McDonald's - A European Oasis of Style? Really?

When Americans think of McDonald's, they usually fall into one of two camps. These two groups can be characterized by the following thoughts:

Group A: "Yay, cheap food in 30 seconds!"
Group B: "Um, ew."

While Group B might avoid McDonald's at all costs, Group A has no problem with sitting down to grab a quick bite to eat; they might even enjoy it. They've grown accustomed to the red and yellow decor, the hard plastic chairs, the food-traffic worn floors. In the United States, McDonald's isn't known for its ambience. It's known for serving up a boatload of calories, fast and on the cheap.

Great Britain, on the other hand, has a somewhat difference perspective on America's favorite fast food chain. In Europe, locals want a comfortable place to relax -- they want clean, they want stylish, and they want nice, dammit. The hard and fast Mickey-D's as we know it wouldn't do well in, say, London, so McDonald's Corp decided to cater to the dominant demographic.

Behold, the stylish London McDonald's:

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European McDonalds
Doesn't look like the average American fast food joint exterior, does it?

European McDonalds
Several locations have conference-style seating upstairs.

European McDonalds
Some of the seating areas almost look like paintings, with their color selection.

European McDonalds
Even the area around the counters are made to look nice, like a place you'd want to spend time hanging out.

And down the street at Burger King… things aren't all that different from what you'd find in the US:
European Burger King

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It's worth noting, though, that while the interior decor is an example of European finery, the food is pretty much the same as you'd find in the United States. In fact, I had a medium fries and proceeded to pay for it with a cacophony of gastronomical gurgles for the next 24 hours. Like they say, you can't judge a book by it's cover -- regardless of how attractive that cover may be.

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