The Crescent City, as many know, has a rich and distinctive French heritage. So of course it naturally follows that New Orleans would have a rich and distinctive French fry heritage, too. QED. In fact, there are entirely too many amazing frites in New Orleans to make a completely comprehensive list, however, there are a few spots that stand head-and-golden-crispy shoulders above the rest. Here are the best fries in New Orleans...
The reigning weiner empire in NOLA, Dat Dog may be known and loved for its encased meats on grilled, steamed buns, but the dogs aren’t the only thing they load up with their dizzying list of toppings. Order a towering basket of fries, and at the very least be prepared to get mustard on your eyebrows. They’re great on their own, but get the cheddar/bacon/ranch version if you want to go for glory.
The globe-trotting menu at Booty’s might include everything from ramen to yuca mofongo, shakshouka, gunmandu, and seemingly everything between, but the proprietors made sure to make a stop in Belgium for some killer fries, paired with five dipping mayonnaises.
Cheese curds might not be a very New Orleans-y kind of ingredient, but roast beef “debris” gravy and fries surely are. Foodie Call ingeniously decided to combine them all for a Big Easy version of Canadian poutine, which is every single bit as good as it sounds.
Sure, there are maple-bacon-Sriracha donuts with candied thyme at District. And, yeah, there are also wonderful little sliders and nitro-brewed coffee milkshakes. But don’t leave this place without ordering at least one order of their gooey, crispy waffle fries. Because everybody knows that the waffle is the most superior fry shape, as it maximizes surface area to be fried.
A lot of New Orleans restaurants got on the sweet potato kick a couple of decades ago when the “Sugar Busters” diet was a big deal. That fad may not have lasted, but sweet potato fries certainly did, and Parkway has some of the best in town. Pro move: order your sweet potato fries on a po-boy, drowning in gravy. And “dressed”, naturally.
Lower Garden District
What are “Dump Truck Fries”, you ask? Well, sir, they’re an order of French fries upon which a dump truck-sized helping of roasted pork, béchamel, grilled onions, and a Port wine au jus is dumped, and can be found at the Avenue (along with one of the best beer lists in the city). The “To Die For Fries”, with béchamel, bacon, and jalapeños is also worth your attention.
The fat in which your fries are fried makes a big difference in how they taste. Cooks debate sunflower oil vs. peanut oil and so on, but our money is always going to be on straight-up goose fat for the ultimate in decadent frites. There really is no comparison, and the Delachaise knows that.
There are classy, traditionally, and painstakingly prepared authentic French frites... and then there’re Bud’s chili-cheese fries, a monstrous calorie bomb the size of a modest volcano that could probably feed a modest village for the better part of the week. Bonus points for remembering the Pepto.
Freedom fries these are not -- the French fries at Baie Rouge have the Frenchness taken up to 11, thanks to a generous topping of melted Brie (which has been whipped into a smooth, silky texture), and scattered with fresh thyme.
If you find yourself at F&M’s, a number of things are likely true: 1) it is somewhere between late night and early morning, though difficult to say, especially because 2) you’re less than completely sober, and 3) you’re probably dancing on the leopard-print pool table. Luckily, 4) you will be ordering a mess of waffle cheese fries, and 5) they will SAVE. YOUR. LIFE.
Honorable Mention: Arnaud’s/Galatoire’s
While they are technically not “French fries” in the traditional sense of the word, two of the oldest restaurants in New Orleans deserve special attention for their “soufflé potatoes” (i.e. pommes soufflées), those inimitable, puffed sticks of air-light potato-ey delight. We’re not sure exactly how they make them, but we’re certain some sort of dark magic is involved.
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1. Dat Dog5030 Freret St, New Orleans
2. Booty's Street Food800 Louisa St, New Orleans
3. DISTRICT: Donuts. Sliders. Brew.2209 Magazine St, New Orleans
4. Parkway Bakery & Tavern538 Hagan Ave, New Orleans
5. The Avenue Pub1732 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans
6. The Delachaise3442 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans
7. Bud's Broiler500 City Park Ave, New Orleans
8. Baie Rouge4128 Magazine St, New Orleans
9. F&M Patio Bar4841 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans
10. Arnaud's Restaurant813 Bienville St, New Orleans
11. Galatoire's209 Bourbon St, New Orleans
Founded as a UK doghouse by a NOLA native, Dat Dog's shed has since become one of the most popular eateries on Freret St. The pork-friendly menu here spans everything from a duck sausage dog served with blackberry sauce to alligator and crawfish dogs on the menu. Beer, wine, and cocktails await at the full bars both upstairs and downstairs, and the spacious floor plan, energized with a rainbow burst of paint spread over tables, walls, and lighting, establishes a casual, yet lively atmosphere.
