Skip to main content

We Tried 7 Fast-Food Fries & These Are the Best!

French fries are arguably one of the most popular hits that bring people up to the drive-thru window. They're cheap, and no one can resist a salty, crispy, deep-fried potato. But which fast-food joint holds the title for the best fries?

Well, our Eat This, Not That! team took it upon ourselves to find out for you. It's a daunting task, really—but we NEED answers in the name of journalism.

Out of the plethora of fast food spots available across the country, we narrowed our testing down to seven fast-food places we thought were the most popular and that would reach a national audience. Sorry west coasters, but the In-N-Out fries were just too far out of reach to include in our taste test.

With that, ranked from worst to best, is our list of fast-food fries. (Hint: We did not see this winner coming.)

And for more, don't miss these 100 Shocking Facts About Fast Food You Never Knew.

How we graded them

List checkmark boxes

The restaurants we grabbed fries from included:

  • Arby's
  • Burger King
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Five Guys
  • McDonald's
  • Shake Shack
  • Wendy's

We evaluated the fast-food fries based on texture and taste. And when it comes to French fries, everyone is different. Some like them extra crunchy, while others like them softer and with a mashed potato-y texture. We honed in on wanting a fresh potato taste (nothing artificial-tasting), not an overwhelming amount of salt, and a pleasing golden fried crust surrounding soft potato on the inside.

RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!


Burger King

burger king soda and fries

No, we didn't get the chicken fries—although something about the regular potato fries makes me wish we did. When we first tried them, they tasted stale. Overall, in our opinion, they were just not good.

Sadly, this vote was unanimous when deciding the worst. The fries practically looked untouched after the taste test, while some tasters went back for seconds and thirds on the other fries. We were not fans of the fake potato taste.

One editor said, "Not enough salt, these taste the most 'fake.' They don't taste at all as I remember from childhood." Another said, "Not great…dense…I don't taste the salt and it has a bad aftertaste." We didn't hold much back when it came to these fries. Maybe we should have just bought those chicken fries after all.

RELATED: We Tried Every Burger at Burger King—Here Are the Best Ones



wendys large fries

Poor Wendy's. We were shocked by our reactions. On the Wendy's website, the company states that its spuds are "cut from whole potatoes, cooked skin-on, and served hot and crispy with a sprinkle of sea salt for a taste as real as it gets." These looked the most healthy with the skins, but their taste after the trek back to the office had diminished, sadly.

Our editors said they looked "a bit limp" and left some "underwhelmed." But others found the fries and their authentic potato taste delicious! One editor said "Good amount of salty…tastes fresh. I'm into it. Now, I need a burger."

It was a common thought that they tasted the most similar to a baked potato. One editor stated, "I feel like I need some sour cream for these fries!" Overall, they just didn't give us that crispy fried texture our favorite spuds are known for, so these were ranked second to last.

RELATED: 8 Secrets Wendy's Doesn't Want You to Know



Chick fil a waffle fries facebook

Ah, the waffle fry. Some love it, others hate it. It gives you multiple opportunities for extra crunchy bits and more of a steak fry texture. We love a good waffle fry, and there's no denying that Chick-fil-A sauce is unmatched. The fries alone are super crispy and salty, but that can sometimes only please part of the crowd.

We were split down the middle. One editor said, "not salty enough…not a fan of waffle fries. Too much potato, not enough crunch." But another said, "I love how salty these are, and they didn't get soggy after sitting out." If you're a fan of waffle fries, you'll love the ones at Chick-fil-A.

RELATED: 15 Secrets About Chick-fil-A Every Fan Needs to Know


Five Guys

five guys large fries

Five Guys gets bonus points for giving so many fries in the bag. OK, we're kidding, but we did watch a worker get a large cup, fill that, put it in the bag, then scoop even more into the bag. We had so much extra, which was good because we enjoyed them thoroughly. We're glad we ordered the large. Unlike other fast-food French fries, Five Guys fries are cooked in peanut oil and seasoned with regular salt. It sure gives them a different taste compared to the rest!

These fries have a boardwalk feel. One editor said, "I would've preferred them with vinegar. They have a weird taste by themselves." We're not sure if the "weird" taste is the peanut oil, but others enjoyed it. One editor even voted these fries as her top pick! She said they "taste like actual potatoes; just the right amount of salt, the skin on them adds a nice flavor." The balance of soft potato and crispy salty edges made for a great classic fry taste.

RELATED: This Is Why Five Guys Burgers Are So Consistently Good 



arbys large fries

Nothing beats the spiced curly fries and topping that off with a Jamocha Shake. Unfortunately, the fries on taste test day were underwhelming and not quite enough to hit the top two spots in our test.

