The Ultimate Fast Food And Fast Casual French Fry Ranking For 2023

Who makes the greatest French fries in all of fast food (and fast casual)? That’s a question we’ve asked ourselves all year, and we’ve been hot on the search. In our grueling quest (shh, don’t tell my editor that I love eating fast food), we’ve blind taste tested fast food French fries, explored some of our favorite fast casual fries, and even tackled seasoned fries.

All so that we could work up to this moment — the ultimate fast food French fry ranking on the internet. The pinaccle of fry content for 2023.

It’s been two years since our last big French fry ranking, and to justify ranking them again we’re going bigger than every other food site online. Because we’ve tasted and reviewed over 30 different fries across the fast food landscape in search of the very best. We’re talking about salted fries, curly fries, seasoned fries, and everything in between — all to answer the question of who makes the greatest French fries across fast food and fast casual. Through our re-tasting and re-ranking, a lot of brands have shifted spots, and we’re looking at an almost completely brand-new top five.

Through various tastings, we’ve broken down the flavor, texture, seasoning blend, and quality of each order of fries so that you never have to spend money on something that isn’t worth your time. Before we dive in let’s define what makes for a great order of French fries:

  • Great French fries should be crispy, not soggy.
  • Soft on the inside, not mealy like freezer section fries.
  • They should be dusted with the perfect amount of seasoning — whether that’s just salt, or something more adventurous like paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, or even sugar.
  • No matter how many different spices are used, it should never be too much of one ingredient. The most important ingredient of all is the potatoes — I’m looking for the natural flavor of potatoes, not something that is fried to the point of being all texture no flavor.

Okay, let’s dive in and find the greatest French fries in all of fast food.

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Food Rankings From The Last Month

30. Arby’s — Crinkle Cut Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

We can all agree that crinkle-cut fries kind of suck right? Crinkle-cut fries aren’t so bad that I’m going to rank all of them last, but I’ll never understand why these things are sold anywhere. Ask yourself this, if you had your own fast food restaurant where you were able to design the menu and fill it with all of your favorites, are you putting crinkle-cut on the menu? Probably not.

My least favorite crinkle-cut fry in all of fast food is definitely Arby’s. They’re bland, hard as a rock because no one orders them, and don’t taste all that different from the Ore-Ida fries you pick up at the frozen aisle of the market. In fact, I think I prefer the Ore-Ida bag, at least this way I could season the fries with something other than salt.

The Bottom Line:

Wow, look at that Arby’s, you managed to make something worse than freezer aisle fries!

Find your nearest Arby’s here.

29. Dairy Queen — Fries

Dairy Queen

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

I’m sorry to the Dairy Queen fans out there but, DQ is for ice cream — straight up f*ck the food. It’s all awful. Now granted, sometimes you want something salty to dip into your soft serve ice cream, and these fries are good enough to handle that task… mostly.

The main problem with DQ’s fries is how limp they are. They’re often mushy, undercooked, and soak up grease like a sponge making them too limp to stab into the ice cream. The flavor is fine, it’s salty almost buttery, but the lack of crispiness here is a serious problem.

The Bottom Line:

Limp ass fries.

Find your nearest Dairy Queen here.

28. Shake Shack — Crinkle Cut Fries

Shake Shack

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

It blows my mind how bad Shake Shack’s fries are. No, I’m not just saying that because these are crinkle-cut fries and I already expressed my distaste for the form factor — these are objectively bad. Where I live there is a Shake Shack, Five Guys, and In-N-Out in close proximity to one another and even though I think out of those three Shake Shack makes the best cheeseburger by a country mile, I’ve opted for the other two more often than not just so I wouldn’t have to deal with these truly awful French fries.

They’re a stain on the Shake Shack menu — my biggest issue is that they’re flavorless. The flavor of potato isn’t even really there, it’s just a blank neutral canvas. It’s edible when dipped in ketchup or the sauce of your choice, but not before dusting the fries with some salt and black pepper. Aside from the flavor, the texture is also bad, it’s crispy and abrasive and will definitely f*ck up the roof of your mouth.

