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McDonalds Lucerne

Near the end of a 10-day Switzerland trip, a friend and I were in Lucerne and found a delightful restaurant called McDonalds at Hertensteinstrasse 32. The restaurant was very clean and had a nice counter for ordering. I liked the brown tile floor and the sleek, modern seating which consisted of tall, long stainless steel tables with immobile stools with foot rests. I remember thinking that RS would love the conviviality those tables offered. Hamburgers and french fries seemed to be the specialty, so both my friend and I ordered those. They were quite satisfying. Happily, the receipt included a code for the restroom, which was much appreciated.

This quaint restaurant is definitely worth a stop for a quick lunch while in Lucerne. It even has a small cafe area for coffee drinks.

Posted by
5505 posts

🙂 Yes, seem to be lots of those Scottish restaurants around. Considering the last hamburger I had in Luzern cost around $30, this place doesn't sound too bad.

Posted by
2544 posts

🤣🤣🤣 Our first visit to Lucerne was in 1989. There we discovered a locally owned restaurant that duplicated the one that the OP has described above. It was called McCheaper and had the same menu and quality for about 40% less! McDonalds tried to shut it down but failed.
On a subsequent visit in 2005, I arrived by train without hotel reservations. I went to the TI at the station and they recommended the newly opened Best Western Hotel Krone in the Weinmarkt. As I rounded the corner the area looked familiar. What was once McCheaper had now become the lobby of the Hotel Krone!
Also had the dubious honor of dropping into the internet café a few doors away and watching hurricane Wilma passing through Palm Beach County over my house. The roof didn’t fare well but there were no leaks!

Posted by
1583 posts

Happily, the receipt included a code for the restroom, which was much
appreciated.

This is literally my "pro tip" in any country in the world when looking for a public bathroom - find the McDonalds. At least outside of the US, usually clean, and who can't go for a coke?

Great review, thanks for the deadpan delivery.

Posted by
6201 posts

Dave, that sounds great. Can't wait to go there when next in Lucerne. Did you need to make reservations? Is there a dress code? I'm a pretty casual dresser and wouldn't want to offend the management or the other diners.

Posted by
2227 posts

Thanks, everyone, for your interest.

Stan... I didn't realize it was an ethnic restaurant. Thanks for sharing.

Estimated Prophet... It's just a counter-service restaurant. I did not tip.

Ufkak... Unfortunately, I can't go for a Coke. I have a carbonation sensitivity.

Nancy... Just counter service. No need for reservation and no dress code. I was there in jeans and a sweatshirt. Other diners were in similar outfits. I think you can get take away if the seating area is full.

Posted by
6974 posts

Is there a dress code? I'm a pretty casual dresser and wouldn't want to offend the management or the other diners.

Unless you are dressed like the mannequins across the lane, you should be fine.

Posted by
5482 posts

My use of McDonalds, Burger King or Pizza Hut in Europe are their public toilets.

Posted by
1190 posts

I don't know Dave, as I like to travel light (only the clothes on my back) are you SURE there is not a dress code? However, if, as one poster said, they are family friendly, perhaps I can swish out my spare socks while I enjoy my freedom fries.

Posted by
6974 posts

If only they were still 15¢

That was when $2.00/hr was a good wage.

Posted by
596 posts

I'm always fascinated by the menus in the European versions of McDs and Burger King. Especially curious about the menu items we don't see here in the states. Like the Swiss ones have something called a McVeggie which includes a Schnitzel von Valess. Can't find what that is made of other than breaded and fried. Burger King currently has a Gruyere burger and a veggie option of grilled halloumi cheese.

Posted by
70 posts

@cj
i actually try to stop into McD at least once in every country i go to so see what is different from our menu (canada) and try it
somewhere on my phone i have pics of the different meals

Posted by
9068 posts

There is a similar restaurant with the same name in Chur, Swizterland. I arrived there late and after checking into my hotel wanted something light as I had to get up early. It was the only thing I could find open. I didn't check out the restroom as I was going back to my nearby hotel.

