If it were up to us, every day would be Fry-day (pun intended)!
Fries taste great as a side dish with burgers, sandwiches, and steaks, as a main dish topped with different flavors and seasonings, and also on their own with ketchup or mayonnaise.
One of the most popular foods in America, and the world over, they are consumed all year round and come in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes.
So, what are the different types of fries that you have to try? With so many variations of the classic French fry, there’s something for everyone. You have regular fries, steak fries, waffle fries, tater tots, seasoned fries, garlic fries, animal fries, and so many more!
For our French fry aficionados, here is a list of the 27 types of fries you must try!
1. Regular Fries
Also called the Standard Cut, these are the typical and very popular version of French fries cut to a medium thickness of around a quarter inch.
They are deep-fried in a neutral-flavored oil to make them crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, tossed in salt, and often served as a side dish with burgers or sandwiches and dips of your choice.
They can also be seasoned with garlic, pepper, and parsley, and while they can be bought from popular fast-food joints, such as McDonald’s, you can also easily prepare them at home.
2. Crinkle-Cut Fries
A fun spin on regular fries, crinkle-cut fries have wavy or crinkly sides and edges and are usually on the thicker side.
Theoretically, the angles on the edges make them crispier than regular fries and hold on to ketchup and other sauces really well.
To make these signature-shaped fries, you need a special crinkle cutter or blade to cut them into shape. You can find them in many restaurants as well as in frozen form at the supermarket.
You can deep-fry or bake these fries according to your preference and either enjoy them plain or topped with your favorite toppings such as different sauces and cheese.
3. Curly Fries
Can you even call yourself a French fry lover if you haven’t tried curly fries? One of our favorite types of fries, curly fries have a spring-like shape made using a special cutter.
Also called “Suzi-Q fries” and “Goldilocks fries”, they are seasoned with paprika, cayenne pepper, onion, and garlic powder before being chucked into the deep fryer.
Previously, they were available only in certain restaurants or in frozen form at the supermarket, but now, since spiralizer tools are more easily available, you can make your own curly fries at home!
4. Waffle Fries
Waffle fries get their name from their lattice shape that resembles a little waffle. This shape is achieved by using a special slicer or mandolin blade, and it makes them fry easily and more thoroughly.
They often have potato peels attached to them, but you can also find waffle fries made with peeled potatoes that are either deep-fried or baked.
The perfect accompaniment for burgers, waffle fries also add the right amount of flavor and crunch for breakfast with sunny-side-up eggs.
Alternatively, you may enjoy them with melted cheese, gravy, minced herbs, pulled pork, or grated parmesan for a fun twist of flavors and textures.
5. Shoestring Fries
One of the thinnest varieties of fries, shoestring fries are cut long and less than 1/8 inches thick. Also known as Papas Julianas, they are commonly served as a topping for sandwiches in Cuban cuisine.
One of the best ways to eat them is as a tangled cluster right as they come out of the fryer. They get cold and soften quite easily, which is why they must be eaten immediately to enjoy a fantastic crispy texture.
Although you can cut shoestring fries at home by hand, the best and most efficient way is to use a mandolin or slicer attachment for a food processor.
6. Matchstick Fries
Often confused with shoestring fries, matchstick fries are just as skinny but much shorter and crispier than shoestring fries
They have almost no soft potato parts left on the inside and are the best option if you like your fries super thin and crispy.
7. Steak Fries
Steak fries are thick-cut fries that are deep-fried to a crisp while ensuring a soft, fluffy texture on the inside.
They get their name because they are often served with steak and also because of their shape that somewhat resembles a steak.
They can be served with different recipes and taste great with just a few basic seasonings. Also, their shape is ideal for dipping into ketchup and other sauces of your choice.
On the opposite end of the pendulum to matchstick fries, wedges are one of the thickest fries made by cutting an entire potato into thick wedge-shaped segments.
Often seasoned before being baked or deep-fried, wedges are usually made with potato skins.
Their large size means that they might take much longer to cook as compared to the other varieties, therefore, you must allow them plenty of time to bake or fry.
You may consider partially boiling or microwaving them before frying and serving them with sour cream or sweet chili sauce for a better crisp. Yum!
9. Tater Tots
The name “tater tots” is a registered trademark of Ore-Ida, an American frozen food company, and refers to grated potatoes formed into small cylinders that are baked or shallow or deep-fried.
A favorite among children mostly, tater tots are very light and crispy and are usually served with ketchup and other sauces and dips.
Making tater tots at home can be fairly time-consuming since you would need to partially boil the potatoes, grate them, and form them into their signature shape.
Luckily, you can easily find a variety of frozen tater tots in the supermarket that you can prepare according to your liking by either baking or frying them and enjoy with your choice of condiments.
