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Fast Food Fries: The Definitive, Unscientific Ranking

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Everyone hates the fries at Checkers, Jack in the Box, and Sonic.


This highly subjective, completely unscientific poll ranks french fries sold at America's top 10 burger chains. Two dozen Eater editors and critics from across the country individually ranked the flavor and texture of fries at national chains like McDonald's and Burger King, as well as regional burger spots like Five Guys and In-N-Out. The results are somewhat surprising.

McDonald's french fries have been in the news a lot over the years. The fries were once (controversially) cooked in beef tallow, they are still coated in sugar (dextrose), and they now get a sprinkle of natural beef flavor before they are served. Though they contain 19 ingredients (that's 16 ingredients more than your average home-cooked french fry), they ranked highest with Eater's editors. Perhaps this is because if nothing else, McDonald's delivers a consistent, arguably almost addictive product.

Next read: The 21 Essential Burgers of America

Five Guys, an East Coast chain that's spread across the country in recent years, is well-known for both its classic fries and Cajun-seasoned fries. They come in generous portions, and Eater editors seem to appreciate the balance between the crisp exterior and meaty potato interior. Five Guys serves America's second-best French fry according to Eater editors.

Shake Shack, an East Coast cult favorite, has spent the better part of its early years honing its fry game: First there were crinkles, then there were fresh-cut fries, then there were crinkles again. And the fries remain somewhat contentious, landing them in fourth place on this unofficial poll. Surprisingly, Wendy's ranks higher than Shake Shack. Perhaps this is because Wendy's was ubiquitous when most of us were fast-food-eating kids and Shake Shack's fry-dentity crisis doesn't match that nostalgia.

Fast Food Fries, Ranked:

1. McDonald's
2. Five Guys
3. Wendy's
4. Shake Shack
5. In-N-Out
6. Burger King
7. Whataburger
8. Sonic
9. Jack in the Box
10. Checkers

Poll results include distribution of votes. Last four results were omitted to account for a margin of error.

Eater Video: Definitive French Fry Rankings

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