Booty's serves up affordable street food from around the globe, concocts a variety of specialty cocktails, and brews Stumptown Coffee in a pleasant ambiance.
As the name implies, DISTRICT excels at coffee, sliders, and donuts, all while making innovative changes to each. In lieu of your average breakfast sandwich, expect "croquenuts" (a hybrid of a croque madame and a donut) or bacon & egg on a miso-praline biscuit. Donuts, meanwhile, range from the simple glazed and cinnamon sugar to the more unconventional Sriracha-maple, candied thyme, and cereal & milk. While you could pair your sugary goodies with a basic brew, we suggest you opt for house staples like Vietnamese cold brew or the "Sproca-Cola," a winning combination of cola, espresso, and chocolate milk.
No one does po’boys like Parkway, and it’s no surprise: the Mid-City spot has been open since 1911, and the po’boy has been a staple of the menu since 1929. Regardless of whether you’re a local, a passerby, or even President Obama (who makes a point to snag a golden fried shrimp po’boy here when business brings him to the Big Easy), you really can’t go wrong with any of these delicious bad boys, all of which are served on fresh, house-made bread. Pro tip: if you can’t handle the spice level, a booze-loving mint julep will help.
Located in the Lower Garden District, this American craft beer pub is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The tap list is heavy on one-and-done offerings with enough rarities to keep the beer nerds at bay, while the bottle list is about as thick as a small-town phone book, offering up everything from Belgian farmhouses to all-American IPAs, all of which taste considerably better when paired with the famous bechamel and pork Dump Truck Fries.
Picture this: an intimate dinner on an outdoor patio, strings of glowing lights crisscrossing overhead, sipping on a selection from one of New Orleans’ most decorated wine lists, and snacking on decadent bites like goose-fat fried pommes frites, piquant with peanut satay (or, for those undeterred by fine swamp food, the spice-obsessed frog legs). It’s your average night at The Delachaise, a weekend haunt for wine lovers with Creole cravings and time to spare -- evenings at this cozy joint are relaxed affairs, and the “walk-ins only” policy means you’ll likely wait for a table (trust us: it's worth it).
Though Bud's has a number of locations around the New Orleans area, the shabby Mid-City joint is the only one that doles out the classic burgers, fries, and shakes that fans have come to adore 24/7. The burgers are a cut above what you're used to -- the meat is broiled on an open-flame charcoal grill -- and their prices are a cut below. Along with the standard fixings like lettuce, tomato, and pickle, be sure to top yours with Bud's original hickory smoke sauce. There are a handful of hot dogs and specialty sandwiches, too. Finish off your meal with something sweet, particularly Bud's fried hand pies that come in apple, peach, and cherry.
At this Uptown resto/cafe, you can expect the likes of huge plates of Brie-covered fries, delicious Sunday brunches, and plenty of Euro-inspired fare.
F&M is a highly touted NOLA institution, as far as dive bars go anyway. You can order up cheap food and drinks and then play a few rounds of pool on their leopard-print pool table.
Arnaud’s is a decades-old French Quarter staple that embodies the French Creole style in architecture, décor, and, of course, food. Inside the red building lined with innumerable French windows and mint green balconies is a dining room straight out of a Southern novel with potted palm fronds, mosaic tile floors, and opulent chandeliers. Come for dinner or for the jazz brunch, where a jazz trio will serenade you while you decide between gumbo and shrimp remoulade.
Established in 1905, Galatoire’s has remained a Bourbon Street bulwark of French Creole cuisine. The restaurant blends tradition with curiosity as it juxtaposes gumbo, shrimp remoulade, and oysters Rockefeller with deep-fried zucchini sticks, (which you’re meant to plunge into a mix of Tabasco sauce and powdered sugar) and duck crepes with homemade Boursin cheese, Port-cherry reduction, and pistachios. Galatoire’s keeps things elegant with its forest green walls, lace curtains, and mirrored walls, a glimpse into a past worthy of a Faulkner novel.