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, going to grab a burger at McDonald’s probably isn’t the first idea that comes to mind.

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

So popular is the building that it has even been called the “most beautiful McDonald’s in the world”.

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.

Opened in 2014, 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.

Why Camperdown for the unique project? As it turns out, there weren’t a lot of options – at the time the property was the only standalone McCafe in Australia.

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 along with 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 opened as a 2000-seat cinema in 1930, the theatre’s foyer was converted into a McDonald’s in 1977, while other parts of the building have since housed a number of different operations including a skating rink, concert venue and Planet Hollywood restaurant.

It remains 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.

Located 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.

If you really love the building and are partial to a burger, you can currently rent an office upstairs.

Sydney International Airport

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

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

At Sydney Airport the fast food chain’s kitchen is more like something out of The Jetsons, 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, and makes the dining experience an unforgettable one.