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Best fries in Chicago

u.of.c. eddie May 6, 2008 07:25 AM

Which places have your favorite french fries/pommes frites/chips in Chicago? I'm looking to explore a little. I greatly enjoy the ones at Weiner & Still Champion in Evanston and Hopleaf in Andersonville. Gage had some nice fries too. They all do a good job of generating that soft, puffy, full interior with a coating of crispness on the outside (due to the double-frying method that I am biased toward). But I've also loved the limp fries at Al's because you can taste the sweetness of the potato.

Any thoughts?

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  1. chicgail RE: u.of.c. eddie May 6, 2008 08:03 AM

    All good fries are (IMHO) double-fried so that's a given over here where I am.

    I am also ruling out those coated flavored fries, some of which I enjoy, but as a purist, I would not include those as the best fries in Chicago.

    That being said and my acknowledging not having tried ALL the fries in Chicago, I would have to lean towards Hot Doug's fries cooked in duck fat -- Fridays and Saturdays only. I am also fond of Bistro Campagne's frites..

    3 Replies
    1. re: chicgail
      ngtybtnice RE: chicgail May 6, 2008 08:33 AM

      Don't know if this counts, but the fries at Gene & Jude's (not technically in Chicago) are fantastic.

      Gene & Jude's
      2720 N. River Road
      River Grove, IL

      1. re: ngtybtnice
        u.of.c. eddie RE: ngtybtnice May 6, 2008 09:34 AM

        Any place in the Chicagoland area certainly counts (i.e. Weiner & Still Champ in EV). Thanks for the rec, ngtybtnice.

        1. re: ngtybtnice
          citywayne RE: ngtybtnice May 6, 2008 06:57 PM

          AGREED! ... close enough for gov'mnt work

      2. l
        lbs RE: u.of.c. eddie May 6, 2008 10:39 AM

        Hopleaf is my favorite but you already mentioned them.

        Moodys can knock 'em out of the park but it is hit or miss. When they are good and straight out of the fryer, oh man. When they are bad and greasey, ick.

        1. c
          cheapertrick RE: u.of.c. eddie May 6, 2008 04:49 PM

          My top three would have to be the Hopleaf, Hot Doug's and Jimmy's Red Hots.

          The Hopleaf as you mentioned double fries. Never mind the garlic aioli which has to be the best french fry condiment in Chicago.

          Hot Doug's has great fresh cut fries, duck fat or not.

          Jimmy's (Grand and Pulaski) is hit or miss and they certainly become soggy if you don't eat them right away but they are quite good.

          I would give honorable mention, strangely enough, to the middle eastern restaurant Semiramis. I love the sumac and the garlic dip.

          Hugo's Frog Bar has pretty good shoestring fries.

          1. a
            anderhous RE: u.of.c. eddie May 9, 2008 12:26 AM


            3 Replies
            1. re: anderhous
              gordeaux RE: anderhous May 11, 2008 10:25 AM

              Does your Portillos have the crinkle cut fries? If so, then I gotta take issue. Yes, I know it's personal preference, but these are so run of the mill frozen fast food variety fries that I can't see how these could be the best in Chicagoland.

              1. re: gordeaux
                anderhous RE: gordeaux May 11, 2008 05:44 PM

                Mine does have the crinkle cut, but when they are cooked well enough they're beautifully crispy on the outside, fluffy and soft on the inside, and full of potato flavor. I'm not entirely convinced they're frozen, either.

              2. re: anderhous
                mfaddis RE: anderhous May 29, 2008 11:50 AM

                Yes, anderhous, Portillo's fries might be the best, especially with cheese.

              3. c
                chickiepea RE: u.of.c. eddie May 9, 2008 08:58 AM

                Hot Doug's duck fat fries were featured on Eats.com...they look amazing. I've never been but I'm checking it out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chickiepea
                  citywayne RE: chickiepea May 10, 2008 12:31 PM

                  they have duck fat fries at Sweet and Savory too, along with their kobe beef/foie gras pate burger. They WERE GOOD, albeit a bit pricy for fries

                2. GroovinGourmet RE: u.of.c. eddie May 9, 2008 09:03 AM

                  I loved the fries at Weiner's Circle, and the dogs were awesome too.

                  1. c
                    CathleenH RE: u.of.c. eddie May 11, 2008 09:53 AM

                    The Fox and Obel Cafe has great skinny McDonald's style fries. If you want to splurge, you can get them with truffled aioli for $6. The truffle isn't intense, but it's good to have aoli anyway.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CathleenH
                      pegleggedheart RE: CathleenH May 12, 2008 03:11 PM

                      seconded. fox and obel has a great talent for taking the ordinary and making it very delicious (and very expensive.)

                    2. m
                      moss8418 RE: u.of.c. eddie May 11, 2008 12:08 PM

                      Paramount Room - fresh cut fries with malt vinegar and truffle mayo. Although I don't like the fact that they are not included in the purchase of a burger.

                      1. a
                        albarino RE: u.of.c. eddie May 11, 2008 02:09 PM

                        Best fries are at The Silver Palm. Yes, they are coated, but frying the potatoes in lard gives them an extra kick. Try them with siracha sauce!


                        1. w
                          waxpaper RE: u.of.c. eddie May 12, 2008 03:26 PM

                          Dunlays also has really great skinny fries. And a few steps away from the Dunlays on Clarks, at Dukes, they have the best housemade chips. They're fries are pretty good too.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: waxpaper
                            chucktowneater RE: waxpaper May 29, 2008 01:56 PM

                            I totally agree. Dunlays, very surprisingly, puts out some of the best fries I've had in the city. I find myself saying, no thanks, to fries, and then eating all of my gf's. Hot Doug's are good, but they frequently are not as crispy as I like.

                          2. v
                            vrollings RE: u.of.c. eddie May 13, 2008 10:27 AM

                            Agree wholeheartedly with the duck fat fries votes at Hog Doug's. Also, Smoque has great fries and are served in abundance when ordered - you get a whole lunchsack full of them straight out of the fryer.

                            1. l
                              LabRat RE: u.of.c. eddie May 13, 2008 11:03 AM

                              The Celtic Knot in Evanston has soem damn good fries. Especially with a side of curry sauce to dip them in!

                              1. h
                                hughb RE: u.of.c. eddie May 16, 2008 05:02 PM

                                Mon Ami Gabi. THey come out perfect every time. And in a mound so large that if you dig deep enough you might find the Lindbergh baby.

                                1. f
                                  Fry RE: u.of.c. eddie May 29, 2008 06:00 PM

                                  This was a while ago, but I had some great truffle fries at Rockit Bar and Grill.

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