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Best of Toronto

The Best Fries in Toronto

Posted by Todd H / February 16, 2010

Fries TorontoThe best fries in Toronto pay homage to the simple potato which was cultivated, worshiped and considered divine by the ancient Incas beginning in 750 BC. It was the belle of the ball for some 18th century French aristocrats and we all know what happened several times in Ireland because of their obsession with it and its refusal to grow.

But according to historians it wasn't until sometime in the early 19th century that anyone had even thought of cooking them in fat. Whomever that genius was (the French and Belgians both claim the honour), I thank you. Deeply.

I also thank the current crop of Toronto restaurateurs who are putting bushels of thought, care and time into creating the perfect fry. While the fast food mantel may still be hanging round its neck, the lowly spud is definitely getting a makeover and is ready for its close-up.

Here are the 11 best fries in Toronto.

Beerbistro

Beerbistro

For a place that specializes in everything beer, the special attention they pay to their fries is commendable. Hand cut Russett's, fried first in a combo of duck fat and beef tallow, followed by a dip in peanut oil are royally presented with both a house-made smoked tomato ketchup and mayo. With fries like these, it's no wonder they go through 20 cases of potatoes a week. More »

Gilead Cafe

Gilead Cafe

Jamie Kennedy's last remaining restaurant is unfortunately easy to miss but it's still famous for the celebrated chef's fries. Yukon gold spuds fried in sunflower oil and seasoned with both coarse and fine sea salt and freshly chopped thyme are soft and crispy. Pair them with a Niagara sourced but made-in-house cider vinegar mayo and you understand why the reputation is well deserved. More »

Poutini's House of Poutine

Poutini's House of Poutine

A house is only as good as its foundation so it's a good thing Poutini's is built on such strong stuff. Seasonally dependent but Russett 75% of the time, these fries are hand cut and twice fried in trans fat free oil before a little sea salt completes their transformation. Served with one of 6 different dips this boite, only open since June of '09, will thankfully be around for years to come. More »

Chippy's

Chippy's

When you name yourself after a type of food people assume a certain confidence in that realm, and with Chippy's their confidence is not misplaced. Their fries are hand cut several times daily, made fresh to order, double blanched and simply seasoned. For my money, and in a place this good, it's the fish that's the dish on the side. More »

Utopia Cafe

Utopia Cafe

A Little Italy stalwart, Utopia has never shied away from fries - and lots of them. Mounds of starchy goodness are fried a golden bronze and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Although you can substitute greens with any dish, with fries like these, that'd be a sin. More »

BQM Diner

BQM Diner

The 3 locations (Ossington, Queen West, Queen East) of the local BQM chain have definitely found their groove. A generous bowl of crispy on the outside-soft on the inside, hand cut Yukon Gold's with a secret seasoning (that my inside sources tell me includes basil and oregano) make their burgers almost an afterthought. More »

Le Select Bistro

Le Select Bistro

With all the sophistication of Le Select you wouldn't expect anything less than frites that are also worthy of attention. Using seasonally appropriate potatoes, with Chef Albert Ponzo always sourcing anew, these are cut shoestring-style, blanched, then fried in peanut oil and given a dusting of kosher salt, chervil, tarragon and flat leaf parsley. French fries indeed! More »

Caplansky's Deli

Caplansky's Deli

This deli made an instant splash on College with it's bright blue signage, but inside the fries are golden brown. Using Yukon Gold's in the summer and Russett's in the winter, they're hand cut daily to a medium thickness and double fried in trans fat free canola oil. After a sprinkling of kosher salt, they're laid to rest in a wicker basket and ready to please. More »

Sidecar

Sidecar

This College St. bistro pays close attention to its fries which is a very good thing. Slim strings of Yukon Gold's are blanched then fried in trans-fat free oil and lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme and served with a wonderfully smoky chipotle aioli. It's the perfect accompaniment to candlelight and a glass of wine. More »

