Finding ourselves in Dickinson, North Dakota, at dinner time and with no reservations, we stopped at the local McDonald’s hoping for a decent meal. After a brief wait behind a white caravan filled with half a local high school sports team, and a green Pontiac firebird with two 20 things on a date, we were greeted by the friendly voice emanating from the screen and the speaker. We explained that we did not have reservations and since it was Friday night, we asked if they could accommodate us. The disembodied voice assured us that it would not be a problem.

A little history:

Kelly’s McDonalds is located at 212 Museum Drive, Dickinson ND 58601. A great place for a quick bite to eat after visiting the Dakota Dinosaur Museum located 0.01 miles east. In addition to quick and accurate access through the window, the property offers a smoke-free indoor dining room and a seasonal covered outdoor dining area behind the restaurant.

The menu:

Kelly’s McDonald’s offers a good selection of American food; which includes a variety of hamburgers and cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken strips and nuggets, wraps, salads, fries, colas, smoothies and coffees. Prices tend to be slightly higher as the area is in the midst of an oil boom and many of the oil and drilling support services companies are housing their workers in surrounding hotels and motels.

My husband chose the double quarter pound with cheese, fries, and an iced tea. Our almost 5 year old son preferred the ten piece chicken nuggets with ranch dressing and ice water. I opted for the grilled chicken and bacon ranch salad with an iced tea to complement.

Our food came quickly and as ordered. The professionally prepared burger and tender nuggets were served in an attractive thick cardboard container with eye-catching graphics proclaiming the contents of the package. The fries were wrapped in a paper sleeve that provided easy access to the delicious lightly salty potato sandwiches. My Bacon Grilled Chicken Ranch Salad was pleasantly stored in a plastic container, although a little difficult to open after stealing a potato chip (ok, more like 5). The duly cooled sweet teas were poured into polystyrene jugs with just the right amount of ice.

The service:

The person at the counter who accepted our payment was humorless, strictly business-like, and very efficient and accurate. She has a great future as an accountant, or perhaps as a prison warden.

The person who led us to the window that delivered our food was friendly and helpful, asking if we would need extra croutons, ketchup, or napkins. We thought he was going to be an excellent logistics manager once he got through the uneasy and grainy era of his life and graduated from high school.

The hours:

Restaurant: Sunday through Thursday from 5 am to 11 pm Friday and Saturday from 5 am to 12 am Drive Thru: Same as the restaurant.


The neon decor is typical fast food, but it’s not overly offensive or distracting. Lacks musical accompaniment once the car stereo has been muted for ordering. Typical patrons are hordes of local college students hanging out after class, high school sports teams grabbing a quick snack before the long and arduous journey back to the dark city where they come from, and starving oil field workers. . All in all, Kelly’s McDonald’s offers a fast and filling meal for a family on the go.

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