Best fries in New York

The Food & Drink team's favorite spuds.

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French fries are a contentious topic among serious gastronomes. Do you like your fries meaty or shoestring skinny? Do potatoes perform best with a three dips in the hot oil, or with a single perfunctory plunge? Is ketchup a French fry’s best bedfellow or is it mayonnaise? In a greasy-fingered attempt to answer these questions, we’ve embarked on a city-wide binge to determine the best fries in New York City. The results of our findings, in all their golden-fried glory, are below. Did we miss your favorite fries in NYC? Join the conversation in the comments.

The Breslin Bar & Dining Room

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

These thick golden "chips" are cooked three times---until they're crunchy on the outside and like mashed potatoes within. Dunk them in the accompanying cumin mayo for the full effect.

  1. Ace Hotel, 16 W 29th St, (at Broadway)
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Brindle Room

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Chef Jeremy Spector tops his skin-on fries with shamelessly rich ingredients: smooth gravy, squeaky cheese curds, duck confit and crackly skin.

  1. 277 E 10th St, (between First Ave and Ave A)
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Shake Shack

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The fries are beside the point at Danny Meyer's proliferating burger chain, but that doesn't mean they're not worthy of a cult following all their own: Like the best kind of boardwalk fries, these crispy wands are crinkle cut, perfectly salty—and gone too soon.

  1. Madison Square Park, 23rd St, (at Madison Ave)
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Thistle Hill Tavern

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Sprinkles of sea salt, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper bring these Idaho spuds to life, while a side of house-made Roma tomato ketchup offers a subtle Mediterranean twist. 

  1. 441 Seventh Ave, (at 15th St)
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Balthazar

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

These delicate straws—cut daily, fried until beautifully crisp and showered in sea salt—are the gold standard of bistro fries. Swipe them through a pot of mayo or use them to soak up steak juices.

  1. 80 Spring St, (between Broadway and Crosby St), 10012
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Pearl Oyster Bar

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This convivial, New England–style joint was a forerunner of the city’s fish-shack trend. The outstanding lobster roll—sweet, lemony meat laced with mayonnaise on a butter-enriched bun—is Pearl’s raison d’être. But don't overlook the skinny fries its served with: a tangled delicious mess of skinny, liberally salted shoestrings.

  1. 18 Cornelia St, (between Bleecker and W 4th Sts), 10014
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Peacefood Cafe

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Potatoes make way for chickpeas at this uptown vegan eatery. Cumin, chili, cinnamon and cardamom season the mashed garbanzos, which are sliced into bars, cooked in a vegan chickpea broth and served with a piquant fermented-bean-curd sauce

  1. 460 Amsterdam Ave, (at 82nd St)
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Yerba Buena Perry

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Meaty hearts of palm deliver a juiciness that contrasts beautifully with the golden-fried, panko-coated exterior of these inventive "palmitos" fries. Dip them into chipotle mayo and they're out of control.

  1. 1 Perry St, (at Greenwich Ave)
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The Dram Shop

  • Price band: 2/4

Miss McGrath's Irish nachos pay homage to the Emerald Isle's preferred starch, swapping tortilla chips out for excellent skin-on fries. The gloriously junky platter offers spuds that are just crispy enough to survive the onslaught of melted white cheddar and jack, salty bits of crispy bacon, green onion, sour cream and spicy pickled carrots.

  1. 339 9th St, (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)
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Le Relais de Venise

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

This family-style Parisian import offers just one alluring menu item: steak frites. Servers deliver a demi portion of the meat and spuds, returning when you’re nearly finished with the second half, which they keep warm while you eat. The steak is plenty juicy and the fries, golden and crunchy. Dredge the crisp stalks through the “secret sauce”—an herbed-butter gravy—for the full effect.

  1. 590 Lexington Ave, (at 52nd St)
More info

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