Covered in ketchup, salt or truffle oil, French fries are an indulgent treat or savory side that go well with those kid favorites like chicken nuggets or burgers. Although invented in Belgium, they’re also a great excuse to explore a new neighborhood elsewhere on the travel trail and try some local flavors and experiences.
It’s no surprise that with a plethora of potatoes in Ireland, Dublin is rife with opportunities to sample amazing French fries — plus, with an abundance of locally farm-raised cattle throughout the country, sliders are plentiful and tasty. Try a trek to Jo’Burger, where towering mouthfuls of juicy patties compete for the spotlight with the crispy spuds served on the side. Don’t miss the chermoulla-spiced chive with creme fresh variety, since all sauces and relishes are made on-site — and cheeseburgers are sourced with dairy from Sheridans Cheesemongers in nearby Temple Bar. That lively neighborhood is worth a stroll for the picture-taking opportunities alone, but also offers an outdoor market on Sundays, and there are plenty of pubs where kids are also welcome to check out bands performing toe-tapping live music.
In Peru — which claims 2,200 varieties of potato — the food scene is just as hot as what comes out of the oven. Well-respected for its multicultural fusion cuisine, use of ancient grains,and farm-to-table methods most recently promoted globally by chef Gaston Acurio, a burger with a side of fries at Papacho’s is one of the most economic ways to get a bite of the trendy culinary scene in Cusco or Lima. The meat is sourced from the Peruvian jungle, but there are also quite a few tasty vegetarian options as well, made out of quinoa and locro, a native squash. Portions are massive, so make sure you stroll either of these UNESCO-listed cities to work off your meal.
Saus in Boston follows the Belgian tradition of crispy spuds served with 15 signature dipping sauces. Ketchup is free but dips like hot beer mustard, smoky chipotle and spicy sambal will run an extra 75 cents — not bad considering this hot spot is located near Faneuil Hall, one of the historic city’s most touristy areas. Poutine — Idaho russets, house-aged and twice-fried, topped with cheddar curds and Saus’ homemade gravy — also hits the spot for one of Boston’s cold winters before heading out on the Freedom Trail, tracing the path of American Revolution sites. Or, Mom and Dad can just chill out and enjoy the view through the windows of passersby while enjoying a local craft brew. Pro tip: Fry connoisseurs must take a daytrip detour to Duckfat in Portland, Maine, a great foodie city that’s especially vibrant in the summertime with fresh seafood, street performances and plentiful whale-watching.
Travelers would be remiss to miss pommes frites in France, and the debate rages on about the best, but two standouts include the gastronomic capital of Lyon, and the grand cornet (cone) of crunchies at Bintje & Zoet — centrally located on Rue Saint-Jean. In Paris, Le Relais de l’Entrecôte gets two thumbs up for its delicious side, served as an accompaniment to the main course: juicy steaks. You’ll be served a half-portion first, so the other half of your food doesn’t get cold while you are eating. How’s that for magnifique service?