So Tasty

We Tested 10 Fast Food French Fries, And This Is The Best!

”I hate fries,” said no one ever.

Best & Worst

We Tested 10 Fast Food French Fries, And This Is The Best!

”I hate fries,” said no one ever.

Shoestring, waffle, curly, seasoned, plain… there are about as many different French fry renditions as there are options to pair them with. Whether they’re accompanying a juicy burger or just making a solo appearance on your plate, virtually no one would pass up a good fry. In honor of the popular potato claiming the title of America’s Favorite Vegetable, we’ve put ten popular fast food joints’ French fries to the test and graded the (cheat meal only!) spuds based on Nutrition, Clean Ingredients, Appearance & Consistency, and Taste to round out this definitive, unscientific ranking.

Find out which fry made the cut (pun intended) and which fell short of satisfying. And speaking of less-than-stellar fare, scope out the 50 Unhealthiest Foods On The Planet.

How We Graded Them

pen marking report

Here are the four metrics we used to determine each french fries’ final grade.

Nutrition

No one really thinks about how much calories, fat, and sodium is really in that basket fries until after they’ve devoured ‘em all… That’s why we’re here to remind you.

Clean Ingredients

You’d think fries are made out of just some potatoes, seasoning, and oil, but many brands manage to squeeze in trans fats and freaky chemicals.

Appearance & Consistency

Soggy, flimsy, and so greasy they can probably prep your car for the winter better than your mechanic’s favorite auto lube? Pass! We want our fries crunchy and stable enough to hold up to their BFFs ketchup and mayo.

Taste

Besides for texture, taste pretty much usurps the top spot in our fry-oritization (if you didn’t catch that, that’s a play on words for “prioritization”). Ha. Simply put: taste is of utmost importance.

From Worst… To Best

10

Burger King French Fries

burger king fries

Nutrition per medium size: 380 calories, 17 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 570 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g protein), 5 g protein

Ingredients: Potatoes, Soybean Oil or Canola and Palm Oil, Modified Potato Starch, Rice Flour, Potato Dextrin, Salt, Leavening (Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Dextrose, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate added to preserve natural color.

Appearance & Consistency: Let’s begin with the unappetizing first impression: these Burger King fries soaked through the entire paper bag! We were left with a soggy mess of brown-paper-bag-meets-saturated-spuds.

Taste: My oh my, how bland these were! Not only were these taters soggy and shorter in length than most, they also fell short of our ground-low expectations for these.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

A definite pass. Given these lackluster fries’ poor nutritionals and even poorer taste, we’re giving this pick two thumbs down. Do yourself a favor: save your calories and splurge one any other fry.

9

Popeyes Cajun Fries

popeyes fries

Nutrition per regular size: 260 calories, 14 g fat (5g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 570 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 3 g protein

Ingredients: N/A

Appearance & Consistency: These were thin, stringy, and not too greasy. The spuds were speckled with black pepper and looked appealing… or so they seemed.

Taste: Nope, not appealing it all. In fact, these were appalling. Rather than tasting like potatoes, these strings tasted like fried chicken. I guess we can chalk it up to the overwhelming cajun seasoning.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

We weren’t fans of Popeyes’ super savory fries that reminded us more of a bucket of fried chicken than the starchy veggie. The worst part? These strings pack in trans fats, which the FDA warns can lead to a heightened risk of coronary heart disease. That’s definitely not worth a taste.

8

Five Guys Regular Fries

five guys fries

Nutrition per regular size: 953 calories, 41 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 962 mg sodium, 131 g carbs (15 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 15 g protein

Ingredients: Potatoes, Refined Peanut Oil, Salt

Appearance & Consistency: If googling “soggy” resulted in a full-screen image of these fries from Five Guys, that would be the most accurate description. In fact, Google should change their algorithms to do just that. That’s how overwhelmingly greased up these were.

Taste: Zero noticeable seasoning, zilch flavor. These might as well be oil-slicked shreds of cardboard. Sorry Five Guys, you might need a sixth dude to test your fries before you send them to your nationwide stores.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Thanks to the amount of refined peanut oil these were soaked in, Five Guys’ fries were flimsy enough for Cinderella’s stepmother to scold them for less-than-stellar posture. And taste-wise, we can’t imagine eating these… unless we were bribed with better fries.

7

KFC Seasoned Potato Wedges

kfc fries

Nutrition per medium size: 270 calories, 13 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 700 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

Ingredients: (Potato Wedges: Potatoes, Soybean Oil, Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Rice Flour, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Yellow Corn Meal, Spices, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate). May Contain Dextrose.)

Appearance & Consistency: Rather than the shoestring fries you know and love, these were meatier potato wedges. And we sorta liked the mushy inside—if they weren’t so heavily greased up.

Taste: Coming from a gal who has a very close relationship with her salt shaker, these fries surpassed my maximum threshold of saltiness. Not only that, I had to spit one out because of its scarily putrid flavor. Yuck.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

KFC disheartened us all with its mushy to crunchy ratio which translated to, like, 10:1. The wedges left way too much oil on my fingers to consider these somewhat satisfying. If only Colonel Sanders practiced self-restraint when it came to sodium, these would’ve ranked higher.

6

McDonald’s Fries

mcdonalds fries

Nutrition per medium size: 340 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 44 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt. Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.

Appearance & Consistency: As expected, Mickey D’s popular side is thin and stringy, and not the oiliest of them all.

