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best french fries

i lit my friend on fire Feb 6, 2010 11:44 AM

Although some might right them off for people under the age of 10, french fries are delicious. I was wondering were i could get the best fries in manhattan. while i am most curios about normal fries don't be shy about the best curly fries or sweet potato fries.
thanks so much

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  1. b
    beefchowfun RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 6, 2010 12:22 PM

    I can safely say the best fries I've had in the city can be found surprisingly at the West Branch, on the UWS.

    2 Replies
    1. re: beefchowfun
      gutsofsteel RE: beefchowfun Feb 6, 2010 01:54 PM

      I don't know if I am enough of a french fries aficianado to say they're the best, but I agree the fries at West Branch are very good.

      1. re: beefchowfun
        mahler5 RE: beefchowfun Dec 3, 2011 09:06 AM

        restaurant closed. Same chef (and presumably fries) as Ouest.

        2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

      2. NAtiveNewYorker RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 6, 2010 01:24 PM

        cheese fries at the uws (not mad square) shake shack

        8 Replies
        1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
          daffyduck RE: NAtiveNewYorker Feb 6, 2010 07:46 PM

          ive never been to uws but i really like the cheese fries at shake shack. something about the cheese is meaty and like gravy.

          1. re: daffyduck
            nativeNYer RE: daffyduck Feb 7, 2010 06:14 PM

            one of my friends was praising the usw shake shack cheese fries last week. gotta try them.

            1. re: nativeNYer
              kathryn RE: nativeNYer Feb 7, 2010 08:58 PM

              I like to get my cheese on the side because I find the fries get soggy too fast. But they're pretty good, I must admit, even though crinkle cut isn't my preference.

              1. re: kathryn
                daffyduck RE: kathryn Feb 8, 2010 06:03 AM

                yeah, i actually dont like the fries that much either but i just really love the cheese. i also ask for it on the side since it makes a good dunking sauce for burgers =). hard to go wrong with cheese and carbs.

                1. re: kathryn
                  nativeNYer RE: kathryn Feb 8, 2010 09:38 AM

                  the sogginess factor was my first concern but my friend insisted that she was surprised herself at the level of crispiness of this particular batch. she never orders cheese fries b/c of the sogginess factor but was with her brother who placed the order. she loved them b/c of the taste of the cheese (perhaps a mixture of two cheese types?) and the crispiness in spite of the topping. I'm not wild about their fries but I will try this.

            2. re: NAtiveNewYorker
              kelea RE: NAtiveNewYorker Feb 8, 2010 08:44 AM

              Yeahhh SS on the UWS was possibly the worst thing that could happen to my waistline and diet. Every so often when i'm walking home, i'll just swing by for an order of cheese fries. i don't even bother with a bag. just grab it and munch on it while walking home.

              1. re: kelea
                nativeNYer RE: kelea Feb 8, 2010 09:40 AM

                kelea, try the hot chocolate. it is not to be believed.

                [my sincerest apologies to the waistline, neighbor].

              2. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                uwsister RE: NAtiveNewYorker Feb 9, 2010 11:39 PM

                Also love the fries at Shake Shack UWS.

              3. teresa RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 6, 2010 02:17 PM

                I'd recommend Pommes Frites in the East Village. They are Belgian fries so they are double fried and super crispy. Also, there are a ton of dipping sauces you can choose from. Honestly, I think the fries are so delicious that I don't need any sauce. :) Just a warning, there is very minimal seating at this restaurant, so most of the clientele is takeout.

                11 Replies
                1. re: teresa
                  KTinNYC RE: teresa Feb 6, 2010 02:22 PM

                  Pomme Frites, ironically, makes horrible pomme frites. The fries are stubby not very crispy fries. There is such demand for the fries that there is not enough time to fry the frites to a crispy condition. The sauces are interesting but the frites themselves aren't very good.

                  1. re: KTinNYC
                    NAtiveNewYorker RE: KTinNYC Feb 6, 2010 07:35 PM

                    "Horrible"?? No way.

                    1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                      KTinNYC RE: NAtiveNewYorker Feb 6, 2010 07:45 PM


                      1. re: KTinNYC
                        nativeNYer RE: KTinNYC Feb 7, 2010 06:15 PM

                        i agree, KTinNYC. Sadly so.

