These Are The Fanciest Fast Food Restaurants In The World

It's not every day that the word "fancy" casually comes to mind when you're thinking about your favorite fast food restaurants. On the contrary, linear conversations about fancy food and restaurants are likely to spark descriptions of a very particular combination: rare and luxurious ingredients, gorgeous dishware and décor, ambiance, architecture, and locations of the buildings in which the restaurant is situated. 

But there are moments when you want to go somewhere special without having to forgo your fast food in the process. When lighting a candle and setting your fanciest cutlery and crockery on your dining room table before having your favorite fast food delivered wouldn't necessarily do the trick either. This is when fast food in a fancy setting fits the bill — a perfect merger of some elements of things we deem special with the comfort of your favorite fast food. 

Some of these restaurants offer perfect views of wonders and special additions to their menu items, while others are in surprising locations and incorporate fascinating architectural elements. Nestled in various parts of the world, one thing they all share is they're guaranteed to make your fast food run a little slower and hence more luxurious. Even if it's only to look up from your table a little longer, and to delight more than just your taste buds with the beauty around you.

Ancient pyramid Pizza Hut - Egypt

It's one thing to see postcard images of the Great Pyramids of Giza plastered across travel blogs and magazines. But having your Pizza Hut order arrive while you're gazing at the one surviving structure out of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World sounds like a worthy dose of fast food fancy. 

Constructed as a royal tomb for the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, Khufu, the Great Pyramid is the largest and one of the best-preserved pyramids in Egypt. And although archeologists and Egyptologists still regard how the pyramids were built to be a mystery (via History), this Pizza Hut ensures your view of them surely isn't. According to one Redditor, it's a mere quarter of a mile away from the pyramids, and while it dons the fast food restaurant's set colors and logo, it's the second-floor location and sweeping windows allow you to take in the majesty of the pyramids while you're seated inside. Outside, there's a rooftop deck where visitors can bask in the light of Kemetic sun god Ra, whose rays are supposedly mimicked by the pyramid's colossal walls, or get a stunning view of the customary sound and light show in the evening (via Trip Advisor).

Mountaintop McDonald's McSki - Sweden

As if spending your winter skiing along mountaintops wasn't fancy enough, this McDonald's — aptly called a McSki – is the perfect treat after a long day gliding on the slopes at Sweden's Lindvallen ski-resort. Boasting a ski-through rather than your usual drive-thru, there's no need to peel off your winter sports gear or drag snow into the fast food restaurant where the menu offers all your standard items. 

In a country where one in 10 people follow a plant-based diet (via Animal Rights Sweden), the McSki menu offers more than just your standard items which are geared toward meat-lovers. As explained by The Independent, you can enjoy the soy-based McVegan burger that comes with egg-free McFeast sauce. This might even be a fun option to explore if you're coming off the slopes and are eager to have a meat-free Monday meal with the same fries and fixings you adore. In case you're on a family holiday skiing with your little ones, there's also the McFalafel — Sweden's first vegan Happy Meal to bring a smile to their faces.

KFC in a 1926 rail station - Azerbaijan

Housed within the capital city of Baku's Sabunchu rail station, this KFC is one of the largest KFC restaurants in the world, coming only second to the KFC in Kiev, Ukraine. According to RadioFreeEurope, the historic station holds KFC as the largest restaurant in Baku, spanning 1,600 square meters and boasting a 300 seating plan. If you ever find yourself craving your fried chicken with some historic railway charm, this KFC's cathedral ceilings, coffered panels, and two-domed towers lie in wait at the heart of the city. 

When it was built in 1926, its tracks linked the Soviet Union's first electrical railway line with petroleum manufacturers located outside the capital. And while the station had dilapidated over time, KFC's local franchise partner who bought and restored the station, made sure to preserve its Moorish style and embedded many of its original design elements into the restaurant.

Subterranean Starbucks - Netherlands

Art openings and galleries are so often associated with slinky glasses of wine, but this unsuspecting subterranean Starbucks in the renowned Rembrandt Square is where you'd instead merge your love of art with your favorite frappuccino

As stated in Inhabitat, this Starbucks was designed by Starbucks Concept Design Director, Liz Muller, who collaborated with 35 local creatives and crafts folk to transform the historic Amsterdamsche Bank's vault into "The Bank." The 430 square meter space was designed as an ode to Dutch history and a celebration of its longstanding coffee tradition. It boasts a "Slow" Coffee Theater for tailored coffee experiences and rare small-batch coffees, an on-site bakery, spaces for theater and live music, and artworks featuring a tattooed mural, antique Dutch tiles, wall displays made from recycled materials. There's even a ceiling sculpture that's adorned with 1,876 pieces of hand-cut wood. Together, all of these features fuse this fast food space into an art gallery in its own right.

McDonald's in a 172-year-old mansion - USA

Hidden in a 172-year-old mansion, and clad with 19th-century architecture's steep gabled roofs, bay windows, rounded angles, and ornate woodwork, is Freeport, Maine's only McDonald's. Like many people, you may hold the belief that only fine dining is permitted in mansions. We can assume that William Gore, who built Gore House in 1850, may have thought so too before this mansion was converted into a branch of the popular fast food restaurant in 1984. 

According to Business Insider, Freeport's residents were initially split about the mansion's conversion into a fast food restaurant, but the remodeling permit was eventually granted on condition that its New England style was retained and that it continued to resemble the town's overall aesthetic. So unlike the usual bellowing arch outside your local McDonald's, here there is only a small sign above the main door and a discreet mix of your typical drive-thru elements into the colonial building's exterior. 

If cozy and historical is your particular taste of fancy, here you can savor your McFeast while seated in mahogany booths and chairs close to a crackling fire in the dining area. And if the seasons allow, you might even get to order some lobster rolls.