Craft Burger

Craft Burger

Part of the growing burger renaissance in Toronto, their fries have a purely Canadian pedigree. Fresh cut, skin on, medium thick and served "industrial style" in a metal tray lined with brown paper, these minimally seasoned fries have a slight resistance to the teeth before the soft innards make your mouth very happy. More »

B&B Fish & Chips

B&B Fish & Chips

In operation since at least 1942 and under the current lineage since 1972, this Leslieville haunt epitomizes the mantra "Keep it simple, stupid.", and it works. Extra thick cut, lovingly hand stirred in oil and presented in good old fashioned (but lined) newspaper, these fries are exactly what fish was made for. More »

Discussion

61 Comments

Cliff / February 16, 2010 at 09:54 am
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too bad fire on the east side isn't on this list. they have the best fries i've ever had.
Gonzo / February 16, 2010 at 09:57 am
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Chippy's? Really?

I'd put Bistro 990 on the list. They make crazy good frites.

My Place Fish and Chips could also easily make this list. Never and Scarborough love on BlogTO.
MMMMBLT / February 16, 2010 at 10:00 am
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Although not a restaurant, some of the best fries in the city belong to the french fry truck that parks on Front St. outside of SkyDome. Best snack before or after a Jays game...
Chris / February 16, 2010 at 10:25 am
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Stockyards at St. Claire and Christie have wicked fries. But I'm partial to the "shoe string" variety.
punky brewster / February 16, 2010 at 10:28 am
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Chippys not good.
JP / February 16, 2010 at 10:38 am
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I'm dismayed to learn that BeerBistro uses duck fat and beef tallow for frying. I naively assumed the restaurant used some sort of veg oil...this vegetarian won't order fries at BB again.
laurel / February 16, 2010 at 10:46 am
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love the fries at house on parliament! and the veggie brie sandwich. om nom.
jim / February 16, 2010 at 10:47 am
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The only one I'll be trying is BeerBistro as they cook fries the old fashioned way in beef tallow. If I want fries deep fried in oil I can go to McDonalds.
LJ replying to a comment from JP / February 16, 2010 at 10:54 am
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Its ok JP, I'll eat them on your behalf
matts / February 16, 2010 at 11:14 am
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Haha, Chippy's - that's a joke right?!
miro replying to a comment from JP / February 16, 2010 at 11:32 am
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Really? I never knew that. I'm going to try it now, sounds delish
Leicentious / February 16, 2010 at 11:32 am
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Sure, not for the veggie at heart. But duck fat fries are where the action be.
And those duck fat fries? Jacob & Co.
Perfect, crisp, sinful, maddening.
Put THOSE in your mouth. Do it.
JP replying to a comment from LJ / February 16, 2010 at 11:33 am
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Hey, thanks LJ, for volunteering. *sigh* I should've known anything that tasty couldn't be veggie. Be sure to dip 'em in the mayo!
Allison / February 16, 2010 at 11:46 am
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I remember going to Chippy's once and getting the fries from the bottom of the fryer. It would have been nice if the person behind the counter had offered to make a fresh batch because the ones I got were burnt and dry.
Corey replying to a comment from Chris / February 16, 2010 at 11:59 am
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Absolutely totally second that Chris. Stockyards is top five for me in TO for fried potatoes.
Neil / February 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm
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Definitely in agreement with Beer Bistro at #1. But what about all the great sweet potato fries in this city? Or is that a separate list altogether?
downtown core replying to a comment from Gonzo / February 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm
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Gonzo, if it is not outside the downtown core, they usually don't make these lists. So saying the best in Toronto is false and misleading statement, they would have to try all fries in scarborough, Etobicoke, and north york as well to come to that conclusion.
Thee Cobra (not the, "thee") / February 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm
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Didn't have the nads to include McDonald's, eh? Wimps.
Graeme / February 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm
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Utopia fries leave a hole in your colon.
EMS replying to a comment from Thee Cobra (not the, "thee") / February 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm
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Including the golden arches would have been ridiculous. You can get those fries ANYWHERE. There are much better offerings in Toronto for fries than McDonalds. Simple as that. I can think of at least 3 more places downtown that aren't on this list that are still better than Mcdonalds.
AlthoughI have to say your "didn't have the nads" part was pretty funny.
The Cobra (just the) replying to a comment from EMS / February 16, 2010 at 01:14 pm
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Listen, EMS, you keep eating all those greasy fries and you're going to need the assistance of an ... EMS, or Elevator Maintenance Specialist, who will be required to upgrade the elevators you ride in. Yup, good old EMS, they they really do help us all deal with the "ups and downs" life throws our way.
Le Cobre (juste le) / February 16, 2010 at 01:28 pm
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What about the blue chip truck outside city hall?
EMS replying to a comment from The Cobra (just the) / February 16, 2010 at 02:17 pm
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That's actually not what EMS stands for, but again it was pretty funny! Thanks, you made my day - I needed to laugh. And I know it's hard to tell but I'm really not being sarcastic! :)
seanm / February 16, 2010 at 04:23 pm
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Though I can't claim to have tried fries from every restaurant in the City, Beerbistro's are by far the best I've had. All thanks to tasty animals, no doubt.