The Bottom Line:

So bad they devalue the entire Shake Shack menu.

Find your nearest Shake Shack here.

27. Sonic Drive-In — French Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Bland and begging for sauce. What makes Sonic special is all of the other fried sides on the menu. Why opt for fries when you can have delicious mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, or Sonic’s Chili Cheese Fries? Once these bland fries are doused in melted cheese and chili, they add some needed texture to a salty and savory flavor profile, but on they’re own it’s clear they’re just a canvas for something else.

The Bottom Line:

Sonic is pushing you to order the Chili Cheese Fries by making these so boring. Do that! If you don’t like Chili Cheese Fries, don’t get fries at Sonic, it’s not worth it.

Find your nearest Sonic Drive-In here.

26. Del Taco — Crinkle Cut Fries

Del Taco

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Quick, you have to choose between eating lunch at Shake Shack or Del Taco but you can only eat the fries, where are you going? The only answer is Del Taco, do you see now how ridiculous it is that Shake Shack insists on selling crinkle-cut fries? The answer should never be Del Taco!

Del Taco dunks on Shake Shack because these fries have a softer outer texture (don’t worry they’re still crispy) and a bigger focus on the potato flavor on the inside. Del Taco also salts their fries more liberally than Shake Shack does and overall the experience, from flavor to mouthfeel, is much more enjoyable here. They still kind of suck because they’re crinkle-cut fries, but they’re at least edible.

The Bottom Line:

A nicely salted crinkle-cut fry with a tame ridge and a potato-forward flavor.

Find your nearest Del-Taco here.

25. Burger King — French Fries

Burger King

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Here is my big issue with BK’s fries — they’re inconsistent. I’ve had orders that have been perfectly palatable, almost delicious. They’re crispy, buttery, and salty. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, most of the time they’re soggy, salted to the point of being inedible, and inundated with so much rancid oil that they’ll make you sick.

That kind of extends to the whole of BK’s menu. Once this place figures out how to make consistently hot meals and how to stop overcooking its burgers, it may actually join the mid to top-tier of fast food brands. Right now it’s dominating the bottom.

The Bottom Line:

You may get an order that is piping out and deliciously salted. But… most times you won’t.

Find your nearest Burger King here.

24. Farmer Boys — Always Crispy Fries

Farmer Boys

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Farmer Boys is inconsistent with everything the chain makes. The burgers can run the gamut from good to inedible, and the same goes for the fries. When they’re good, they’re delicious, thin, crispy, crunchy, and salty. When they’re bad they’re hard-as-a-diamond grease traps that taste like rancid oil.

The fact that these are called “always crispy” is some sort of cruel joke. Hard as a rock is not crispy…Where is the snap Farmer Boys?!

Because you never know what you’re going to get at Farmer Boys, we have to rank this one low.

The Bottom Line:

Yes, you should substitute those fries for an order of Fried Zucchini. Every time.

Find your nearest Farmer Boys here.

23. Rally’s/Checkers — Seasoned Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

I used to say that Rally’s Seasoned Fries were reason alone to hit the Rally’s drive-thru. I’m not sure what happened but over the past few years but the quality of these fries has sharply declined. These fries are too often overcooked, resulting in a stale, oily flavor that tastes straight-up dirty.

They’re way too over-battered, resulting in a French fry that tastes more like a batter casing than actual potato.

The Bottom Line:

If you haven’t been to Rally’s in a while, don’t let these fries be the reason for your return. They’re not as good as they used to be.

Find your nearest Rally’s here.

22. White Castle — Crinkle Cut Fries

French Fries
White Castle

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

There are so many different crinkle-cut fries in fast food that I”m starting to wonder if I’m the weird one for not liking them. White Castle’s fries are crispy, fluffy, and super salty. They’re perfectly serviceable, but why are you ordering these instead of onion rings?

The Bottom Line:

Get the onion rings!

Find your nearest White Castle here.

21. Wahlburgers — Yukon French Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

“Come on, come on. Feel it, feel it!” Sorry, it’s impossible for me not to think of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch every time I eat at Wahlburgers. As far as I’m concerned, this ‘90s classic should be pumped through the loudspeakers at every Wahlburgers once every hour, followed by the entire Boogie Nights soundtrack.

