The unique and extremely popular [citation needed] authority on pop culture since 2008

last updated on

written by Sam Greenspan

Cover photo. A restaurant bearing the initials OFC in white font written in red background with the face of a smiling Barrack Obama. Clearly a ripoff of KFC restaurant.

China has a knack for creating knockoff restaurants of American fast food chains — and they often do it in a surreal fashion.

Ever since I did my list of 11 Amazing Fake Harry Potter Books Written In China I’ve wanted to do another list on China’s knockoff industry. While the U.S. is busy innovating, China is busy duplicating so I know there is no shortage of imitative products in the country.

This week, I finally found enough good copycat fast-food restaurants to make this list. It’s just a coincidence that I’m posting it during the Chinese New Year.

11 knockoff restaurants in China copied from the U.S.

Here are 11 great fast food impostors in China. (Not to be confused with Panda Express, which impersonates Chinese food.)

1 | In-N-Out fast food chain – Double Double? Animal Style fries? Protein Style? I know those menu items

In-N-Out fast food chain ripoff in China.

It’s actually a really good thing this is a fake. How pissed would every American east of Arizona be if China got an In-N-Out before they did?

2 | Cheese Burger – A Burger King knockoff meets a John Belushi sketch

Cheese Burger restaurant. A Chinese Burger King knockoff.

It’s the Burger King logo, but can you really reduce that restaurant to just cheeseburgers? They put cheese on a hell of a lot more things than just burgers, my Chinese friends.

3 | Star F*cks – Well this is just offensive!

A Chinese Star F*cks "coffe" shop.

They got the logo right but I can’t believe they had the audacity to spell “coffee” wrong.

4 | Mak Dak – You may call this a McDonald’s impostor…

Mak Dak restaurant in China, a ripoff version of the famous  McDonald's.

… I call it a tribute to Scrooge McDuck. I wonder if there’s a giant pile of gold coins inside. (Perhaps replacing the traditional McDonald’s playground ball pit? Work with me here, Mak Dak. Work with me.)

5 | Dairy Fairy – Apparently they serve the “Ice Storm” instead of the Blizzard

Dairy Fairy, a Chinese copycat version of the U.S. restaurant, Dairy Queen.

Based on the looks of that menu, I like how the knockoff Dairy Queen is also accompanied by a fake Orange Julius. I guess they couldn’t put it on the marquee because under their “Dairy Fairy” naming conventions they’d need a rhyme with “Orange.”

And as everyone who’s ever read a trivia fact off a popsicle stick knows, there’s no word in the English language that rhymes with orange.

(Which is why, one day, I will push to name my first child Norange or Lorange Greenspan. If they’re twins, I can use both.)

6 | Apple Eleven? Seven Apples? – It’s a ripoff mashup!

A mashup ripoff of Apple and 7-Eleven stores.

This is one of those classic Chinese knockoffs that just jam together two popular logos to see what comes out — like a picture of Mickey Mouse on a shirt with the word “Reebok” under it or something. Here we’ve got the Apple logo stuck in between the 7-Eleven stripes. With all the reports of fake Apple Stores in China, maybe they were trying to rip off those ripoffs?

(Also, I stand by including 7-Eleven as a fast food restaurant. If you’d see the way my friend Nathan has eaten their grab-and-go tacquitos for the past 13 years, you’d consider 7-Eleven a fast food restaurant too.)

7 | Taco Bell Grande

Chinese people crossing the pedestrian in front of Taco Bell Grande, a replica of the original Taco Bell restaurant in the U.S.

I got conflicting reports, but this one might actually be sanctioned by Taco Bell. I’m skeptical, though, because it’s called “Taco Bell Grande,” the bell logo looks nothing like the real logo, and the menu consists of items like ox tail soup.

Most damning of all? This place looks far too upscale to be an actual Taco Bell.

8 | Pizza Huh?

Pizza Huh restaurant in China.

This fake Pizza Huh exists in a country where people have come up with a way to build a special, three-foot food tower out of cucumbers and carrots so they can maximize the one-trip-only rules at actual Pizza Hut buffets. Perhaps now the Pizza Huh business is actually more profitable.

9 | McDonald’s becomes Michael Alone

People eating in front of the restaurant Michael Alone, which borrows a logo of the "M" in McDonald's but upside down.

The upside-down McDonald’s “M” makes me think there’s only one man who could’ve pulled off this dastardly knockoff — Wario. (Or maybe Waluigi. Or maybe Ronald WcDonald.)

10 | Obama Fried Chicken? – I mean… this has to be considered racist, right?

A restaurant bearing the initials OFC in white font written in red background with the face of a smiling Barrack Obama. Clearly a ripoff of KFC restaurant.

Back in October, this KFC knockoff in Beijing made itself an “OFC,” for “Obama Fried Chicken.” Probably not the best move when you’re infringing on major international copyrights.

This drew enough attention that they ended up changing their name to “UFO.” Still using KFC colors, fonts, and styles, still ripping off their menu — but now they’re taunting aliens instead of the U.S. The Vegas line would be *tight* on which one of those will attack China first.

11 | But that’s not the only knockoff KFC in China..

More knockoff KFC restaurants in China with varying initials but still recognizable copycats.

Here are four knockoff restaurants (probably of many others too) — FBC, KFG, KLG and MFC. Basically, they just threw any combo of three English letters at the wall and chose what stuck. It’s like when American teenagers get random Chinese character tattoos.