A restaurant that maintains its status as a place to "see and be seen" despite having been around for so many years, Balthazar is known for serving up French bistro classics. One of the signature items, on a menu filled with quite a few, is the pommes frites. The constant line of people waiting to score a table may appear to be due to the chic clientele, but really, it’s all about the fries.
Is there anything on this planet more heavenly than schmaltz? You could deep-fry a shoe in it and someone would probably take a bite. That being said, these fries are truly something special — even without the malt aioli they would still make the list of the best fries in the country. Thick-cut and ultra-crispy, these spuds are outstanding.
Eamonn's A Dublin Chipper
This little restaurant in the nation’s capital serves up authentic Irish chips (which are the equivalent of fries in the States for those who don’t know). They come in two sizes — "single" and "large" and are hand-cut and double-fried to achieve the perfect level of crispness.
The more casual half of Palena in D.C.’s Cleveland Park neighborhood offers a menu brimming with Italian- and American-inspired dishes that change according to the season. And while the more formal dining room is renowned in its own right, the café is the part of Palena that made The Daily Meal’s list of the 101 best restaurants in America for 2012. One of the most notable standbys on the menu is the fry plate, a serving fit for a crowd filled with fried white and dauphine potatoes, onions, and lemons with a side of Sriracha mayonnaise.
GQ once named the burger at Le Tub as the best in the country, but for the purposes of this list, the focus remains on the patty’s famed side dish. The fries at Le Tub are of the steak variety, meaning they’re thick-cut and full of soft potato inside the crispy exterior. They deep-fry the spuds in peanut oil and serve them up piping hot — no frills necessary.
Michael Kornick rose to fame in the Chicago dining scene thanks to his elegantly executed fare and upscale atmosphere at his restaurant MK in the city’s Near North Side neighborhood. So when Kornick decided to open up a burger-and-fries joint a few years ago, the venture seemed like quite a departure — but not so surprisingly, he created another success. The fries at DMK come in a variety of flavors and combinations, but the standard sea salt and black pepper hand-cut ones, made from russet potatoes, are the claim to fame.
Facebook/Edzo's Burger Shop
Eddie Lakin, the owner of Edzo’s, has had a long, notable career in the fine dining world of Chicago, but Edzo’s is his first and only solo space. Never mind the fact that college students like those of Evanston’s Northwestern University happen to be the perfect consumers for a burger-and-fries place, the offerings at Edzo’s are truly outstanding. The fries here are cut thin and fried until extra crispy.
Pike Street Fish Fry is like a cross between a Pacific surf shack and an authentic British fish and chips shop. The french fries are extra-crispy and medium-cut, and the golden-brown hue is so pronounced that it rivals the color of the expertly fried fish they’re often paired with. Plus, every Friday is free fry night.
These thick-cut steak fries from Jonesy's EatBar are crisp and crunchy on their own, but for those looking for something extra, they also come with truffle aioli and Parmesan cheese, Frank’s hot sauce and blue cheese, or sausage gravy and Cheddar cheese.
Although Absinthe is known for being a high-end French brasserie in San Francisco, the most well-known item on the menu is the burger and fries. The crispy fries are thin-cut and come with smoky tomato ketchup and sweet onion aioli on the side.
(Photo Modified: flickr/neeta lind)
The fries are the specialty at Frjtz — they’re available in original, white truffle oil, spicy, and garlic. They also come with the option of more than 22 varieties of dipping sauces, available in flavors like Kalamata ketchup, ginger orange mayo, and Parmesan peppercorn ranch. They’re fried up golden brown and delicious, just like they’re done in Belgium. (Photo Modified: flickr/neeta lind)
The fries at Suzanne Goin’s restaurant, Tavern, are fresh-cut, double-fried, and tossed with delicate fresh herbs. Does it get any better than that? Simple and straightforward, the fries are a perfect reflection of Goin's culinary philosophy.
There are a couple of fries options on the menu at Father’s Office, but the classic matchstick fries are the way to go. One of the cardinal rules at Father’s Office is that they don’t offer ketchup, so their fries are accompanied by a small pot of homemade garlic aioli for dipping.
This Belgian brew pub specializes in suds (no surprise there), but they also serve a menu of delightful pub fare. Hand-cut Yukon Gold potatoes are fried until golden brown, then dusted with sea salt, and when they're not accompanying a burger, they're served in a traditional Belgian paper cone with a choice of two dipping sauces, such as McChouffe roasted garlic-asiago mayo and creamy Wostyntje beer mustard. (Photo: Flickr/Cherrylet)
Facebook/Boise Fry Company
It comes as no surprise that an Idaho fry shop would make some of the best fries in the country, given the integral connection that Idahoans have to their potatoes. The fries at the Boise Fry Company come with lots of options — first is the potato itself (choose between russet, purple, gold, sweet, okinawa, and yam), next is the preparation (shoestring, regular, home-style, curly, or the famous po-balls). From there, all that’s left to do is fry them up and devour the whole serving.
Given the matchbox size of the restaurant (in fact, there are no seats available, just a countertop and a window out front for walk-up ordering) and the constant stream of East Villagers in a fries-eating mood, expect to wait when you’re visiting Pommes Frites. The fries are crafted in the traditional Belgian style, which means they're thick-cut and of the steak variety. There are only two items on the menu, fries and sauces, but the sauce options are wide and varied — think pomegranate teriyaki mayo and Curry Ketchup Especial (a combination of Frite sauce, curry ketchup, and diced fresh onion). (Photo: Flickr/Angela N.)
Blind Tiger Pub
A step inside The Blind Tiger Pub may reveal a typical dive restaurant, but if you’re lucky enough to get a table in the backyard patio, you’ll get to enjoy a much more pleasant garden atmosphere. The fries here are offered as an accompanying side to the many burger and sandwich options, and are also on the sides menu. They’re thick-cut, crispy, and golden-brown.
(Photo: flickr/ bigbirdz)
In a city known for it’s beachside fries, the ones at Thrasher’s stand head and shoulders above the rest. If you’re visiting Ocean City in the height of the season, expect to wait quite a while for your fries, and don’t be concerned when you notice a sign telling you that they don’t serve ketchup (just go with it, the apple cider vinegar they offer instead will work wonders). Order up a bucket of freshly fried potatoes, sprinkle with salt and vinegar, and then chow down while you make your way down the boardwalk. (Photo: flickr/ bigbirdz)
Trendy French brasserie Comme Ça serves up pommes frites alongside many of their signature dishes, including their burger, moules frites, and steak frites. However, the fries here are not crafted in the typical shoestring style often offered at brasseries. Instead, they’re hand-cut and slightly thicker, resulting in a crisp golden exterior and fluffy interior — the perfect combination.
Facebook/Hyde Park Bar & Grill
Consistently voted as the best in Austin by the public and food experts alike, the fries at Hyde Park Bar & Grill are hand-cut from Idaho potatoes, dipped in buttermilk, then battered with seasoned flour and fried to crispy perfection. Get them served straight up with the restaurant’s special sauce or splurge for a side of homemade cheese sauce to dip the fries in.