HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

looking for the best fries...

katg Jan 29, 2007 07:34 AM

i'm a french-fry lover and looking for the best ones out there. will travel near and far to try them.

i like 'em hot, crispy and flavorful. nothing's worse than a limp and soggy (and cold) french fry.

any recs?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. d
    david kaplan RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 07:37 AM

    Had some winning fries at 900 Grayson this weekend: crackly enough that they shattered when I tried to fork them.

    1. Husky RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 07:38 AM

      Florio on Fillmore St. in SF.

      1. o
        orezscu RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 08:51 AM

        Frjtz is dedicated to their fries and accompanying dips:
        Their site doesn't list it, but there's also a location at Ghirardelli square.

        1 Reply
        1. re: orezscu
          courtneyp RE: orezscu Jan 29, 2007 02:31 PM

          They also have one coming in the Mission soon, I hear...

        2. s
          sfoodie RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 08:54 AM

          I love the fries at Murphy's Pub on Kearny and Sutter. They're the rectangular steak fries that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

          1. Morton the Mousse RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 09:03 AM

            Eccolo in Berkeley. So thin and crispy, almost like a potato chip. Very addictive. Served with fried herbs and house made aioli.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Morton the Mousse
              rworange RE: Morton the Mousse Jan 29, 2007 09:07 AM

              Morton !!!

              The answer is Gregoire ... Berkeley & Oakland

              To the OP ... what type of fry are you looking for? Thin McDonald-style or thick steakhouse type?

              1. re: rworange
                katg RE: rworange Jan 29, 2007 09:20 AM

                i'm more of a thin french-fry eater but i do like the steakhouse fries as long as they still have that crispy element on the outside.

                1. re: katg
                  courtneyp RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 02:33 PM

                  For thin fries, they are wonderful at both Absinthe and Alembic. Yum.

              2. re: Morton the Mousse
                JasmineG RE: Morton the Mousse Jan 29, 2007 09:14 AM

                See, I don't like the Eccolo fries at all -- they're exactly like a potato chip, and that's not what I'm looking for when I want fries.

                My favorite in the East Bay are the fries at A Cote on College in Oakland.

                1. re: Morton the Mousse
                  sweetestpea RE: Morton the Mousse Jan 29, 2007 09:24 AM

                  Another vote for Eccolo. I had them for the first time a few weeks ago while lunching there with my Mom. We split the burger, a salad, and the fries. We were in heaven...

                2. f
                  fistalee RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 09:17 AM

                  The best fries I've ever had were at Cesar. More like shreds of fried potato and herbed. Come with aioli, but I think they're a little stingy with it.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: fistalee
                    Melanie Wong RE: fistalee Jan 29, 2007 11:25 AM

                    Note that the ribbon-like fried potatoes are only available at certain times of the year, and I don't know what the season for them might be.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      Robert Lauriston RE: Melanie Wong Jan 29, 2007 01:25 PM

                      I had some a few weeks ago.

                      Good but sort of like a cross between fries and potato chips.

                      I really like the fries at A Cote.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 29, 2007 01:28 PM

                        Thanks, I think the times I haven't been able to get them were in May and June.

                  2. scarmoza RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 09:22 AM

                    The best fries I've had in the area have been at Jeanty at Jack's.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: scarmoza
                      Lori SF RE: scarmoza Jan 29, 2007 09:25 AM

                      excellent fries at Jeanty at Jack's

                      Le Charm has good ones as well.

                      1. re: scarmoza
                        MorganSF RE: scarmoza Jan 29, 2007 06:09 PM

                        Agreed. Ask for bernaise sauce to go with them!

