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These Are the Best Fries in America This Year, According to Data

Get your crunch on.
FACT CHECKED BY Mura Dominko

"Do you want fries with that?" is an all-American refrain, more often than not answered with a resounding "yes." But that doesn't mean that all of America agrees on which fast-food chain is the best place to get said fries from.

And can you blame us? With so many options in the realm and so many different takes on the fried side, it's hard to definitively answer which pile of french fries Americans crave the most. Recently, though, the global insights platform Premise made it their mission to try.

RELATED: This Fast-Food Chicken Sandwich Was Just Crowned the Best Of the Year

They sent 100 contributors into the field, sampling french fries from major national chains–like Arby's, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys, Hardee's, In-N-Out, McDonald's, Popeyes and Wendy's. Then, based on a thoroughly developed research system, the fry-samplers shared their take on all of the most important aspects of any french fry order: taste, texture, temperature, and price. After compiling the feedback, Premise was left with a ranking of the top three french fries for 2021.

There is, apparently, a tie for first place this year—Chick-fil-A and Arby's share the gold. While Chick-fil-A's fries are famously waffle-cut, Arby's de facto fries are either crinkle or curly. To make a non-scientific assumption here, these rankings might lead you to believe that America is a fan of non-traditional fry texture. And the third-place basket backs up that inference: Shake Shack's crinkle-cut potatoes round out the top contenders.

Chick-fil-A dominated the french fry game, but their supremacy did not end there. The survey also included an evaluation of this year's much-discussed chicken sandwich wars–a highly debated topic that is honestly overdue for an official verdict (we made our own this summer—get our ranking here). According to over a third of participants, Chick-fil-A triumphed in that arena as well. The second-place sandwich was Popeyes, followed by KFC's rendition of the meal.

Our only question is: did the survey contributors know the Popeyes secret chicken sandwich menu hack? Would that have changed everything?

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Kaley Roberts
Kaley Roberts is a food writer. Read more