This McDonald’s in Connecticut Charges Nearly $18 for a Big Mac Meal—Here’s Why

Updated: Jul. 31, 2023

We've never seen combo meals with prices THIS high…

At this point, it’s common knowledge that McDonald’s offers cheap prices for a meal when you’re on the go.

However, not all McDonald’s locations are created equal, and the prices for these items can vary depending on where you are in the country—or even the world. Some McDonald’s locations charge significantly more than others, and according to a photo of a McDonald’s menu located in Darien, Connecticut that recently went viral on Twitter, those prices could even cause your jaw to drop.

What’s the Big Mac Controversy?

@xconmedia #mcdonaldsprices #stimulusmoney #inflation2023 #recession2023 #pricesgoingup ♬ original sound – Xcon Media ✩

This controversy first came up when a TikTok video was posted showing his reaction to seeing the menu at the McDonald’s at a rest stop along Interstate 95 in Darien.

Then recently again, a user on Twitter posted about the menu prices and commented about how absurdly high they are.

As you can see, many of the combo meals available at this McDonald’s in Darien are astronomically high compared to other McDonald’s locations across the country. According to this recent post, a Big Mac combo meal can set you back by $17.59, and if you order through a delivery service such as Uber Eats, the combo meal will cost you $20.89.

This cost is significantly more expensive than the average cost for a Big Mac Combo, let alone in a Big Mac in general, which costs $8.29 for the sandwich alone at this location. According to Statista, the average cost of a Big Mac in the United States is $5.15. The most expensive average is in Switzerland, where an average Big Mac costs $7.26.

However, Darien’s Big Mac costs 14% more than Switzerland’s average, and data from Pantry and Larder proves this price would be dubbed the most expensive Big Mac in the country. The cheapest Big Mac can be found in Stigler, Oklahoma at just $3.49.

Why Is This Big Mac So Expensive?

McDonald's is giving away free big macs for the burger's 50th birthdays3studio/Getty Images

Although management from the Darien I-95 McDonald’s location has yet to respond to any requests for comment about their prices, there are a few reasons why this particular location is able to set their prices so high.

The first has to do with their location. Chain restaurants available at rest stops already charge significantly more for their meals due to the cost of location and labor, plus being in a prime spot for travelers. Darien’s location is less than an hour outside of New York City lines, making it ideal for commuters or tourists who need a quick breakfast or dinner as they head in or out of the city.

Rest areas such as the one in Darien are owned by the state’s Department of Transportation, which could come with extra fees to pay for that location. This particular rest area is listed as a Connecticut Service Plaza and offers a variety of food, shopping, and service options for travelers.

However, if you were to compare Darien’s prices to a service plaza just down the road in Milford, the prices are still vastly different. According to Uber Eats, a Big Mac combo costs $17.39, which is $3.50 cheaper compared to Darien. And if you were to actually exit off the highway, the meal gets even cheaper at just $11.59 at the location in Milford on Post Road.

So are other restaurants getting away from the same type of price inflation? Looking at prices at other chains available in Darien, it seems that not everyone is taking advantage of the location compared to McDonald’s. Dunkin’ in Darien is offering the same prices compared to Milford’s service place; a Bacon Egg and Cheese on a bagel costs $9.23 in both locations, according to DoorDash.

In conclusion, what does this mean for Big Mac lovers on the road? If you’re looking to save money and you don’t want to deal with the preposterous prices you see at a rest area, it may be best to actually exit off the highway and find a location in a town nearby. The prices are likely significantly cheaper, and without all of the other travelers rolling through, the lines could even be shorter.

Or why not save even more money and make your own version yourself with these copycat McDonald’s recipes?