Look, I’m stalling, Wahlburgers fries are… fine. The exterior of these fries have the perfect level of crispiness, but the flavor of the potatoes are remarkably bland. Unseasoned potato that can’t be saved by adding your own salt and pepper. In order for salt to adhere to fries, it needs to be dusted on right after they leave the fryer, but on every occasion I’ve had Wahlburger, they haven’t done this.

You need to dip these things in the Wahl Sauce or ketchup in order for them to be enjoyable. They’re natural, so they have that going for them,

The Bottom Line:

If you came to Wahlburgers looking for good vibrations, don’t order the Yukon French Fries.

Find your nearest Wahlburgers here.

20. Raising Cane’s — Crinkle Cut Fries

Raising Canes

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

My big issue with Raising Cane’s fries is that despite the delicious bright and buttery flavor, these seriously lack crunch. A soggy fry is a sad fry.

Dipping these fries in some Cane’s Sauce makes the experience of eating them more enjoyable, as it adds a deep savory dimension to those otherwise one-note fries, but at the end of the day I just wish they were crispier.

The Bottom Line:

Good but best-experienced in-restaurant. Don’t attempt to take these home, they’ll sog up.

Find your nearest Raising Cane’s here.

19. Wendy’s — Hot & Crispy Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Two years ago Wendy’s launched these “Hot & Crispy” fries and while we enjoyed the novelty for a while, it feels like Wendy’s needs to go back to the drawing board. These fries are fine, they are indeed hot and crispy (most of the time) but the flavor is so one-note and boring. Wendy’s seems to think that pouring salt all over their fries is enough to win people over, but it’s not.

What makes it all the more frustrating is that Wendy’s has breakfast potato wedges that are f*cking delicious, presenting a strong onion and garlic flavor and the perfect level of crispiness. If Wendy’s would just replace its fries with breakfast potatoes, they’d be one of the best fast food restaurants in the game, but they keep f*cking around with these things instead.

The Bottom Line:

Wendy’s fairly new Hot & Crispy fries are still a bit lacking. It’s the one thing holding this fast food chain back from greatness.

Find your nearest Wendy’s here.

18. Dog Haus — French Fries

Dog Haus

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

No, you’re not crazy, these do look delicious, but looks can be deceiving. It’s not that Dog Haus’ fries are bad, they’re just… boring. They’re natural skin-on potatoes, which is a great thing to see, but they’re so inattentively seasoned that they come across like bland under-salted potato chips. Crispy, with a nice texture, but little else to write home about.

Dog Haus also serves Tots and Sweet Potato Fries, both of those options are better than this. We’ll give these fries some extra points for being natural and prepared to order, but the execution is lacking.

The Bottom Line:

Great texture, boring flavor. Order the sweet potato fries instead.

Find your nearest Dog Haus here.

17. Arby’s — Curly Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Arby has been doing curly fries for as long as anyone can remember — we probably have Arby’s to thank for even making the curly fry a thing — but I’m sorry to the Arby’s heads out there, Jack in the Box perfected the form.

The flavors here are great, you have a mix of garlic and black pepper with a gentle lingering onion flavor on the aftertaste, but they’re over-fried. All you can taste is the seasoning, none of the potato.

The Bottom Line:

Delicious but a bit imperfect. If you want the best curly fries in the game you’re going to have to go to Jack in the Box.

Find your nearest Arby’s here.

16. In-N-Out — French Fries

In N Out

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

I get it, these fries are polarizing, but let me just say this: if you have a problem with potatoes that are peeled and cut in-house, and fried to order, the problem isn’t the fries — it’s you. Now granted, I get why In-N-Out’s fries have a bad reputation. Generally, In-N-Out is incredibly busy, and as such the fries are tossed into an overworked frier and pulled a few seconds too late, resulting in an overcooked spud that lacks flavor. But on those rare occasions when In-N-Out is only moderately busy, these French fries are delicious enough to transport you to another world!

