French fries can make or break a meal, especially when they're served alongside a burger. Soggy, flavorless industrial fries are an abomination to both potatoes and your palate, so you should seek out a place that pays as much respect to the potato as they do their beef. Whatever your preferences when it comes to deep fried potatoes, you're sure to find something on this list to love.
Scotch & Sausage (above) These guys are relatively new to the scene, but they've already established a pretty solid cooking method for their fries. These thick-cut beauties undergo a three-step cooking process that involves blanching the potatoes quickly, freezing them to help maintain texture, and the classic double-frying method that produces a fry that Chef Trevor Bell describes as "the best chip you've ever had on the outside, the best mashed potatoes you've ever had on the inside."
Off Site Kitchen Off Site Kitchen has already established itself as one of the city's best burger joints, but the fries deserve their own heaps of praise. Served in a twist of brown paper that soaks up all that delicious grease, you'll find a perfectly crisp pile of skinny fries that have been dusted with a healthy sprinkle of garlic salt after being hand-cut and double fried. The portions are generous, but don't even think about trying to share with your lunch date. It won't end well.
Blind Butcher If poutine isn't really your thing, the fries underneath are a thing of beauty on their own. In the plain iteration, Chef Oliver Sitrin fries hand-cut russet potatoes in duck fat, which adds a ton of rich flavor. Maybe if you're nice, one of the waitresses will bring you out a ramekin of their housemade duck gravy or some dill pickle ranch, both of which are better dipping choices than boring old ketchup.
Knife Whether you go to Knife to see the infamous John Tesar working the line or to chow down on some dry-aged beef, you shouldn't skimp on the sides. Steak and fries (or frites, as fancy people call them) is a classic combination, but you can shake that up and get at least one serving of vegetables with Tesar's creamy and crispy avocado fries. If you're not feeling adventurous, stick with the regular hand-cut fries. Either way, you won't be disappointed.
CBD Provisions When everyone says that CBD Provisions is putting out some of the best food in town, they're not joking. There's a science that goes into making the perfect french fry, and the cooks at CBD have got it down. They're served in a fancy-pants cup that holds a deceptively large serving, but you'll have no problem scarfing the whole thing down. And then thinking about an order to go for the ride home.
Hopdoddy At Hopdoddy, the excellence of the fries isn't just about special seasoning or a complicated cooking method -- everything starts with the potato. A Kennebec potato, to be precise. Once shunned by restaurants because of their short shelf life, Kennebec potatoes have a relatively low water content that creates the textures that make a perfect French fry. If you're really feeling fancy, take it up a notch and order the truffle fries, which are the Kennebec fries tossed in pungent truffle oil and herbs.
Maple & Motor Jack Perkins' sparkling personality isn't the only reason to head to Maple & Motor. This joint is consistently ranked as one of the best in the city, and the fries can certainly stand up to the burgers. If my grandma had a beard and a bad attitude, these would be her fries. Ever the accommodating burger slingers, you can also get your fries jazzed up with chili and cheese for a few bucks extra at Maple & Motor.
Goodfriend As good as the guys at Goodfriend are with a flat-top grill and ground beef, their deep-frying skills aren't anything to ignore. Fresh-cut waffle fries aren't exactly easy to find, and these are some of the best. They're also served in a massive bowl, and your waitress is happy to bring plenty of ketchup or ranch that somehow manages to improve on their version of potato perfection.
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The Free Man I'm not sure whether or not sweet potato fries are actually any healthier than regular russets, but they sure make us feel better about eating a big pile of fried starches. Most of the time, sweet potato fries taste healthy, which obviously isn't a good thing. Not at The Free Man. Their super-thin sweet potato fries are tossed in an addictive spicy-sweet seasoning, then cooked until crispy and almost charred on the outside. Who knew beta-carotene could be so delicious?
Grub Burger Bar Shoestring fries are relatively rare at restaurants, likely because they're difficult to master in terms of texture. The folks at Grub Burger Bar have clearly figured out the process, resulting in a fry with the perfect amount of crunch that goes great with a side of chipotle ketchup. If you're really hungry, try the Luau Style fries topped with pulled pork, grilled pineapple, teriyaki sauce, and jalapenos, or keep it traditional with bacon and cheese.