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Who makes the best french fries in Boston?

I'm looking for a Boston version of NY's Balthazar, if that's any help. Crisp on the outside, light and fluffy inside, freshly made, piping hot and perfectly seasoned. Does any place in town hit this dish out of the park?

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  1. I have a few favorites; Radius, UBurger, Sel De La Terre and Brasserie Jo.

    17 Replies
    1. re: Matt H

      gotta second Brasserie Jo, underneath a steak frittes, meat juice and melted bleu cheese butter soaking into them.....it's fucking heaven.

      Uburger is also a pleasant surprise...and I will also add Five Guys (very simular) as their fries tend to be solid too

      1. re: Matt H

        plus one on the last 2.

        esk also very good.

        sigh. i need a fix from duckfat in portland.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I second the Eastern Standard ones. My favorite.

          1. re: pollystyrene

            As ESK kind of has a Balthazar vibe overall, I bet the OP would be happy there.

            1. re: tamerlanenj

              How is that possible. Duckfat had the perfect formula. Although last time I was north 555 had equally perfect fries. I am a fan of Aquitaine with truffle vinegrette.

              1. re: Bellachefa

                man oh man, you too? I make sure to ask very sweetly for a ramekin of that truffle vinaigrette to go w/ my fries there; it is just stellar. they actually sold me some once but it is wicked exp, and for good reason.

                I do like the Duckfat fries but they only use 25% duck fat and it just isn't enough imo.

              2. re: tamerlanenj

                say it ain't so? we haven't been in a while.... my b/f will be destroyed.

                  1. re: LeoLioness

                    Perhaps you should retry it for yourself before worrying about it. Everyone has an opinion, it is tamerlanenj's that it has gone downhill. Maybe, maybe not, but I'll find that out for myself next time I'm in Portland. Many others have said they didn't like Duckfat, or found it overrated in the past, yet it's been great each time I've been (last time I went was in August, and it was still great then,IMHO).

                    1. re: kimfair1

                      I last was there in October and it was as good as ever, but as you said everyone has their own opinion of the place. We make a trip up to Portland a few times a year just to eat and Duckfat is and will remain on the rotation.

                      1. re: Matt H

                        There are so many amazing places to eat in Portland. Duckfat just doensn't do it for me anymore. When you can get an knock your socks off tasting menu at Hugo's for $40, why bother with Duckfat!

                        1. re: tamerlanenj

                          To clarify, are you talking about Duckfat in general being downhill, the fries, or both?

                  2. re: tamerlanenj

                    Was there in April and I thought the fries were outstanding. Sad that rents in Boston prohibit that kind of small place. I also like that they have a few well-chosen varieties of beer, as opposed to this weird trend of having hundreds of beers on tap (and they cannot be keeping all those lines as clean as they should).

                    1. re: nightsky

                      For those who frequent Duckfat, thought I'd give you a little update. It's owned by chef Rob Evans who Also owned and operated Hugos. He sold Hugos to a couple of his employees who are doing well and have opened Eventide Oyster bar next door which is a great addition to the Portland scene. This has allowed Evens to concentrate on Duckfat. For those of you who have express concern of a drop off, I think its as good if not better than ever the past few months.
                      In addition to the fries there's some pretty amazing Hugos quality sppecials at really low price points.

                  3. re: hotoynoodle

                    Gotta agree with Uburger - they're my fave Boston "regular" fries now. For "high end" fries, I like the truffle fries fries at Capital Grille - I've only had them at the Burlington location but they do have a location in Boston. Don't have a fave in the cheese fries category yet, & I have to give a "shout out" for fave 2AM/after bar/hangover cure fries to South Boston Chinese for their french fries & gravy (BEST crab rangoons in Southie too). Looks like I eat I LOT of fries to able to sub-divide them into categories! : )

                  4. re: Matt H

                    Sel de la Terre's are about as good as it gets. Love the rosemary.