The fries are always perfectly salted, and I’ve been to some In-N-Out restaurants where there is a gentle dusting of pepper on the fries as well. In-N-Out prides itself on its customer service, so if the fries aren’t to your standards, take them back and ask them to be “lightly fried” — they won’t drop the ball twice.

The Bottom Line:

Delicious, natural but inconsistent. When In-N-Out f*cks up their own fries, they’re inedible, but on those rare occasions everything goes right these are some of the best, yes, the best, French fries in the game.

Find your nearest In-N-Out here.

15. Chick-Fil-A — Waffle Fries

Chick fil A

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

People absolutely love Chick-fil-A’s Waffle Fries but I think that’s more to do with being charmed by the form factor than the way these things actually taste. They’re fine, very natural tasting with an earthy potato-forward flavor. Chick-fil-A lightly dusts each order with sea salt but in my experience, they do this too late after they’ve left the fryer.

I always feel like these fries need just a bit more seasoning to really taste good, and for that, we have to rank ‘em relatively low.

The Bottom Line

Good, but not great. To make these fries truly tasty you’re going to have to take seasoning into your own hands.

Find your nearest Chick-fil-A here.

14. KFC — Secret Recipe Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

I was, pun-totally-intended, salty when KFC first killed their potato wedges and replaced them with the Secret Recipe Fries. The potato wedges were interesting and different, an anomaly in the fast food space, one part French fry, one part-baked potato. The Secret Recipe Fries are much more basic in form factor and preparation method.

But I can’t deny that flavor. It’s a mix of herbs and spices that echo KFC’s legendary Original Recipe batter blend. I can taste pepper, garlic, and onion powder, a hint of smokey paprika, and salt with a crispy, slightly battered exterior that ensures each bite is audibly crunchy and satisfying.

The Bottom Line:

If you miss the potato wedges, I feel you but give these a chance. They’re better than they look.

Find your nearest KFC here.

13. Jack in the Box — French Fries

Jack in the Box

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

I like these fries, but unfortunately, they live in the shadow of JiB’s curly fries (more on those later). These fries are salty, bright, and crispy. A nice serviceable crunch on the exterior, and fluffy buttery potato on the inside.

I don’t have anything bad to say about these fries, but they’re not good enough to compete with the direct competition of McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr, or the brand’s own curly fries.

The Bottom Line:

They’re surprisingly good, but they have to compete with curly fries also being on the menu. And they don’t even come close to being as delicious as that entry in the patheon.

Find your nearest Jack in the Box here.

12. Carl’s Jr. — French Fries

French Fry Blind
Ashley Garcia

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Imagine McDonald’s French fries with a more natural skin-on potato flavor, and you’ve got Carl’s Jr. These fries are surprisingly good, they’re earthy and slightly bitter, but well-salted and addicting. “Natural” tasting fries seemed to be all the rage in fast food a while back as many brands tried to offer skin-on French fries. That trend seems to have died out, but Carl’s Jr is making the case for why it should be a thing again.

The Bottom Line:

The most natural-tasting and best fries in all of drive-thru fast food. If you like that earthy skin-on flavor, you can’t go wrong here.

Find your nearest Carl’s Jr. here.

11. Dave’s Hot Chicken — Crinkle Cut Fries

Dane Rivera

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

See, I don’t completely hate crinkle cut! Dave’s Hot Chicken’s fries are a solid addition to your meal, they’re super crispy, while still tasting like actual potato once you bite into them. What sets these fries apart from the other crinkle-cut fries out there is the dusting of paprika that each order gets, adding a smokey component to a salty base flavor.

You can opt to order these fries smothered in cheese, and while that increases the salty flavors, I don’t recommend them over the non-cheese stock fries.

The Bottom Line:

These are very solid fries that serve as a nice palate cleanser for the more intensely spicy flavors on Dave’s menu.

Find your nearest Dave’s Hot Chicken here.

