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.
5. Best French Fries
Sure, we call them French fries, but they were actually invented by the Belgians (leave it to us to lump them all together). This Boca Raton-based food truck serves — you guessed it — some of the best fries around. It uses a specific Belgian two-step system for cooking, which includes soaking and double frying to ensure a crispy crunchy exterior with a soft, fluffy inside. Here you can find a variety of starchy options including Yukon Gold, sweet potato, and yucca paired with a few dozen sauces like aioli, spicy horseradish, wasabi ginger, curry ketchup, and ancho chili lime.
4. Capital Grille
2430 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-446-2000, or visit thecapitalgrille.com.
So many places have them, and so many places get them wrong. Yeah, there are plenty of truffle fries out there, but then there are the Parmesan-crusted truffle cheese fries at Capital Grille in Boca Raton (and a second location in Fort Lauderdale). Hot, fresh steak fries are tossed in shredded Grana Padano, kosher salt, and white truffle oil so that every piece is thoroughly covered. The result: our version of French fry heaven and the perfect accompaniment to any steak or burger on the menu.
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3. Pistache French Bistro
101 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-833-5090, or visit pistachewpb.com.
This West Palm Beach 1920s-inspired Parisienne bistro serves some of the best fries around.
While there are a lot of great South Florida bars and restaurants serving a dazzling array of amazing fries these days, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better do-it-yourself menu than the "frite sheet" offered at Pistache French Bistro in West Palm Beach. Available from 8 p.m. to close, the markable menu allows patrons to create their own specialty pommes frites, thin and crispy fries served in baskets available in three sizes. The Colossal is the biggest, a portion that will serve four or more. From there, choose from a startling number of side sauces and aioli toppings, including a housemade ketchup and mayo, smoked paprika aioli, sherry vinegar, or black truffle and roasted garlic. If you're feeling extra fancy, the finest frite fixings include a topping of seared foie gras, cherry gastrique, and toasted pistachios. Trust us: It'll be très bien.
2. Poutine Dog
17 S. J St., Lake Worth. Call 561-766-2281, or visit poutinedogcafe.com.
Poutine, a combination of fries, cheese curds, and gravy, is the unofficial national dish of Canada. Do our friendly neighbors to the north a diplomatic favor, and try it here (though you'll be thanking them by the time you're done). The Lake Worth shop offers a wide variety of the dish with toppings ranging from ground beef, pulled pork, and smoked meat to traditional and veggie toppings. Since you have the option, you might as well go all in with the deluxe (pictured here). Alternatively, order the sampler; it comes with the choice of two poutine options in one large platter for $20.
1. Pincho Factory
155 N. Hiatus Road, Pembroke Pines. Call 754-888-9746, or visit pinchofactory.com.
Sure, the Pincho Factory in Pembroke Pines may be best known for its Latin-inspired burgers, but the Miami import is also a bastion for any self-respecting, fry-loving foodie. Although the eatery's orange-golden tots — nuggets of creamy mashed sweet potato that arrive with a side of gooey homemade apple butter — are certainly crave-worthy, they aren't the most popular side. Instead, it's the plain shoestring fries, each batch rolled in the chef's own ranch seasoning before they're fried to-order. Co-owner Nedal Ahmad has added several new creations over the years, including the popular Cajun fries, the same crispy shoestrings loaded with grilled onions, a robust Cajun seasoning, and a hefty dose of the restaurant's own mayo-ketchup combo dubbed "pink flamingo sauce." When it comes to fries, it just doesn't get more Florida than that.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.