An unofficial ranking of fast-food fries

McDonald's fries are offered at McDonald's at Made In America Festival on September 2, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for McDonald's) (Dave Kotinsky, 2018 Getty Images)

They may have the word French in the title, but French fries are as American as apple pie.

And what better place to eat delicious potatoes deep-fried in oil than a fast food restaurant? They’ve all perfected the art of deep frying potatoes, so why not figure out who is the best of the best?

It’s a hard task, but if someone is going to be up for it, it’s going to be me. I’m a potato aficionado, you see, and if a restaurant is offering fries as a side, you can bet I’m going to order them. It’s the American thing to do.

Now, not every fast-food restaurant is on this list, but all the major players are here. I am judging on crispiness, uniqueness, flavor and taste. Let’s get into it!

10. Burger King

Is it bad that I had to google a photo of Burger King’s fries so I knew what they looked like? Burger King doesn’t do a whole lot for me in general, but the fact that I can’t even remember what their fries are like should say enough. They’re obviously not bad (every French fry deserves love and respect), but there just isn’t anything special about the fries from Burger King. Their chicken fries, on the other hand...I can get down with those.

9. White Castle

Certain fast food restaurants do certain things super well, like how White Castle makes little sliders that are equal parts iconic and delicious. Fries, on the other hand, aren’t that great from White Castle. They are crinkle cuts, which I love, but anytime I’ve gotten fries from White Castle, they’ve usually been soggy and under seasoned. If you get some White Castle fries when they’re right out of fryer, then they will probably be good.

8. Taco Bell

Honestly, the nacho fries from Taco Bell probably would be closer to the top five on this list, if Taco Bell wasn’t constantly taking them on and off the menu. I love a French fry with lots of seasoning, and you get a little cheese sauce to dip them in! What more would you want? Like I said, if these could be become a regular staple item at Taco Bell, that would be glorious.

7. Culver’s

If you are craving a crinkle cut fry, go to Culver’s. They are so underrated, always crispy and has that classic salty French fry flavor you love. Truly, every thing at Culver’s is delicious, but I really do love their fries. They’re even better dipped in one of their scrumptious ice cream treats. The salty and sweet is a perfect combination.

6. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A really gets bonus points for offering a fry that isn’t just a vertical, classic fry. Chick-fil-A has waffle fries, which are so good and highly underrated. Anytime I can have a waffle fry over a regular fry, I will take it. The best part is that you get to dip these waffle fries in the iconic Chick-fil-A sauce. If I could bathe in that sauce, I would.

5. Popeyes

Hooray for more season fries! Popeyes season their fries with a cajun blend, which is really, really nice when you are eating Popeyes. I’m not sure if their fries would work at a different fast food restaurant, since those cajun flavors run throughout all of the things you can order from Popeyes. Also, their chicken sandwich is better than Chick-fil-A’s. I said what I said.

4. Checkers/Rally’s

I will forever be confused by why some places are called Checkers, and why others are called Rally’s, but regardless, their fries are amazing. Again, they chose to season their fries, but it’s more of a general seasoning blend. Whatever kind of seasonings are in that blend, they sure are delicious. Checkers/Rally’s may not be the most popular fast food restaurant, but their fries are really, really good.

3. Wendy’s

This is the point in the list where I begin to split hairs, but decisions have to be made. The fries from Wendy’s are just so, so good. They have the potato skins on the ends of them, which I’ve always liked, and they’re kind of chunky. They’re especially good when dipping them into a Frosty. Just like Culver’s, it’s a classic combination that you have to try before you dismiss.

2. McDonald’s

The fries from McDonald’s truly are the blueprint. They are legendary, delicious, salty and kind of sweet, too? Does anyone else ever notice that? I love the shoestring fries that they have, and they are just so dang addicting. If I ever go to McDonald’s, I have to get fries. It would be sacrilegious not to! It’s such a toss up between McDonald’s fries and my No. 1 pick, but these fries really do come in as a close second.

1. Arby’s

You knew Arby’s was going to be at the top of this list, right? There is nothing, and I tell you nothing, better that a curly fry from Arby’s. I don’t know how they do it (I know this, because I tried making curly fries at home during the pandemic), but the curly fries are iconic with the Arby’s brand. They are well seasoned, crispy, crunchy and all you’d ever want from a curly fry. They’re especially great when you get a fry that is twisted into a perfect curl. I just can’t get enough!

Do you agree with my list? Let me know where your favorite French fries are from in the comments below!

About the Author:

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.