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Do You Eat at Fast Food Restaurants when Traveling?

Do You Eat at Fast Food Restaurants when Traveling?

Old Jun 27, 19, 10:34 am
  #46  
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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?

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.
The average FT piñata is filled with American brands; thus I joined the fray under the impression that Mackers and Starbuck's were the targets.

Moreover, I don't tend to equate fast food with street food, though they really would be one in the same. "Street food" would merit its own thread.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 11:03 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by StartinSanDiego View Post
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, 1:38 pm
  #48  
 
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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?

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.
I think we can rephrase this... rather than avoiding American fast foods, how about we say we avoid stuff we can commonly get on our home turf. For example, I would avoid a big mac. But I would try the durian flurry or a nasi lemak burger at McD if I came across it. But given the choice, I would go with other hawker center food as I can't really get a lot of it here... or to change the focus.... I would get a bowl of boat noodles or a bag of snails off the streets of HCMC. Comfort food is that, but when you're overseas, why not try something different. (eg, I'll likely try some of the Jolliebee stuff in Manila that isn't available in Canada).
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Old Jun 27, 19, 2:56 pm
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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?

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.
I avoid the same chain restaurants I can find at home. For example, in central London I'd rather have a burger from Byron Proper than Five Guys, get my coffee at Costa instead of Starbucks, a sandwich from Pret a Manger than Subway, etc. I prefer street food to all of the aforementioned. Berwick St. Market and Borough Market are two favourites.

Hotels are a bit different because getting a crap hotel is a bigger issue than a meal and the large international chains have attractive loyalty programs.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 4:36 pm
  #50  
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Old Jun 28, 19, 8:45 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
The average FT piñata is filled with American brands; thus I joined the fray under the impression that Mackers and Starbuck's were the targets.

Moreover, I don't tend to equate fast food with street food, though they really would be one in the same. "Street food" would merit its own thread.
I look at "fast food" as a macro-category with the various formats of street food being subcategories.

In that sense, I tend to agree with others in that I avoid what's easy to get at home and try to snag something unique to that region. Less concerned about exact format, whether from a cart, an outdoor stall, a market, or a more contemporary counter-service style restaurant.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 9:26 am
  #52  
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I look at "fast food" as a macro-category with the various formats of street food being subcategories.

In that sense, I tend to agree with others in that I avoid what's easy to get at home and try to snag something unique to that region. Less concerned about exact format, whether from a cart, an outdoor stall, a market, or a more contemporary counter-service style restaurant.
Though, I think that fast food often has negative connotations, whereas street food is what many travelers look forward to in various Southeast Asian/other locations.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 9:31 am
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Of course it’s a false either/ or choice.

Enjoy the local offerings, try some new stuff, explore some off the wall local options AND indulge in some good ole American junk food.

Life is good!
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Old Jun 28, 19, 9:48 am
  #54  
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
Though, I think that fast food often has negative connotations, whereas street food is what many travelers look forward to in various Southeast Asian/other locations.
I look forward to it almost everywhere, sometimes because it's uniquely good and other times because it's the fastest food. The negative connotations are probably from people only aware of one type of fast food, that which is provided by the big chains.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I look forward to it almost everywhere, sometimes because it's uniquely good and other times because it's the fastest food. The negative connotations are probably from people only aware of one type of fast food, that which is provided by the big chains.
Some of the reticence toward street food might be a concern about food safety particularly in developing countries. It's not bothered me because the food is cooked and I have eaten street food around the world.

It is bewildering that people can walk by the mesmerizing aromas emanating from a line of street food vendors only to trudge their way to a Burger King.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
It is bewildering that people can walk by the mesmerizing aromas emanating from a line of street food vendors only to trudge their way to a Burger King.
I have yet to see even a half empty US fast food joint overseas. And it’s mostly populated by locals who consider it the different.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 2:02 pm
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I eat fast food wherever on the planet I am, for the same reasons: it's convenient, and I like it. I actually eat fast food more when I'm traveling because I don't have the option of a quick, convenient & tasty meal from my well stocked kitchen at home.
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Old Jun 29, 19, 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
What about Starbucks? Does it fall in this category too?
My own opinion - I would not drink at Starbucks outside of US due to the facts that a) usually better and much more unique quality coffee options are available locally and b) for the same drinks it is more expensive, enen in USD. Now, here in Singapore cup of brewed coffee in *$ costs $4 and local version - kopi - is $1. Why do want to pay for my drink 4x more when better tasting option is 4x cheaper?

However, I personally consider presence of Starbucks as an indicator of infrastructure/tourism market development for Western (or better to be said - American) tourists.
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Old Jun 29, 19, 4:14 am
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Originally Posted by QtownDave View Post
I have yet to see even a half empty US fast food joint overseas. And it’s mostly populated by locals who consider it the different.
If it is a developing country, eating at American fast food place is considered as status symbol. Contrary to US where fast food at MC/Burger King/KFC is the (almost) the cheapest food you can get, in developing countries American fast food costs 3-10x more than local street food you can get.

And if family earns a little bit better than low/average, taking kids to MC is considered a big treat.

Heck, IKEA cafe in Singapore is considered an upscale dining place for local students where you can take (and impress) your date. No joke. If you go there on weekends after 10AM or before 10PM, expect to wait in line for 30-120min.
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Old Jun 29, 19, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Heck, IKEA cafe in Singapore is considered an upscale dining place for local students where you can take (and impress) your date. No joke. If you go there on weekends after 10AM or before 10PM, expect to wait in line for 30-120min.
LOL. About once a year, my wife gets an itch to eat at IKEA. Meatballs and lingonberry sauce. She only gets this particular jones once a year, always around Christmas, and IKEA is the only place that can satisfy it. I've offered to take her to the one *nice* Swedish restaurant in town but nope, it has to be those IKEA meatballs...
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