I even like BB's ketchup, and I loathe Ketchup; at least Heinz's and other table varieties.
mona / February 16, 2010 at 06:50 pm
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Just had Beer Bistro frites a couple of days ago. Sinful with the dipping sauces they come with.
Adam Sobolak / February 16, 2010 at 08:29 pm
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No mention of Harbord Fish & Chips?
For Reals? / February 16, 2010 at 11:53 pm
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Utopia?? Where does this come from? Their fries are frozen garbage as I recall. And not even GOOD frozen. The bad kind of frozen. Just dreck. Their burgers are decent enough I guess. But their fries??! Yikes.
Kevin Shantz / February 17, 2010 at 04:03 am
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Duckworth Fish & Chips. Main & Danforth. Enough said.
AaronMT / February 17, 2010 at 10:54 am
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Another vote for the truck that sits on Front St north of the Rogers Centre.
AJT / February 17, 2010 at 11:49 am
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Don Juan's is the truck in front of SkyDome with the BEST fries in the city! I'm hungry just thinking about it.
G / February 17, 2010 at 01:22 pm
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Chippys? When their fries are at their best, they are really good. Problem is, they are rarely at their best. Chippy's fish is perfect everytime but their fries are wildly inconsistent. Especially when they get busy. Then, they tend to undercook.
joe / February 17, 2010 at 02:15 pm
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'Best of' has sunk to a new low. All fries are are chopped potatoes in a pot of hot grease. There's no secret. Anyone who's ever done it themselves would understand.

Tthe next thing in best glass of tap water in Toronto.
Jo / February 17, 2010 at 02:17 pm
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K...I'm not sure if you'll believe this, but I've discovered some research that can actually explain how eating Poutine at Poutiny's can be good for your personal health, as well as the health of the planet...Seriously!

http://thumbshift.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/poutine/

The third-hand research is linked near the end, but I'll try to explain this "French Paradox" concept better in future posts/edits..

