Friday, October 21, 2011

McDonald's Around the World: Stockholm

I like McDonald's. I don't think that the food is great or that the service is top notch, but what I do like is that what we take to be something that is standardized around the world simply isn't. A Big Mac is a Big Mac, except when it isn't. For example, how do you offer a Big Mac when cows are holy and beef is taboo? You make it the Chicken Maharaja Mac (complete with two all chicken patties and tikka masala sauce). I haven't tried that yet, but I'm looking forward to it when I make it to India.

However, today my focus is the frozen north of Stockholm. Given that Sweden doesn't have any dietary restrictions, the menu is fairly similar, but even then local cultural opinions show through. Take a look:

The standard menu is pretty familiar. The classics are all there. The McFeast is essentially a quarter pounder with lettuce and tomato, while the CBO is actually one of their rotating sandwiches. More so than in the US, McDonald's in Sweden likes to swap out sandwiches rather frequently. Some of them are specific to Sweden, while other burgers (like the 1955 below) I've seen in other places, like Germany. 

Some of the  rotating menu is below. The hot wings and cream cheese stars aren't always there. 

After the break, it's a virtual cornucopia of McDonald's. We've got the menu signs for the Happy Meals, the night menu, and the breakfast menu, plus the McToast. Read on for McDonald's, svensk stil. 

The thing I like most about Happy Meals in Sweden is that they actually try to make them somewhat enriching. All of them come with carrots or apples, included and the fries can be swapped out for a salad. They offer up the standard three choices, hamburger, cheeseburger, and chicken nuggets, and then a toy. Sometimes the toys are the standard plastic toys, but every so often they also give out children's books. 

The most interesting thing on the coffee menu is the deserts: Muffins, donuts, and extremely typical Swedish cinnamon buns. Compared with American cinnamon buns there's less goop (which is replaced with pearl sugar) and cardamom baked in. They're fantastic!  

The night menu is a cut down version of their main menu, catering to the late night scene (or people waiting to head to the airport). 

Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly there's the breakfast menu which reflects what Swedes like for breakfast. Virtually gone is are the super greasy options (well, the McMuffin is still there), and in their place, light fresh sandwiches. Also... there's the McToast. 

I had to try one. It's actually two hamburger bun tops, flipped upside down with ham and cheese. Ha!


  1. sirjman from FT here. I just started blogging on the same topic. I've enjoyed catching up on your blog and I will follow it from now on,

  2. I'll be looking forward to following yours as well. Seems like you've had the opportunity to see a lot of interesting places!