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May 6, 2008 07:25 AM

Best fries in Chicago

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. 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

      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

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

        1. re: ngtybtnice

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

      2. 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. 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. re: anderhous

              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

                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

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

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

                1 Reply
                1. re: chickiepea

                  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