                      2. mmerino RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 10:44 AM

                        Alfreds Steakhouse on Merchant at Kearny has fantastic shoe string type fries. Crispy on the outside, tender, not mealy, on the inside. Nice and lengthy too, not short and stumpy. mmm-mmm. So good with a dry aged 28 day old steak-or anything else for that matter!! Wish I had some now.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mmerino
                          P. Punko RE: mmerino Jan 29, 2007 06:43 PM

                          Actually, I agree with this. I hated my flavorless steak (I guess I need some sort of seasoning to really enjoy a steak- the only thing I can say is it was cooked to perfection, but I have never had less flavor in a 30 dollar steak). Alfred's fries are thinner than a McDonald's style, and many are longer, but they are still bigger than matchstick. They are just think enough that some will have fluffy insides (as opposed to being totally crisp, like matchstick fries can be). They give you a dish of warmed ketchup too. I think the fries are seasoned with seasoning salt (nothing was visible) but they had a slight savory flavor. What really made them great is one of Alfred's sauces for steak is mashed, roasted garlic with a little olive oil- it was awesome.


                          NOLA in Palo Alto has this style of french fry.

                        2. Lori SF RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 11:30 AM

                          The (415) post reminded me that California Street Delicatessen and Café in the JCC has good French Fries and a killer pastrami sandwich.

                          1. n
                            Nancy Berry RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 12:18 PM

                            I love the fries at Hayes St. Grill, 320 Hayes Street (between Gough and Franklin,) San Francisco

                            1. Big Larry RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 12:58 PM

                              Had pretty good fries Fri. night at NOPA. Tasted a bit like In N' Out fries, though they were at least twice as wide. And like In N' Out, once they got cold they weren't any good. But hot at the table they were excellent....nice and crisp and good potato flavor. They were served with a harissa aioli. And the serving was more than enough for 2 people.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Big Larry
                                katg RE: Big Larry Jan 29, 2007 02:56 PM

                                it's funny that you said they were like in n' out fries. i'm not really a fan of the in n' out french fry. i can't figure out why but they just don't taste good to me.

                                1. re: katg
                                  chemchef RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 05:06 PM

                                  That is funny since they are the ONLY french fry I've ever had that actually tasted like a potato. Just an interesting observation.

                                2. re: Big Larry
                                  P. Punko RE: Big Larry Jan 29, 2007 06:45 PM

                                  In and Out fries are SUPER potatoey, but have to be consumed within minutes max- they have a really steep decay curve. This is why I only get fries at I/O if I am eating then- they won't even survive a short drive home. It is a running joke with my friends- basically eat most of the fries before you start on the burger.

                                  1. re: P. Punko
                                    katg RE: P. Punko Jan 29, 2007 06:54 PM

                                    yeah i think that's my beef with them - they can be super potatoey and they just don't taste decent when they're not hot.

                                3. j
                                  JGailor RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 01:16 PM

                                  I'd like to throw out a vote for Luna Park on Valencia. Crisp, thin, and they throw fleur du sel on them, which gives each fry a blast of mellow melt-in-your-mouth saltiness.

                                  1. c
                                    chemchef RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 01:59 PM

                                    Another vote for Cesar...

                                    1. mandyf RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 04:12 PM

                                      A Cote's are my favorite. I also like the Belgian fries at Luka's in Oakland. They come with 3 different dipping sauces.

                                      1. j
                                        jdub1371 RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 06:38 PM

                                        Lunch at The Fish Market in Santa Clara yesterday. Ordered the Dungeness crab ciabatta (very good), cole slaw, and fries. I don't eat French fries very often, but man, I picked the right day to indulge! Fresh, hot, flavorful, deep golden, crisp outside, fluffy inside fries! All three of us were impressed. Nice-sized order too-- not too huge, not too skimpy. Two orders for three people was just right.

                                        I never ordered fries at The Fish Market before, so I don't know if this is their usual production or if it was a happy fluke (ha ha).

                                        1. m
                                          mrs bacon RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 06:40 PM

                                          Here are a few of my favorites off the top of my head: Jeanty at Jack's (or Bistro Jeanty), Absinthe (or Arlequin), Hayes St. Grill, Cafe Rouge.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: mrs bacon
                                            katg RE: mrs bacon Jan 29, 2007 06:55 PM

                                            sounds like absinthe, hayes st. grill are favorites of others as well - i'll add these to my list!

