12 Fast Food French Fries Ranked From Best To Worst (2023)

french fries

AUTHOR: Sam Mire. The perfect French fry can't be too soggy or too dry. It can't be too salty or too bland. You know the perfect fry when your teeth bite down, tearing through just enough crunchy resistance and forcing the flavorful juices all over your taste buds.

Which fast-food fries made the list of 12 best in the world?

1. McDonald's

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Though there are legitimate arguments to make, we'd be disingenuous if we listed any restaurant but McDonald's in the top spot. It would be like the list of Best Boxers of All-Time with anyone but Muhammad Ali at the top. You're courting controversy for the sake of it, and that's not what we're about.

For all of McDonald's faults (the McRib is a synthetic catastrophe), nobody upset with their McDonald's order will point an accusatory finger at the fry cook.

2. Arby's

Woman eating french fries
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Is there some sort of curler for fries, like for hair? Because whoever is manning the fry curler at Arby's is absolutely crushing it. No adult should be ashamed to eat a curly fry in public. If you are, just eat your Arby's fries in the car.

3. Five Guys

Happy Girl eating french fries
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Have you ever given high fives while eating five fries from Five Guys? Because that's something everyone should try, if only for the alliteration.

Let's be serious, though. Five Guys' slightly orange, well-done, thick-cut fries are among the best in the universe of fast food, even if they do cost like $15. The Cajun Style fries are worth the upcharge if you feel like splurging.

4. Checkers/Rally's

Happy woman eating french fries
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When it comes to service and consistency, Checkers and its regional iteration Rally's is the anti-Chick-fil-A. You really never know what you'll get when you open your Checker's bag, but fries are the exception to the uncertainty.

Those flaky, peppered, fried sticks of goodness are worthy uses of your calorie allotment.

5. Culver's

Family eating french fries
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Culver's has slowly but steadily exported its cheese-tinged Wisconsin cuisine throughout the United States, and fast-food diners have quickly realized what they've been missing. Namely, custards, cheese curds, and delicious fries with Culver's trademark cheese sauce.

6. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A fries
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We were kind of waffling about where to rank Chick-fil-A's trademark hashtag-shaped fries. Six seems like the right spot, though we could be convinced to rank them higher, especially if you toss us a couple of packets of Chick-fil-A sauce.

7. Shake Shack

Shake Shack fries
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Crinkle-cut fries are a rarity in the fast-food landscape. Shake Shack has made a concerted effort to define itself from other fast-food joints, so it's no surprise that Shack has embraced crinkle-cut fried potatoes. Make sure you pick up the fries with your White Truffle 'Shroom Burger and Tiramisu milkshake, burger snob.

8. Popeye's

Man eating french fries
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Popeye was a world-class spinach eater, so it's odd his name has become synonymous with elite fried food. While Popeye's chicken gets most of the love, don't sleep on the fries. Unless you can afford to make an edible bed made of Popeye's fries, in which case you should absolutely sleep on the fries.

9. Portillo's

Little boy eating french fries
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If you've ever met anyone who swears by Portillo's, you know there's something of a cult-like vibe to the Chicago-centric fast-casual joint. They're not wrong when they brag about the crinkle-cut fries, though.

10. Bojangles

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Bojangles gets lost in the shuffle of fried chicken restaurants not named Chick-fil-A, Popeye's, or Zaxby's. Whatever you think of the chicken, Bojangles fries are worthy of a burger joint.

11. Wendy's

Wendy's french fries
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Wendy's fries aren't taking home any Michelin stars. On their own, Wendy's fries are more average than a C-student. However, any fast food veteran knows that dipping Wendy's fry in a frosty is a temporary ticket to Heaven.

12. Del Taco

Happy woman with french fries
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Del Taco has a menu that you'd usually consider a red flag. Burgers and tortas under one roof? That's America, baby, and Del Taco's loaded fries are worth the inevitable gastrointestinal discomfort. Did your favorite fast-food fries make our list?

This thread inspired this post.

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