We were split across the board. Some loved the deliciously spicy taste and said the "seasoning is top-notch," while others said they were "too spicy and not a typical fry." One editor who put it as her number one said, "Wow! These are seasoned perfectly and were still fresh after the subway ride. I couldn't stop going back for more." Another said, "Seasoning is top-notch. Not as crunchy, but very enjoyable."

The classic salted fry is not a recipe to mess with. But Arby's does an excellent job with its take.

RELATED: 11 Secrets Arby's Doesn't Want You to Know



mcdonald's food fries lights

McDonald's fries are always a crowd favorite. These salty spuds are classic, and the voting proved just that. These fries are enjoyable hot or cold, even without ketchup or any dipping sauce. You can't mess with perfection.

Some lower voters are definitely fans of the more crispy potatoes. One editor said they're "not too salty, but really squishy. Not crispy enough, I would say they're too soggy." Others loved the flimsy potato strip, saying they "taste like college." Others raved about eating them growing up. One editor said these fries were "classic—tasted like my childhood." Sometimes, the nostalgia is worth the grease.

RELATED: You Won't Believe How Many Ingredients Are In McDonald's French Fries


Shake Shack

shake shack large fries

Shake Shack started out as a hot dog stand if you can believe it, yet now they're a growing national chain known for its burgers and, can you believe, its crinkle-cut fries.

Eat This, Not That! editors were neck-and-neck between these and the heavy-hitter McDonald's fries, but overall these fries triumphed over them all. One editor raved "love the crinkle-cut and color—tastes simply delicious." One editor said "They taste like a real potato–perfectly crunchy and salty. That's saying a lot for a crinkle-cut fry. I usually hate them." So there you have it: Shake Shack can turn anyone into a crinkle-cut connoisseur.


Read more about your favorite fast-food joints:

19 Classic McDonald's Happy Meal Toys You Forgot About

Shake Shack Is Bringing Back This Beloved Menu Item

The Worst Wendy's Burger You Should Never Order

The post We Tried 7 Fast-Food Fries & These Are the Best! appeared first on Eat This Not That.

Eat This Not That

Popular posts from this blog

These 5 Grocery Items Are Cheaper Than Ever Right Now

The grocery industry has been facing major disruptions. The combined effects of the pandemic, climate change, and economic uncertainty over the past couple of years have culminated in a series of supply chain breakdowns. For the consumer, this means supply shortages , shipping delays , and temporary store closures are becoming more commonplace – and all of the added production cost to suppliers is driving up food prices . The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index report for January 2022 was released on Feb. 9, and it tells the story of cost trends for every spending category over the past year. Now the numbers are in, and since January 2021, "food at home" spending has increased 7.4%. Consumers should use this number as a benchmark, Phil Lempert, the consumer behavior analyst and founder behind Supermarket Guru , told Eat This, Not That! "Anything that's substantially less [than the 7.4% increase] is a deal," said Lempert. "When you

When Should I Take Creatine?

Creatine is probably the most well-researched supplement on the market today. Numerous studies have found positive adaptations in strength, power and muscle mass thanks to creatine supplementation—especially when it's combined with resistance training. Although the benefits of creatine are well-known to lifters, the best time to take it isn't common knowledge. Which leads us to some important questions:     Does an optimal time for consuming creatine exist?     If it does, should you take it before or after your workout? According to a new study published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition, the timing of creatine ingestion does indeed play a role in getting bigger and stronger. Creatine supplementation before resistance training increases muscular strength and lean muscle mass. Interestingly, taking creatine immediately after lifting weights results in greater muscle growth than taking it immediately before. However, in terms of strength gains, no difference betw

Reentry Anxiety Is Real - Why You May Experience It as Stay-at-Home Measures Ease

When the coronavirus stay-at-home orders began in March, most people's lives changed in immeasurable ways. At the time, we were bombarded with (admittedly, very helpful) advice on how to cope with anxiety , should we experience it during this time of social distancing and sheltering in place. But with restrictions slowly starting to ease in many parts of the world, there are many people who have seen an increase in anxiety all over again, this time about leaving their homes and reentering society. Posts about people's growing anxiety have been popping up around social media for the past couple of weeks, and it's given rise to the term "reentry anxiety." We wanted to find out exactly what reentry anxiety is, whether it's normal to be experiencing trepidation about leaving your stay-at-home orders, and how to cope if you are feeling anxious. What Is Reentry Anxiety? The short answer is that "post-lockdown anxiety is real," said Dr. Balu Pitchiah ,