Best French Fries in Boston and North
We are talking about The Best French Fries in Boston and North today. In addition, we have given you some non-chain suggestions for some other places for truly delicious fries.
Burger King (Worldwide) #10
Talk about night and day. You would think that the two fast food giants would be similar. They are not. The sandwiches are completely different and the french fries might as well be separate kinds of food. I like me a Whopper with Cheese sometimes or an original chicken sandwich but I NEVER want me some burger king fries. www.burgerking.com
Popeye’s (Worldwide) #9
Popeye’s only offers spicy Cajun fries. There seems to be some inconsistency to the spicing of the fries. Sometimes the fries were too spicy and sometimes I couldn’t taste the spice at all. Better to stick to the red beans and rice or another biscuit. www.popeyes.com
Wendy’s (Worldwide) #8
Wendy’s became known with their famous “Where’s the Beef” commercial back in the 90’s. They use fresh beef for their burgers but that’s where the goodness ends. The fries look like they are going to taste better than they do. There are speckles of skin on the fries but they have an oddly artificial taste to them. I never need to have them again. www.wendys.com
Shake Shack (Worldwide) #7
Shake Shack is known for their concretes (shakes with mix-ins). You are supposed to be able to tip it upside down and the spoon will stay in the dessert. They are also one of the few if not only chain using crinkle-cut fries. The fries are not fresh; they are frozen but pretty good if you get them hot and fresh. They are better than any other crinkle-cut fry I have had. www.shakeshack.com
Smashburger (Worldwide) #6
Smashburger is a national chain that started in California. They are known for their smashed-to-order burgers, handspun Haagen-Dazs milkshakes, chicken sandwiches, salads, and sides made with fresh, premium ingredients all served in less than six minutes. Smashburger seasons their fries with rosemary, olive oil and garlic. They are not a fresh hand-cut fry but they are passable. Unfortunately, Smashburger suffers from inconsistency. Sometimes the fries are good and sometimes they are terrible. They are definitely not of the same quality as Tasty Burger or Five Guys in any case. www.smashburger.com
Chick-Fil-A (Worldwide) #5
Chick-Fil-A offers a waffle fry. It’s a pretty good waffle fry, but let’s face it, it’s a waffle fry. They are never going to win a best french fry competition. However, if you are at Chick-Fil-A you won’t be disappointed to have yourself some crispy waffle fires. www.chickfila.com
UBurger, (4 MA locations) #4
UBurger is a small local chain that opened in 2006. They offer burgers, chicken sandwiches, hotdogs, sides and salads. Their fries are hand cut, made from real Idaho potatoes and cooked in 100% vegetable oil. They are delicious. Their signature frappes are a perfect blend of ice cream, milk and syrup blended to order and they are awesome. www.uburger.com
Tasty Burger (5 MA locations and 1 in Washington DC) #3
Tasty Burger is a small, local chain of burger joints serving classic burgers, chicken sandwiches and french fries. Founded by a group of chef friends who dreamed of opening a burger joint, Tasty Burger opened its first location behind the historic Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. in 2010. It is a favorite among college students as it really caters to the demographic with sacks of burgers and the “starvin’ student” meal.
However, you don’t need to be a student to enjoy a side of delicious, hot fries from Tasty Burger. Have them topped with cheese sauce, chili or both. They are also a delicious fry just on their own. They are on the skinnier side and nice and crispy. Tasty Burger has several locations open late, Fenway and Harvard Square are open until 2am and on Friday and Saturdays Harvard Square is open until 4am. Also, they serve beer and wine. www.tastyburger.com
Five Guys (US and Canada) #2
I know Five Guys is a national chain, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that they deliver a reliable, high-quality product at good value. They use fresh ingredients; in fact none of their stores have freezers. There’s a good reason these fries are so delicious: they are hand cut on site from aged Idahoan potatoes. They get blanched in water to release extra starch, and then undergo two cookings in hot peanut oil for the perfect crispness and big potato flavor. Nicely seasoned with lots of salt, these are great fast food fries. They are slightly thicker than the average fry which allows the inside of the potato to be fluffy while the outside is super crisp. This is also why they are not number 1. These are not fries you can bend in half to sop up the ketchup. www.fiveguys.com
McDonald’s (Worldwide) #1
I know McDonalds gets a bad rap for being junk food but I have got to admit it, I like it. Big Mac, double cheeseburger or fish fillet are all favorites. But the one thing I can’t resist is an order of their hot salty french fries. McDonald’s is the fast food fry that usually comes out on top. They are thin, but not overly so, and perfectly crisp on the outside.
The bit of potato inside is still nice and soft, and creamy and the fries first, and foremost, taste of potato. The size and shape of these fries make them easy to eat, and eat and eat. They are the perfect balance of saltiness, sweetness and greasy. Unless the fries are cold, they are perfect every time. It is impossible to have a bad McDonald’s fry experience. The only thing better than McDonald’s french fries was when they cooked them in beef tallow (fat). www.mcdonalds.com
Not So Fast Foods
Boston Burger Company (3 locations in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville)
Boston Burger Company is a full-service, casual American restaurant focusing on creative burgers, gourmet fries, and an excellent selection of craft beers. The frappes are over-the-top and a big reason to go here. This is a chain but not fast food.
