Australia’s Most Amazing McDonald’s Restaurants

The McDonald’s restaurant in CIifton Hill. Picture: Wikimedia
The McDonald’s restaurant in CIifton Hill. Picture: Wikimedia

If you’re looking for architectural inspiration, fast food chain McDonald’s probably isn’t the first design that jumps to mind.

But around Australia the restaurant’s outlets represent some stunning examples of both modern and historical architecture, with photo-worthy facades clever use of space.

Here are five of Australia’s most amazing McDonald’s restaurants.

Clifton Hill, Melbourne

Many McDonald’s restaurants are considered local landmarks, but how many of them are heritage listed?

The McDonald’s at Clifton Hill in Melbourne’s inner north (above) is one of a very select few fast food restaurants to win heritage protection, and it’s not hard to see why.

Considered arguably Victoria’s best example of jazz moderne architecture, the two-storey Queens Parade property was built in 1937 as the United Kingdom Hotel, and while it’s now home to  frying vats and Big Macs, it has retained its stunning brick facade, cantilevered concrete balconies and rounded exterior edges.

It was awarded heritage protection in 1988.

‘The Corner’, Camperdown, Sydney


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Looking more like Sydney’s latest trendy breakfast spot and with not a golden arch in sight, ‘The Corner’ in Camperdown is a McDonald’s with a difference.

The unique McCafe has its own specific menu, focusing on healthier food, and sports a white exterior that provides few clues as to its fast food heritage.

George St, Sydney

The McDonald’s on George St in Sydney.

Occupying a key corner space in what was once the Plaza Theatre and is now home to a number of retail tenancies and watering hole Star Bar, the McDonald’s on George St in Sydney is a stunning piece of Sydney CBD architecture.

Heritage-listed after originally being designed as a 2000-seat cinema, the property has the McDonald’s in what was once its foyer and is one of the best surviving examples of the city’s inter-war era theatre buildings.

The Strand, Sydney

Though not actually in Sydney’s famed Strand Arcade, McDonald’s The Strand is almost as memorable.

Set in the ground floor retail space of the heritage listed King George Chambers building at 375-377 George St, the property was built in 1910 and is the earliest remaining Union Bank of Australia building in the Sydney CBD.

Sydney International Airport

It’s hard not to notice the McDonald’s at Sydney International Airport.

And not just because of that huge expanse of golden glass that covers much of the restaurant’s space.

At Sydney Airport the fast food chain’s kitchen is on an entirely different level, sitting high above the counter where customers place their orders, and viewable to anyone who cares to look.

Once ready, meals are attached to clips and wires that whiz them down to ground level, ready to be collected by patrons.

It’s a novel and memorable solution to the age-old problem of fitting large scale commercial operations into limited spaces.