Taste: Homey, familiar, and the epitome of classic fries. These were plain and lightly salted, and actually bland. Sadly, McDonald’s fries are usually a hit or miss—and this time, they weren’t as fresh as we had hoped.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Something about McDonald’s fries make many of us reminisce back to the good ol’ days of youth when munching on the stuff didn’t cause our waistlines to inflate. Given our matured palates, these “World Famous Fries” didn’t meet our high expectations.

5

Chick-Fil-A Waffle Potato Fries

chick fil a fries

Nutrition per medium size: 360 calories, 18 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (5 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 5 g protein

Ingredients: Potatoes (vegetable oil [canola oil, palm oil], disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate [to promote color retention], dextrose), fully refined high oleic canola oil (citric acid added to preserve freshness and Dimethylopolysiloxane added as an anti-foaming agent).

Appearance & Consistency: These fries, as Trump would say, were “yuge!” Rather than being thin and stringy, Chick-Fil-A’s fries were large and waffley. In fact, one of my colleagues deemed the tic-tac-toe-chart-shaped potatoes “really satisfying,” while another dubbed them “more waffle than fry.”

Taste: Some pieces were noticeably saltier than others, but overall, these were quite delicious—in an classic French fry way.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Everything you’d expect from a fry, except with added waffley flair. We liked these fries because they weren’t overly seasoned and potentially hold up well to light dips like ketchup and heavier dips like mayo and ranch… If you’re into that. Although, many fry-loving folks believe these guys get cold faster than other brands’ fries do. So, if you order a serving, make sure to gobble ‘em up quick.

4

Wendy’s Fries

wendys fries

Nutrition per medium size: 420 calories, 19 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 420 mg sodium, 56 g carbs (5 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 6 g protein

Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following oils: canola, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (to maintain natural color). Cooked in vegetable oil (soybean oil, vegetable oil [may contain one or more of the following: canola, corn, or cottonseed], hydrogenated soybean oil, dimethylpolysiloxane [anti-foaming agent]. Seasoned with sea salt.

Appearance & Consistency: Aesthetically, these weren’t the prettiest. They were actually pretty ugly. They looked bland, lackluster, and some sticks were even burned to a crisp.

Taste: Just as the ingredient list claims, these fries are solely seasoned with sea salt—which lends them that OG fry flavor. While some tasted undercooked and others were charred, the overall flavor was satisfying.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Our mirror, mirror on the wall would definitely pass on deeming these guys the fairest of them all—but, they were in fact tasty. If you’re on the prowl for the classic French fry, this might be it; although, we could do without the inconsistent textures.

3

DQ Fries

dq fries

Nutrition per regular size: 290 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 590 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil, (may contain one or more of the following: canola oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil, corn oil, soybean oil), modified food starch (potato, corn tapioca), rice flour, dextrin, salt, leavening (disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate), dextrose, xanthan gum. Cooked in soybean oil.

Appearance & Consistency: Perfect thickness to withstand the tests of ketchup and mayo. These weren’t super soggy like many of the others on this list.

Taste: DQ didn’t OD on neither the grease nor the oil. One of my colleagues admitted that these were the “perfect diner fries.”

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Before this taste test took place, I wouldn’t have thought DQ is the ideal spot for anything non-dairy. After this taste test, I beg to differ. Perfectly salted and thick enough to hold up to dips (without being too potatoey) these fries were pretty darn good.

2

Shake Shack Fries

shake shack

Nutrition per regular size: 420 calories, 19 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 490 mg sodium, 56 g carbs (5 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 5 g protein

Ingredients: N/A

Appearance & Consistency: If you’re a fan of crinkle-cut fries, these are some of the best you’ll find at your local fast food spots. They’re crunchy on the outside, and pillowy on the inside.

Taste: Mmm, mmm. Thankfully, the golden brown spuds weren’t ruined by a heartbreaking amount of oil. We loved the subtle saltiness and freshly fried flavor.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Shake Shack shook up our expectations with these soft-yet-crunchy taters. I, personally, didn’t think the burger and milkshake joint would serve up fries this good. They may look like your typical frozen fries you’d find in the freezer aisle of the supermarket, but their fresh flavor refutes any suspicions.

1

Arby’s Curly Fries

arbys fries

Nutrition per medium size: 550 calories, 29 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 1,250 mg sodium, 65 g carbs (6 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 6 g protein

Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following: canola oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, Corn Oil, palm oil), enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), salt, corn starch, onion powder, yellow corn meal, spices, garlic powder, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate), modified corn starch, dextrose, spice and coloring, natural flavor, dried torula yeast, xanthan gum, sodium acid pyrophosphate (to preserve natural color). Cooked in corn oil.

Appearance & Consistency: These fries were curlier than Taylor Swift’s hair back in 2006 and as neon-orange as a Dorito.

Taste: Arby’s nailed the seasoning blend sprinkled onto their eccentric-shaped fries. Sadly, the roast beef sandwich spot doesn’t divulge exactly which spices they season their curls with, or else we’d totally try to recreate these at home!

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Whether you’re ordering these to keep your roast beef sammich company, or just stuffing them down your throat in hopes of sobering up, these fries are ones you’ll keep coming back for! Although their nutritionals deem them the ultimate cheat meal, we approve of indulging in these addicting spuds once in a blue. After all, how can you resist?