After a busy day touring around Moscow I was starving and in search of a McDonald’s. I wanted my first restaurant review in Russia’s capital to be at this American fast food emporium. The menu is pretty much exactly what you would have in any North American city. This particular location featured two floors of plush seating as well as a large McDonald’s Cafe on the main level.
Russian’s are obsessed with fast food these days and McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s seem to be their favorites. Check out this great video on the impact of fast food on Moscow’s dining scene. It really is changing the culinary landscape in one of the worlds most expensive cities.
Before finding the McDonald’s (it took me around 30 minutes) I almost caved and ate at a little Italian place. Just to give you an idea of pricing. The cost of one beer at a mid ranged Italian pizza joint was around the same price as what I ordered at McDonald’s: 1/4 pounder combo with chocolate sundae and chicken nuggets. It’s not really hard to grasp why American fast food has become so popular in a city with grossly expensive price points.
I sat on a stool overlooking Arbat. I couldn’t help but laugh as I saw a Wendy’s sign staring at me from below. Aggressive in your face burger advertising. Whilst sipping my Coca Cola and munching on my McNuggets I took a moment to pause and reflect on the significance of this meal. Russia has come full circle. Not long ago my meal would have represented all that Russian’s truly hated. Coca Cola was banned from importation and the USSR had their own versions of fizzy drinks. It’s hard to believe that McDonalds sits across from the Kremlin, two forces that were tangled up in Cold War for years.