There are many things in the world. As a consequence, those many things must be ranked. Today, I bring you the definitive ranking of one of the most important food groups in the world, French Fries.
Some Caveats To The Rankings
I am from the Great State of Southern California. I have travelled just a little bit. I am sure your local/regional fries are great, but if they haven’t migrated to the most populous area of the United States, your fries suck.
That being said, it is pretty tough to not have a good french fry. You can always add salt, after all. And potatoes are one of the key food groups after bacon and chocolate. So on that note, let’s rank these guys!
Apologies to potato wedges. After polling my friends, they did not want them on the list, so wedges from KFC, which are excellent, are out. Sonic’s tator tots are out as well, although for what you get I’d just buy the Ore-Ida bag at the grocery store anyway.
The comments are open, but keep in mind that if you disagree, you are totally wrong and you probably have incorrect opinions about chips as well.
French Fries, In Ranking Style
- McDonald’s: This wouldn’t be a credible blog post if I ranked anything else at the top. Now the worst part is that these aren’t the best french fries of all time, because the original beef tallow fries (which had no trans fats!) were far superior. Alas, they are lost to time.
- Del Taco Crinkle-Cut Fries: I am the world’s biggest Del Taco stan and consider Dan the Del Taco Guy to be one of the greats in television advertising history, but these fries are incredibly underrated.
- The Habit Fries: These are excellent french fries. They carry a lot of flavor that isn’t just salt. Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. They deserve their high ranking.
- Carl’s Jr. Crisscut Fries: These ones are a waffle fry, so the same issue exists as Chick-Fil-A. These are so good you don’t even want to bother with their standard fries.
- Del Taco Chili-Cheese Fries: Same as # 2, but a ton of chili and cheese (duh). Just don’t get the deluxe or you’ll be stuck with lousy onions.
- Chick-Fil-A Waffle Fries: I would argue these barely count as a french fry, since they’re closer to a chip then a fry. Alas, my friend Luke, who hails from Georgia, insists. I will allow that they are very good.
- Islands French Fries: They used to only serve this in family size portions, which, great for me! The seasoning is fantastic. I need them in a drive-thru, I don’t need surfing videos on repeat.
- In-N-Out Fries: The locals may come after me with pitchforks, but this is true. Sure, they’re never frozen. Other than that, they lack much flavor and are overpowered with salt. Plus the containers are small and you need to order 2 or 3 to get your fat on.
- Five Guys (Both Five Guys Style and Cajun Style): They’re okay french fries. They would probably be lower on the list but they always dump a bunch of extra ones in your bag and I am good with that.
- Arby’s Curly Fries: Sadly, most of the San Diego Arby’s have closed, so this is usually a road trip selection. I am a fan though.
- Popeye’s Cajun Fries: It is disappointing to rank Popeye’s this low because they’re good.
- Red Robin Seasoned Steak Fries: I don’t like steak fries and Red Robin’s fries are incredibly plain. They get bonus points though, for being bottomless and the Red Robin Seasoning is decent.
- Wendy’s: This starts a theme at the bottom of the list. At some point there was a “Natural Cut” craze and honestly, the old, overly salty and greasy fries were better. Bring back the old please.
- Jack In The Box Natural Cut Fries: You know these fries are lame when the person at the drive-thru automatically asks if you want to upgrade your meal to Curly Fries. Yes I do. My friend Vincent Despain is falsely claiming these are the best, and I really feel he is being a troll. He is the reason I made this blog post.
- Shake Shack Crinkle Cut Fries: My friends consistently rank them pretty low. If you want crinkle cut, be nice to me and just get Del Taco.
- Burger King Fries: No, I won’t include their chicken fries. I have nothing really to say about Burger King fries other than they are plain and uninteresting. I will eat them if you have them left over.
- Carl’s Jr. Natural Cut Fries. Their old fries are better. Just get the Criss-cut.
- Carl’s Jr. Chili Cheese Fries: They suck. Go to Del Taco instead.
- Any kind of shoestring fries: Shoestrings are too small. Upgrade please, just not to steak fries. Find the happy medium.
- Taco Bell Nacho Fries: Suggested by a friend, after I read Taco Bell, I made sure to put them properly in last place.
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T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.