Posted by
6974 posts

https://www.thoughtco.com/number-of-mcdonalds-restaurants-worldwide-1435174

Different McMenus Worldwide

Besides buying their ingredients where they operate, McDonald's restaurants around the world adapt their menus to local tastes; Japan serves a pork patty teriyaki burger and "Seaweed Shaker", or chocolate-drizzled fries; Germany serves a shrimp cocktail; Italy's burgers are topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; Australia offers a guac salsa or bacon cheese sauce as a topping for fries; and French customers are able to order a caramel banana shake.

Available only in Switzerland is the McRaclette, a sandwich of beef that includes slices of raclette cheese, gherkin pickles, onions, and a special raclette sauce. But forget the beef in India. There, the menu includes vegetarian options and cooks in the kitchen specialize—people cooking meat don't cook the vegetarian dishes.

Posted by
173 posts

Gotta go to McD in all countries once. In Beijing they had one squat toilet and no queues to order. A young woman came to me to fill out our order as no one else spoke English. You kept pushing to get to order. Prague has beer. We abandoned our coffee to get some. Japan has a sit down restaurant next to their regular service. You order at the entrance counter, they seat you at a restaurant style table and a full regular dinner is brought to the table. In Sicily several years ago one Palermo McD was changing our large menu boards from breakfast to lunch. We had electronic boards that automatically made the changes. Who knows where the boards were stored. And as others state, it’s a good potty stop just like at home. They are very busy and big in many cities in the world.

Posted by
596 posts

Oh good, I don't feel so alone in my fascination. I never get to go on our trips as my spouse always objects since the prices are generally higher than at home even if they are relatively reasonable compared to other restaurants in that area. May have to twist his arm next time. With luck we'll be in Switzerland next Sep.

Posted by
3605 posts

I’ve eaten at a McDonalds in most countries I visit. I like to see the country-specific menu, but mainly sometimes I just want a cheap quick salad or hamburger, so I spend my time at a museum, etc.

Posted by
20896 posts

And many times you can get a glass of wine or beer with the burger. Such a nice touch.

Posted by
24615 posts

I use restaurants with a similar name in Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium when I am souvenir hunting. In the summer many of them have promotions where with a meal they provide a coloured drinking glass with a connection to Coca Cola. It is not necessary to consume a carbonated drink as long as the main course is consumed. I can specify the colour of the glass but they sometimes run out - it is sort of like a treasure hunt. We have one full kitchen cupboard full of them. The design changes every year so there is plenty of variety. The one I used last night (yes used, not just for show) is dark blue in the shape of the top half of a 1910 bottle..

These are provided in a box or card packaging all set for packing in luggage.

Posted by
2591 posts

It seems longer ago now, but in Oct 2019 we used points to stay at an expensive hotel in Florence where the breakfast was $50 per person. It was Sunday morning, so bakeries were closed. I told my husband that since the hotel was located in a tourist area, we should find the McDonald's. Sure enough, it was only a short walk and the cake in the McCafe was really good. My other go-to cheaper breakfast is Starbucks or preferably, Cafe Nero.

Posted by
333 posts

Most people don't think of McDonald's as local food when traveling. But as we can see from all the post they are just that. While not a big fast food fan I do stop in to see what they have there that we don't have in the US. Maybe it's just my eyes getting older, but the food seems to look better in Europe than here too.

Posted by
428 posts

The McD in Paris near the Cluny Museum has/had a quiet upstairs with marble-topped cafe tables for two with wrought iron chairs, & the walls were lined with real books & busts of Voltaire et confreres - classiest ever. Plus chic Parisiennes - I snuck a photo of the killer boots under one table.

Posted by
85 posts

I used to walk across the Tiber to Trastevere to go to the McDonalds there--call it a-i-r c-o-n-d-i-t-i-o-n-i-n-g.

I remember the food seemed fresher there, as opposed to sitting around too much at home??

Oh, and they had no problem making change!

I'd get a great risotto salad with my burger and sit and do my Italian homework.