                    2. re: KTinNYC
                      steakrules85 RE: KTinNYC Feb 7, 2010 07:51 AM

                      I have never had PF but always wanted to try it and definitely will. Seems like the majority love it. But the fact that there is such a demand for them should be a great thing, meaning they are constantly whipping up fresh batches which should be fresh, hot and crispy.

                      1. re: steakrules85
                        kathryn RE: steakrules85 Feb 7, 2010 11:30 AM

                        High demand can also mean that shortcuts are being taken to appease large crowds, though.

                        1. re: kathryn
                          smokeandapancake RE: kathryn Feb 8, 2010 07:01 AM

                          nothing lacks at pommes frites...always made to order, always cripy and delicious.

                          1. re: smokeandapancake
                            KTinNYC RE: smokeandapancake Feb 8, 2010 07:21 AM

                            The frites are not made to order, this claim is nonsense. The fries are made in batches.

                            1. re: KTinNYC
                              kelea RE: KTinNYC Feb 8, 2010 08:43 AM

                              Maybe I've only been there during high traffic but my fries are always fresh and crisp. While not mind blowing and definitely the sauce is the show there, it is by no means horrible in my book

                        2. re: steakrules85
                          KTinNYC RE: steakrules85 Feb 7, 2010 12:49 PM

                          I'm definitely in the minority on this one and I'm okay with that. Even Alain Ducasse rated Pomme Frites as the 2nd best in the city (Breslin was #1). I use to go here when it first opened but stopped once the quality fell. I've since read reports on Yelp that the fries are now not double fried. This place is novelty food because of the sauces. The lines are often out the door so I can't see how you get a well made product. There just isn't enough time to slow fry the first batch and then flash fry the second time.

                          BTW, I suspect the original owners are gone, I use to see the two women who owned the place making the frites but I haven't seem them in at least 5 years. I stopped getting the frites years ago so maybe the quality has gone back up but I doubt it from what I see when walking by and I walk by almost daily.

                      2. re: teresa
                        teresa RE: teresa Feb 8, 2010 04:59 AM

                        Maybe one day I'll have true Belgian fries, until then I'll get my fix at Pommes Frites. :) It's true the lines are very long these days. I admit I love most french fries, so that's probably why I still love Pommes Frites!

                      3. daffyduck RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 6, 2010 02:35 PM


                        i haven't tried any of the fries here except the spotted pig but nycfoodguy has yet to fail me

                        1. c
                          chow_gal RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 7, 2010 07:37 AM

                          If you like matchstick style - the fries with rosemary at Spotted Pig are great. At The Breslin you can get thrice fried, thick style fries that are pretty awesome but more 'potatoey'. I also like Balthazar frites.

                          1. s
                            steakrules85 RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 7, 2010 07:53 AM

                            Rare Bar and Grill does some awesome fries. They have a sampler under the appetizer section that includes waffles fries, sweet potato fries, and regular fries. Awesome plus terrific sample of sauces... try the maple with the sweet potato heavenly.

                            Also you can surely find great fries in many of our steakhouses. My favorites are Peter Luger, Old Homestead, Keens, and even though I would never ever recommend it for steak I have to admit Primehouse has some awesome truffle fries.

                            One big disappointment was Minetta Tavern. They say they are the same as Balthazar's (which I have never been but heard are supposed to be some of the best around) but they were bad. Thin not crisp, didn't taste that great. If these are indeed the samer as Balthazar's I would avoid them there too. But I do not care for the thin type of fry anyway. I am more of a thick steak fries guy. Maybe that plays into it.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: steakrules85
                              RCC RE: steakrules85 Feb 7, 2010 01:35 PM

                              They're not that thin, they're just right, pretty much along the French bistro kind of fries. We've had them from both Minetta Tavern and Balthazar and they're very good. Just the appropriate level of crispiness and seasoning. I don't care much for the other dishes at Balthazar, but their fries, as well as those at MT, are simply some of the best in the city today.

                              1. re: RCC
                                Wilfrid RE: RCC Feb 7, 2010 02:09 PM

                                Yes, the McNally places have all nailed this simple dish. I also like them at Bar Breton.

                                1. re: RCC
                                  steakrules85 RE: RCC Feb 7, 2010 05:51 PM

                                  I totally DISagree. The fries at Minetta Tavern stink.

