Where To Find The Best French Fries In America

When it comes to quintessential comfort foods, french fries are easily some of the most famed — and ubiquitous — snacks, side dishes, and meals in America. Despite their Belgian origins (and their Francophile name), they've risen up the Americana comfort food ranks to hold court alongside other heavy-hitters like burgers, pizza, and fried chicken. From high-end steakhouses and neighborhood brasseries to fast food restaurants and even grocery store freezer aisles, fried spuds can be found in just about every type of restaurant or shop across the country.

Not only are they an omnipresent menu staple, but french fries are also some of the most versatile dishes, served frequently as a side or even as its own entree (see: poutine or cheese fries). They also come in an array of different cuts and shapes, from crinkle-cut and thick steak fries to waffles fries, sweet potato fries, and crispy shoestring fries. Across America, the best french fries take many forms, whether they're being dunked in mussels broth a la moules frites, slathered in sauce, battered in beer, seasoned with spices, or even doused with barbecue sauce. If you're putting together a french fry bucket list, these are the best in America.

Hopleaf - Chicago

In European-style bistros, brasseries, and bars, mussels and french fries go together like peanut butter and jelly — or in Chicago's case, hot dogs and neon-green relish. Moules frites is one of the most popular menu items (via Steve Dolinsky) at Hopleaf, a longstanding institution in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood. Renowned for its Belgian beer list and cozy brasserie-style confines, the bar is also known for its spectacular frites.

While the food menu goes above and beyond the call of "bar food" duty with items like cashew butter and fig jam sandwiches, wood-grilled butternut squash, and German apple cake, the only dish listed under the "Our Specialty" section of the menu is mussels and fries. A match made in beer-friendly heaven, the crispy and salty shoestring-style fries are heaped in a paper cone with a dipping cup of garlicky aïoli alongside a crock of plump, buttery Atlantic mussels steamed in Belgian beer. Whether dunked in the hot broth or the aïoli, the fries pair perfectly with the salinity of the mussels and the warm, fragrant beer — in this case, a Belgian wheat beer called Unibroue Blanche de Chambly.

Spark - Oklahoma City

A stylish and flashy fast-casual burger restaurant in downtown Oklahoma City's Scissortail Park, Spark serves something called "pink fries," which are as Instagrammable as they are tasty (via 405 Magazine). Like any good crinkle-cut fry worth its weight in salt, these are fluffy and light on the inside, and perfectly crisp around its crackly exterior. Not only that, but they retain their texture under a decadent drizzle of eccentric sauce.

The pink sauce gets its lustrous hue from beets, which lends a pleasant sweetness and earthiness to the dish without overpowering the inherent flavor of the spuds. In terms of sauces, it's also a lot lighter and more delicate than something like cheese fries or poutine. The whole thing is then topped with a sprinkling of parmesan and parsley, rounding it out with some subtle hints of herbs and salty cheese. It's not too often french fries come all dressed up in hot pink, so these are well worth ordering for the tasty novelty alone.

Good Bad & Ugly - West Chester, Pennsylvania

One of the great things about french fries is that while they can be enjoyed by themselves, they're just as delicious when used as a blank canvas for other ingredients and flavors, heaped with toppings and strewn with sauces. It's one dish that can be as simple or as indulgent as you'd like. In terms of the latter, look no further than snug subterranean bar Good Bad & Ugly, a colorful watering hole (via Downtown West Chester) underneath Stove and Tap in the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester.

Known primarily as a drinking destination, the bar has contrived the ultimate booze-friendly bar snack, hearty enough to soak up the alcohol and pair handily with any cocktail or beer. The tap fries are like a meaty poutine, topped with succulent smoked brisket, molten beer cheese, and cheese curds, the latter of which are melted just enough to ooze onto the fries while still retaining their trademark chew (and allowing the fries themselves to maintain their crispy crunch). A melange of textures and decadent flavors, these knife-and-fork french fries are raising the bar on pub grub fare.

