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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Poll: Who has the best fries?

(Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
A handful of french fries sit on a table. There is a debate on which fast-food chain has the best fries. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

French fries, chips, or pommes frites (French for “fried potatoes”) are a deliciously crispy potato snack. When you have a craving for the salty snack, where do you go?



There is no denying that while Five Guys has great burgers, it is known for its fries. Five Guys’ fries are made fresh – not taken from a freezer like most restaurants – and cooked twice in 100% peanut oil. 

The business began in 1986 when the four young Murrell brothers were given the advice to either, “start a business or go to college,” from their parents, according to Five Guys.

Good thing they chose the business route because Five Guys has expanded to over 1,700 locations across the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. 

Each morning a new batch of potatoes is hand cut and thoroughly washed to remove the starch. Then the fries are cooked in peanut oil for two to three minutes until golden brown before being taken out to cool. After the fries have cooled, they are put back into the oil to be cooked a second time. 

Five Guys receives about 140 million pounds of potatoes each year from Idaho, according to Chad Murrel, son of founder Jerry Murrell, told the Food Republic

“The benefit is that the waiting period allows the inside to cook slowly without burning the outside,” Murrell said.

With its salted crispy outside and soft inside, Five Guys Fries are undoubtedly in the running for best fries. 



Another great place for great fries is Steak ‘n Shake. Similar to Five Guys, Stake ‘n Shake is famous for burgers, but its fries are fantastic. 

Steak ‘n Shake fries are small and shoestring thin, crispy and generously salted. It is easy to grab a handful of fries in one grasp, perfect for scarfing down or savoring them. 

The fast-food chain knows customers love their fries. During the coronavirus lockdown, to bring in more customers, Steak ‘n Shake offered free fries with every drive-thru order. 



McDonald’s is known for their Big Macs, affordable prices, uniquely delicious Coca-Cola and Sprite, and golden fries. 

McDonald’s fries are made from russet burbank and shepody potatoes, according to McDonald’s

The potatoes are placed into a machine where they are washed, peeled and cut. Additionally, each strip of cut potato is inspected by a scanner searching for any imperfections. After the inspection, the potatoes are soaked in hot water and then fried in vegetable oil, according to the Food Network

“By doing a quick fry here at the plant and the fry at the Mcdonald’s restaurant, the combination of those two allows us to get that nice crisp exterior shell on that french fry,” a McDonald’s representative said to the Food Network. 

To top it all off, you can get a free order of large fries for every one-dollar purchase through the McDonald’s app on “Free Fry Fridays.” 

Is this fast-food chain particularly healthy? No, but that doesn’t make their food any less delicious. 

The debate of who has the best fries comes down to personal preference. Do you like Five Guys, where their fries are fresh cut every more and include the skin? Do you prefer Steak ‘n Shake who make their fries “fresh” with every order? Perhaps you like McDonald’s better because of the affordable price and crispiness? 

Who has the best fries? 

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Poll: Who has the best fries?


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