                                  1. re: steakrules85
                                    RCC RE: steakrules85 Feb 7, 2010 06:25 PM

                                    Wow, strong words just to emphasize your DISagreement, even after you've already stated your point of view in your post.
                                    I suggest that you stick to your steak fries and stay away from bistros or other better continental fare .... you'll just be DISappointed.

                                    1. re: RCC
                                      steakrules85 RE: RCC Feb 8, 2010 04:49 AM

                                      To each his own.

                              2. r
                                roze RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 8, 2010 05:37 AM

                                The Breslin are number one in my book right now. Thrice cooked, super crispy and salted with perfection. Really good.


                                Runner up would have to be Beppe. Their Tuscan fries are amazing!! They are about the same size and style of the Breslin but come topped with a ton of fresh herbs. They're about $10 a plate I think but you get enough for at least three people to share. Enjoy!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: roze
                                  KTinNYC RE: roze Feb 8, 2010 05:49 AM

                                  You and Alain Ducasse agree on the Breslin as best fries in the City.

                                  1. re: roze
                                    jdream RE: roze Feb 19, 2010 06:49 AM

                                    I can't even imagine what a close second would be to the Breslin's fries.

                                  2. w
                                    wonka RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 8, 2010 07:38 AM

                                    I have to say the best fries I ever had have to be the ones at Robert's Restaurant. There the Chef makes a Everything French Fry like an Everything bagel..WOW...you have to try them.

                                    1. w
                                      wonka RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 8, 2010 07:41 AM

                                      Forgot to mention, I believe the Everything French Fries won best snack from Time Out Magazine.

                                      1. b
                                        boccalupo RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 8, 2010 08:01 AM

                                        Vol de Nuit's frites accompanied by a nice Belgian ale.

                                        1. f
                                          fm1963 RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 8, 2010 08:07 AM

                                          At The Harrison - duck fat fries. Crispy and very tasty.

                                          1. Miss Needle RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 8, 2010 09:26 AM

                                            Some of my thoughts off the top of my head ... I'm not a fan of Shake Shack crinkle cut fries -- but I haven't had the cheese fries yet. I like the fries at Balthazar and Artisanal (thin cut) and Pomme Frites (thicker shorter cut). I haven't had a problem getting fresh fries at Pomme Frites -- guess I go when there's good turnover. BXL cafe has some good fries (medium cut). I think Rare's fries are thoroughly mediocre. I like the fries at Taim with the saffron aioli. And if you like coated fries, Maoz is pretty good and cheap -- you get a humongous amount for around $3. And I've got a soft spot for Mc Donalds fries with their sweet and sour sauce.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Miss Needle
                                              Miss Needle RE: Miss Needle Feb 8, 2010 09:57 AM

                                              Let me add Mad For Chicken's rosemary steak fries. Not cheap at $8 a pop but delicious.

                                              1. re: Miss Needle
                                                windycity RE: Miss Needle Feb 9, 2010 08:50 PM

                                                Interesting, I hadn't thought of those fries but now that you bring them up, Mad for Chicken does have great fries - probably due to having a great fryer to begin with. I also enjoy the fries at the Smith. The best sweet potato fries I've had in the city have been at Punch NYC - crispy outside, soft and sweet inside (the key is that they are cut thin enough.)

                                                On PF, I haven't been in awhile but I have to admit that the last few times I went I felt like the fries weren't as crispy as I would have liked. It still reigns supreme for sauces. Anyone think that the decline had to do with the changeover from trans fats?

                                            2. f
                                              foodismylife RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 8, 2010 09:28 AM

                                              belgian frite place is very good on 2nd around 7th

                                              the best fries in the world was nathan's coney island circa 1957 on a hot summer sunday with my dad
                                              he let us take the greasy bag home on the subway as a souvenir of a wonderful day
                                              forget madeleines a nathan's hot dog fries and an ice cold root beer that is a memory
                                              nathan's frozen cooked in peanut oil ain't half bad either
                                              pastis also does 'em well
                                              rio mar and riazor does a good spanish take
                                              invite me for a tasing tour i wouldnt mind

                                              1. daffyduck RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 9, 2010 07:29 PM

