serving what we'd consider a typical Western fast-food menu, plus options that are a little more local. If I've already had a few good meals of the local cuisine, I have no problem grabbing the burger or pre-packaged turkey sandwich instead of the local option.

I've never thought it makes me less of a traveler that every meal we have isn't a three-hour-long journey at a Michelin-rated restaurant. Sometimes you just want quick...and get on to whatever else you want to do that afternoon.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 8:59 am
  #34  
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A couple of months ago, I was giving an impromptu tour to a couple of Mexican visitors on their first visit to China. We were wandering around Wulingyuan park (Zhangjiajie), and seeing as the few food vendors inside the park had not much more than stinky tofu, boiled “eggs,” and dubious sausages, they insisted on bee-lining towars the McD’s.

In general, I try to avoid US (fast) food overseas, but A) IME they’re usually cleaner-looking, better-tasting abroad, and B) can’t resist those taro pies (i.e. local flavors) at Chinese McD’s.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
There are 6000+ KFCs in China
And they're sooooo much better than the ones in the US. I had one in the basement of my apartment building (I was on top of a department store) in Shanghai that probably got visited once a week.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 9:13 am
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Sadly yes. I do relatively well but when traveling with our kids the difference between fast food and a more formal meal is substantial over the course of the vacation. We were likely the only ones staying at the Waldorf in Rome doing so. When home though, fast food maybe once a month at best. We eat pretty healthy.

The Subway restaurant near our hotel in Melbourne started recognizing us after a few days and asked if we wanted our usual order.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
You sound like a seasoned traveller so you must have a must eat morning after hangover cure that is easily available at McD's in every country.
I rarely eat McDonald's at home in the US (probably 1 visit in the past year) or abroad, but I think Singapore and Japan are my two exceptions. The McSpicy in Singapore, as well as all of the unique seasonal burgers served in Japan (especially the Teritama and Tsukimi burgers) are among my favorite fast food meals.

Japan is fast food heaven in my book. From "combini" convenience stores to ramen shops, kaiten-sushi, donburi rice bowls, to burger joints like MOS burger or First Kitchen, there is something quick and cheap for everyone. They might not always be the healthiest options, but they are especially useful after a long work day in Japan.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
When I travel to another country, I try to find local restaurants and local food, with one exception. I always hunt down a McDonalds. One time only.

MsCP and I stopped at a McD on the Champs-Élysées on our first overseas trip - sometime in the mid-1990's. Ever since it's been a bit of a a ritual.
I popped into the same one, I wanted to see if the Coca-Cola in France had the same unique taste that Coke's have here in the US. Yes, it does and hot/room temp Coke, anywhere, is gross-my request of extra ice yielded two cubes D)
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Old Jun 26, 19, 8:01 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
In over 40 years of international travel I have eaten twice in American fast food outlets outside of North America. A Burger King in Davos, Switzerland, because a co-worker insisted. A McDonalds in Greater London after arriving in a dodgy neighbourhood late at night because it was the only thing open. I am still ashamed.

My definition of a truly horrible travel companion includes someone who even suggests we eat in American fast-food joints while overseas.
woah harsh

In Africa, KFC makes consistently the best fried chicken, full stop. Also Burger King in South Africa was nice not only because the food was flame broiled and tasted like real food but because they had mountain dew AND unlimited ice AND unlimited self serve refills, each of which is impossible to find there let alone ALL THREE. Was always a favorite at work when I was living there.

Taco Bell in India Japan and Korea are always fun when you're tipsy, have fun local variants like bulgogi tacos, is way fresher than in america, and they have beer.

Hooters is always fun too, and always good wings. Clients love those places.

Sometimes you just want simple US style junk, I mean eating fresh delicious local food can get banal lol. And a lot of places in the world are unable to cook a burger properly.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 3:10 am
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Generally I don't eat at American style fast food restaurants as I find the food to be quite disgusting; however, in potentially unhygienic locations, their standards of hygiene are much higher so I would make an exception. I do quite like street food if that counts as fast food, but I think the OP was being US-centric in the original question.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 3:41 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Bluehen1 View Post
And they're sooooo much better than the ones in the US. I had one in the basement of my apartment building (I was on top of a department store) in Shanghai that probably got visited once a week.
I could possibly put them on even footing, but the lack of biscuits is a HUGE strike against them. In the book KFC in China​​​​​​, the author explains that forgoing biscuits was an effort to simultaneously localise and also control costs.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 8:28 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I could possibly put them on even footing, but the lack of biscuits is a HUGE strike against them. In the book KFC in China​​​​​​, the author explains that forgoing biscuits was an effort to simultaneously localise and also control costs.
There's a book called KFC In China? What?
WIkipedia says KFC is China's largest fast food chain https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KFC_in_China
I've heard the rumors that there are no biscuits or even no mashed potatoes and gravy in some KFC's. Mr StartInSanDiego ran across one in Eastern Europe.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 8:31 am
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In many places I’ve seen that it’s more the crispy chicken at KFC instead of their original recipe. Crispy Wings seem to be popular too.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 8:47 am
  #44  
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For those of you ashamed to even consider eating fast food abroad, does this only apply to American brands or also to the local streetfood? Is it the quick-service style that's repulsive or the Americanness or corporateness of McD's, KFC, etc. that is repulsive?

What about Starbucks? Does it fall in this category too?

What about a local but corporate fast food chain? Pret A Manger in London, for example?

Most FTers don't have a problem with American brands abroad like Marriott or Hilton (and might even eat the food there). I find it interesting that restaurants strike a very different emotional chord.

I'll admit that I'm in the camp that tends to avoid McDonald's but would happily eat some local dish from a guy grilling stuff on the street, even if it's something mundane like a taco or sandwich. But I don't have any visceral opposition to the American brands, nor think terribly of people who occasionally hit one up for convenience sake.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 8:57 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
For those of you ashamed to even consider eating fast food abroad, does this only apply to American brands or also to the local streetfood? Is it the quick-service style that's repulsive or the Americanness or corporateness of McD's, KFC, etc. that is repulsive?

What about Starbucks? Does it fall in this category too?
.
I'm a regular at international Starbucks, because it's a sure, uncomplicated bet for a big, American style coffee with cream. In China, there was one directly across from my hotel, so I'd dash over for a cup of coffee and a somewhat edible breakfast sandwich, and start my day.
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