Poetic Du Fu-themed KFC - China

If you've never snapped your fingers to the taste of fried chicken, at this Du Fu-themed KFC in Chengdu, China you can do so and say it was all because of the poetry. According to People's Daily Online, KFC partnered with the Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum to launch this fast food branch as a creative cultural project and an ode to Du Fu, an 18th-century Chinese poet who is hailed as one of the greatest wordsmiths to have ever lived. Per Atlas Obscura, Du Fu's life was riddled with plenty of strife, and while his poetry didn't receive much recognition while he was alive, it had a remarkable impact on Chinese and Japanese literature after his death.

Today you can savor your streetwise bucket and sample some of Du Fu's 1,500 surviving poems that are inscribed on tabletops in the Qianlong Emperor's handwriting. Images of Du Fu's iconic thatched cottage are displayed on the French windows alongside clouds patterned in traditional Chinese style in front of the store, and in a holographic pyramid that showcases 3D images of the cottage during all four seasons. Everything from the walls of the restaurant to cup sleeves offer a nod to the poet.

Stone church Barnacle Bill - Australia

As the Bible story goes, Jesus fed a mass of 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. A fish & chips restaurant housed in Port Pirie, Australia's oldest stone church — has managed to keep this tradition of feeding the masses going, though its aims aren't quite as altruistic. According to Atlas Obscura, the church opened in 1879 and eventually closed around 1991. It was virtually abandoned for five years until Kevin and Kim Spirou bought the property and transformed it into a branch of the Australian chain restaurant Barnacle Bill. There was some resistance from locals about turning a sacred institution into a secular establishment, but they soon recognized that as unorthodox as a fast food franchise in a Congregational church might be, transforming it into a Barnacle Bill actually rescued the building from being entirely demolished.

According to the ABC, the church has undergone a few modifications. You can dine at the pews which have been converted to dining tables, while the pulpit has been replaced by a salad bar and deep-fryers. For what this restaurant might lack in formulaic luxury, there is a richness in the stories of those who can still hold the nostalgia of getting married, baptizing children, and burying loved ones while enjoying their favorite menu item at Barnacle Bill.

The world's first tatami-style Starbucks - Japan

Boasting traditional Japanese townhouse aesthetics, the Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya Starbucks, which officially opened in 2017, is the famous coffee chain's first outlet that offers tatami seating. Here you can immerse yourself in a traditional Japanese atmosphere while savoring your coffee or tea. Rather than the usual bustle of Starbucks, quietness is so pointedly emphasized that winding queues are not allowed outside the coffee shop. The luxurious interiors include tatami seats in a tea room, lanterns, hanging scrolls, and artwork inspired by pouring coffee droplets. Bringing the vision of this Starbucks to life took 10 years from initial planning, with cooperation from local governments. 

According to Live Japan, Ninenzaka is an area in the city of Kyoto that mindfully reflects and safeguards the atmosphere of the early-20th century Taisho era. When you're done with your beverage, be sure to check out the numerous other famous attractions in the area including the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a World Heritage site.

The world's largest Chick-fil-A - USA

In 2021, Chick-fil-A was ranked America's favorite fast food restaurant by the American Customer Satisfaction Index for the seventh year running. If you're looking to inject some fancy into your experience the next time you're craving a Spicy Deluxe Sandwich and waffle fries, head to New York's Financial District and place your order at the largest Chick-fil-A in the world. The five-story, 12,000-square foot restaurant, which opened in 2018, offers three floors of seating for a casual meal with family and friends, as well as semi-private meeting rooms in case you want to host a lunchtime business huddle. 

Its rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of downtown Manhattan's skyline including One World Trade Center. The skylight and floor-to-ceiling windows allow ample natural light into the restaurant. But if you're simply looking to avoid the meandering masses queuing outside, or the bustle of other people inside, the Chick-fil-A One app allows you to order and pay before you arrive.

Burger King with a sauna - Finland

Nothing quite screams I-am-bathing-myself-in-a-lap-of-luxury like a visit to the spa. But in Finland, one spa facility towers above every other one: saunas. Located in Helsinki, this Burger King has merged the Finns' love for saunas with their Double Whoppers and bottomless soft drinks. According to Statistics Finland, Finland had an estimated 2.3 million saunas in 2020, while the total Finnish population that year was around 5.53 million people (via Statista); that is almost one sauna for every two individuals. Beyond incorporating an integral part of Finland's day-to-day life into the restaurant, this Burger King boasts sleek showers, dressing rooms, and a lounge where you can watch TV or play video games. 

It's no wonder that this Burger King, designed by Teuvo Loman, went on to win Euromonitor's New Concepts in Food Service for being "a powerful example of localization" (via Business Insider), especially in a country where it's not unusual to conduct business meetings and deals while in the sauna.

Oceanfront Taco Bell - USA

Declared "the world's nicest Taco Bell" by Business Insider, this Pacific, California bungalow-style beachfront outlet of the Tex-Mex chain is definitely outside the box. The Pacific Ocean views are so amazing that in 2020, when a travel influencer gave a virtual tour of the space on TikTok, it went viral and stunned over 1.4 million users. The following year, two high-school sweethearts convinced this Taco Bell to make an event exception when they paid $4,000 to host their wedding reception there. There is something inherently fancy about weddings, so you have to wonder what else is on the menu at this Taco Bell to warrant the request.

According to Today, beyond the breathtaking beachfront views, there is an indoor-outdoor fireplace, elegant interior décor with plenty of seating inside and outside, surfboard parking, and several walk-up windows and kiosks so you can order without rinsing your sandy feet. There's even a full alcohol menu so you don't have to finish your meal and then head off elsewhere if you would like to enjoy a beer and a burrito under the balmy sun.