                    I also really enjoy Les Zygomates. They kind of remind me of McDonald's fries.

                      1. re: newhound

                        last time I had them they were awesome.

                    1. Craigie (although I'm not sure whether the fries are available as a separate side, without the burger). The burger can be hit or miss but the fries are very consistent.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: barleywino

                        A burger that costs over $20 is hit or miss? Wow, I think I'll just give it a miss! The Cognac Burger and frites at Cognac Bistro is fabulous. It's a lamb burger.

                        1. re: CookieLee

                          i think it's $18 ($21 with bacon)-- i only say "hit or miss" because i like it rare, and it doesn't always come out that way after I request it, although when it does, it's fabulous. Thanks for the tip on the Cognac burger. Try the Pigalle burger sometime (with or without fried oysters).

                          1. re: CookieLee

                            Agreed - the fries at Cognac Bistro have gotten steadily better and better since they first opened and are now among the very best in the area. However, while I do enjoy their lamb burger from time to time, I really wish they offered a beef version as well. Doubly frustrating as they have a beef slider on the bar menu, but they won't serve the bar items in the dining room.

                            1. re: CookieLee

                              The main differential that I've noticed on that burger is whether or not they have tomatoes. It's noticeably better in the late summer.

                              IIRC It's $18, not "over $20"

                          2. there are a number of threads on this topic if you do a CH search.

                            All Star Sandwich Bar does perfect crispy double fried terrific fries and onion rings, very fresh. (Out of many visits, only time they haven't been tops was when we went late in the afternoon and the oil seemed too old/saturated.)

                            All Star Sandwich Bar
                            1245 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                              2nd the ASSbar fries and rings, which are both excellent. I have given up on the other items there though. I find all the sandwiches to be meh. The fries may be a bit dirtier or darker than the OPs reference fries from Balthazar, but they deliver on the double fried flavor and texture.

                              1. re: Gabatta

                                well. gabatta, once again you express my food thoughts. the last few visits, things just haven't been delicious. too many toppings, too messy. Many times they need to stop 2 ingredients short.

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  I'm a big fan of ASSB, although I agree that many (most?) sandwiches have an ingredient or two too many. I've taken to ordering my hell fries with the inner beauty on the side; the fries stay crispier that way.

                                  (BTW, and further OT, I had some leftover inner beauty in my refrigerator, which turned some nearly inedible and ridiculously expensive mac-n-cheese from whole foods into a delicious treat!)

                            2. Really like BrasJo's, and it's pretty hard to beat 5 Guys fries. SDLT's a quite good also.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: CocoDan

                                do the fries from 5 Guys vary by location? I've only ever been to the one in Marlboro, and I find their fries kind of soggy. They have good flavor, but no crunch to speak of. Not my favorite at all. But I've heard many people rave about them, so I wonder what I'm missing.

                                1. re: ChinaCat

                                  Agreed about the soggy 5 Guys fries.

                                  1. re: ChinaCat

                                    Any fast food place will have consistency issues between locations, but the key to the 5 Guys fries is that you have to get them out of their incredibly stupid serving vessels immediately. Rip open the bag, dump the fries out of the Styrofoam cup. The sooner you do that, the better your 5G fries will be.

                                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                      Even when you dump them out of the bag ASAP, I find the Five Guys fries to be a tad undercooked. Good flavor, but need a bit more time cooking .

                                2. StripT's fries are amazing, hand-cut and properly double-fried. See StripT's Increasing Funkiness thread.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                    Sample size of one, but my wife got an order of the moules frites at Strip-T's and they fries where HORRID - totally overcooked, really hurt her first impression of the place. We'll give it another shot, I am sure, hopefully it was just a rare off night..

                                    1. re: grant.cook

                                      I had the fries last night at Strip T's (in the poutine) and thought they were excellent. Definitely not overcooked, but still nice and crispy.

