Did you know that Downey California is home to the oldest existing McDonald’s? Last fall I was driving to South Gate and my GPS took me through Downey. As I passed by this McDonald’s I immediately turned around to check it out. I absolutely loved the sign! Little did I know how special and unique this particular location is.

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oldest existing mcdonald's

As you walk up to order your burger you will immediately notice how different this location is compared to almost any other McDonald’s. Not only is the McDonald’s in Downey the oldest existing location, but it was also the last to join the Kroc franchise.

downey mcdonald'sThis location remained independent until the 1990s and that is why they were able to keep the original look. The only other big difference is that they can still deep-fry apple pies. Some parents might be disappointed by the lack of a play area but this location, in particular, is more for people who appreciate the impact that McDonald’s has had on our society for better or worse.

mcdonald's in downey

I love that there is a sign above the order windows that lists the prices from when this location opened in 1953. The sign claims that the $1 hamburger is a better value today than it was in 1955 when it was 15 cents. Even though you order outdoors there is an indoor seating area as shown in the picture above off to the right.

mcdonald's museum

There is also a mini-museum inside the seating area. This part is really interesting to check out and is a fun bonus for coming to this location.

The Address For the Oldest Existing McDonald’s

10201 Lakewood Blvd Downey, CA 90241

the original mcdonaldsOn a recent road trip to Las Vegas, I stopped by the original McDonald’s in San Bernardino. All that remains is the sign but there is a mini-museum with a bunch of random McDonald’s merchandise. This is not worth a drive solely for this but if you are headed somewhere and this is on the way definitely stop by.

in n out baldwin park

If you are interested in nostalgic burger spots you might be interested in checking out the In N Out Replica. This fun little spot is a recreation of the original In N Out. It is really interesting to check out. Plus, down the road, you’ll find an In N Out Store!

About The Author

Michelle Ares is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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