Formidable! Burger King Returns to France Chain departed the country in 1997 By Mark Russell, Newser Staff Posted Nov 30, 2012 9:10 AM CST 8 comments Comments A Burger King restaurant in Springfield, Ill., on Aug. 24, 2010. After a 15-year absence, the fast food franchise is returning to France. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) (Newser) – Call it The Remembrance of Onion Rings Past. The French are buzzing over the return of Burger King after an absence of more than 15 years, reports the New York Times. The first Burger King opened on Paris' Champs Elysées in 1980, but fast food was a foreign concept at the time, and the franchise called it quits in 1997. Since then, however, absence has made the French heart grow somewhat fonder, and news of Burger King's return had #BurgerKing trending in France. "The outlets closed but a myth was born among French aficionados," wrote one critic recently. "Burger King is in their eyes the sole and authentic hamburger with the taste of America. Everything else is just a pale imitation—junk food!" Those seeking Whoppers will have just two locations to buy them at: one in Marseille and another in Champagne.