Also hit the spot at the McD's underground at the Louvre.

I avoid the American chains if I can help it, but one evening in Orleans, France, I did two loops around town and nothing seemed good, so I ordered a pizza at Domino's. It was pretty good, thin crust, light, not at all like what you'd get at home.

Posted by
24615 posts

There are some McDs in great locations that I have enjoyed (and the free toilet and free glass and quick service and convenience).

In the Brenner Pass, killer views from the McD on a hillside looking down the valley.

In Monaco, inexpensive food with a great picture window view of the Rock, and the small harbour. I have sat there for quite a long time enjoying watching the small boats coming and going.

There are others... anybody want to chip in with their discovery?

Posted by
193 posts

I, too, like to go to McDonald's in foreign countries. Sometimes while spending the day doing heavy-duty sightseeing, a carbonated Coca Cola and maybe some fries will recharge me for more sightseeing. They almost always have very clean restrooms and as others have mentioned, it is fun to see what local specialties they sell in addition to what we are used to in the U.S. Also, some of the McDonald's have a special section of the store (McCafe maybe? Can't remember the name) that sells very tasty pastries.

Posted by
1919 posts

When traveling, we go to get a sense of our trip costs using the McDonald's Index - basically, What does a BIG MAC Meal cost in each city? Using EUROS as the common currency, prices in Copenhagen were about 9.75, Rome 6.50. Moscow 7.00, etc. The most expensive Big Mac meal was in Switzerland (drive-thru outside Interlaken) and our lowest cost - Krakow at 3.80 Euro. It's been a great indicator!

Our most unique US-chain discovery... In, 2007, a Chi-Chi's on the main square in Luxembourg City (it just closed this year). We now have Five Guys here, but just a small burger is an incredible 6.75 Euro (not sure what they cost in the US now, but that seems pretty steep!).

Posted by
24615 posts

Yes, slws2137, McCafe

Ron, a Big Mac Meal down the road from me in England (the price can vary from franchise to franchise, or so they say) is £4.89, or about 5.41 in your European Euros.

Posted by
596 posts

Yep, the price of a Big Mac - almost left my husband on the street in Basel over this. We'd had 2 weeks of non stop gourmet river cruise dining and I just wanted a burger. It was something like 9 Swiss francs and I still don't know if that was the meal or just the burger. He stood there grumbling, staring at the menu board. Ended up going a couple of doors down to a Migros dept store restaurant on the top floor. Turned out to be a good choice and we've utilized dept store restaurants on several trips. But I still wanna try that Big Mac.

Posted by
455 posts

The Economist has (had?) the "Big Mac Index" which they used as a purchasing price parity index. It's a much more entertaining way to examine the cost of living in different parts of the world.

Posted by
748 posts

Two thoughts on this thread. 1) At McD’s in both Vienna and Salzburg we had some vey good raspberry pastry along with good coffee in very nice china cups with a tastefully done McCafe logo on them. When I showed pictures to my friends they uniformly said holy ——. Never know what you are going to find.

2). I think I can one-up RnR on the unique US restaurant chains. Right next to the posh Hotel Victoria in Interlaken, Switzerland there is a HOOTERS.

Posted by
1919 posts

Good one @Irv... I traveled to Interlaken with my wife and friend Bob in the early 2000's. Bob and I also saw the Interlaken Hooters. but my wife said no way we were going to eat there (at the time, we were living in ATL, headquarters of Hooters - that carried no weight with the BOSS)!

What made the Chi-Chi's find unique to us was that all their US restaurants had been closed for years (2004) due to a combination of bankruptcy and hepatitis outbreak. (We later found another Chi-Chi's in Brussels which later closed in 2017 - Déjà vu!).

Posted by
9068 posts

While I don't look at the Big Mac index, I do try to see what the prices are like compared to the US.

In the Faroe Islands four years ago, I went into their only fast food restaurant--Burger King. (No McDonalds.) A Whopper, Fries and a Coke cost around $13.50 US dollars.