Salud!
Jo
RG / February 17, 2010 at 04:40 pm
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Chippy's has great fish, but I've never had good fries. Always to soggy. Yet another fail for blogTO's food lists.
Ryan replying to a comment from JP / February 17, 2010 at 05:35 pm
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Ditto! I've been eating the fries at beerbistro for a while but assumed they were vegetarian (like me). kinda pissed off they don't make that clear...it's usually a safe bet that fries are vegetarian unless they have gravy.
French Fry Queen / February 17, 2010 at 06:58 pm
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Jamie Kennedy's Gilead Cafe is not really his "one and only" restuarant any longer as he has expanded Gilead's offering to serve evening Bistro fare Tues-Sat as well as Sunday Brunch. They take reservations at night and for brunch. It's truly amazing value and delicous food!
Ducky replying to a comment from Kevin Shantz / February 17, 2010 at 07:47 pm
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+1 for Duckworth`s. If you`re going to mention `historical`B&B in Leslieville then you`ve got to nod Duckworth`s, one of the best places to eat on Danforth east of Greektown.
Emma / February 17, 2010 at 08:29 pm
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Don't assume fries are vegetarian. Even the McD's fries are pre-cooked in beef tallow.
Kobretti replying to a comment from Emma / February 17, 2010 at 09:00 pm
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I WISH Ronald's fries were still cooked in tallow, beef or otherwise. Bunch of nerd do-gooders put an end to that fine practice years ago. Like, what kind of bozo vegetarian dares to pass under the Golden Arches anyway? Creeps.
MrPotato / February 18, 2010 at 08:02 am
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MrPotato does not endorse the killing of his brothers and sisters! Please somebody think of the poor innocent potatoes!
Mr. T / February 18, 2010 at 03:13 pm
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Head to Merlot on Bloor for authentic Brasserie-style frites. Best in the city! Unreal!
smokiessucks / February 21, 2010 at 02:34 am
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Just have to comment that I just went to Smoke's Poutinerie on Adelaide after a night out and had the absolute worst poutine of my life. The fries were ok but the gravy was canned, starchy and slightly cooler than room temperature. The cheese curds didn't melt at all and were kind of rubbery. Just garbage. I should have gone downstairs and got a burrito.
Tony / February 27, 2010 at 11:36 am
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I second Don Juan's truck outside Rogers centre as having the best fries in the city. Also the "twice burnt" charcoal at poutini's should not be on the list.
Lyle / March 11, 2010 at 10:11 am
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Queen & Beaver on Elm: Russets, skin-on, thick cut, with housemade curry ketchup. Even better when accompanied by their hand-cut beef burger!
Ashley / March 11, 2010 at 11:40 pm
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Chick-n-Joy on Queen East. Best fries. and amazing chicken
Sadie / March 22, 2010 at 09:44 pm
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Lola's Commissary (on Church, south of Bloor) has absolutely delicious fries. Be sure to ask for a side of mayo, it has a bit of a kick and adds that certain... je ne sais pas!
Neil / March 24, 2010 at 08:51 pm
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A while back I seconded the choice of Beerbistro as top fries in the city. I still stand behind that. But I've just had Caplansky's fries for the first time, and I think they're a close second. They're perfectly crisp on the outside, soft in the centre, the ideal thickness, and salted exactly right. And the fact that they're fried in canola, as opposed to animal fat, makes them the (slightly) more responsible choice over Beerbistro (though when you're talking deep-fried potatoes, I'm not sure there really is a 'healthier').
Toronto Marketing / April 19, 2010 at 12:31 am
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I'd like to add Cava to the list - great fries (and food in general)
Fry Guy / July 7, 2010 at 08:30 am
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Quince at Yonge and Eg makes excellent frites.
Andrew / November 24, 2010 at 11:10 pm
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Beerbistro
BQM Diner
and
The Wine Bar/Gilead Cafe
:)
tim / April 23, 2011 at 06:48 pm
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My picks
Elleven
Five guys
Swiss Chalet
Prime burger(woodbine&7) (from frozen but excellent).
Wildfire steakhouse on Yonge st.
Anya / December 23, 2011 at 02:23 am
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SADIE'S DINNER has the best fries I've ever had in my life. Perfection. Sheer and utter perfection
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm
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Don't assume fries are vegetarian. Even the McD's fries are pre-cooked in beef tallow.
paul ostroff replying to a comment from tim / October 8, 2012 at 02:37 am
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Swiss Chalet fries are as good or better than any others in town
Mauro / October 8, 2012 at 08:13 am
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The soggiest fries in the world!
Ace McNugget / October 10, 2012 at 03:24 pm
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Best fries: chip van on queen street at city hall. Probably the most inexpensive as well.
Helen / November 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm
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best fries i ever had were at batifole
Dick Johnson / January 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm
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Harbord Fish and Chips!
Perfectionist / January 5, 2013 at 01:31 pm
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Out of date. Craft Burger = Big Smoke Burger now.
passpatoo / February 17, 2013 at 03:00 am
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Wvst on King. Again, cooked in duck fat!
Marc / April 11, 2014 at 09:54 am
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No new York fries?

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