McDonald’s, central Paris.

Be prepared to compromise. Le M is served alongside the McChicken.

The McDonald’s of Paris are always packed, possibly to an even greater extent than their American counterparts. Businesspeople, school kids, teenagers, fashionistas: They’re all here. Those who aren’t lured by McDo’s burgers are there for the chocolate mousse—bring up this France-only menu item with any American who’s spent time in Paris and be prepared for a long-winded rave—or by the free wireless internet every restaurant pumps out.


Tread softly, and carry an extra supply of subtle-dark-grey lettering.

It works because McDonald’s is American, but it’s not too American. It’s the same story as Disneyland Resort Paris: An outside product that has, in effect, knelt and asked for the French to accept it. America sells, but it’s got to ask nicely.