The 10 Best French Fries in New York City, 2013 Edition
Chicken, Oreos, and even butter, are all fried standards by now, but what beats classic French fries? Crisp, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and dunked in ketchup (or mayonnaise), fries are irresistible, cheap and perfect for sharing, and can be topped with just about anything. Our 10 best picks highlight old favorites, newcomers, and a few surprises.
Shake Shack Cheese Fries
The cult of Shake Shack has expanded to Philadelphia, Miami, Washington D.C., and a slew of other cities. But no matter how big the Shack gets, its ooey-gooey cheese fries are a must-order worth standing in line for an hour. The crinkle-cut fries may look like they came out of a freezer, but when topped with piping-hot cheesy sauce and not much else, they become a perfect vehicle for inhaling the melty mess. Some Shack-obsessed folk have been known to stuff some cheese fries into a burger or two, and we don't blame 'em. Various Locations
Smoked-Meat Poutine Fries
Poutine, the Canadian late-night snack of fries, cheese curds, and gravy, can sound strange to the uninitiated, but Noah and Rae Bernamoff's smoked-meat poutine ($14) at Mile End is convincingly exquisite. Some of the thin crispy fries soak up the delicious meat drippings, others hide pieces of Montreal-style smoked beef. You'll find melted cheese curds dotting every other bite and a thick gravy that might be best served on the side for proper rationing. 97A Hoyt St., Brooklyn; 718-852-7510
Duck Fat Fries at Northern Spy Food Co.
Potato wedges are divisive. Some fry connoisseurs stick up their noses at the fat slices of starch, with almost mashed insides and a fried exterior. But the duck-fat fries ($6) at Northern Spy Food Co. will have even wedge-haters intrigued. The menu here focuses on seasonal ingredients, but the potato sticks here are always on the menu, served with malted-spiced yogurt. Fried in duck fat and seasoned with parsley, the thick chunks of potato are perfectly crisped on the outside. Dunk them in the sauce, which gives off a kick of heat. 511 E. 12th St., 212-228-5100