And a little bit of Trivia--there are no McDonalds in Iceland.

More Trivia....can you name the only U.S. state whose capital city does not have a McDonalds?

Posted by
5505 posts

I don't know if its still true, but several years ago Thomas Friedman noted that no two countries with McDonalds had ever gone to war.

Posted by
1707 posts

Well, as an avowed McDonald’s aficionado for 60 years I’m just happy to see Ronald get his due. We aren’t restauranty guys, either at home or abroad. So finding a fast, cheap, reliable, clean and enjoyable meal or sandwich now and then is all we need and particularly in the middle of a busy day when eating is our lowest priority...but that’s how it is for us. The crispy chicken at 99 pence was a highlight of our UK trip; the Shiney Burger in France is still the stuff memories are made of, and an hour or so watching hundreds of young people in Gyor, Hungary having a plain old good time was fun too, though we only went in for coffee. And somewhere (The Netherlands?) we encountered the most bizarre and hysterical urinals of our lifetimes. Travel does broaden one’s outlook. Safe travels to all! And may the fries be with you.

Posted by
2144 posts

Love your review :) While I do not eat fast food at home, I find it quite thrilling to stop in a McDonald's when abroad, something about the vacation mentality I suppose. There's a/c, restroom, and free wi-fi and I get to indulge in a quarter pounder or filet-o-fish while I rest a bit, what's not to like?

Posted by
1172 posts

We ate at McDonald's somewhere in China. I have no idea where. We were on an organized bus tour that was quite regimented, but we broke loose a few times. My burger was fabulous after weeks of the kind of Chinese food the tour operator assumed we wanted.

The telling thing was that at that McDonald's we saw our first and only chubby Chinese kid. Actually, that kid wasn't chubby. He was obese. Coincidence?

Posted by
1594 posts

More Trivia....can you name the only U.S. state whose capital city
does not have a McDonalds?

Montpelier, Vermont. I love useless trivia.

Posted by
1707 posts

Allan, I do too, but that’s not useless trivia. That’s essential travel planning information!

Posted by
6974 posts

More Trivia....can you name the only U.S. state whose capital city
does not have a McDonalds?
Montpelier, Vermont. I love useless trivia.

What conclusion is most appropriate to draw from the fact that Vermont ( pop. 800k) has ONE Mc D as does Moab Utah (pop.5k)?

Edit
I based my statement on the result I got from the McD website when searching for locations in Vermont

Posted by
24615 posts

What conclusion is most appropriate to draw from the fact that Vermont ( pop. 800k) has ONE Mc D as does Moab Utah (pop.5k)?

What conclusion is most appropriate to draw from the fact that Arlington Texas (pop 300,000) has TWENTY McD ( only one per 15,000), the same population (15,000) as Great Bend Kansas, and the same proportion, one McDonald's for that 15,000?

Posted by
9068 posts

What conclusion is most appropriate to draw from the fact that Vermont ( pop. 800k) has ONE Mc D as does Moab Utah (pop.5k)?

There are way more than one McDonalds in Vermont. I know of five in the Burlington area, two in Rutland, one in Bennington, one in Brattleboro, one in MIddlebury, one in White River Junction and one in Manchester. There may be more.

Posted by
333 posts

What conclusion is most appropriate to draw from the fact that Vermont ( pop. 800k) has ONE Mc D as does Moab Utah (pop.5k)?

Anchorage, AK has about 300k pop. and 16 McDs while Juneau (our capital) has 1 and Fairbanks has 3, each with a pop. of 32k.

Posted by
397 posts

On our first trip to London in March of 2003, we stopped at Leicester Square to pick up theater tickets. It was cold and rainy. I was 6 months pregnant, tired and hungry. McD’s was a lifesaver. Some fries and a Coke hit the spot. Then I had the most amazing Cadbury McFlurry while watching the world go by.

We tend to stop in every country we visit, and always enjoy seeing the local specialties. The Antigua, Guatemala location has an amazing patio with a spectacular view!

