McDonald’s has had a presence in Eastern Europe since 1988, when it opened its first restaurant in Belgrade, then Yugoslavia. Despite being a a symbol of imperialism in a communist region, it was hugely popular with queues for blocks on opening day. Having a McDonald’s eventually became a source of national pride amongst Balkan states, becoming a basis for many jeering football chants. After Yugoslavia dissolved, Croatia received its own McDonald’s, with the first restaurant opening in the capital Zagreb in 1996.

Our Visit

The atmosphere is simple but modern and clean, perhaps a little on the tacky side. This particular restaurant was quite popular with younger crowds. A few staff could speak English, not outwardly friendly but we found that somewhat typical in Croatia. The order was ready within a couple of minutes – there’s no production line here, they’re still using the warmer system. Nothing too out of the ordinary on the menu either – the McFarm was available as it is in many Eastern European countries – a welcome addition was the Potato Rosti Burger which proved to be a delicious, hearty antidote to the sub-freezing winter climate.


First opened: 1996
Restaurants: 25+
Restaurant density: 1:157,000
Primary cuisine: Burgers, fries, desserts
Breakfast menu: Yes
Drinks: Coca-Cola range, milkshakes, coffee
Serves alcohol: No
Fries cut: Straight, thin
Made to order: No
Self-ordering: No
Delivery: No
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Ingredients: Two sausage meat patties, one cheese slice, tomato, lettuce, sauce in between a sesame seeded bun.

While the presentation was immaculate, the meat tasted rather cheap and bland, and none of the other ingredients or slathering of sauce could really make up for its seemingly low quality foundation. Avoid this one. 3/5


Potato Rosti Burger

Ingredients: One thick beef patty, one gourmet cheese slice, potato rosti, bacon rashers, and sauce in between a cheese topped bun.

This is quite a sizeable burger by McDonald’s standards. The box it comes in is already noticeably large and just picking it up you can feel the weight of it. The burger was presumably was designed to fit in with other Croatian staple food, which often comprises of meat, cheese and some form of carb. Not the most complicated burger out, but every bit delicious in its simplicity. Equally the sheer volume of meat and cheese is not for the faint hearted – although it does contain a lot of fat, it doesn’t taste too greasy or oily and on a cold winters day, is extremely comforting. 4.5/5


Potato Wedges

Hot and tasty. All condiments, including ketchup, are charged additionally, though the packets are generously sized. 4/5