                                                im definately not a fries expert. but i just had some at clinton st baking company and i thought they were pretty good. regular and sweet potato.
                                                Sorry I know this thread is about fries but I just have to post this.
                                                Attention fellow chowhounders!
                                                Feburary is pancake month! I don't know where that originated from, but basically Clinton St Baking Co is serving different pancake flavors on different days of feburary in addition to their standard banana walnut and blueberry. You don't have to come for brunch or breakfast because they also serve the special pancakes for dinner. I just had the coconut banana pancakes with passion fruit syrup and it was pretty awesome I liked it more than the blueberry. The passion fruit syrup is lighter than the maple butter but they still give u the maple butter.
                                                Here are the flavors:

                                                CHOW away
                                                P.S. The dessert truck store is right next door. I enjoyed most the things I've had their so far. I think the best thing I had was the mini buttermilk panna cotta and nutella donuts. The only thing I didn't like their was the olive oil and honey mini cake.

                                                1. EV_Eats RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 10, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                  I absolutely love the fries at Pommes Frites on 2nd Avenue & like 7th street. It's not just that the fries are good, but it's the ginormous selection of dipping sauces that takes the experience over the edge!
                                                  my blog: http://www.eveats.com

                                                  1. LeahBaila RE: i lit my friend on fire Feb 19, 2010 07:27 AM

                                                    The Breslin is home to the best fries I've ever had. Period.
                                                    For sweet potato fries, I enjoy those served at Rare Bar & Grill.


                                                    1. s
                                                      slindroth RE: i lit my friend on fire Jan 15, 2011 12:43 PM

                                                      Best french fries I've had in Manhattan are at The Little Owl in the West Village. The chili aioli that goes with it is pure heaven.

                                                      Next on the list are the fries at Taim with the saffron aioli.

                                                      For taste alone, the sweet potato fries at George Keelys on the UWS.

                                                      I find SS fries exciting only when dipped in a milkshake :)

                                                      222 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10014

                                                      Little Owl
                                                      90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                      George Keeley
                                                      485 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: slindroth
                                                        EV_Eats RE: slindroth Jan 16, 2011 10:32 AM

                                                        The fries at Goat Town in the East Village are pretty damn awesome too. They come with a house special sauce. I really enjoyed them
                                                        East Village Eats http://www.eveats.com

                                                        Goat Town
                                                        511 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009

                                                        1. re: EV_Eats
                                                          Pan RE: EV_Eats Jan 16, 2011 09:41 PM

                                                          What's the sauce like?

                                                          1. re: Pan
                                                            tichur RE: Pan Apr 6, 2011 08:50 AM

                                                            the sauce is "special."

                                                            1. re: tichur
                                                              kathryn RE: tichur Apr 6, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                              Like Shake Shack's Shack sauce? Like an aioli? Mayonnaise? Salad dressing?

                                                      2. b
                                                        bigB123 RE: i lit my friend on fire Apr 6, 2011 01:48 PM

                                                        SPOTTED PIG

                                                        Spotted Pig
                                                        314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

                                                        1. s
                                                          ssl5b RE: i lit my friend on fire Dec 2, 2011 09:37 PM

                                                          the best fries ive ever had was at acquavit, from their bar menu. ordered them by accident, when trying to order the potato chips. these are not belgian fries, they are thinly and unevenly cut fries (leading me to believe freshly hand cut).

                                                          i like the breslin's style, but it's really the cumin flavoring that is the heart and soul of those fries. i almost feel like that's cheating.

                                                          try acquavit's and tell me you dont like them. i doubt you will.

                                                          65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022

                                                          The Breslin
                                                          20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: ssl5b
                                                            foodwhisperer RE: ssl5b Dec 2, 2011 09:53 PM

                                                            I like the duck fat fries at Spitzers, The fries at Plein Sud are good. Le petit Abeille are good again,
                                                            Pastis has good fries. The Harrison changed to chicken fat fries from duck fries and are good. Lastly, Nathan's in Coney Island are my favorite

                                                            9 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

                                                            Spitzer's Corner
                                                            101 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

                                                            Petite Abeille
                                                            466 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

                                                            The Harrison
                                                            355 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013

                                                            Plein Sud
                                                            85 W Broadway, New York, NY 10007

                                                            1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                              malabargold RE: foodwhisperer Dec 3, 2011 11:05 AM

                                                              Luckily, i am a hunter and those fried in fat rendered from wild ducks are supreme, especially corn fed mallards and wild celery fed Canvasbacks

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