America’s Most Outrageous French Fries
25. Urban Fries — Jack’s Urban Eats, Sacramento, Calif.
This laid-back mini-chain of restaurants in the Sacramento area offers a menu of elevated diner foods, and even features a salad bar. The signature dish here is the Urban Fries, which come topped with a pungent combination of blue cheese, spicy chile oil, and crushed red chile flakes. The result is earthy with a kick of heat.
24. Loaded Crack Fries — HopCat, Detroit, Mich.
“Don’t worry. We won’t tell your friends” promises HopCat on their menu. They’re referring to their Crack Fries, which are beer battered and sprinkled with a special cracked black pepper house seasoning. The way to go here, though, is the Loaded Crack Fries: their signature Crack Fries topped with cheese sauce, red onion, jalapeños, and cherry-smoked bacon. It’s a habit we think is well worth picking up.
23. Thai Ginger Fries — the Centennial Tavern at Jonesy's (formerly Jonesy’s EatBar), Denver, Colo.
22. Pommes Frites with Pomegranate Teriyaki Mayonnaise — Pommes Frites, New York, N.Y.
One of the most popular fries-only establishments in the country, Pommes Frites in New York’s East Village serves up cones of freshly fried Belgian-style frites to hungry Manhattanites. The sauces here are where things get interesting, exemplified by the addictively delicious pomegranate teriyaki mayo.
21. Tornado Potato — Tornado Potato, Anaheim, Calif.
This popular South Korean street food dish is about as fun to look at as it is to eat — the potatoes are spiral-cut, skewered, and deep-fried. Tornado Potato’s wacky-looking fries are topped with everything from Cajun seasoning to caramel and chocolate sauces. They’re even available wrapped around a sausage.
20. Chile and Cocoa Waffle Fries — Max Brenner, New York, N.Y.
19. Ooey Gooey Fries — Chego, Los Angeles, Calif.
Roy Choi’s Chinatown eatery claims to be all about rice, but they know how to treat a potato, too. Exhibit A is their Ooey Gooey Fries, which come beer-battered with sour cream sambal; Monterey jack, Cheddar, and cotija cheeses; chiles; cilantro; and pickled garlic. True to their name, they are ooey, gooey, and very tasty.
18. Pastrami Gravy Fries — Plan Check, Los Angeles, Calif.
Served as a special menu item at their Fairfax and Sawtelle locations, Plan Check’s Pastrami Gravy Fries were named on laist’s Best Dressed Fries list. No surprise there, as they are fried in beef tallow (the way McDonald’s used to treat their golden strings) and then covered in chopped pastrami, pastrami gravy, chopped pickles, and Swiss cheese.
17. Poutine with All the Add Ons — Saus, Boston, Mass.
The team at Saus is serious about sauce — that’s why they offer more than 15 choices on their menu with which to decorate your order of pommes frites. However, the go-big-or-go-home option here is their poutine with all the add ons. It starts with frites topped with cheese curds from Pineland Farms and beef–chicken gravy; you can complete the decadent dish with a deep-fried egg, bacon bits, truffle mushrooms, “bacon n stout”-braised beef, and pork belly (each for an extra charge of $1.50 to $3.00). We’ll take four, please!
16. Purple Shoestring Fries with Blueberry Ketchup — Boise Fry Company, Various Locations
In case the name didn’t give it away, this Boise-based company takes their fries very seriously. After studying different preparation methods, they settled on the process of carefully prepping each fresh potato after which they fry their fries in natural peanut oil — which contains little to no saturated or trans fats. You choose the type of potato or similar tuber —purple, gold, sweet, Okinawa, or yam — and can have them cut into five different styles: shoestring, regular, homestyle, curly, or their own “po-balls.” All these choices yield an almost overwhelming number of possible combinations, but we suggest going for the purple shoestring fries with a side of blueberry ketchup for a decidedly unique bite that won’t give you the blues.
15. Carne Asada Fries — Lolita’s Taco Shop, Chula Vista, Calif.
This taco shop has been serving authentic Mexican dishes for more than 30 years, and owners Joaquin and Dolores Farfan have since expanded to create a mini empire of five locations around San Diego with a sixth planned to open this summer. Lending their Mexican culinary expertise to one of America’s most iconic dishes, they top their fries with homemade guacamole, sour cream, chopped pieces of the shop’s signature carne asada, and cotija cheese.
14. Smothered Fries — The Shaved Duck, St. Louis, Mo.
The Shaved Duck in St. Louis is known for their commitment to excellent barbecue, and their Smothered Fries are an homage to the perfect pairing that is smoked pig and potato. They start with hand-cut fries and then top them with cheese sauce, freshly grated sharp Cheddar, and, of course, pulled pork. Pair the dish with a bottle or pint of one of their many local craft brews and settle in for a delightful food coma.
13. Pommes Frites with Bordeaux Wine, Figs, and Sage Mayonnaise — Pommes Frites, New York, N.Y.
The second eatery to score more than one spot on our list, Pomme Frites’ claim to fame are their perfect frites and their vast array of out-there dips and dressings (their version with pomegranate teriyaki mayo already came in at #22 on this compilation). The most outrageous, in our opinion, is listed as the last option on their online menu: Bordeaux wine, figs, and sage mayonnaise.
12. Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries — The Hat, Various Locations, Calif.
