French fries and baked potatoes may be the norm, but if you want a truly next-level spud experience at a restaurant, order a platter of loaded potato skins. The popular appetizer is a classic staple of casual-style dining, available at many restaurant chains across the country.
Typically made with a combination of cooked potatoes, melted cheese, crispy bacon, and chopped green onions, this easily shareable comfort food checks-off all boxes—crispy, salty, starchy, cheesy, and immensely satisfying.
Though you can certainly try to make them at home, the dressed-up, deep-fried skins are probably best enjoyed while dining out with a group, just the way the easily sharable finger foods were originally intended.
From a steakhouse chain where the popular starter has inspired copycat recipes to a burger chain that's so synonymous with skins that you can even find them in the freezer aisle of your local grocery stores, here are eight restaurant chains that serve the best potato skins.
Perhaps one of the most popular versions out there is found at TGI Fridays, of course. The Dallas-based chain claims to be one of the originators of loaded potato skins back in the 1970s, and certainly helped to popularize the appetizer as it grew into a global brand, with over 650 restaurants in 52 countries. TGI Fridays' skins are made using a combination of white potatoes topped with melted cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and chopped green onions, and served with ranch dressing and sour cream on the side. If you don't have a TGI Fridays nearby, the chain also sells its famous potato skins in grocery stores nationwide. Check the freezer section for the iconic red and white box.
Start off each meal at Ruby Tuesday's right by ordering its loaded potato skins appetizer. It's prepared with crispy potatoes, melted cheddar cheese, chopped bacon, and sliced green onions, and is also served with a side of sour cream. Founded in 1972, Ruby Tuesday's is known for creating fresh and delicious appetizers, entrées, desserts, and more at reasonable prices. Beyond top-notch loaded potato skins, the chain also features options like New York strip steak, mozzarella sticks, hickory bourbon salmon, and limited edition pumpkin cheesecake on its menu.
Texas Roadhouse may be most known for its homemade sides, hand-cut steaks, and freshly baked bread, but be sure not to skip the skins. Dubbed "tater skins" on the restaurant's menu, this shareable appetizer has eight baked potato skins, cut long and narrow, topped with melted cheddar cheese and crispy bacon bits. Sour cream is also served on the side, but feel free to get creative with it and swap it out for ranch or Thousand Island dressing.
What makes O'Charley's loaded potato skins so delicious? Well, for starters, the chain uses hickory-smoked bacon, giving this dish the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Included on the menu under "O'Mazing Shareables," the tasty appetizer is made using fluffy baked potato halves, piled with cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions, plus a side of sour cream. Order this dish alone, or go for the chain's Top-Shelf Appetizer Combo, which comes with loaded potato skins, spicy Jack cheese wedges, and the restaurant's famous chicken tenders.
This Kentucky-founded chain, with over 100 locations throughout the country, makes its loaded potato skins from scratch, so you should expect them to be good. Promoted as one of the restaurant's signature items, the skins at Logan's Roadhouse are whipped up using melted cheddar cheese, chopped bacon bits, sliced green onions, and a cooling side of sour cream. This popular starter joins other excellent options on the menu, like beer-battered onion rings, the Roadhouse 'Shroom & Swiss burger, a ribeye sandwich, and more.
Claim Jumper Steakhouse
If you're looking for an elevated potato skins option, check out Claim Jumper Steakhouse & Bar. At 11 locations along the West Coast, the restaurant prepares its potato skins with thickly-cut potato pieces, melted Jack and cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and a generous sprinkling of green onions. A refreshing chive dip is served on the side. Beyond next-level potato skins, Claim Jumper serves up exciting entrées and desserts, including ribeye steak, Southern-style fried chicken, carrot cake, and berry butter cake.
Black Angus Steakhouse
With 28 locations across California and four other western states, you can always count on Black Angus Steakhouse for expertly prepared dishes served in a great atmosphere. The chain, previously known as Stuart Anderson's Black Angus until 2005, has no shortage of top-notch choices on its menu, including filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, baby back ribs, and grilled fresh salmon. But, don't pass up the loaded potato skins. Offered as a starter, the chain's rendition of the beloved snack is made with melted cheddar cheese, crispy and crunchy chopped bacon, and thinly chopped green onions.
Macado's, which opened nearly five decades ago in downtown Roanoke, Va., has a menu filled with overstuffed sandwiches, gooey grilled cheeses, fun-flavored tacos, and—you guessed it—loaded potato skins.
If you're looking for a place that offers more than just the traditional loaded potato skin option, this is the spot for you. The southern chain, with over a dozen locations in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, offers both classic potato skins and spicy potato skins, which have onions, jalapeños, black olives, and a creamy blend of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses. Add a side of ranch dressing or sour cream, and you're good to go.