Historic McDonalds Museum
1398 N E Street
San Bernardino, CA 92405
Open Daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Years Won: 2020, 2019, 2018 (Favorite)
Fast food, especially McDonald’s, is paradoxically personal – that must be why this “unofficial” museum in a humble San Bernardino neighborhood draws up to 200 visitors per day, many from around the world. They hear about the tribute to the original McDonald’s on social media and through the Internet. It is located on the site of Dick and Maurice McDonald’s first restaurant (opened Dec. 12, 1948, demolished in 1972) to use McDonalds’ assembly-line “Speedee” system for delivering lots of consistently good hamburgers, fries, and shakes, very quickly. When milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc saw why the place needed so many of his multi-mixers – well, the rest is history.
The museum’s owner, Juan Pollo founder Albert Okura, might call it destiny. He grew up eating McDonald’s and it changed his life by finding him a home in the fast food business. A huge admirer of Kroc, the McDonalds, and their model of providing affordable food to all and business opportunities to anyone with determination, in 1998 Okura bought the property almost on a fluke and launched its Grand Opening on Dec. 12, McDonalds’ 50th anniversary. Twenty-one years later, it’s an international tourist hot-spot!