In addition to regular fries and sweet potato fries, they offer about 10 different versions of fries and over 30 different burgers. The fries are a kind of combo of waffle steak fries. Now we only tasted plain fries, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention they have clam chowder fries with homemade clam chowder and bacon. The fries were really good; a crinkly wedge cut that was crisp and tasty on its own. All in all, the fries were impressive. 3 location in Boston, Somerville and Cambridge with 2 soon to be opening locations in Cambridge and Salem MA. www.bostonburgerco.com
5 Napkin Burger (5 locations, 4NYC and 1 Back Bay)
This is a very small chain with only 5 locations. It is definitely unique to itself. First, their burger is 10oz and you can order it whatever temp you want. This is a fast casual full service restaurant that serves its burgers stacked high on a real plate, at a table with a proper setting, and with a great glass of wine or a craft beer if you choose. 5 Napkin Burgers hand cuts their french fries. They are crispy but not so crispy that you lose the potato taste and feel. Overall, this is a delicious fry and an interesting burger chain. www.5napkinburger.com
Skips, Merrimac MA
Skip’s is the best kind of greasy spoon. Specializing in classic American road food like piping-hot cheeseburgers, mountains of curly fries, and delicious frappes, Skips delivers on all. Don’t expect gourmet here, but do expect to leave with a full belly. This isn’t the cheapest roadside hamburger stand but it is one of the best. The food is cooked to order, the meat for the burgers is ground every day and the fries are hand cut. The menu is varied to accommodate most.
I always get the double cheeseburger special with onions. Hamburgers come with onion but cheeseburgers do not. Why? I have no idea but it has been that way for 70 plus years. While I love the burgers, the curly fries cooked in peanut oil are phenomenal! You can’t help but dive into the fries and before you know it, they are gone. There are simply no better. The only problem with Skip’s is that they are only open from mid-April to early October. Unfortunately, they are closing Sunday, October 1st this year. If you can try them before they close, or be one of the first there when they open Patriot’s Day week. Don’t worry, we will remind you. 92 E Main Street, Merrimac
Bunz Burgers, Ipswich
Bunz Burgers is a burger joint in Ipswich with not a lot of seating. They have a limited menu of burgers, fries, dogs, and a couple of salads. They do have a turkey, veggie and a salmon burger and loads of free toppings. Everything is homemade and the owner shops daily for his supplies. This is actually the reason for his biggest yelp complaints. The store closes in the afternoon so Mark can go to the market. That, and the fact that he isn’t open on weekends.
I have been noticing that a lot of the better fast food places that have limited their hours so the owners may have a private life. Maybe there is something to that? In any case, Bunz Burger serves GBD hand-cut fries. In addition to the regular fries (small $2.50) they also offer a bacon cheese fry and a pulled pork topped fry. Both looked delicious. Located at 20 Mitchell Rd, Ipswich
Flat Patties in Harvard Square is a bit of a cross between fast food and a gourmet restaurant. Everything is house made. For instance, burgers are ground daily, buns baked in house, and french fries are hand-cut daily. The fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil which gives them a beautifully crisp exterior with a pillowy soft interior. 33 Brattle St., Cambridge www.flatpatties.com
Saus set out to provide inspired, made-from-scratch food in a casual counter setting. They believe in the power of the condiment, which is why they have about 20 unique sauces on their menu. This is a restaurant I can get behind. I am always a “can I have extra sauce” kind of person. Saus ages the Idaho russets for at least a month before the peeling, cutting, and rinsing commences. Next the potatoes go for a low-temperature dunk in the fryolator. Finally, the Belgian-style frites are flash-fried to order in a vegetable-oil blend, salted, and corralled into a stiff paper cone. Only then are they ready to be dunked into one of the house-made sauces. The fries are crispy and a little greasy (in a good way) and are terrific with one or more of the sauces but are also excellent on their own. 33 Union Street, Boston www.sausboston.com
Phoenician Restaurant, Haverhill MA
I would be remiss if I left out The Phoenician Restaurant in Haverhill MA. Their fries are in the style of the since closed Bishops of Lawrence. When Bishop’s closed it doors in 2002, The Gehi family who had worked for Bishops for many years opened The Phoenician with the blessing of the Beshara family. There is really nothing like Bishop’s fries. They go against everything you think a fry should be. First, they are not crisp. At all. And they are greasy. But they have such deep potato flavor and just the right saltiness that you cannot top them. Located at 12 Aloha Street, Haverhill www.phoenicianrestaurant.com
All of the big Steakhouses
There is no need to talk individually about this group of restaurants. They ALL have awesome hand-cut fries. No surprise there