This is how they eat hamburgers at the new Russian “McDonald’s”

Food at Russian McDonald's comes in plain white packaging.

Food at Russian McDonald’s comes in plain white packaging.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

After McDonald’s withdrew from Russia after the war in Ukraine, the Russian version of the fast food chain was reopened with a new name.

Big Mac, Happy Meal and McFlurrys are gone, but cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, and fries are still on the menu.

We have tested and evaluated the food for you.

There is a restaurant in Moscow that probably every Muscovite knows and has already visited: the flagship of McDonald’s on Pushkin Square. When it opened in 1990, tens of thousands of people lined up to experience a touch of the West.

However, in March, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, McDonald’s ceased operations in Russia and the legendary restaurant closed its doors. The place that represented Russia’s openness to the West now symbolizes Russia’s withdrawal from the international community. So it seemed oddly appropriate that a few hours before leaving after five years as a correspondent from Moscow, I would have one of my last meals in Russia here.

Because now people were lining up again when the restaurant reopened with a new name earlier this month. The chain is now called “Vkusno i Tochka”, which means something like “yummy and just enough”. The Russian investor who bought the company promises to serve “the same but better” food.

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The legendary first McDonald's in Russia was located here in Pushkin Square.

The legendary first McDonald’s in Russia was located here in Pushkin Square.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

The place was full on Friday afternoon. I placed my order via a greased touchscreen as usual. The menu was basically the same, with a few notable exceptions: Happy Meals, Big Mac, and McFlurry don’t exist.

The restaurant was full.

The restaurant was full.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

The Cheeseburger

I don’t go to McDonald’s very often, but I still remember going there when I was a kid. I decided to recreate my back then standard order and started with my favorite fast food, the cheeseburger.

The Cheeseburger a

The cheeseburger from “Lecker und Basta”.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

The sandwich and cheese are clearly identical to the original version – 85 percent of McDonald’s ingredients were also from Russia – but the meat feels a little less flavorful, making the first bite a little less exciting. There isn’t even a slice of cucumber, which I like.

The cheeseburger was wrapped in white and orange paper. One of the most noticeable changes is the packaging of all products, which is now white or white with a splash of color and the product name. Completely without logos.

The Filet-oF … No, the fish burger

The fish burger al

The fish burger from “Lecker und Enough”.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

As for the fish fillet substitute, I was pleasantly surprised. The Fischburger doesn’t have the famous name now, but other than that it hasn’t changed at all. The sandwich, the fish, everything is the same, even the slightly mysterious b├ęchamel.

The packaging is very simple and without logo.

The packaging is very simple and without logo.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

French fries are dying

The fries arrived in a white white package.

The fries arrived in a white white package.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

The fries looked a little sadder, less salty, and less crunchy than I expected. I couldn’t really tell if that was really the case, or if it was just the depressing white packaging they were served in.

My cup of Coke was just as plain and white. There was no more normal cola, only cola diet. But it was still coke. With the withdrawal of Coca-Cola also from Russia, the chain appears to be short of supplies before switching to another brand, probably Russian.

Ten chicken nuggets

Chicken nuggets a

The chicken nuggets from “Lecker und Basta”.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

Chicken nuggets top my list of baby comfort foods. I grew up in a very fussy Italian family so going to McDonald’s was a great experience for us kids.

The Russian croquettes didn’t disappoint – they were crunchy, the chicken was tender, and they had the same weird shape as ever.

McDonald's logos were painted with an Edding.

McDonald’s logos were painted with an Edding.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

I decided to add two sauces: barbecue and sweet and sour. As I was doing this, I noticed a black dot on the packaging – it was always McDonald’s sauces, only someone had drawn over the logo with the golden arches with a marker.

The sundae

The ice cream a

Sundae at “Lecker und Enough” in Moscow.
Andrea Palasciano / Insider

That was a disappointing final. Ice now comes in smaller cups than before. The ice cream itself was creamy and tasty, but it had melted a little and the strawberry sauce was building up on the bottom.

my verdict? The new McDonald’s, or “Vkusno i Tochka”, tastes more or less the same as before. It is as if – almost – nothing had happened.

The article was translated from English by Ben Peters. You can find the original here.

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