Duck Fat Fries. Need we say more? Actually, we do: At Shojo, Boston’s original Asian-fusion cocktail bar, they come sprinkled with scallions and a side of Sriracha aioli for dunking. The more ambitious among us can order them as Shadowless Fries, a Shojo-ified twist on poutine that involves covering fries in “Spicy Lady” sauce, a chili oil-spiked version of beef mapo tofu; plus a spicy-cheesy concoction lovingly dubbed “Kimcheese.” Find it on the menu in Chinatown as well as at a new outpost in Central Square. Hearty fries can be a meal unto itself, or share it with friends alongside plates like the Shojonator burger, Sesame Charred Greens, and Wu-Tang Tiger Style Ribs.
Where to Get Boston’s Best French Fries
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Like any college town worth its salt, Boston loves its French fries. But we treat deep-fried potatoes better than just a late-night beer sponge. From decadent fries cooked in duck fat to top-notch poutine and beyond, here’s where to go for the best fries in Boston.
A rotisserie restaurant with locations in Kendall Square and Southie, Shy Bird matches roast chicken and sandwiches with well-dressed shoestring fries. Dusted with salt, rosemary, and a touch of black pepper, it’s a simple garnish that takes these crispy Herb Fries to the next level. Scratch a childhood itch by ordering them as a side to the SB Dunks, buttermilk-brined bites of fried chicken that together form a much happier kind of meal with some of the best fries in Boston. (For the full experience, proceed to slather everything in one of the Dunks’ dipping sauces, which include honey mustard and pecorino ranch.)
Imagine the most perfect order of McDonald’s fries you’ve ever had, but better. The thinly sliced shoestring fries at Hojoko are, impossibly, these fries. Hotter, crispier, and greasy-good better than even the most efficient of fast foods, Hojoko’s Fries are the result of painstaking research by owners Tim and Nancy Cushman, who tested 25 different varieties before landing on their ideal fry. They come standard with every Hojoko Wagyu Cheeseburger and Doggzilla, but we suggest adding them to any order at the Fenway-side izakaya, especially a basket of Karaage Fried Chicken.
Many restaurants serve a great fry, but few restaurants are built around fries alone. Saus is a glorious exception: Boston and Bow Market locations serves up hefty, twice-fried Idaho russets, inspired by the snack stands of Belgium and Holland, and paired with fries’ best friends (burgers and sandwiches). Hand-Cut Fries are a vehicle for dipping sauces, ranging from Roasted Garlic Mayo to Cajun Remoulade, curry ketchup, and vegan-friendly Avo Goddess. The Bow Market outpost is entirely vegetarian, and many of its sauces are vegan, too. Beside cones of frites, we also love Saus’s selection of poutine, including regular gravy or Miso-Mushroom Poutine, plus toppings like crispy shallots and spicy sambal.
In keeping with the general vibe at this Inman Square restaurant, the Hand Cut Fries served at Trina’s Starlite Lounge are simple, satisfying, and not afraid to get a little indulgent. Thick-cut and rightly salted, you can dial them up by ordering yours smothered in chili, gravy, cheese, or a combination. (Pro tip: These same delicious Hand Cut Fries are also on the menu at the incomparable Parlor Sports.) Trina’s signature Starlite-Style Burger or Griddled Dog also includes hand-cut fries among the tasty toppings—why not try the equally craveable Onion Strings to mix things up.