10. Jack in the Box — Curly Fries

Jack in the Box

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

The ultimate fast food curly fry! The exterior is crispy, slightly battered, and filled with flavor courtesy of garlic and onion powder, and black pepper, with an interior that tastes slightly sweet and buttery. A piping hot order is ecstasy for the taste buds, and even when they’re soggy and a bit old, they still deliver a blast of flavor that’s worth experiencing.

The only downside to these fries is how greasy they are. It makes taking down a large order a gamble, it might mess up your stomach.

The Bottom Line:

Stoner food at its finest. A lot of flavor but a lot of grease.

Find your nearest Jack in the Box here.

9. Taco Bell — Nacho Fries

Taco Bell

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

I love these fries more than Taco Bell does. How do I know? Because Taco Bell keeps taking them off the menu and putting them back on seemingly at random, and I would never do these fries like that — they deserve to be a menu staple.

For the better half of this year, they’ve enjoyed permanent menu status, but I live in fear that one day I’ll drive up to Taco Bell and order Nacho Fries only to be told they don’t have them anymore. I shouldn’t have to live like that!

The Nacho Fries are heavily battered and lightly seasoned with a mix of chili powder, paprika, salt, and garlic powder resulting in a French fry that is supremely crispy and full of the sort of flavors that make your tastebuds dance.

My only gripe is the name. As a Southern California native, the term “Nacho Fries” is one I’m intimately familiar with. At most taquerias across Los Angeles, you can order nacho fries and they’re essentially nachos with fries instead of tortilla chips, meaning you get loads of carne asada, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and whatever else you can imagine on top of a bed of crispy fries. That’s not the case at Taco Bell, these are just fries — no relation to nachos whatsoever.

The Bottom Line:

Way better than they have any business being, fries are a Taco Bell essential.

Find your nearest Taco Bell here.

8. Carl’s Jr. — Criss-Cut Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

One part waffle fry, one part curly fry, Carl’s Jr’s Criss-Cut Fries are hands down Carl’s Jr’s best fry option, and that’s saying a lot considering how good the regular fries are. These fries have that familiar blend of onion and black pepper that most seasoned fries enjoy, but there is a stronger emphasis on onion here with a hint of garlic on the backend, all hovering over an earthy potato flavor.

The exterior is slightly battered giving these fries a nice crunch that holds up against relatively low transit times, resulting in a fry that tastes as good fresh as they do sitting in a bag for a few minutes.

The Bottom Line:

Carl’s Jr.’s best fries. Chick-fil-A with a bit more flavor and crunch.

Find your nearest Carl’s Jr. here.

7. Wendy’s — Potato Wedges

Best Fries

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Even though you can only order these fries during breakfast hours, they’re still deserving of a spot on this list because they’re so damn delicious. The seasoning blend is standard seasoned fries fare, a mix of black pepper, onion, and garlic, but the texture really sets these things apart. The outside is slightly battered and crispy, and since they’re wedge-shaped they offer a more fluffy potato texture than just about every other French fry in fast food.

Sure, you could argue potato wedges aren’t fries to begin with but… I think that’s a stupid argument. Shoestring, steak, curly… if it’s a fried potato, it’s f*cking fries.

The Bottom Line:

Wendy’s greatest mistake is not giving these things permanent menu status at all hours of the day.

Find your nearest Wendy’s here.

6. Umami Burger — Togarashi Fries

Umami Burger

Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Umami Burger has four different French fry variations and ever since I had the Togarashi fries I can’t bring myself to order the others. Aside from being perfectly crunchy, what makes these fries so delicious is the togarashi seasoning, which supplies a sweet, mildly spicy, smokey, and zesty flavor to a base of buttery potato flavor.

The Bottom Line:

Unlike any other French fry in fast food. It’s zesty, floral, a bit citrusy, and smokey with the gentlest kiss of spice on the back end.

Find your nearest Umami Burger here.

5. Wienerschnitzel — French Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Wienerschinitzel is… not my favorite chain. For the longest time, I didn’t understand why anyone would ever want to eat there and then I had the fries and goddamn are they good. Like jaw-droopingly good. They’re crispy, always piping out, and deliciously savory despite only being seasoned with a pinch of salt.

Wienerschnitzel fries are top-tier!