Back Table Kitchen & Bar - The Woodlands, Texas

Some of the best french fries in America are lurking in one of the most unassuming places: a nondescript restaurant located next to a golf course at The Woodlands Resorts in the Houston suburb by the same name. Despite its modest name and unassuming locale, Back Table Kitchen & Bar is serving destination-worthy food on par with anything in Houston proper, from oysters and house-smoked rib-eye to (you guessed it) the fries.

After recently bringing on a new chef de cuisine with a Michelin-starred pedigree, Jonathan Lestingi (via Visit The Woodlands), Back Table Kitchen & Bar has seriously raised the stakes (or, more aptly, "steaks") on modern American tavern fare. It's evident all over the Creole-inspired menu (the chef moved to The Woodlands from New Orleans and brought a bit of that culinary culture with him), but the fries are particularly notable. Thick-cut wedges are fried in duck fat, which results in an extra-crispy exterior and an interior that's super rich and smooth (via Duck Char). Not only are they masterfully fried, they're served as the go-to sides for fish and chips and steak frites, the latter of which is singularly epic thanks to the accompanying smoked onion béarnaise that makes for a game-changing dipping sauce.

Beaut Burger - Tucson

Veggie burger joints might not seem like the most obvious destination for deep-fried comfort food, but Beaut Burger is one meat-free spot that doesn't shy away from flavor. This vegetarian burger concept, a casual counter-service operation in a shipping container park called the MSA Annex on Tucson's west side, is so legit that you won't miss the beef burger one bit — and the fries are so good that they're worth the visit for sides alone.

Not only are the eclectic burgers unique and exciting (toppings include peanut butter, tamarind chutney, and pepita pesto, while buns include slow-fermented English muffins and gluten-free millet and chia seed rolls), but the fries are equally as thrilling. Prepared in that rustic, fresh-cut Americana style you typically find at state fairs and carnivals, they're available as hand-cut russet potatoes or sweet potatoes. The cream of the crop are the sweet potato fries, which are also hand-cut, tender, and bright orange on the inside, with a delicate crispness around the exterior and just a hint of sweetness. Pair them with one of the optional dipping sauces, like chipotle mayo, tomato aîoli, or tamarind chutney, to really kick things up a notch and tinker with the delightful combination of sweet and savory.

The Polite Pig - Orlando

In terms of meaty all-American food pairings, french fries go just as well with barbecue as they do with burgers. Case in point: The Polite Pig, a fantastic — and wildly underrated, per the Mickey Blog — fast-casual barbecue restaurant in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World. A far cry from the typical touristy trappings within the parks, this real-deal restaurant is owned by the folks who run the acclaimed gastropub The Ravenous Pig in nearby Winter Park — it even earned a recent Bib Gourmand recognition from the Michelin Guide (via Click Orlando).

Unlike timeworn barbecue institutions you might find in Texas or Memphis, The Polite Pig features fun riffs on barbecue staples along with American comfort foods, like fries. The fry of choice here is the barbecue waffle fries, which are thick, tender, fluffy, and crispy all at once, and dusted with the same "Polite Rub" used on their meats (via Disney Food Blog). Said seasoning not only ties the fries together seamlessly with the entrees but imbues them with a heady smokiness that's totally unique in the world of french fries.

Dame - New York City

Any English-inspired restaurant worth its sea salt is going to have killer french fries — or in this case, killer British-style chips. Fish and chips are the star of the show at Dame, a modern English seafood restaurant that rose to acclaim (via The New York Times) as a takeout-only pop-up during the pandemic, before settling into its own brick-and-mortar restaurant (via Time Out). The menu item driving that fanfare? The fish and chips (via The New Yorker).

