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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single burger in possession of a good flavor, must be in want of french fries. And you know what? Sometimes you don’t even need the burger.
French fries taste of pure joy more than any food ever could. That’s why the average American eats almost 30 pounds of the stuff annually. In Denver, while certain classic shapes seem to be scarce—where are the true shoestrings?—there are endless options for crispy, crunchy, golden-brown pieces of fried potato. There are also endless opinions on which ones are best. We’re tossing our hat into the ring with our favorite picks for 10 different categories of fries to guide you on your tater journey. Here, the best french fries in the Denver metro area.
Editor’s Note: This living list of the best fries was last updated on Apr 21, 2023. Did we miss your favorite? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Standard Fries: Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs
Who cares if these fries are pre-cut? They are evenly crispy and perfectly salted, and for a potato dipped in hot oil, they are not a greasy gut bomb. And as the cheapest option on this list, the only point against Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs is that it’s only open until 5 p.m. The casual, family-friendly East Colfax joint is a Denver staple for snappy frankfurters, but its fries are worth just as much celebration, for the reasons above and because they are consistent. If you dream of that platonic ideal of the fast-food french fry, but don’t love supporting Big Mac and company, this spot beats the dollar menu. 3525 E. Colfax Ave. and a DIA location in Concourse B
Best Steak Fries: Point Easy
Steak fries’ thicker cut means that it’s more difficult to fully cook their interior without burning the outside. While we are lucky to have plentiful steakhouses that properly cook their steak fries, there’s an underutilized bonus to their shape: The wide planks are perfect for spooning on thick toppings. That’s where Point Easy in Whittier strikes gold despite (or perhaps because of) its non-steakhouse status. The waitstaff-recommended combo is to order the french fries with the burrata small plate, complete with charred dandelion pesto and preserved lemon. Topping fries with burrata might seem like an odd choice, but bringing the crispy-fluffy and chewy-creamy textures together is a surprising delight that’s hard to replicate in other venues without the same elegant but laid back vibe. 2000 E. 28th Ave.
Best Curly Fries: Bender’s Bar & Grill
A true batch of curly fries is shockingly rare in the Denver metro outside of chain restaurants like Arby’s. While not all of the ones served at Westminster sports bar Bender’s Bar & Grill have the rollercoaster-esque loopty loop appearance, they still have those swoopy curves ideal for shoveling ketchup, honey mustard, or any other sauce (or god forbid, mayo) into your trap. Order a basket of them with a dusting of Cajun seasoning, then tuck in with a few Coors Banquets while watching the big game. Just don’t get on a bender; that’s the fries’ job. 10710 Westminster Blvd., Westminster
Best Waffle and Best Sweet Potato Fries: American Elm
Both waffle and sweet potato fries are common victims to the crime of sogginess, so it is doubly impressive that American Elm’s sweet potato waffles are audibly crunchy. The eatery in West Highland, known for serving inventive renditions of classic American specialties, fries these babies at 320℉ to achieve the perfect texture. Enjoy these delicately sweet treats as a side to the burger or French dip; they’re tasty dunked in ketchup or on their own. 4132 W. 38th Ave.
Best Mixed Fries: Bodega Denver
Sometimes you don’t want to choose one type of french fry. Sometimes you don’t even want to choose just two. Well, Bodega Denver in Sunnyside has you covered because its mixed fries contains not two, not three, but five kinds of the golden brown stuff in one paper boat. Straight-cut fries, wedges, tater tots, sidewinders, and sweet potato waffles form a craveable mélange of starchy goodness at this forward-thinking sandwich shop. An accompanying green-chile-flavored dipping sauce sends the little boat into the high seas of flavor, and we’re happy to be along for the ride. 2651 W. 38th Ave.
Best Seasoned Fries: Adrift
If you know what’s good for you, put in an order of the Volcano fries right when you walk into Adrift, then place another order after your first drink. These taters are dusted with a proprietary “Island Spice” composed of dark chile powder, paprika, and other spices, and with a bit of chile aïoli, this appetizer is the perfect stomach padding for the booze-heavy cocktail selection at this South Broadway tiki bar. The only caveat is that these fries are battered, so while they are vegetarian and can be made vegan, they are not gluten-free. Those that have Celiac disease or are otherwise sensitive to the wheat protein should likely opt for a different menu item, like the equally delicious Spam musubi. 218 S. Broadway
Best Loaded Fries: Fritay Haitian Cuisine
The griot-loaded fries from Fritay Haitian Cuisine are singular, and that’s not just because the food truck is the only Haitian eatery in Denver. It’s also because loaded french fries are usually smothered in creamy, gooey toppings (see below for our favorite in this category), rather than the extra layers of crispy texture that Fritay employs. Chef-owner Farah-Jane Jean Pierre crowns her straight-cut potatoes with griot, fried cubes of tender marinated pork shoulder; pikliz, a spicy-sour cabbage slaw; and pickled red onions. It’s a quadruple punch of crunch, sauced only by a reasonable squeeze of Creole-seasoned mayo, so on a taste and texture standpoint, Fritay is first among no equals. Check Fritay’s Instagram for weekly updates on truck location
Best Sloppy Fries: Tacos El Metate
Sorry, poutine—we’re looking south of the border for our favorite fries you eat with a fork. The Medina family opened the first location of Tacos El Metate in Aurora in 2017, but a University Park outpost launched last July means that Denverites can access the Mexican restaurant’s flavor-packed offerings that much more easily. Its carne asada fries are superlative simply by the volume of the toppings—roasted, diced steak; gooey nacho cheese; pico de gallo; guacamole; and sour cream (with housemade hot sauces available at a self-service station in the middle of the restaurant). Forks are mandatory unless you want sauce all over your hands (and likely your shirt and pants). 2060 S. University Blvd.; 1742 S. Chambers Road, Aurora
Best Green Chile Cheese Fries: Carm & Gia Metropolitan
It’s not a Colorado french fries roundup without a green chile cheese option, and the entry at Carm & Gia Metropolitan hits all the marks: dark golden fries, a generous portion of pork green chile with a soothing heat, and luscious Cheddar cheese sauce with additional shredded cheese on top. Unsurprisingly, the potatoes sog out in the pool of stew, but if you keep a few dry ones on the side of the bowl, they stay remarkably crispy. Sick of fries at this point? The green chile cheese treatment is also available over tater tots. This Aurora diner owned by Razz Cortés-Maceda underwent a devastating fire in June of 2021, but now, a year since it reopened, Carm & Gia seems to be in full swing. 9598 E. Montview Blvd., Aurora
Best Crispy Potatoes, Otherwise: Pony Up
No, these are not french fries. They are not tots, or hash browns, or any other name branded crispy potato. Any of those could have taken this final spot, but trust us: These spuds are that good. Cut into large one-to-two-bite chunks, the crispy potatoes at Pony Up are (as the name implies) uber crispy but, at the same time, highlight the creamy, sumptuous flesh of the potato. For true potato lovers that appreciate the tuber’s taste as much as that of the fryer (I see you, baked potato fans), these twice-cooked russets are truly the best of both worlds. A sprinkling of Parmesan on top doesn’t hurt, either. 1808 Blake St.