It’s tough to agree on what’s best in any food establishment, but one thing that a lot of people agree on is that french fries and burgers are the best and simplest fast foods around. They just go together, right? The pleasing taste of a great burger and the salted, golden-crispy goodness of a french fry is a fast food delicacy no matter where you go. But who makes the best fries in the vast fast-food kingdom? For now, we’ll skip the idea that you can make fries at home since rating the best fast-food french fries is a debate that requires commentary. Not all fries are created equally after all, so which ones are best?
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15. White Castle
White Castle is kind of a niche place when talking about fast food, no matter that it’s a favorite of many people. Unfortunately, while Harold and Kumar made this place a little more relevant in pop culture, the food is hit or miss on a good day. A firm and crunchy crinkle-cut fry is a delight, but unfortunately, this place falls short of that mark sometimes.
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Let’s get real here, Sonic has good food, at least in various spots on the menu. The chili cheese coney and chicken tenders are pretty good. But the fries feel like they’re an afterthought, and are churned out en masse without much care or love. A lackluster fry is tough to enjoy unless you’re dying of hunger…kind of.
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13. Carl’s Jr.
Traveling up the ranks of fast food french fries, Carl’s Jr. is where things start to get good. There’s not much bad to say about their taste, their firmness, or anything else. But in that vein, they’re the equivalent of a stock photo, useful and pleasing enough, but not all that special in the grand scheme of things.
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A lot of fast food customers swear by In-N-Out. For a long time, it was one of those niche burger places that sold great food at low prices. Plus, a lot of people tend to forgive a lack of taste when the price doesn’t clean out their wallet. But looking back on it, these fast food fries are just another stop on the way to the best. They’re good enough for what they are, but that’s where the accolades stop.
There’s a good reason why McDonald’s fries rank under Taco Bell and above In-N-Out, They’re essentially sticks of salt that have the memory of a potato embedded in them and a thick sheen of grease to give them their form…or so the rumor goes. But the reason they’re not dead last on this list is simple. A lot of us have fond childhood memories of devouring the fries out of our Happy Meals. It’s okay, you can admit it.
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10. Taco Bell
The seasoning on these cheese-less nacho sticks is what gives them a bump up from McDonald’s. They’re served with nacho cheese, which is smart in all fairness. Apart from that, the thickness is part of what saves them. The rest of their notoriety has more to do with the push that Taco Bell gives these fries.
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A chicken restaurant that sells fries…that’s not too out of bounds. The special recipe aspect though feels like it’s better left to the chicken. However, one can say that it’s feasible that the smell of the average KFC does transfer to the fries and gives them a slightly more appetizing aroma and even taste. Being thin and crispy definitely helps, A simple, pleasing side is all that’s needed in a place that offers multiple sides to go with their entrees.
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The flavor is what bumps Popeyes up the list in a big way since their fries take on the flavor of the rest of their food, and it’s easy to enjoy. Not only that, but their Cajun fries are pretty good and carry more than enough crispiness to satisfy the average fry lover. They don’t always hold up long after they’re served, but in the moment, these fries are heavenly.
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People think that Whataburger and McDonald’s are on par with each other, but Whataburger has McD’s beat by quite a bit. Their shoestring fries are generally crispy with each bit and they simply belong with a burger. The argument between Whataburger and McDonald’s is bound to endure, but for those who live in the Southwest, it’s fair to state that Whataburger has a definite edge.
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6. Jack in the Box
For a while, Jack in the Box wasn’t considered a great place to go. But offering up two varieties of fries, standard and curly, gives this place higher marks than a lot of entries on this list. While they do cost a little more, the curly fries are divine. But the standard fries are just as good and straight to the point…no pun intended.
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5. Burger King
Not a lot of fries remain consistent for such a long time. A lot of people would claim that Burger King is one of the few places where the fries have remained more or less the same. They’re crisp, they’re filling, and better than anything, they’re a classic that one can enjoy with a burger, or on their own.
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4. Five Guys
Two words: Cajun fries. Two more words: are amazing. A lot of people swear by this place and for good reason. The food isn’t any more special than most places, but the taste of their fries is enough to make them a pleasant memory. This is the type of place where bag fries, yes, the fries at the bottom of the bag, are likely to be fought over.
Curly fries are a treat, that’s a fact. Whether it’s the seasoning, their appearance, or a combination of the two is hard to say. Arby’s has this well in hand though since their crispy, curly forms are coveted by anyone who decides to pull up and make an order. Even better, if someone gets a soggy bunch, they’re still good thanks to the seasoning. It’s hard to top that.
It’s bound to happen that a lot of people will wonder how Wendy’s came this close to the top. Beating out other fast food fries isn’t a simple task, after all. But the natural-cut fries and the fresh, salty taste and thickness of these golden sticks of delight are hard to resist, so a lot of people don’t bother.
Curly fries are a great treat. Waffle fries…hoo yeah, those are an evolution. Chick-fil-A is known for its food and other reasons, but waffle fries with great seasoning? That’s a win for just about any fry lover. Not only that, but the crispiness, the thickness make up for the slightly awkward shape.