                                  2. Edited top 1

                                    BEST by far are the 28 Degree Fries - Truffle Oil - almost forgot of them

                                    3 other good ones:

                                    Post 390


                                    Four Burgers

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: meeps2002

                                      My favorites in no particular order:
                                      All Star Sandwich Bar
                                      Il Cassali
                                      Tavern at the End of the World (on the Somerville/Charlestown border)
                                      Flat Patties

                                      1. re: professor shorthair

                                        Il Casale has french fries? And good ones at that? Please elaborate. We're going Friday night (not for the first time) and have never had the fries.

                                        1. re: digga

                                          We were sitting at the bar and I noticed someone getting the fries. They looked good so we ordered up. Maybe they are an app or maybe a side I can't remember. They are not your great greasy spoon or Boardwalk fries. I would say a yyppie version but they were excellant.

                                          1. re: digga

                                            Il Casale does have french fries, and they're superb. They're a side dish, listed as being topped with some kind of cheese, but I get them without.

                                          2. re: professor shorthair

                                            I really enjoyed the Flat Patties fries yesterday. Much more so than the burger which I found to be flavorless. I really WANTED to like it, but didn't feel it. The fries are thin, crispy, skin on, and salty.

                                            I also enjoy the fries at Tasty Burger, and at SDLT. I like thin and crispy, obviously.

                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                              They are simple, yet I cant stop eating them

                                          3. I have 2 entries and both are different in their own way (best french fry is definetly subjective and depends on personal taste):

                                            Sel de la terre - perfectly crisp, thin cut fries w/ a hint of rosemary
                                            Saus - beligian style, thicker than SDLT, double fried to provide a good contrast of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Also offer a variety of dipping sauces (I liked the vampire slayer, or killer, can't recall)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ebone

                                              Just some info: I also enjoy SDLT, but folks may want to know that they are *frozen*, not handcut (I asked them). For handcuts, I prefer River Gods.

                                            2. To be honest, I was amazed today by the perfect frites I had with my hangar steak for lunch today at Petit Robert Bistro on Columbus. They were the right combo of crispy surface and soft interior, and soaked up the jus of my steak very well while maintaining their integrity. Lightly and rightly seasoned too. Frites from the Robert team in SE are definitely all that.

                                              1. I am a fan of Clover Food Truck fries. Nice rosemary - fresh. This is the actual truck, at South Sta. Got very little rosemary at the Kendall Sq truck last week. Have not tried the bricks & mortar ones.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Guido

                                                  The 1 time I tried them at SOWA last summer, they were very disappointing. They were soggy and limp without a hint of crisp.

                                                2. Spots wifey and I find fry haven - The Local in Newton, Capital Grille, Garden at the Cellar, and oddly enough - The Boarder Cafe.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: hounda

                                                    Second the Border Cafe fries. They are a huge guilty pleasure of mine. Very thin and very crispy. That's why I love the U Burger fries. The thinner and crispier the better.

                                                    1. Russell House Tavern. I also enjoyed Marche fries back the in day when they were in the Pru.

                                                      1. I doubled checked on this last night and confirmed that my favorite long, thick, very dark golden brown and super crispy fries come from Drink - a large serving priced at $7 that takes a while but is so worth the wait with their aioli on the side for dipping - wow! These are even better than the stellar ones at Central Kitchen ages ago (I haven't been in long time so can't vouch for them now, but they seemed to be getting uneven).

                                                        I tried 5 Guys recently and was really disappointed in their soft, undercooked but really fresh cut fries - didn't even want to finish the generous smallest size serving (and I did dump them out of the paper bag immediately, but they were never crispy at all and that can't be easily remedied).

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: rlh

                                                          You can ask for them well done at 5 Guys, and that improves them, but only somewhat.

                                                        2. Mistral

                                                          They are the perfect accompaniment to their martinis!

                                                          1. 2nd Uburger, right up there on the podium. Considering the deliciousness of the burger It is a wonder why Five Guys are sticking with their undercooked, over-sized, soggy fry recipe.