Fast Food French Fries, Ranked from Worst to Best
Yes, yes, fast food is terrible for your health. But, sometimes, you just need to indulge in the irresistible goodness of something overly greasy, even if it leaves your stomach hurting and your heart full of guilt.
And while we love the main courses, our real metric of a good fast-food place is its French fries. At the risk of igniting an all-out war amongst fans of deep-fried potatoes, we ranked 10 popular fast-food restaurants by their fries, ordered from whatever to pure perfection.
10. Sonic Drive-In
Sonic is a decent burger place that stands out with its 1950s-style rollerblading waiters. Sadly, the quality does not extend to fries, which are as bland as they come.
If you're getting a burger and a shake, you might as well get the fries, but expect to chew them mindlessly and forget them as soon as they're finished.
If you've never tried fries from McDonald's, it, well, makes us wonder if you've been living under a rock. But it also makes us think that we should warn you they're not at all what they're hyped up to be, especially now that they come in new, paper packaging that guarantees they'll get cold within seconds of being served.
Apart from that, the saltiness is always inconsistent and the flavor just isn't what we need it to be. Some people have been tricked into thinking McD's has the best fries — but we suspect they're either being blackmailed or have been hypnotized.
8. In-N-Out Burger
Though only present in seven states, In-N-Out has a very loyal customer base. They'll likely tell you that everything this chain does is the best in the fast-food game.
But even the biggest fans of In-N-Out can't defend its rather bland fries. We're not sure why they can't quite figure it out, but we know they're never crispy and almost always tasteless. This is a rare case in which we recommend going for the burgers but not getting fries.
We'll level with you: Nothing Arby's does should legally be allowed to call itself food. Including its fries.
The restaurant talks wonders of its curly fries, which we admit are slightly more passable than the crinkled ones. But both taste like they've been deep-fried in week-old oil (probably because they have been) and have the texture of rubber.
Wendy's french fries aren't spectacular, but they won't make you gag. If you're ending the night at the 24-hour drive-thru and just need grease in your system, these fries will do.
But you probably won't catch us eating them in the middle of the day when we're not sleep-deprived and when there are other options that won't make you feel like you're disrespecting your body.
5. Burger King
Of the big three in burgers (McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King) the king is, well, the king. Are they the best fries you'll ever have? Absolutely not! But if you're in a drive-thru mood, they're the best ones you'll get.
Whether the same goes for the burgers is a different story.
We know this ranking will ruffle some feathers because we've been present in many real-life conversations where people spend 20 minutes raving about Chick-fil-A fries. They're fairly good for fast food, we'll give them that, but they're way too salty to deserve a higher spot.
Plus, Chick-fil-A is always wrapped up in controversy over its ties to anti-LGBTQ groups, and who wants to support that?
3. Kentucky Fried Chicken
Americans have only been able to get French fries at KFC since 2019 — interestingly, the chain did have fries in some international locations before this. What makes these fries stand out is that they use the "secret recipe" seasoning that makes people love the chain's chicken.
Most other chains give you fries seasoned with salt, so it's definitely a pleasant surprise to see fast food actually bring some flavor to the market.
2. Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen
Ironically, it seems like fried-chicken chains have some of the best fries out there. (At least in the world of fast food).
Like KFC, Popeye's makes its fries stand out by actually seasoning them and making them taste like something. The Cajun recipe is so good, you'll find multiple online recipes that claim to replicate the magic. Plus, they have good texture and aren't as limp as our hopes for the future. Definitely worth a stop!
1. Five Guys
The best fast-food joint for burgers (in our humble opinion) is also the best for fries. Though Five Guys comes nowhere near the quality of a real restaurant, its fries are pretty impressive.
According to the chain, its fries are made are freshly made and cooked in cholesterol-free oil. We're inclined to believe this is true because the taste really is superior to any of its fast food competitors.
You can get fries in regular or Cajun flavors — both of which are perfectly crispy.