The perfect snack for parties, game nights, movie nights, and picnics, this list would be incomplete without the mention of potato chips.
A popular style of fries, chips are the thinnest and crispiest out of all the different types and are enjoyed by children and adults alike.
While you can find an almost never-ending variety of potato chips in the market, making your own is super fun and easy.
You start by cutting the potatoes into thin, even slices using a mandolin and frying them in hot oil for a few minutes.
Once done, let them cool on a wire rack so that they remain crispy, toss them with salt and seasonings of your choice, and munch away!
11. Cottage Fries
Cottage fries, also called home fries or round-cut fries, are thick coin-shaped fries cut from a full potato either with skin or peeled.
Depending on how you prefer it, they can be cut relatively thick or thin and can either be shallow-fried, deep-fried, or baked in the oven. The large surface area of the cottage fries makes it easy to dip into sauces.
You will mostly find cottage fries in family restaurants in the countryside and also as a frozen variety with a smiley face design to appeal specifically to kids.
12. Sweet Potato Fries
Who says you can’t make fries with sweet potatoes? You can very easily substitute regular white potatoes with sweet potatoes, also known as yams, to make delicious sweet potato fries.
While they don’t get as crispy as regular potato fries, sweet potato fries are much more nutritious and have a sweet flavor and creamy texture that many people enjoy and love.
You can make them the same way you would make regular French fries, cut them in your favorite shapes and sizes, cook them in the oven or the fryer, and serve with some paprika garlic aioli or maple mustard dip.
13. Tornado Fries
Tornado fries, also known as twist potatoes or tornado potatoes, originated in South Korea as a popular type of street food that can now be found in various parts of the world and is often served at fairs and carnivals.
They are deep-fried whole potatoes on a skewer that are cut into a spiral using a special machine. Seasoned with salt, pepper, cheese, honey, or onions, some varieties of tornado fries also have a sausage wedged in between them.
14. Oven-baked Fries
Although the name has the word “fry” in it, it is possible to bake all types of French fries instead of frying them.
It is a much healthier approach since it cuts down the use of oil considerably and is great for weight watchers as well.
Although you can’t eliminate the use of oil since you will need to toss the uncooked fries in a bit of oil before baking them for a crisp exterior, it is still substantially less than how much would be needed if you deep-fried them.
15. Seasoned Fries
Seasoned fries are any style of fries that have been seasoned before they are served.
The term may refer to fries that have a seasoned coating on them before they are fried or those that are tossed in an herb and spice blend after they have been prepared.
Popular seasonings include onion powder, paprika, dried parsley, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
16. Cheese Fries
Simply put, cheese fries are French fries covered in cheese. A popular choice among many people, especially cheese lovers like us, cheese fries can be found in many fast-food restaurants, diners, and grills around the world.
The best cheese fries have a melted cheese topping, either from the warmth of the just-fried fries or by baking them in the oven for a minute or two until it becomes soft and creamy.
You may grate or crumble your favorite kind of cheese on top of the fries, or use a cheese sauce for convenience.
Whatever you choose, make sure the cheese has a nice flavor and melts well. Some popular choices include cheddar, parmesan, pepper jack, or Swiss.
17. Chili Cheese Fries
Chili cheese fries takes cheese fries one step further by adding a delicious layer of chili in between the cheese and fries.
You can enjoy this delicious variant of cheese fries with any type of fries (regular, crinkled, or shoestring) and can top it with beef, turkey, or vegetarian chili, depending on your taste and preference.
They can be enjoyed as a side dish or a delicious entrée on their own and are eaten with a fork (and many napkins) since they can be super messy.
18. Garlic Fries
If you wish to enhance the flavor of your regular fries (not that they need any enhancing), you may season them with garlic to make them more gourmet.
A popular item served in many restaurants, they are made by tossing just-cooked fries with sauteed minced garlic and chopped parsley. You may also add parmesan cheese for a well-rounded cheesy garlic flavor.
19. Animal-Style Fries
Made popular by In-n-Out, a popular fast-food chain in America, animal-style fries come topped with shredded cheese, grilled onions, and the restaurant’s secret sauce.
You can easily make these animal-style fries at home by making your own version of their secret sauce, which is very similar to thousand island dressing.
Poutine, slang for “a mess”, is a popular French fry dish that makes its way into the US from Quebec, Canada, where it is enjoyed as a snack, side dish, or a complete meal.
You will find several restaurants and food trucks serving poutine that usually consists of regular fries, fresh cheese curds, and brown gravy.
Variations may include sweet potato fries, low moisture mozzarella cheese, pulled pork, duck, bacon, avocado, and mushroom gravy.
21. Bistro Fries
Although not a specific style of fries, you will often see “bistro fries” in many recipes and restaurant menus.