Not to be outdone by the seafood, the chips are just as destination-worthy at Dame — thick-cut and crunchy on the outside, and soft, warm, and fluffy on the inside. A perfect complement to the equally golden fish, they're also just as good when dunked in the accompanying zesty tartar sauce. Like classic fish and chips, it's all served with malt vinegar and fresh lemon, both of which lend the dish acidity to help balance all that deep-fried goodness.

Broken Shaker - Miami

A pioneer in Miami's mixology scene that's known for its whimsical, intricate cocktails in a jungle-chic poolside setting (via Conde Nast Traveler) a bit off the beaten path on South Beach, Broken Shaker's hearty bar snacks are just as fantastical and noteworthy. This is particularly true of their fries, which eschew standard french fries for boldly seasoned shawarma fries with harissa ketchup (via Miami New Times).

Indicative of the bar's internationally-inspired potables and edibles (the menu also features oyster mushroom pita sandwiches, kimchi fried chicken sandwiches, and guacamole with tostones in lieu of tortilla chips), the thin-cut shawarma fries are seasoned with traditional shawarma spices — like cinnamon, chili powder, black pepper, and garlic — and served with a heady harissa-infused ketchup, which cuts the inherent sweetness of the condiment with its mild heat. Altogether, it takes a familiar bar snack and injects it with a jolt of fragrant flavor with each ketchup-dipped bite.

Ocmulgee Brewpub - Macon, Georgia

Among the most popular pastimes in American dining culture, burgers and french fries go together like mac and cheese — but fries are often relegated to side dish status, served simply and unadorned (aside from a sprinkle of salt and a dunk of ketchup). This is most certainly not the case at Ocmulgee Brewpub, a charming and modern Macon brewery that puts as much emphasis on high-quality food as it does its beer.

Here, thin hand-cut fries come in a variety of unique and tasty options, so customers can mix and match them with their burger of choice, like the Smokey Appleation with Wisconsin cheddar, smoked bacon, grilled apple spices, red onions, and housemade beer mustard or barbecue sauce. Just as flavor-packed are the fries, with options like pungent truffle fries tossed in parmesan and white truffle oil and served with truffle aïoli; bleu buffalo fries dressed with tangy buffalo sauce, ranch, and bleu cheese; and classic fries with any number of sauce options, including chipotle mayo, honey mustard, beer mustard, jalapeño ranch, and smoky barbecue.

The Puritan Backroom - Manchester, New Hampshire

One of the most iconic and enduring restaurants in New Hampshire, the Puritan Backroom is a James Beard award-winning classic that puts all of its heart and soul into Americana comfort foods but is especially known for its legacy-making chicken tenders (via boston.com). And what pairs more perfectly with a crispy, juicy chicken tender than a heap of french fries?

Fries are the go-to side that comes with The Puritan's famed fried chicken tenders, and they're just as hot, tender, and greasy (in the best way possible) as that prized poultry. Spicy fries and sweet potato fries are also available options, but the standard spuds, perfectly seasoned with salt and fresh from the fryer, hold their own. Especially when you dunk them in the sweet and tangy duck sauce — a destination-worthy condiment in itself (via USA Today) — that comes with the fried chicken. You'll forget about ketchup entirely.

Spitfire Smokehouse - Moab, Utah

Sure, french fries can be deep-fried without any additional breading or batter, but adding beer makes things way more interesting. At Spitfire Smokehouse, a Carolina-inspired barbecue joint (via H&M Moab Properties) in the small town of Moab in the Utah high desert, beer-battered french fries are the bill of fare, developing a thicker texture and deeper flavor thanks to the extra layer of beer batter they're dipped in before hitting the deep-fryer.

The beer batter helps the fries hold their own — and retain a potent punch of flavor and crispy texture — alongside meaty menu items like pulled pork sandwiches and the tri-tip platter. Plus, the extra batter on the fries will help you carbo-load for a day of hiking in nearby Arches National Park. Pro tip: don't waste the sauce on the meat; french fries are just as tasty when dunked in mustardy barbecue sauce.

