French fries, despite their name, have long been a staple of the American diet. It’s said that Thomas Jefferson offered “potatoes served in the French manner” at at White House dinner as early as 1802. Since that time, french fries have appeared on menus throughout the country in nearly every genre of eating establishment – from fast-food joints to gourmet restaurants.
If you’re anything like me, finding the perfect french fries is something akin to the search for the Holy Grail. But once they’ve been found, they can serve as a meal in themselves. Thankfully, these 13 restaurants serve up some of the best fries in the world – along with plenty of other tasty treats. So whether you’re looking for the perfect fry or just want to try a new place, these 13 Virginia eateries are sure to please.
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1. Green Pig Bistro, Arlington
When it comes to fries, this farm-to-table specialty bistro does it right. Their specialty is poutine, a French-Canadian dish of french fries covered in fried cheese curd and gravy. At the Green Pig, they add their own touch, topping fresh hand-cut potatoes with Tillamook cheddar and duck liver gravy - a dish that landed them on Travel + Leisure's list of best fries in America.
2. The Raven Restaurant, Virginia Beach
The Raven serves up good old fashioned American cuisine in a low-key, relaxed atmosphere. And, as a staple of any proper "American" plate, good fries are essential. The Raven's fries are fresh-cut, skin-on and fried to perfection.
3. Foster's Grille, Various Locations (Alexandria, Front Royal, Bristow, Haymarket, Herndon, Manassas, Marshall, Roanoke, Warrenton, Vienna and Chantilly)
Voted Best of Northern Virginia for 2014 in the French Fries category, Foster's fries are the real deal. While Foster's might be known for their famous Charburger, it's the hand-cut Idaho Potato fries that keep people coming back time and again. Try them plain or top them with chili and cheese…it's a good deal either way.
4. Viking Burger, Newport News
For a spot that's barely been open a year, Viking Burger has made its mark in a big way. Already acclaimed as one of our favorites for burger joints in Virginia, Viking Burger rounds out their delicious burgers with equally amazing fries. Go for the Longship (large fries), the Viking Fries (topped with cheese and their signature Viking Sauce) or the Ragnarok (fries and onion rings loaded with Viking Sauce, cheese, jalepenos or onions).
5. Blue Talon Bistro, Williamsburg
Parmesan Truffle Fries. That's probably all you need to know, but in case you need more, Blue Talon's premium fries are everything you would expect from this upscale Country-French bistro.
6. Citizen Burger Bar, Charlottesville
At Citizen Burger Bar, they believe that a great burger with a great beer is your civic responsibility. Add to that some truly amazing french fries, and you're pretty much a model citizen. In addition to perfectly golden, deliciously crisp "regular" fries, you won't want to miss their truffle fries with truffle oil, parmesan and garlic aioli.
7. Burger Bach, Richmond (Carytown and Short Pump)
This New Zealand-inspired gastro pub is dedicated to organic practices, products and process. And with an entire portion of their menu devoted to french fries - you know they're going to be good. Start with fresh, hand-cut fries, then choose from 16 dipping sauces - or go all out with a "Fry Indulgence" like fries topped with New Zealand Triple Cream Blue Cheese, uncured bacon and garlic aioli. You can thank me later.
8. On the ROX, Richmond
Located in the historic Shockoe Bottom district of Richmond, On the ROX turns french fries into an art form. Choose standard fries that are hand-cut, double fried and tossed with fresh herbs and sea salt, or choose to have them fried in duck fat or tossed with truffle oil. Round out your order with your choice of 2 of their 12 dipping sauce options. You won't be disappointed.
9. Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint, Various Locations (Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Richmond, Elkton and Charlottesville)
What started as a local Harrisonburg hangout has taken off in a big way. Now with 5 Virginia locations, Jack Brown's has long been renowned for their eclectic burger creations. But their success is in no small part thanks to tasty sides like their perfectly crispy, crinkle-cut fries. Choose from Yukon Gold or sweet potato and enjoy the perfect complement to a tasty burger.
10. Eamonn's A Dublin Chipper, Alexandria
If you're going for the perfect potato, an authentic Irish fish n' chips shop is always going to be a good place to start. This 20-seater establishment isn't big on space, but when it comes to their fries, they deliver all the flavor you could ask for - including a curry dipping sauce that tastes like it came straight from the homeland.
11. FOODE, Fredericksburg
The premise behind FOODE (pronounced "foodie") is simple - fresh, local ingredients make the best final products. With 85-90% of their ingredients locally sourced, FOODE relies on local availability for a menu selection that varies weekly. But one thing you can always count on are their delicious house made fries - hand-cut, deep fried and dusted with fresh herbs for perfect flavor every time.
12. Blacksburg Taphouse Gastropub, Blacksburg
When it comes to fries, Blacksburg Taphouse hits the mark. Their fries are cut fresh in-house every day, then fried to a perfect golden brown in pure canola oil. Choose from "Drill Field Fries" as a side or in a basket, Sweet Potato Fries or the Loaded Drill Field Fries - fries topped with cheese, jalapeños, bacon and ranch dressing dipping sauce.
13. Burger in the Square, Roanoke
If you're looking for simple goodness, Burger in the Square is the place to go. Known for their delicious burgers, they're just as well known for the generous portions of crispy, golden shoestring of waffle fries on the side. If you feel like jazzing things up a bit, add cheese or chili (or both!!) for just a little extra.
When it comes to fries, I’m pretty sure (like, 105% sure) that there’s no such thing as too many options. So if there are some truly amazing places we’ve left off the list, be sure to tell us about them in the comments below!