They get their name from the French and Belgian bistros that serve fries that are perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Bistro fries are loosely inspired by them; hence, the name bistro fries.
They are medium-sized fries in both thickness and length and are cooked until a nice golden-brown color is achieved.
While techniques may vary, most bistro fries are either blanched and deep-fried, or deep-fried twice at different temperatures to achieve the perfect crispy-on-the-outside-and-soft-on-the-inside texture.
22. Pommes Souffles
Pommes Souffles, also known as puffed potatoes, are a sophisticated French fry variety that have a delightful texture and look like cute little potato pillows.
Although super delicious and fun to eat, they can be a bit tricky to make.
It starts with slicing the potatoes into oblong shapes that are deep-fried twice, with the second frying session done at a much higher temperature causing the potatoes to puff up into French fry balloons!
Since they deflate after a while, it is best to enjoy them fresh and as soon as they are out of the fryer.
23. Carne Asada Fries
Carne Asada fries are French fries topped with Carne Asada (seasoned flank or steak that is grilled and thinly sliced) and smothered in cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and whatever your heart desires.
It is a local specialty with a Mexican twist that originated in San Diego and is found on many restaurant menus across the American Southwest.
24. Chimichurri Fries
Chimichurri fries are a special treat that is not only delicious to eat but also super easy and fun to make. They are basically French fries of your choice topped with some flavorful chimichurri sauce for a unique and tasty snack or side meal.
Originally from Argentina, chimichurri sauce is made using fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, fresh oregano leaves, garlic, smoked paprika, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and kosher salt.
For a more filling meal, you may add a grilled sliced steak on top of the fries before topping it with some chimichurri sauce, chopped scallions, and crumbled feta cheese.
25. Pizza Fries
Pizza or fries? How about pizza fries! Loaded with pizza sauce, pepperoni, stretchy mozzarella, and some delicious cheddar, pizza fries are the sweet love child of two of the most popular foods in the world.
You can make them using any type of fries and can top them any way you like, similar to how you would top your favorite pizza!
26. Patatas Bravas
Patatas Bravas, which means spicy potatoes in Spanish, are one of Spain’s most popular tapas and a dish native to the country.
The dish uses fairly large pieces of potatoes that are partially boiled and then fried to a crisp in hot oil, and are traditionally served warm with a spicy tomato sauce for dipping, although many regions serve them with aioli.
27. Air Baked Fries
We don’t mean to sound like party poopers, but as much as we all love fries, we know they’re not the healthiest foods. The main reason that French fries are labelled as unhealthy is that they are deep-fried using a lot of oil.
The good news is that thanks to advanced technology and the advent of the air fryer, you can easily enjoy fries without the guilt of adding unnecessary calories and cholesterol to your diet.
Air-baked fries are much healthier than deep-fried ones and if you use a good-quality air fryer that lets you cook them to a crisp, you won’t even be able to tell the difference!
Now that we’ve talked about the 27 types of fries you have to try if you call yourself a French fry fan, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have:
How can you make fries super crispy?
To make fries super crispy, you need to be mindful of a few things. Firstly, choose high-starch potatoes for frying since a potato’s starch content is a good indicator of how crispy it will be.
Secondly, the size and shape of the fries have a huge impact on whether they will turn out soft or crispy. Long and skinny fries cook must faster and, therefore, will be crispier than thick fries.
Also, if you rinse your potatoes after washing, make sure to dry them completely before frying.
Lastly, fry twice for firm and crisp fries. Double frying is a surefire way to guarantee crispy fries every single time.
The first fry at a lower temperature cooks the fries through and dries up their internal moisture, while the second fry at a higher temperature gives the fries color and makes them crisp.
How do you cook frozen fries in an air fryer?
To cook perfectly crisp frozen fries in an air fryer, preheat the air fryer and add the frozen fries to the basket.
You do not need to thaw the frozen fries since the hot air will cook the fries all the way through and make them crispy. You also do not need to use extra oil since frozen fries are already pre-cooked in oil that will release as they start to cook.
Air fry them at 400°F for 10-15 minutes, tossing and turning the fries halfway through for even heat distribution.
What’s the best way to store leftover fries?
There’s no such thing as too many fries. However, at times, our cravings do get the better of us and we end up buying or cooking much more than we can eat.
For such situations, you need to find a way to store leftover fries so that they don’t go stale for later use.
When storing homemade or takeout leftover fries, they should be stored in the refrigerator within two hours of cooling for a maximum of 2-5 days. They must be placed in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
To reheat the fries, allow them to come at room temperature, transfer them into a well-oiled skillet, and let them “fry” a second time to turn crispy again. Alternatively, you may reheat them in the oven as well.