The Bottom Line:

Wienerschinitzel’s best-kept secret is the chain’s delicious fries. Almost too good to be true.

Find your nearest Wienerschnitzel here.

4. Popeyes — Cajun Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

In this year’s blind taste test of seasoned fries we named Popeyes the number one best, and we stand by that. If your thing is seasoned fries, this is the way.

Not the crispiest fries in the game, Popeyes’ strength is in the blend of seasonings. They have a prominent black pepper flavor that mingles with the liberal use of garlic powder perfectly. The aftertaste is a slightly smokey aftertaste with floral hints of paprika. They’re just so flavorful, and that blend of sensations really takes your taste buds on a journey. That’s what we look for in a good order of fries.

The Bottom Line:

Here is an instant way to make your Popeyes Chicken Sandwich even better: shove these fries into them. The Cajun Fries are Popeyes’ all-time greatest side order and some of the best-seasoned fries in all of fast food.

Find your nearest Popeyes here.

3. Wingstop — Seasoned Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

I’ve definitely hit up Wingstop a few times solely for the fries, they’re that good. Each order is seasoned with salt, paprika, garlic powder, and just a hint of white and brown sugar. The thought of sugar on fries might sound crazy, but once you have them you’ll think of sugar as an essential French fry ingredient alongside salt. Had these fries been tasted in our blind taste test, I’m confident they would’ve taken the top spot over Popeyes.

While the fries can sometimes be soggy, that constantly shifting flavor is enough to make it all worth it.

The Bottom Line:

Addictingly sweet with an ever-shifting flavor that will draw you in for more.

Find your nearest Wingstop here.

2. McDonald’s — French Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Hands down, I think these are the best fast food fries ever — nothing beats them! So why aren’t they number one? Because Fast Casual is a thing that exists. I’ll get into that with our number one choice but first, let’s talk about what makes these fries so delicious.

We have three words for you: natural beef flavor. That’s what makes these French fries so damn addicting. The Golden Arches no longer fry their French fries in beef tallow, but they still aren’t completely vegetarian, and the presence of some sort of beef by-product in the cooking process adds a savory dimension to these fries that are hard to equal.

On their best day, the outside is perfectly crispy, while the inside of the fry offers fluffy buttery goodness. That rich buttery flavor dominates the profile, mingling with the right amount of salt and a hint of savoriness on the back end that makes these fries downright addicting. The aftertaste is tinged with just a subtle hint of sweetness. I’m convinced McDonald’s sprinkles a hint of sugar on each order, but I can’t confirm that.

Having said that, when McDonald’s fries are old, they’re inedible. Like straight-up garbage.

The Bottom Line:

The best fries for the money in all of fast food, but there is just one brand we think is doing it better…

Find your nearest McDonald’s here.

1. Five Guys — Salted Fries/Cajun Fries


Thoughts And Tasting Notes:

Naming McDonald’s as the number one French fry would’ve been easy. It would’ve resulted in nobody emailing me to tell me I’m either “stupid,” “wrong” or both 9perhaps separated or punctuated with a few curses). But I say, bring it on — Five Guys make the best French fries in all of fast food, no f*cking contest.

First, they’re natural potatoes that are cut in-restaurant and sourced from different farms across Idaho, the potato capital of the goddamn world. Then they’re twice fried for a perfectly crunchy and slightly cavernous exterior (perfect for the salt or Cajun seasoning to live in) that houses some deliciously buttery, earthy, and complex fluffy potato. They’re everything the perfect French fry should be.

Whether you order the Salted or Cajun Fries, what you get here is unparalleled.

Granted, like McDonald’s, the more time it takes for you to eat these things, the less delicious they’ll be. So do not hesitate, rip that greasy bag open, throw some extra cajun seasoning or even just black pepper across these things, and strap in for French fries at their most perfect.

The Bottom Line:

Unapologetically, the best French fries in all of fast and fast casual food. Five Guys are obsessive about how they prepare fries and will only drop a new basket once you order them. That commitment makes them truly worthy of the admittedly bloated price point.

Find your nearest Five Guys here.