Which restaurant has the best fries?

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) /

French fries are a staple of American fast food landscape, and for good reason – They’re amazing, portable, salty and greasy, providing a nice counterpoint to the burger or chicken strips they usually accompany. But which restaurant has the best fries?

It kind of depends on what style of French fries you’re in the mood for – do you prefer the outer crispy coating, or is the soft potatoey inside more your thing? What are you having for the main protein?

Cost also comes into play; will you need to split the order with family, friends or roommates?

(Also, because salty and sweet flavors usually work well together, don’t forget that cookies are awesome.) Many people like to dip their Wendy’s fries into a Frosty, and many regional places have their fans.

And while higher-end restaurants like Applebee’s, Chili’s, Smashburger or Steak ‘n Shake have their devotees, we’re going to not include them on this list of best fries and focus on fast food, since that seems more traditional.

Which restaurant has the best fries?

So while National French Fry Day is Tuesday, July 13, here are some options to consider:

Consistency – McDonald’s

McDonald’s fries are, overall, somewhere in the middle when it comes to the French fries rankings – they’re hard to get terrible, and sometimes they’re amazing, but usually settle for a basic “that was good” feeling after consumption. They’re usually a decently salty, light gold comfort food.

An honorable mention here is Whataburger, which are in general a little floppier and quite a bit greasier than McDonald’s, but also provides an enjoyable munching experience. Plus they have their unique spicy ketchup, if you enjoy that kind of thing.

Waffle fries – Chick-Fil-A

Waffle fries are good sometimes when you want something a little more filling, and Chick-Fil-A holds the crown when it comes to waffle fries. Their menu is fairly simple, and the extra surface area of the fries can hold extra sauce, plus the design makes them easy to pull apart, which little kids enjoy as it makes them feel strong.

Because a Chick-Fil-A Express location was in the student union basement, I mostly survived on Chick-Fil-A for several years during college, because the calorie combination worked well together for keeping running all over campus.

Crinkle cut – Raising Cane’s

There doesn’t seem to be any middle-of-the-road when it comes to Cane’s – you either love them or are not a fan. Still, they’re probably the most well-known national chain that uses the crinkle-cut style of fries, which arguably makes them the best. They also coat them with a hint of a seasoned salt blend, which goes well dunked in the Cane’s sauce.

Curly fries – Arby’s

When it comes to curly fries, Arby’s is the go-to, because the seasoning used on the coating works well with the blandness of a roast beef sandwich. Additionally, they also have a lot of surface area to scoop up the leftover cheese sauce from a Beef and Cheddar, or honey mustard from chicken strips.

Color/crispiness combination – Carl’s Jr

It’s hard to find something on the Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s menu that isn’t good, and that includes the fries, which may be the best fries out there. They combine all the best elements mentioned from other contenders into one package – usually slightly salty, with some skin for extra texture, and a medium cut that provides a nice bite that remains easily chewable.

Pizza Hut isn’t somewhere that you’d think of for getting fries as a side to wings, but thanks to their partnership deal with Wingstop, they can be surprisingly amazing, and include interesting seasonings like lemon pepper. However, they vary wildly in quality from order to order and store to store. But when they’re on, they’re nearly Carl’s Jr quality.

Next. How to get free Jack in the Box fries. dark

Did your favorite French fries make this list? More importantly, what’s the best condiment for French fries?