Burgers get a lot of glory, but their salty, trusty sidekick rarely gets the spotlight. And what a shame. It’s been said that the way a restaurant does its French fries can tell you a lot about the rest of the menu, like a delicious litmus test. Every restaurant has a different spin on the fry; some just do it better than others. Here’s a list of the best fries in Salt Lake, listed in no particular order by a person who’s bothered to pay attention.
1. Beer Bar
For some, the fry is all about the sauce. And the Beer Bar not only serves up some of the city’s finest French fries, but they come with everything from “fry sauce” (a Utah delicacy*) to aioli chipotle, all served at one of the best watering holes in Salt Lake City. “[The Beer Bar] has a lot of unique flavor profiles on the beer side, and I wanted to mirror that on the food side,” says the bar’s executive chef Brendan Kawakami: the mastermind behind the sauces and fries. Hand-cut russet potatoes, fried in peanut oil and cooked right at 270 degrees, Kawakami says, “I would put our fries up against anybody in town.” And he’s not alone.
2. Moochie's Meatballs
Moochie’s has won awards for best sandwich, best Philly cheesesteak (amen), best business lunch, best cheap eats, and on and on. Well clear a spot on the trophy wall for The Maggie Franz Certificate of Achievement in French Fries. The Moochie’s fry is medium-thick, perfectly crispy, and just the right amount of salty. The only problem with these fries is how quickly they go.
3. Layla Grill
This family-owned local is a great spot to get some quality Mediterranean. But their signature fries will make your eyes roll back into your head. These golden-brown beauties are tossed in a house Zaatar spice mix and come with an aioli dipping sauce. The flavor is unmatched and the atmosphere isn’t bad either — if you haven’t enjoyed an order of fries by candlelight, then you haven’t lived.
4. Lucky 13
This sports bar is not only home to some of Salt Lake’s best burgers, it also serves up some of the finest fries in the valley right across the street from the Salt Lake Bees minor league baseball stadium. Lucky 13’s fries are cut thick but still seem to melt right in your mouth. They come in original, Cajun, and rosemary garlic. Gun to the head, I’d pick rosemary garlic, but it’s best to go with two friends who like to go thirdsies.
5. Bruges Waffles and Fries
Bruges started as a Belgian food cart downtown, serving lots of Utahns their first taste of Liege waffles and Belgian-style fries. Since those mobile days, it’s grown into three brick-and-mortar stores and a bus. The fries at Bruges are perfectly crispy on the outside, hot and creamy on the inside, and come with a selection of sauces. (I like Andalouse so much I’ve never tried anything else.) If you’re an Old-World fry purist, these babies are the equivalent of Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait.
So here’s to the fry, and here’s to Salt Lake doing it right so many times.