McDonalds Behind the Iron Curtain

We spotted this familiar sign on a walking tour of Budapest. Our tour guide, Adina, explained that in 1988, McDonalds opened its first restaurant behind the iron curtain. It’s located in Budapest on Vaci utca, the same popular pedestrian street where young Hungarians bought their Adidas running shoes and other “Western” goodies near the end of the Communist regime.

Adina remembers going to this McDonalds with a friend shortly after it opened. They were in high school at the time and were euphoric to have a small piece of the West in Budapest. When Adina’s friend got home from their not-so-fast-food experience, her father, who worked in a (Communist) government office, was very angry with her. He was worried that her visit to McDonalds would cost him his job.


  1. Sarah!I did not know that she was in Budapest. (I mean, I probably did know it at some point but then I misplaced that particular piece of information in my overcrowded brain).My mind is a particularly chaotic spot right now as I am preparing for Career Day on Thursday. Yikes! (I know you can relate).We will go to Budapest again… perhaps in August. I will e-mail her and see if she wants to meet us for cake!Teacher Girl

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