Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonalds


Located at 600 N Clark St, Chicago, Illinois, this Rock and Roll McDonald’s also nicknamed the 50Th McDonald’s after the company’s gold anniversary celebrations were held on the premises.

We stopped by for a quick lunch and family visit to explore the fast food museum after we had read about it in a couple of travel sites.

Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s street

The Restaurant

It is one of the busiest restaurants in this chain and relatively large; being able to seat up to 300 people in its two-story building about three times the size of regular McDonald’s venues.This flagship McD is an entirely free-standing restaurant boasting two drive-thru lanes, a McCafe and comprehensive dining room complete with enough parking and free Wi-Fi. It aspires to be eco-friendly and has two vegetation-covered Green Roofs.

Open 24/7, this McDonald’s menu is typical of most international branches with their usual range of burgers, chicken and fish selections,  salads, snacks, and Sides as well as their Breakfast choices and, of course, their Happy Meals for kids.

Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s statues

The McDonalds Museum

What makes Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s unique is their museum the second level of the restaurant features several display cases showcasing the brand through the ages; covering a range of topics from history and development of their company to their merchandise.

The complimentary museum starts with how McDonald’s has contributed to the national and international community in the form of donations to various charities both local and worldwide. Then visitors get to see how McDonald’s has branched out to many countries across the globe; Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and China to name a few.

Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s escalator

The exhibits then segue into the history display starting with the first McDonald’s  opened back in 1948 all the way up to the present day. There are archived pictures and memorabilia of the very first McDonald’s restaurant along with the first franchise purchase.

Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s museum is divided into different sections; each is representing a decade and includes the merchandise, furniture, uniforms, décor, and even menus of that era.
Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s seating area

There are many keepsakes; from overhead lamps and lighting to uniforms, happy meal toys collectibles like Lego, Furby dolls, Disney toys, to original menus.
 There are furniture items from each decade where one can sit and reminisce, even listen to the music hits of the time, completing the nostalgic ambiance.

Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s wall

Our son with autism, a McDonald’s fan, got a kick of seeing the various historic menus, including the one showing the introduction of the iconic Big Mac.
As in other ‘touristy’ spots this restaurant offers items like t-shirts, hats, ties and other memorabilia in the form of key rings, curios, and other mementos for purchase.

Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s 70s seats

Autism Travel Tips

  • Anyone fascinated with the history of the fast food chain and their happy meal toys will find this nostalgia-laden spot delightful-our son with autism did.
  • There is an escalator between the floors which is convenient for those who are unable to or prefer not to take the stairs.
  • Those kids fascinated with riding up and down will have fun since there are lovely views of the entire facility from the second story.

Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s toys

  • The restaurant aims to seat and feeds customers quickly and efficiently and, generally speaking, there are no long waiting times or lines.
  • The day we visited there was a  group of teens including the birthday girl heading to a local quinceanera party, all dressed in formal wear that came in for a quick bite.
  • There is free Wi-Fi, so if your child is bored or antsy, it is possible to keep them occupied with an iPad or other handheld device and the restaurant also has plasma screens that can be an excellent source of distraction.

Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s dresses

  • As it is a busy place, the noise level can be substantial but easily blocked out by headphones if your child is noise-sensitive.
  • The menus are bright and engaging and come with accompanying pictures for those who are unable to read.There is a children’s menu as well as gluten-free options.

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