Unsurprisingly, the question I get asked most often is “who makes your favorite fries?” It’s a great question, but kind of difficult to answer after eating and reviewing about 60 different fries over the past year. To help me organize my thoughts, and also give my readers a reference, here’s my list of the best french fries in Seattle:
These are the fries that I’ve gone back for the most out of any that I’ve reviewed. Part of that is due to the Sunset being a relatively short walk from my office, part of that is due to their location within Rachel’s Ginger Beer, and part of that is due to the fries being phenomenal every time I go. They use Kennebec potatoes, a somewhat thick cut, and they’re prepared in a way that achieves a beautiful crust with a fluffy/nutty interior. The fries are delicious alone, with ketchup, or with a spicy dipping sauce. As much as I love the fries, the hushpuppies give them a run for their money.
On game days it’s difficult to get elbow room in this sophisticated retro sports bar. Actually, I don’t want to call it a bar…there’s such a high focus on the food that it should be considered among the better restaurants in Seattle. Chef Daniel Cox won my heart with the carne asada fries made with aged new york strip, fresh salsa, guacamole, cheese, sour cream and “pepper” de gallo. It reminds me faintly of a Mexican loaded baked potato, but the crispy fries give better texture and seasoning.
The loaded waffle fries with ssamjang seasoned slow roasted pork, pickled veggies, kimchi mayo, and other magic are extraordinary. It has the sour sweetness and heat you’d expect from well-made Korean dishes with the added benefit of a seasoned waffle fry. Not only were the fries delicious, they opened my eyes to a new spice blend that I could use at home. This place is worth your time for a meal regardless of game day.
Mamnoon‘s Harra Frites are special. I know very little about Middle Eastern food, but I love pretty much everything about Mamnoon. I doubt that french fries are important part of the traditional Middle Eastern diet, but Mamnoon brings a lot of that influence into the side. The potatoes, once again, are Kennebec, but they’re dusted with a sharp spice blend and topped with thinly sliced fresno peppers. The harra ketchup and za’atar mayonnaise really complete the dish. I believe they’re only available during lunch. I used to find them at their original location on Capitol Hill, but you might have better luck at their newer location in South Lake Union (Mamnoon Street).
I owe 8oz a return visit. This was one of my first reviews, and I’m not convinced that I judged their short rib poutine fairly. I was afraid of rating my initial reviews too high, so I rounded down. I also didn’t take nearly enough photos of the dish. The only real issue I had with their poutine was that there wasn’t enough short ribs in the gravy. In hindsight, that gravy looks amazing, and they certainly provide enough of it to coat the Kennebec potato fries. I’ll be back. It’s one of the best poutines I’ve found in the city.
The Aloha Tots at Marination in South Lake Union have left a lasting impression. Starting with perfectly fried tots, Marination blew me away with the tender Kalua pork, kimchi sauce, japanese mayo, scallions, and a beautiful fried egg. The contrast of flavors and textures were incredible. The creamy egg with the crisp tots, the comforting pork with the tangy kimchi, and the visual of sprinkled furikake. I’m still a believer in this dish. What makes it even better is the happy hour price in the afternoon. I believe these are still only available at the 6th and Virginia location, although there are interesting dishes at their other locations.
These are all great fries, and I’ve had many other fantastic fries over the past year. These are the ones that come to mind when I’m thinking of what to try in Seattle that really stands out. I obviously need to try a few more poutines in the Seattle area (most of the ones I tried were outside of the city).