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Is Eating McDonalds While Traveling Really So Bad?

Where: Monaco
January 23, 2014 at 5:22 PM | by | ()

Here's an unpopular thought: McDonalds is a necessary evil for travelers.

For all the stress on experiencing cities "like a local" and seeking out the best, freshest cuisine for the most reasonable price, there is something to be said for the reliability of good ol' McDs, as we recently found out for ourselves in that super rich, super small country of Monaco.

Seeking an alternative to the pricey menus and lengthy meals of the tiny principality, we headed to their one McDonalds, in the newest part of Monaco, Fontvieille. Here we found the real population—yacht crew, retail workers, policemen—ordering up 7 Euro meals and munching on Big Macs with a view of Fontvieille's harbor.

We ordered the "Las Vegas special potatoes" (steak fries), a "CBO" sandwich (Chicken Bacon Onion), and an orange Fanta. That filled us up, until we wandered to the rear of the dining area and found a McCafe stocked with macarons and various tiny, prim pastries. A quick espresso and we had completely refueled for evening explorations.

Shockingly, we didn't feel like we had given in to an inauthentic experience by heading for McDs. Instead, we felt as though this was our sweet little secret in Monaco, as it's definitely not somewhere the average day-tripper would stumble upon and it saved us from an evening of being soaked by rain while tromping around in search of other restaurants. Thus, we decided to share our little find on Instagram:

What resulted wasn't the shaming we expected for buying a burger in the south of France, but rather some support:

@robthebrucevancouver: MacDonalds in India was a saviour after 3 days of food poisoning. The mcnugget is always a good comfort food.

@mlowen20: SAME thing happened to me in Thailand too lol Thank god for nuggets and French fries!! :)

@marmalade_ca: Maccas saved me when I was sick from the water in Seoul

How do you feel about dropping into a recognizable food chain while in a strange land? Share your experiences in the comments!

[Photos: Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

Gotta Do It...

No shame in a little stop for some fries...when you need a break or just a quick bite it's a safe and comfortable choice...

Eat where you find value!

This topic recently came up in the New York Times "Frugal Traveler" column. Anyone who suggests that it is somehow wrong to eat at a Macdonalds in a foreign country is an elitist. I will eat where I choose---- and if Macdonalds is the restaurant that offers the best value at the time I am hungry---- then Macdonalds it is! I can't count how many times I have arrived late to a city and found Macdonalds to be open, clean, relatively inexpensive, and friendly! No, its not "exotic", but its hot, fresh, and the stores have clean restrooms.