Posted by
90 posts

I usually hit up a Mcdonald's once or twice on each trip to Europe. It's hard to beat the convenience, and as others have noted the food is a bit different. I also enjoy seeing the different architectural styles of their restaurants abroad and visited the very location noted by the op in Luzern in the summer of 2019. Memorable was the fry sauce and beautiful pastries at the cafe.

Here's a couple of my favorites so far based solely on aesthetics:

Burges Belgium on Steenstraat - the food outlet is nestled into an old Belgian gabled brick facade with ornate stonework and elaborate floor to ceiling windows. The facade is lovely complete with an iron rail, stone entry steps, and large doors. The seating area is on several floors with the top under the old timber-framed roof. Nothing like having a batch of fresh fries under a canopy of old timbers. It's worth the climb up (you have to go up to get to the restrooms anyway).

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany on Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse - this location is adjacent to the medieval gate tower Martinstor. It tries to blend into the old structure with its monochrome muted brownish signage and arched covered entry. If one is just enjoying the lovely architecture and avoiding falling into the Bächle they might not even notice this little burger spot. But since you'll want to see the old tower, might as well relieve your bladder and get some refreshments where you're there. Then head up the old Scholssburg, via the elevator entombed in stone near the Schwabentor, for a beer in the Biergarten and some frites to ease your guilt from visiting a chain from home.

Happy Fast Food Eating!

Posted by
1707 posts

Well, McDonald’s China is now selling a Spam and Oreo cookie sandwich with creamy sauce. As a self avowed aficionado I’m afraid even I question my bona fides this morning.

Happy Holidays

Posted by
4124 posts

Dave, in a Swiss restaurant, I bet their Cheeseburgers are fantastic!

So does Lucerne have arches in the architecture - Roman, Gothic, Golden?

Posted by
4124 posts

Denny - how soon before Doublestuff Oreo/Spam burgers become a menu staple?

And does one dunk these in milk?

Posted by
2227 posts

Cyn,

I don't remember the cheese standing out as something special, but I'm sure it was better than the processed stuff on US McDonalds burgers.

Posted by
4124 posts

Dave, I’m sure you’re right! So what’s next from that quaint Lucerne restaurant, I wonder? Maybe McFondue? But plastic skewers might not work too well, and stale sesame seed buns might not be ideal for dipping.

For marketing, maybe they’d come up with a character with red hair, and bright yellow, baggy lederhosen? If they developed a formula, perhaps it would even catch on, and more locations could open!

Posted by
529 posts

Dad and I also make a McD's stop at least once on every trip- often when we are rushed, overwhelmed or in need of a bathroom. As others have said, it is fun to see what is different on the menu.
On to other times we hit American chains: 1) First night in Budapest, our hotel was next to a mall . It was rainy so we set out hoping to find something in the mall. Settled for TGIF - only redeeming virtue was menus was familiar, easy and got us off to a relaxing start with minimal stress. And we laugh about it then and now. 2) 2/3 thru trip to England, long drive on 'wrong side' of road, several round abouts. Find a B&B in Plymouth and 2 blocks away a multistory HOLIDAY INN beckoned. A diet coke in the bar with lots of ice cured my homesickness and fatigue.

Posted by
12113 posts

Hey, I love the TGIF at the Budapest West End Mall. About a 5 min walk from there is also one of the worlds fanciest McD's in the train station The only McD's that I didn't like was in the Rome train station. Useless Trivia: The first McD's behind the iron curtain was in Budapest on Vaci u. And its still there.

Posted by
2227 posts

During a swing through Estonia and Latvia, I had stuck with all Baltic and Russian food throughout the trip. On my last night, though, I was ready for something familiar. A TGIF happened upon my path, and I stopped for a cheeseburger, which tasted really good.

Posted by
407 posts

I don't know if its still true <...>no two countries with McDonalds had ever gone to war

Not true since at least 1999.

In the meantime, I'll start a petition on change.org to mount pressure on McD to return Big&Tasty to US locations.