by Scott Lynch in Food on Jul 7, 2016 1:00 pm

French fries may be the most magical food in the universe, from the simplest shoe-strings to a loaded-up mess of tots. They’re a delightful snack. They’re the perfect side dish. They’re a glorious meal on their own. I ate dozens of different fries in all their different iterations these past couple of months, at places both fancy and decidedly less so. Here I present the 12 absolute best.


THE BRESLIN: Seven years in and April Bloomfield’s temple of meat at the Ace Hotel is as scene-y (and delicious) as ever. One of the best things on the menu is still the lamb burger, paired with superb Thrice Cooked Chips ($22 w/burger). Thick-cut spuds like these are usually a dry, bland disaster, but not with Bloomfield’s triple-frying technique, which ensures several layers of crags and crunch before hitting the fluffy potato-y center. The accompanying Cumin Mayo doesn’t hurt, either.

The Breslin is located at 16 West 29th Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue in Flatiron (212-679-1939;

(Scott Lynch/Gothamist)

SHORTY’S: There are four Shorty’s in Manhattan, and they’re pretty much all sports bars that serve solid Cheese Steaks (whiz wit, obviously). But the real reason to go here are the fries, which totally nail the crispy/chewy balance and taste like actual potatoes, not just “fryer.” The Italian Fries ($6), with judiciously-sprinkled seasoning (garlic, oregano, etc.) and Romano cheese for added punch, are the best of the bunch, but you’ll be happy with any one of the fry varieties here, even if you do hate bro-y sports bars.

There are Shorty’s in the Flatiron, Upper East Side, Financial District, and Hell’s Kitchen (

(Scott Lynch/Gothamist)

LAFAYETTE: Andrew Carmellini’s always-hopping Grand Cafe in Noho, is more than a bit out of my frequent-dining price range. But for an excellent anytime snack, a cone of Carmellini’s Pommes Frites ($10) purchased at the bakery counter is a luxury I can definitely get behind. They’re somehow simultaneously light and airy and richly flavored, so you eat one of these fry-mountains yourself without feeling gross afterwards. Heck, you don’t even really need the ketchup, nor the homemade mayo, though both are nice options either way.

Lafayette is located at 380 Lafayette Street at the corner of Great Jones Street in NoHo (212-533-3000;