The 13 Best French Fries Around Chicago
By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 23, 2016 5:11PM
Let’s be honest: if you don’t appreciate a good old pile of fried spuds alongside your Chicago-style hot dog, you’re dead inside. Fries, in all their forms, capture our hearts—and that’s true across generations, regardless of political preference and no matter where you reside. After all, they’re classic. Well, sometimes. And even when they’re not, fries have an undeniable draw.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best, from condiment-laden fries to straightforward diner-style mainstays. So put your carb-counting on hiatus and dive right in. And remember, this is a list of our favorites—if we forgot one of your favorites on this list, let us know by commenting, please!
—By Jennifer Olvera
Tucked within the Chicago French Market, Frietkoten Belgian Fries & Beer comes courtesy of Netherlands-native Jeroen Hasenbos. The main attraction is destination-worthy cones of hand-cut Belgian fries, accompanied by a choice of 20 or so sauces. Creamy inside with a crisp exterior, they’re best plunked into truffle mayo and washed down with a Belgian brew.
Frietkoten Belgian Fries & Beer is at 131 N. Clinton St.
Cross-Rhodes — a longstanding Greek American diner in Evanston — isn’t much to look at, but man does this storefront wow when it comes to ultra-crunchy Greek fries, which are bathed in herbaceous, lemony white wine sauce. Up the ante further and get them Maria-style, which adds crumbled feta into the mix and get the Rhodes-style skirt steak, also the stuff of dreams.
Cross-Rhodes is at 913 Chicago Ave., Evanston.
Photo via Au Cheval
Billing itself as a diner, Au Cheval is so much more than the sum of its parts, thanks to a menu of rich, welcoming eats. However, your meal should always include the fried house-made bologna sandwich and indulgent crispy fries with mornay sauce, garlic aioli and a fried farm egg. For a twist, though, you could get the crispy potato hash with duck heart gravy instead.
Au Cheval is at 800 W. Randolph St.
A go-to for hand-cut fries, Frite Street is serious about its fries, offering a daily take along with upwards of ten varied, regularly offered piles of fries. The most notable among them is the Sriracha-buffalo-swathed chicken version, crowned with saucy pulled poultry, carrots, celery, ranch dressing and scallions.
Frite Street is at 400 S. Financial Pl.
Double-cooked in vegetable oil, the fries at Beef & Barley are not to be missed. They’re nothing crazy, mind you — just a mound of skin-on potato sticks, albeit perfectly, fresh-fried ones with garlicky yogurt dipping sauce on the side.
Beef & Barley is at 3001 N. Ashland Ave.
There’s much to love about unassuming Big Guy’s Sausage Stand, located in suburban Forest Park, starting with its chef-y approach to house-made encased meats. But the artery-clogging gluttony doesn’t stop with the stellar buffalo chicken, crawfish andouille and Italian chicken sausages. There are classics, like the pork chop sandwich, a foot-long Polish and—far from afterthoughts—hand-cut canola-fried fries that come plain; bathed in butter and garlic; cloaked in buffalo sauce and blue cheese; or loaded with cheese sauce, bacon, chives and sour cream. Yeah, they’re pretty much a five-napkin (or plastic fork) affair.
Big Guy’s Sausage Stand is at 7021 W. Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park.
Photo via DMK Burger Facebook
Known for its meaty hand-helds, who’s-counting-calories shakes and superior spuds, DMK Burger Bar is a go-to for good reason. Among the memorable hand-cut Russets are those doused in Parmesan and truffle cream. Then again, the sweet potato fries with Tabasco-lemon aioli are pretty good, too. Want to keep it simple? Go for the sea salt and black pepper — basic but not, they come with house-made ketchup.
DMK Burger Bar is at 2954 N. Sheffield Ave. and 2370 Fountain Square Dr., Lombard, and also has outposts at Soldier Field and Navy Pier.
As if the house-ground beef for standout single, couple and triple griddled burgers wasn’t reason enough to come to Edzo’s Burger Shop, there are delicious, delicious fries... like the ones blanketed in Merkt’s cheddar; loaded ones dolloped with cheese, bacon, green onions and sour cream; and fries drenched in parsley garlic butter. Like yours extra-crunchy? Order the “old fries,” which are extra-brown and almost tooth-shatteringly crisp.
Edzo’s Burger Shop is at 1571 Sherman Ave., Evanston.
Photo via Bop N Grill Facebook
Caramelized kimchi bacon cheese fries, cooked with rendered pork fat and sprinkled with green onions and sesame seeds. That pretty much says it, in all its funky, explosively flavorful, oddly-yet-deliciously mishmashed glory. Get them at bopnGrill—pronto.
bopnGrill is at 6604 N. Sheridan Rd. and 921 W. Belmont Ave.
When you’re looking to shake things up, the sweet potato-curry fries at Puerto Rican, Japanese, Southeast Asian and Korean-inflected Saucy Porka should do the trick. The crinkle-cuts are showered with queso fresco and green onions and served with dunk-worthy curry aioli.
Saucy Porka is at 400 S. Financial Pl.
About as old-school and real-deal as it gets, throwback meals at wood-paneled Top Notch Beefburger, a true, timeless institution in Beverly, feature beef tallow fries (or onion rings) that alone are worth the trek. Through in a chocolate malt and a burger made with hand-ground meat and you’ll be tempted to make it a double (order, that is).
Top Notch Beefburger is at 2116 95th St.
The rooftop at Little Goat Diner. (Photo via Little Goat Diner's Facebook page.)
For a unique take on the time-honored French fry, Little Goat cold-smokes its thin, hand-cut fries before frying them proper. The result is less jarring than it sounds; they’re really just a heap of a well-executed side, which vies for attention with fried pickles and onion rings, loco moco, sloppy goat sandwiches and scallion-stipped pork belly pancakes.
Little Goat is at 820 W. Randolph St.
At BIG & little’s, you can load up on fried fish or shrimp and chips, burgers, po’boys of many stripes and impressive seafood, meat and poke tacos, but you really need to try the fries, be it the kimchi, Cajun or truffle, topped with an over-easy egg.
BIG & little’s is at 860 N. Orleans St., 1034 W. Belmont Ave. and 1310 N. Milwaukee Ave.