As lovers of travel, we would always encourage people to try local cuisine and get deep into the culture. But chain restaurants provide a foodie safety net for travellers worldwide. You know the type of food you can get in McDonalds on the other side of the planet, and you can easily order a coffee in Starbucks pretty much anywhere.
Due to that, we wanted to know which cities around the world host the best versions of these beloved chain restaurants? We analysed over 13.1 million Google reviews in 100 cities to find out exactly that.
- Jakarta, Indonesia is home to the highest-rated chain restaurants in the world at 4.22/5 stars.
- Sydney, Australia has, on average, the lowest-rated chain restaurants in the world at 3.43/5 stars.
- Moscow, Russia, has the highest-rated chain restaurants in Europe with an average of 4.08/5 stars.
- Jakarta, Indonesia has the highest average rated McDonald’s, Domino’s, and KFC outlets in the world.
- Lima in Peru has the highest rated Subway restaurants in the world at 4.37/5 stars.
- Batam in Indonesia has the highest rated Burger King and Starbucks franchises in the world.
- Johor Bahru in Malaysia is the city with the highest rated Dunkin’ Donuts in the world at 4.54/5 stars.
Best Cities in the World for Chain Restaurants
To work out the best cities for chain food outlets, we reviewed locations of the 13 of the biggest chain franchises: McDonalds, Burger King (Hungry Jacks), KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Hard Rock Café, Domino’s Pizza, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Jollibee, and Five Guys in the 100 most visited cities in the world.
The capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, takes the top spot as the world’s best city for chain restaurants, with an average rating of 4.221 per franchise location. With the world’s second largest urban area by population (after Tokyo), Jakarta has a lot of people hungry for their fast food fix, as well as many tourists flying in to visit the island of Java.
Jakarta, often referred to as ‘The Big Durian’, was closely followed by Brazil’s most popular city, Rio de Janeiro at 4.183 points out of a maximum of five stars, the maximum given on Google Maps reviews.
Worst Cities in the World for Chain Restaurants
In the bottom spot is Sydney in Australia, which has the lowest average review score for the chain restaurants analyzed, and the only city in the world to have an average rating under 3.5 stars out of five.
With its two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, Australians appears to have a distaste towards chain restaurants, closely matched by Japan, which features three cities in the bottom ten.
*Out of the 100 cities analyzed, 16 were removed from the study as they had less than 50 outlets across all chain restaurants reviewed.
Best Cities in Europe for Chain Restaurants
With Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Porto sliding into the top ten global best cities for chain restaurants, we also wanted to know which other European cities were highly rated for fast food. Below are the top ten cities in Europe for chain restaurants.
Best Cities in the World for McDonald’s
If you’re a golden arches fanatic you need to go to Jakarta, Indonesia. Contributing to its status as the best city in the world for chain restaurants, you can expect to get the best experience in one of Jakarta’s many McDonald’s outlets.
In Indonesian McDonald’s you can expect to enjoy the usual menu plus fried chicken and fruit tea additions.
Best Cities in the World for Subway
The king of build-your-own sandwiches, Subway offers 6-inch and footlong bread filled with whatever you want around the world. If you want the world’s best Subway, you need to fly to Lima in Peru, or Moscow in Russia as a close runner-up.
If you do find yourself looking for a sub in Russia, you could indulge in the country-exclusive Seafood Sub with lots of mayo and crabmeat.
Best Cities in the World for Burger King
Acting as another key contributor to Jakarta’s top spot, Burger King is a hit in Indonesia’s cities, with Poland’s Krakow taking the top spot in Europe for BK.
Similarly to McDonald’s, Indonesian Burger King offers rice and fried chicken to its menu in addition to its iconic flame-grilled burgers.
Best Cities in the World for KFC
For your buckets of chicken and finger-lickin food fix abroad there’s only one chain restaurant you’ll be visiting: KFC. With Jakarta and Denpasar offering the best KFCs in the world, Indonesia tops the list again. Visitors to Indonesian KFCs can expect to get the usual chicken-filled menu with added extras like the ‘KFC Bento’ containing rice with a topping of saucy chicken (or fish!)
Best Cities in the World for Starbucks
The largest coffeehouse chain in the world, Starbucks is everywhere, ready to serve up espressos whenever you need that pickmeup. Keeping to the trend, Indonesians, and visitors to these cities, rate Starbucks extremely highly, with Krakow being the hot spot in Europe.
Best Cities in the World for Pizza Hut
You’re either passionate for Pizza Hut or a Domino’s devotee, if you prefer the Hut, then you need to visit Bali in Indonesia, specifically the city of Denpasar, and its surrounding areas.
Best Cities in the World for Domino’s Pizza
For Domino’s Pizza, the highest-rated options were found in Indonesia’s capital, once again, Jakarta. In addition to their classic pizzas, you can also feast on dishes like beef black pepper rice pots as part of the Indonesian menu.
Sliding into the top three, Moscow’s Russian Domino’s offering includes the country-exclusive ‘Bavarian’ pizza, featuring pickled cucumbers and salami.
Best Cities in the world for Dunkin’ Donuts
Located in 36 countries, Dunkin’ Donuts supplies coffee and donuts to customers worldwide. If you’re looking for the best donuts and customer service from Dunkin’ the data says you should get your sugar fix in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Data was taken on July 19th directly from Google Maps reviews for each of the analysed chain restaurants in the top 100 most visited cities in the world. The top 100 cities were chosen based on a 2019 report (due to COVID), as researched here by Euromonitor. Out of the 100 cities analyzed, 16 were removed from the final results as they had less than 50 outlets across all chain restaurants reviewed.
We totalled every review for as many restaurant locations as was shown on Google Maps within the searched city’s radius, we then took a mean average score from all locations. In total, 13,140,872 reviews were analysed across 23,717 franchise outlets in 100 cities around the world.
Where possible we included outlets where the name of the franchise was translated into the local language, and ‘Hungry Jacks’ was used in place of ‘Burger King’ in Australia as it is branded as such in the country.
Where a city did not have any franchise restaurants in it, 0 reviews were labelled and it was ignored in that portion of the analysis. If a location was labelled as ‘Permanently Closed’ on Google Maps it was not included in our analysis, but ‘Temporarily Closed’ was included to try and negate the temporary impact of the pandemic.
For individual restaurant analyses (e.g Best McDonald’s in the World) cities with less than 10% of the average number of reviews per chain were ignored as the sample of customer reviews was deemed too low. For example, the average city in the McDonald’s list had an average of 46,000 reviews, therefore cities with less than 4,600 reviews were not included.