Food & Nutrition

The First Locations of 8 Famous Fast Food Restaurants

My, how times have changed.


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“The Original McDonald’s,” the tagline of the McDonald’s #1 Store Museum in Des Plaines, Illinois, is a bit of a misnomer—it’s just a replica, and not even of the first store but of the ninth. Richard and Maurice McDonald opened their first restaurant in San Bernadino, California, in 1940, selling burgers for 15 cents. That location closed decades ago, but it’s now home to a museum honoring those first Golden Arches. Don’t miss these other 75 mind-blowing facts about McDonald’s.

Burger King

Courtesy Burger King

Before there was Burger King, there was Insta-Burger King. The fast food joint in Miami flipped burgers and poured milkshakes for just 18 cents apiece in 1954, in hopes of replicating the success of McDonald’s. That same year, Insta-Burger King brought on a new business partner and shortened its name to Burger King. The chain might not have reached McDonald’s status, but it certainly locked itself down as a competitor.



Starbucks’ first location will have a familiar ring to any coffee lover: Pike Place Market, the namesake of its famous coffee blend. The chain spent seven years at one spot in the Seattle market before moving to another spot in 1977, but that “new” spot still pays homage to its roots. Like other brands, Starbucks has tweaked its logo over the years, but at Pike Place, you can still spot its original brown logo. Here are 13 other things a Starbucks barista won’t tell you.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

DOUGLAS C. PIZAC/AP/Shutterstock

Ironically, KFC didn’t get its start in Kentucky—it first opened its doors in Salt Lake City, Utah. Colonel Harland Sanders (yes, he’s real) was passing through and dropped in on the Harman Café’s owner, whom he’d met at a restaurant convention the year before. The Kentucky-based Colonel asked to put his chicken recipe on the Harman menu, and the owner agreed. The restaurant’s Kentucky-fried chicken was a hit, and the rest is history. The original building was torn down, but the location still has a Harman Café sign and keeps memorabilia inside. Learn the secret that makes KFC chicken so crispy.

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