We’ve heard of chili cheese fries, and we’ve heard of fries topped with pastrami (see #18 on this list), but chili cheese fries topped with pastrami? The good people at The Hat — a California favorite with over 10 locations spread across the Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties — knew a good idea when they tasted it, and it’s a cult favorite that isn’t listed on their online menu but nevertheless has the internet abuzz with recommendations to sample the gargantuan pile of crisp fries topped with astounding amounts of shredded cheese, chili, and bits of pastrami.
11. S'mores Fries — Sticky’s Finger Joint, New York, N.Y.
Late night munchie options abound in New York City, and the Sticky’s Finger Joint Murray Hill location boasts their own unique take on how to satisfy your late night sugar and fried foods craving: S'mores Fries. Atop golden, skin-on fries is piled mini marshmallows, homemade toasted marshmallow sauce, homemade chocolate sauce comprised of Dominique Ansel-approved cocoa powder, and crushed graham cracker. You can even ask them to add one of their delicious fried chicken fingers — c’mon, we know you want to.
10. Dirty Dirty Fries — Pickled Fish, Long Beach, Wash.
Located atop the Adrift Hotel, Pickled Fish has a website that encourages visitors to try their “creative, fun, locally inspired cuisine and wood fired pizzas… craft cocktails, regional wines, and northwest microbrews while enjoying the amazing view.” We think that sounds just great, but we insist that you also order their Dirty Dirty Fries. Fried in beef tallow, they’re topped with garlic, fried pork belly, pepperoncini, and goat cheese.
9. Beer Cheese Soup Smothered Fries — The Centennial Tavern at Jonesy's (formerly Jonesy’s EatBar), Denver, Colo.
These thick-cut beauties are consistently recognized as the best fries in Denver — among their many accolades, they were named the Best Fries in America by CNN in 2012 — and it’s pretty easy to see why. Piling comfort food on top of comfort food, The Centennial Tavern at Jonesy's fries are smothered in a layered of thick beer cheese soup, prompting us to question everything we thought we knew about cheese fries.
8. Crispy Fries with Mornay Sauce, Garlic Aioli, and a Farm-Fresh Fried Egg — Au Cheval, Chicago, Ill.
7. Jumbo Lump Crab Cheese Fries — Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.
The playful Varga Bar is decorated with photos of pinup girls and serves a menu of elevated comfort foods. In this outrageous dish, thin-cut fries are fried to perfection and tossed in a coating of truffle oil before being topped with a healthy serving of jumbo lump crabmeat, melted white Cheddar, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
6. The Original Loaded Kimchi Fries — Chi'lantro BBQ, Austin, Texas
With a name that’s an amalgamation of “kimchi” and “cilantro,” Chi’lantro serves creative twists on traditional staples from both Korean and Mexican cuisines, often fusing culinary elements from the two cultures onto one plate. They proudly claim to be the inventors of the Original Kimchi Fries, and we’re not about to stand in their way. An order of these fries comes topped with the customer’s choice of either ribeye bulgogi, spicy pork, spicy chicken, soy-glazed chicken, or marinated tofu. On top of that, you’ll find Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, onions, caramelized kimchi, cilantro, “magic sauce,” sesame seeds, and a dose of sriracha.
5. Mapo Tofu Chili Cheese Fries — King Noodle, Brooklyn, N.Y.
This psychedelically colorful Bushwick eatery specializes in Pan-Asian fare and Tiki drinks, and they’ve created some buzz around their more outrageous dishes, like Dorito Kimchi Carbonara. Their inventive take on fries — served with sizzling peppercorn-infused Szechuan sauce, scallions, cheese, and tofu — has received its fair share of praise, too: they were named the Village Voice’s 55th most favorite dish in 2013.
4. Python Chili Cheese Fries — Sammy's Wild Game Grill, Houston, Texas
This Texan restaurant serves beers, burgers, and sausages with an exotic twist: many of their meats aren’t your standard burger joint fare, and you’ll find kangaroo patties and pheasant with cognac links on the menu. Their take on chili cheese fries is equally wild, with a pile of golden strings smothered in python chili, Cheddar jack cheese, and green onions.
3. Foie Gras Poutine — 4505 Burgers & BBQ, San Francisco, Calif.
Back in January, California lifted its state-wide ban on the sale of foie gras, and chefs across the Golden State celebrated by adding dishes with the fatty goose liver to their menus. That includes Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats and 4505 Burgers & BBQ in San Francisco, who immediately started serving foie gras boudin blanc (duck and chicken sausage studded with foie gras), which he slices open and serves over fries with gravy.
2. Okonomiyaki Fries — Illegal Food, Atlanta, Ga.
Quietly committed to a farm-to-table approach without the posturing, Illegal food in Atlanta puts care into their food by making and treating just about everything in-house, including condiments, pickles, and charcuterie. This philosophy is extended to their acclaimed okonomiyako fries, which are hand-cut, double-fried, and dressed with house-made sriracha, Japanese mayonnaise, shredded nori, and bonito flakes.
1. Triple Fried Duck Fat Fries — Salty Sow, Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Ariz.
Both locations of this American gastropub aim to serve “contemporary farmhouse fare… mindfully sourced from local farms and purveyors.” This mindfulness is extended to their kitchens’ executions, and there’s whole lot of patience exhibited by the chefs, too. Case in point is the care and time that is put into their Triple-Fried Duck Fat Fries, which are — you guessed it — triple-fried in duck fat, topped with a 110-mintue egg, and served with a side of cold béarnaise sauce. When one considers the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare each of the three ingredients in this dish, it’s safe to say it’s an outrageously time-consuming appetizer to make. Even more importantly, it’s outrageously satisfying to eat.