Fast food worth travelling for: The world's 10 best fast food pilgrimages

Downey, California

Home of? McDonald's

The original McDonald's restaurant – which was a barbecue drive-in - no longer exists. And the one at 10207 Lakewood Blvd in Downey is the third incarnation, built in 1948 as a hamburger stand that did considerably better business. The globe-spanning fast food behemoth came later, but the original was weirdly unstandardised until 1990, when it was bought out by the McDonald's Corporation. Nowadays, there's a gift shop and museum on site.

See also: 'Chicken Maharaja': The 12 weirdest McDonald's burgers 

Johannesburg, South Africa

Home of? Nando's

The largely non-descript suburb of Rosettenville in southern Johannesburg is notable for one thing – a huge population of immigrants from Portugal and former Portuguese colonies such as Mozambique. The peri peri sauce comes from peppers that grew wild in Africa (the name means "pepper pepper" in Swahili), and were eagerly embraced by Portuguese settlers. The name "Nando's" comes from original chicken shop owner Fernando Duarte, and the Rosettenville Nando's experience can be enjoyed at 117 Main St.

Seattle, Washington State

Home of? Starbucks

Inside Seattle's Pike Place Market, the joint called the Original Starbucks is the first of the coffee chain, but it's not in the original spot. That café was on Western Avenue for five years before moving to Pike Place, and then the world.

The Pike Place outlet is regarded as home, though, and gets the full historical preservation treatment – which includes keeping the original sign and logo rather than the one we all recognise. See 1912pike.com

See also: What coffee is really like in the home of Starbucks

Birmingham, England

Home of? Cadbury's chocolate

The Cadbury empire started out when John Cadbury started selling drinking chocolate and cocoa from his shop in Birmingham. The business boomed to such an extent that the Cadbury family not only built a factory south of the city, but built up the whole Bourneville estate around it to house the workers. Bourneville is now home to Cadbury World – which tells visitors the history of chocolate and allows them to watch the factory in action. See cadburyworld.co.uk

Salt Lake City, Utah

Home of? KFC

Colonel Harland Sanders originally set up by the roadside in Corbin, Kentucky, in what is now the Harland Sanders Café on the US-25. But it was the first franchisee to buy into his secret recipe who came up with the "Kentucky Fried Chicken" name. And that was Pete Harman of Salt Lake, Utah. So the original KFC is halfway across the country from Kentucky, amongst sprawling suburbia at 3890 State St.

Atlanta, Georgia

Home of? Coca-Cola

Speaking of special recipes, Coca-Cola came to fruition in Columbus, Georgia, where druggist John Pemberton's wooden cottage on 7th Street still stands. There are also markers where Pemberton's original drug stores once were. Pemberton – and Coca-Cola – soon moved to Atlanta, where the shamelessly flashy World of Coca-Cola tells the story. See historiccolumbus.com, worldofcoca-cola.com

Advertisement

Bonn, Germany

Home of? Haribo

The name Haribo comes from the name of the gummy sweets company founder – Hans Riegel – and the city where it is headquartered – Bonn. Head there, and you can find a massive shop spread over two floors in the city centre. Oh, and a frankly astonishing factory outlet on Friesdorferstrasse where tens of thousands of limited edition bags and tubs are piled up as if it's an Aldi-style budget supermarket.

Berlin, Germany

Home of? The döner kebab

There's plenty of controversy about where the döner kebab comes from, and the obvious answer is Turkey. But the kebab as we know it – folded into a pita with loads of salad and sauce as an easy-eat takeaway? Well, that was popularised in Berlin in the 1970s. Again, there are competing claims – one from a stall outside Zoo station, and another from the Hasir restaurant on Adalbertstrasse. See hasir.de

Quincy, Massachusetts

Home of? Dunkin' Donuts

Initially called "Open Kettle" in 1948, then renamed Dunkin' Donuts in 1950, this is one of few fast food chains where the original is still open. Just to the south of Boston at 543 Southern Artery in Quincy, the first outpost of the 1,000-strong empire has been given a one-off retro look in honour of its status. It was founded by William Rosenberg, who worked out that coffee and doughnuts were the two most popular things sold at construction sites.

Innaloo, Perth

Home of? Hungry Jack's

When Burger King moved into Australia in 1971, the name was already taken, so the franchisee had to pick a new one. Hungry Jack's won, and the first store was opened in suburban Perth. By global standards, Hungry Jack's is a tiddler with just under 400 stores. But for a fast food pilgrimage that's true blue, head to Innaloo…

See also: The 10 foods every visitor to the US needs to try

See also: The best fast food in the world, picked by the world's top chefs

Comments