Everything I’ve Always Wanted To Say About French Fries

I have a lot of opinions about French Fries.

  1. Bad french fries are better than no french fries.
  2. Even bad fries are still good fries.
  3. Steak fries are trash.
  4. Crinkle cuts are one step above steak fries. Only exception: Saint Dinette (more below)
  5. Matchstick fries are mostly trash. If I wanted a tin of shoestring potatoes, I’d buy a tin of shoestring potatoes.
  6. Waffle fries are fun, but typically not good enough to deserve an up-charge. They should be served with sour cream dip that tastes like Top the Tater.
  7. Seasoned wedge fries are two steps above steak fries.
  8. Arby’s curly fries are their own thing. I like Arby’s curly fries.
  9. The best thing to dip your fries in is whatever you like to dip your fries in.
  10. Generic pre-frozen french fries can be elevated with a good deep fry job + proper seasoning.
  11. Burgers should always come with fries. If they don’t, the burgers should be cheap, or, the fries, really really good.
  12. Restaurants that charge an extra fee to swap potato chips for fries are the worst.
  13. Housemade fries prepared with care are the best.

Punchbowl Social. Ok burger, great fries.

Here are a few french fries I really like:

  • Saint Dinette, St. Paul, MN (Pictured above): My friend Sara took me here to prove that crinkle cuts don’t have to be trash. She was right. $6 gets you a huge portion of homemade crinkle cuts fried perfectly and seasoned with flaky sea salt.
  • Best French Fry stand at the Minnesota State Fair.

  • Stewart’s, St Paul, MN: The Korean fries seasoned with red pepper here are one of my favorite treats. They’re homemade and perfectly crisp. Enjoy alternating between dipping them in the miso aoli and sweet and spicy gochujang sauce.

  • McDonald’s or any place that serves McDonald’s-like fries (i.e. Matt’s Bar, Buffalo Wild Wings, Shish)
  • Pomme Frites served with fancy sauces like they do at Barbette (with saffron aoli)and Meritage (bernaise).

Feel free to add your thoughts on French Fries below.


  1. Katie

    Meritage fries are delicious! I have got to get to Stewarts! ..and saint dinette. The places I want to go to, but yet still never go to is annoying.

    • Jeni

      I haven’t had them for a while but they were always good. Jake just took his work friends for happy hour. We have so many good restaurants it’s hard to know where to go next

  2. Feisty Eats

    Fries with homemade ranch & #2…yes!

    • Jeni

      High five.

  3. Katy

    Yes to Arby’s, boo to restaurants that serve chips instead of fries, kudos if you serve with homemade ranch, yes..no thick wedges or streak fries, and #1 is the truth!!

    • Jeni

      Yes to homemade ranch!!

  4. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

    Love it! My favorite fries are from Papa’s in Mason City with their homemade ranch dressing!

    • Jeni

      Their ranch is so good.

  5. Will@Road Tips

    Most of the time I don’t order regular fries any longer – in any shape or size. They’re all so hit and miss – even places that have good ones can leave them in a hopper too long or under the heat lamp well past the time they should have thrown them out. I know it’s all a matter of taste and preference, but if steak fries are available on the menu I’ll have those. However, if tater tots are available as a choice of potato, I’ll take those any day of the week.

    • Jeni

      I need to try really good steak fries. I think the only ones i’ve encountered are soggy. I would trust your opinion on which ones are good, though. Tots are always a good choice.

      • Will@Road Tips

        The best steak fries are crispy on the outside and have that flaky potato texture on the inside. I will admit, they can be tough to find. But when you do find them, they are pretty tasty. Tater tots, on the other hand, are the red-headed stepchild of potatoes outside of the states of Minnesota or North Dakota. I’ve been places where I’ve seen tots on the menu, ordered them, and the server is almost saying, “Hey, we have a rube dining with us today!”

  6. Josh

    Well said! My fry game is on point. Cut to desired size. Seriously McD’s did the marketing follow their example, right? Blanch in H2O with a lil’ bit of vinegar, dry. Fry for 10 seconds, remove and dry. Fry again until desired color is achieved. Season, eat & repeat!

    • Jeni

      I bet yours are the best!

  7. Docrailgun

    Five Guys cajun fries are good.

  8. Stephanie

    Mmmmm, Meritage!!!

    The only steak fries that I like are at Half Time Rec in St. Paul.

  9. Scott Ladewig

    I agree on crinkle cut fries, with the exception of Shake Shack. Love them.

    • Jeni

      We haven’t been to Shake Shack yet! There’s one at the MOA.

  10. Chas

    Amsterdam Bar. The onions are yummy and the variety of dipping sauces matches any mood. (I like the garlic mayo and the peanut satay.)

    • Jeni

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  11. Ted Hammond

    The handmade fries at The Nook are great. Meritage fries with Bearnaise sauce are my favorite. Fries at Salute with Bearnaise are also wonderful.

    • Jeni

      We haven’t visited The Nook or Meritage for a while but the fries there are really good!

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