Things The US Has That Europe Lacks

Things The US Has That Europe Lacks

“It’s everywhere in America — but still illegal in Germany and most other European countries.”

If you’ve ever been to Europe, you probably know there are lots of things about European culture you won’t find in the US (think: stunning, Medieval architecture that has survived hundreds of years, free universal healthcare, yada yada.) But it’s also true that the US has some things that the European continent lacks.


“The whole US National Parks system. It’s just amazing. It’s open 24/7, there are maps available, trails laid out, and camping spots designated. It’s the most treasured and under-appreciated thing in the US, IMO.”

Matteo Colombo / Getty Images


“Giant superstores like Walmart where you can buy groceries, furniture, a pet fish, and new glasses all in the same place.”

Bob Riha Jr / Getty Images


“Good Mexican food. It doesn’t exist in Europe. I ordered a burrito in Berlin and it was worse than Taco Bell.”

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“Boozy Sunday brunch. The only other country where I’ve seen this phenomenon is in England. Most other European countries more or less shut down on Sundays. Not the US, where the Sunday norm is to drink unlimited mimosas and watch football.”


“Incredible geographic diversity. In one country (and even in a single state like California) we have mountains, deserts, tropics, sweeping plains, fertile farmland, tundra, huge beaches, and rugged coastlines.”


“Turning right on red. It’s still illegal in Germany and most other European countries.”

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“Mac ‘n’ cheese that comes in a box with dehydrated cheese.”


“Television ads for prescription drugs. Here in Europe we get ads for over the counter drugs like cold or flu medicine, but the thought of seeing an advertisement for something you need to see a doctor for like ADHD meds, antidepressants, or blood thinners is absolutely bonkers to me.”


“Easy access to root beer.”


“Spacious refrigerators. Ours are so much smaller. Here in France, we call the style frigos américains — large fridges with big freezers, usually with two separate door sections and often in stainless steel. Bonus points for an automatic ice maker. They’ve become one of the trendier appliances people want in their homes here.”


“Barbecue! As an added bonus, different states have their own twists and specialities, and it’s all so freaking good. Before I came to the US, BBQ meant store-bought burgers and sausages on a grill during summer. Now it has a whole need meaning.”


“The ability to live in just about any climate or landscape and still be an American citizen. You can choose basically any landscape that Earth has to offer and you can still be in the US, whether you like mountains, volcanoes, the beach, the desert, the prairie, the rainforest, etc. The US has it.”

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“Wide open space. You can start in Kansas, drive 400 miles, and still be in Kansas. You can’t do that in Europe.”

Edwin Remsberg / Getty Images


“A zillion kinds of breakfast cereal. I lived in Europe for a while and when I came back to the states I found myself constantly overwhelmed by all of the different cereals at the grocery store.”

Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images


“So much diversity when it comes to food. In most given US towns you’ll find so many cuisines. I have a Mongolian restaurant next to a Korean BBQ restaurant next to a Hawaiian restaurant next to a Greek restaurant, etc…”

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“Corn tortillas. 😭 I’m sure they’re somewhere in Europe… but not so much in Britain. Here they just sell things called corn tortillas that are actually 90% flour.”


“Free refills. These unlimited cups of sugary delights are slowly killing us Americans, but that Mountain Dew tastes so good.”


“Huge houses. I’m from the UK and it looks like the houses in suburban and rural parts of the US are a million times bigger than they are here.”


“An excellent variety of content on streaming services. I have to tell you, the Netflix selection throughout Europe is pure shit.”

Maskot / Getty Images/Maskot


“So many soft drinks. I really envy the variety in the US. There are so many great options, even in the sugar free category. It’s improving here in the UK, but our selection is still pretty minimal by comparison.”

Jeff Greenberg / Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


“24-hour access to food almost everywhere. The majority of the world doesn’t have late night fast food restaurants or grocery stores that stay open all hours of the night. In America, if I need groceries pre-dawn? I know I can find them.”

Jaykay57 / Getty Images/iStockphoto


“The Mountain West region, specifically the Rocky Mountains and the Red Rocks. I’ve lived next to the Red Rocks in Utah and Colorado, I grew up in the Tetons, and I’ve lived near the Rockies. Europe is so beautiful, but IMO the Mountain West is one of the most stunning places on earth.”


“The Grand Canyon. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve visited and you can’t see anything like it anywhere else.”

Dean Fikar / Getty Images


“College sports. In Europe, universities compete with each other in sports, but it’s nothing compared to the scale of and enthusiasm for college sports in America.”

Tom Pennington / Getty Images


“Garbage disposal units installed beneath the kitchen sink. What a luxury.”

Susan Vineyard / Getty Images/iStockphoto


“Ranch dressing. Believe it or not, I know Americans who have packed bottles of Ranch when moving to other countries.”

Lauripatterson / Getty Images/iStockphoto


“Diners, where you can find fast and cheap comfort food available at all hours. One of the best meals you will ever eat is American diner food at 2 a.m.”


“Florida Man stories. Europe just has “the English tourist on holiday in Ibiza.”


“Free tap water offered to you at restaurants. In Europe, you have to specify that you want tap water — otherwise you’ll automatically be charged for a fancy bottle.”


“So many extracurricular activities in schools. Playing a specific sport or being part of a team isn’t something schools offer in Europe. I have cousins who live in Texas and the fact that their school has tennis courts and a pool blows my mind. Some schools here have small clubs like theater or choir, but the options hardly compare to those offered at schools in the states. Your high school theater plays look like professional productions sometimes.”


“Massive tubs of cheap peanut butter. Its rare to find and expensive in most of Europe, sold only in small 4-8oz jars.”

Austin Benight / Getty Images/EyeEm


“Perfect conditions for road trips. The US has nicely paved roads and highways that span from coast to coast, no border control, frequent gas stations, and lots of motels.”

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“Drive-thru everything, from Starbucks to banks. In my hometown we have a drive-through liquor store.”

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