                                            maybe i'll come back with a comprehensive french fry report!

                                            1. re: mrs bacon
                                              The Dive RE: mrs bacon Jan 30, 2007 08:07 AM

                                              I second Cafe Rouge, although they actually used to be even better.

                                              1. re: The Dive
                                                Robert Lauriston RE: The Dive Jan 30, 2007 12:11 PM

                                                Yeah, when they used 25% beef fat in the fry mix. Too many fussy Berkeley types complained.

                                            2. p
                                              P. Punko RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 06:48 PM

                                              The style that I enjoy the most (out of all the fries that I love) is the fresh cut slightly thicker kind with the skin still on the ends. When done right, these can be super fluffy in the middle and crispy/crunchy at the corners of the cut, but also allow for the occasional soft one. These can be the most potatoey sometimes.

                                              1. Melanie Wong RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 06:59 PM

                                                Anyone been to Bud's Giant Burger in Vallejo recently? Fried in beef fat, the fries were awesome, but it's been 2 years since my last indulgence.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                  DezzerSF RE: Melanie Wong Jan 29, 2007 07:16 PM

                                                  I used to eat them all the time growing up. Thick and potatoey, they were great with a Bud's burger!

                                                  1. re: DezzerSF
                                                    Melanie Wong RE: DezzerSF Jan 29, 2007 07:55 PM

                                                    As you'll see in the old post I linked, after I had the fries, I understood why there was a crowd at the door at 10:30am waiting for Bud's doors to open!

                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                      DezzerSF RE: Melanie Wong Jan 29, 2007 09:52 PM

                                                      Funny I experienced the same surprise as SizzlingJoe a year ago at the Springs Rd location. It used to be just as good as the other, but I'll only visit the Sonoma Blvd one from now on!

                                                2. bbulkow RE: katg Jan 29, 2007 11:31 PM

                                                  I've got nothing against cesar and a cote and gregoire and eccolo (far from it!), but I'd like to put in Barney's for once-a-week style fries. I like the steak cut, great crisp, great warm steam inside. Perhaps a little lacking on the potato taste, but quality/quantity ratio is hard to beat.

                                                  1. h
                                                    Han RE: katg Jan 30, 2007 01:25 AM

                                                    Dairy Belle (chain) in Hayward has GREAT chive fries. The fries has chive bits and somehow the fries itself has that awesome quality that is far better than any other chains. Maybe they put some secret coatings. The dipping sour cream adds great flavor. They have other flavors there but I would not recommend it. Must be eaten on the spot or hurried home to prevent sogginess.

                                                    If you happen to be in the area and you love fries, be sure to check it out. It is definitely unique. I never seen it anywhere else.


                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Han
                                                      Melanie Wong RE: Han Jan 30, 2007 08:04 AM

                                                      Aha! So in Hayward, it comes with some sour cream for dipping? I ordered them in the Belmont location and while they were good fast food fries, I didn't get that excited. That might make a difference. Here's my post with a photo -

                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                        Han RE: Melanie Wong Jan 30, 2007 11:50 AM

                                                        I thought I reply this already. The sour cream adds a big boost of flavor and somehow a perfect match to the chive flavor. It won't be the same without it. It's like having a cup of coffee without the cream in a way.

                                                        The photo is probably accurate. In Hayward branch, I could see small tiny specks of chives on the surface of the fries.

                                                      2. re: Han
                                                        katg RE: Han Jan 30, 2007 09:46 AM

                                                        YUM. these sound yummy. sour cream makes everything better right?

                                                      3. JasmineG RE: katg Feb 3, 2007 12:18 PM

                                                        I had the fries yesterday at Market Bar in the Ferry Building, and they are now on my list. Nice and thin (but not too thin), and perfectly cooked.

                                                        Show Hidden Posts