McDonald's Flagship Des Plaines, IL
Cole Saladino/Thrillist


Des Plaines

The Midwest is home to some of America’s greatest success stories: Anheuser-Busch, Hillary Clinton, and McDonald’s, to name a few. While the McDonald brothers may have developed their concept in the ‘40s in California, the ninth location of the franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois was crowned by the company as The Original McDonald’s, marking the beginning of Ray Kroc’s tenure with the company in 1955. Though the building has since been demolished, a replica lives on in its place, housing a museum dedicated to one of the world’s most influential restaurants. I don’t know you, but I know you’d be lying if you said you weren’t one of the billions (and billions, and billions) served. McDonald’s is the restaurant of the masses, the start of the fast food revolution, and a pioneer of the burger business. Those Golden Arches are ubiquitous across the planet, and sure, it may not be the pinnacle of a balanced dinner, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t consistent. And I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t revel in every bite of the nostalgic Big Mac or devour every last French fry from the bottom of the grease-stained takeout bag, because I’m lovin’ it, and be honest, so are you.