This Is What the McDonald’s Menu Looked Like the Year You Were Born

The McD’s menu has changed so much—do you remember when the Quarter Pounder was new?!

Horsens, Denmark - September 3, 2015: McDonald's logo. McDonald's is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants.ricochet64/Shutterstock

For roughly three-quarters of a century, McDonald’s has been serving burgers and beverages that taste the same in Alaska as they do in Alabama, but the menu has definitely changed over the years. (Hello, $ 1 $ 2 $ 3 Dollar Menu!) Here’s a taste:

1940: Barbecue

One of the last remaining old style red-and white McDonald's stands in Beaver Falls, Pa., in Sept. 1985. It is one of six of the old style McDonald's restaurants still operating in the United StatesFRED VUICH/Shutterstock

Did you know the first McDonald’s menu was barbecue-themed? Yup! The very first McDonald’s restaurant was opened by Dick and Mac McDonald as a car-hop on Fourteenth and E in San Bernardino, California. It offered a barbecue-style menu, and you can see an actual copy of that menu here!

1948: Hamburgers and cheeseburgers

One of the last remaining old style Red-and White McDonald's, seen between the arches, stands in Beaver Falls, Pa., in Sept. 1985. It is one of six of the old style McDonald's restaurants still operating in the U.SFRED VUICH/Shutterstock

In 1948, in response to what caught on with customers, the McDonald brothers revamped their restaurant as a walk-up hamburger stand. There were only four food items on the menu (plus milk, coffee, and sodas):

  • Hamburger
  • Cheeseburger
  • Potato chips
  • Pie

The hamburgers sold for 15 cents, or about half as much as at a sit-down restaurant.

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