Story Inn - Story, Indiana

Nestled in the quiet, fairytale-esque woodlands of Brown County State Park in rural Indiana, Story Inn is a veritable oasis of shockingly good food (including fine dining-style tasting menus) in the middle of basically nowhere — the town of Story is a teeny sliver of a forested community that looks preserved in time (via Visit Indiana).

One of the greatest surprises hiding at this adorably rickety, cozy inn is the basement bar and tavern, where hefty burgers come heaped with bacon jam and ham sandwiches come with lemon saffron aïoli on sweet Hawaiian rolls. The side of choice that accompanies said sandwiches and burgers are french fries (chips, mac and cheese, and potato salad are all worthwhile options as well). Like the timeworn inn itself, the fries here are beautiful in their simplicity. Served without any pomp and circumstance or exotic seasonings, it's all about the high-quality potatoes that are hand-cut, fried to order, and served in a salted smattering of crispy, golden-brown deliciousness.

Majordōmo - Los Angeles

On the outset, Majordōmo, a bastion of meats and Korean-inflected fare from celebrity chef David Chang, may not seem like the most obvious place to find a life-altering plate of french fries (especially since they're not even technically on the menu), but this restaurant indeed has some of the best in the country — you just need to ask. They're called "BS Fries" (via Food Talk Central), and they're an off-menu hit among insiders and ardent french fry connoisseurs.

Named after podcaster Bill Simmons (via @BillSimmons), a super fan of David Chang and french fries, these are some of the most unique fries in the country. Rather than piled into a haphazard heap, they can be ordered as an off-menu side that comes as a handful of large, extra-long fries that are perfectly salty, crispy, crunchy, and greasy in the best way possible. Rather than being served with ketchup, they come with a velvety cheese sauce, making this dish some of the fanciest cheese fries you're likely to find. Of note: the Las Vegas outpost of Majordōmo is now closed (via Casino.org), so if you want your extravagant cheese fry fix, you're gonna need to hoof it to Los Angeles.

Lolita's Mexican Food - San Diego

A longstanding family-run institution in the San Diego dining scene (now with multiple locations), Lolita's Mexican Food has endured thanks to its tried-and-true recipes and wholesome, authentic cuisine. But this shouldn't suggest that the restaurant is afraid to tinker with playful Americana-style flavors. For every authentic tortas and tacos, there's a novel fan-favorite invention, like the carne asada fries (via Taste Atlas).

When it comes to crispy deep-fried sides, most Mexican restaurants are known as temples of tortilla chips. While you can certainly gorge on housemade tortilla chips here, french fries are the sleeper hit. Classic shoestring-style fries really shine when heaped with succulent sliced carne asada, still redolent with smoke and char from the grill, along with guacamole, sour cream, cheddar, and cotija cheese. Altogether, it's kind of like a french fried version of nachos, but with more textural depth thanks to the use of fries over paper-thin chips.

Duckfat - Portland, Maine

One surefire way to elevate the flavor and texture of french fries (regardless of shape or style) is to fry the potatoes in duck fat (via Prepared Cooks). If you're looking to change up your french fry experience with some duck fat, what better place than a restaurant literally called Duckfat? Located in Portland, Maine, the quaint European-style bistro specializes in soulful — and unabashedly decadent — Belgian cuisine, with a particular penchant for Belgian frites (via A Family Feast).

The frites here are the signature dish, and they come thin-cut, hand-punched, and twice-fried in duck fat, which imbues each fry with an extra-crispy crunch and richer flavor. They're piled into paper cones and served with your choice of dipping sauce, like truffle ketchup, Thai chili mayo, horseradish mayo, and aïoli. To really kick things up a notch, Duckfat also serves poutine, where the frites are strewn with local cheese curds, duck gravy, and chives. The frites formula has proven so ravenously successful that the restaurant expanded to a casual walk-up window concept, Duckfat Frites Shack.