French fries are one of America’s favorite side dishes — the perfect one for splurging (or sharing) and the ultimate comfort food any time of the year.
South Florida serves up quite a few fantastic versions, too. Fry lovers can get a range of options, from sweet potato takes to yuca-style sticks to poutine.
From West Palm Beach to Hollywood, here are the best fries in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Did we miss your favorite? Tell us in the comments and we'll give them a shout on the blog.
601 Silks Run, Hallandale Beach, 954-454-9950 and 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561-417-6124. Visit yardhouse.com.
It can be argued that there are two types of fry lovers: shoestring or steak-cut. If you're camp shoestring, the Yardhouse truffle fries are a match made in heaven. They fry up crispy on the outside from end to end, and it's guaranteed there won't be a single mushy one in the bunch. Throw in that truffle seasoning with shredded cheese and fresh herbs, and it's a meal in itself in addition to a satisfying side to any entree.
11. Juana La Cubana Cafe
2850 SW 54th St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-985-8899, or visit juanalacubana.com.
Dear potato: You know I love you, but sometimes I want something new and different. Specifically, I want yuca. It's bigger and starchier, and the crisp-exterior-to-soft-interior ratio is unmatched. We met at a local Latin restaurant, and I've been thinking about them ever since. Cassava is one fried root vegetable I can't get off my mind, especially when it's fried and served with a creamy, fragrant cilantro dipping sauce, like the dish at Juana La Cuban Cafe in Fort Lauderdale. Ask for a side of the restaurant's housemade avocado pepper sauce, and you won't think twice about your old side sauce, ketchup, ever again.
10. Press Gourmet Sandwiches
6206 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-440-0422, or visit pressgourmetsandwiches.com.
Although it's a place best known for its sandwiches, the fries at Press Gourmet Sandwiches are something worth searching out. There's the ubiquitous parmesan truffle fries, served here hotter, thicker, and more heavily seasoned with Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, and white truffle oil than your average order. Another option offers a more colorful coating: the house gourmet fries topped with homemade Buffalo sauce and giant blue cheese crumbles. And although they aren't considered traditional fries, try the restaurant's onion straws, too — thin-sliced white onions lightly battered and gently fried for a sweeter take on the usual side.
9. Le Comptoir
1902 Harrison St., Hollywood. Call 786-718-9441, or visit lecomptoir.menubaron.com.
Some things just go together: peanut butter and jelly, peaches and cream, rice and beans, and, it seems, mussels and fries. Of course, you'd understand this pairing better if you hailed from Belgium or France, where moules frites — steamed mussels and fried potatoes — are as classic a pairing as our burgers and fries or England's fish and chips. In South Florida, you can find a discerning version of this classic French dish at Le Comptoir. Each order offers two pounds of mussels, but then there are still the fries to contend with. They're neither too fat nor too thin, the perfect balance of soft and tender inside and crispy and crunchy outside. Flecked with salt and parsley, they simply must be dipped in the seafood-flavored sauce.
8. Five Guys
Multiple locations. Visit fiveguys.com.
Forget those giant bags of complimentary peanuts, people. The peanut oil is where it's at. Specifically, the peanut oil Five Guys uses to fry up orders of original style and Cajun-seasoned fries. They're never frozen and are soaked in salted water and pre-fried wet so that when they're fried a second time, they absorb less oil than the standard order of fries you'll find elsewhere. It's also interesting to note that all Five Guys' potatoes comes from Idaho, and if you like to dip your fries in mayo instead of ketchup, you're in for another treat: The family that founded the chain loves mayonnaise so much, they sampled 16 different brands before deciding on the perfect one. Rest assured it's some of the best you'll ever taste. And here's a bit of insider advice: Cheese fries aren't on the standard menu, but some locations are willing to put them together for you if you ask nicely.
7. Gilbert's 17th Street Grill
1821 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-768-8990, or visit gilberts17thstgrill.com.
Yes, fries are typically made out of regular old white potatoes. But somewhere down the line, a brilliant chef decided to fry up a stick of the humble potato's sweeter orange cousin, and something magical happened. At this family-owned 17th Street spot in Fort Lauderdale, you'll find some of the best homemade sweet potato fries around. Served piping hot atop a vintage(-looking) newsprint paper, these bright orange treats of fried goodness are absolutely addictive. Bonus: Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients, so the fact that they're fried is almost irrelevant.
6. Temple Street Eatery
416 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 754-701-0976, or visit templestreeteatery.com.
OK, we know what you're thinking: good fries at an Asian restaurant? No way. But yes way. These aren't just any old fries. They're lemongrass fries seasoned with a special blend of salt, Chinese peppercorns, and fresh lemongrass that is first wok-tossed and ground into a fine powder before being lightly dusted on the fresh-fried shoestring potato fries. It may sound a bit odd, but trust us — this is one Asian fusion take that doesn't disappoint.