The Smoking Goat
Chef Fred Piehl's hand-cut duckfat truffle fries are pretty much the standard appetizer most diners order before their meals at the Goat. They're lightly fried, topped with a healthy toss of salt and herbs and served with a side of aioli. It's a good-size serving but you'll probably want more.
The Crack Shack
A fast-emerging favorite among spud fans are the Shack's schmaltz fries, which are fried in chicken fat. Order them as a side, or as a hearty entrée. The Mexican poutine tops the fries with pollo asada, jalapeno, "Cheese Wiz" and some herbs.
2266 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. 619.795-3299 or crack-shack.com
Available at both locations, Searsucker's duck fat fries are topped with prosciutto dust and served with chipotle ketchup.
Gaslamp: 611 Fifth Ave., 619.233.7327; Del Mar: 12995 El Camino Real, Suite 21, Del Mar. 858.369.5700 or searsucker.com
Urban Solace/Solace and the Moonlight Lounge
Chef/owner Matt Gordon is known for his savory fries. Fresh-cut Kennebec potatoes are fried, then tossed in a little clarified butter and a secret mix of smoked sea salt, spices and fresh herbs.
Urban Solace: 3823 30th St. North Park; Solace & the Moonlight Lounge: 25 East E St., Encinitas, solacerestaurants.com
An oldie but a goodie, Neighborhood's Parmesan-topped truffle fries are served with a side of finger-licking-good garlic aioli. Options include garlic fries or sweet potato fries with dipping sauces of sun-dried tomato aioli, blue cheese or buttermilk ranch dressing.
777 G St., downtown. 619.446.0002 or neighborhoodsd.com
Fries at a pizza joint? You better believe it. Consider the housemade polenta fries, tossed with Parmesan cheese and served with marinara dipping sauce. There's also hand-cut Kennebec potato fries topped with cheddar cheese and housemade bacon.
4150 Regents Park Row, #100, San Diego. 858.550.0406 or regentspizza.com
Juniper and Ivy
Chef Richard Blais' Animal Fries aren't on the menu but the waiters will happily serve you a plate of this delicious and filling homage to the animal-style fries at In & Out Burger. Thick-cut dark-fried fries are layered thick with house-made thousand island dressing, cheese, sautéed onions and fresh-cut herbs. You can also get them on the side with the off-menu In & Haute Burger.
2228 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. 619.269.9036 or juniperandivy.com
The Cool Ranch Fries at this Gaslamp Quarter eatery deliver just the right amount of zest to the taste and are accompanied with house-made BBQ dipping sauce.
535 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. 619.232.1747 or rusticroot.com
Root Fries. This farm-to-table restaurant run by chef Brian Malarkey uses Kennebek, orange and purple sweet potatoes, which are twice cooked, tossed in brown butter, roasted with garlic and rosemary and served with pickled ginger aioli and ketchup.
10300 Campus Point Drive, San Diego. 858.450.9907 or greenacresd.com
Carnitas' Snack Shack
Pork may take center stage at Carnitas', but the fries are no slouch. It's hard to say whether it's the potatoes or the housemade bacon ketchup that are the most craveable. On Mondays and Fridays, the fries are available poutine-style, topped with crumbled bacon.
North Park: 2632 University Ave., 619.294.7675; Embarcadero: 1004 N. Harbor Drive, 619.696.7675, carnitassnackshack.com
Chef/owner Brian Gruber pairs his seasoned fries with house sauces including Buffalo ranch, garlic Parmesan and salt & vinegar. For something different, try the So Crabby, an appetizer portion of crispy waffle-cut fries topped with lump crab, house cheese sauce and truffle oil.
6955 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, 760.431.2929 or notoriousburgers.com
Come for the fries, stay for the view. The house-cut truffled fries are topped with a delicate Parmigiano Reggiano.
2550 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. 619.239.1377 or asrestaurant.com
The Duck Dive
The duck-fat fries at this P.B. sports bar are served with three housemade dipping sauces, roasted tomato aioli, garlic aioli and ketchup. You can also load them up with garlic and Parmesan topping or add some protein with beef meatloaf, cheese sauce and red and green peppers.
4650 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach. 858.273.3825 or theduckdive.com
Stake Chophouse and Bar
Perhaps the most gourmet fries in town, the Hand Cut Stake Fries are ultra-thick slabs of skin-on steak frites served with a tiny saucepan of house Bordelaise sauce made with red wine, bone marrow, butter, and shallots.
1309 Orange Ave., Coronado. 619.522.0077 or stakechophouse.com
The Wooden Spoon
Chef Jesse Paul makes fries all ways at his artisan Escondido eatery. The well-seasoned thick-cut house fries come on the side with burgers. Or they're served as an appetizer. You can order them naked or a variety of toppings for $2 to $4 each. There's cheese, gravy, poutine (gravy and cheese curds) and baconion jam. Or you can get all of the above (the Kitchen Sink) for $12.
805 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido. 760.745.0266 or woodenspoonsd.com
The Burger Lounge
The La Jolla -born chain is known for its single-source, grass-fed, organic burgers, but their fries are no slouch. They're hand-cut in-house and lightly seasoned with salt and fresh-minced herbs. Their onion rings are equally terrific, so order the half-and-half bag with your burger.
Multiple locations. burgerlounge.com
Common Theory Public House
The truffle duck fat fries are house-cut, garlic-seasoned fries topped with slow-cooked duck confit, a drizzle of truffle oil and garlic. There's also truffle duck fat chips, thin-cut potato chips served with Mornay cheese sauce, duck confit and Cotija cheese.
4805 Convoy St., 858.384.7974 or commontheorsd.com
Draft's Parmesan herb fries are skinny-cut and served with house ketchup or IPA whole grain mustard.
4282 Esplanade Court, La Jolla. Cohnrestaurants.com
One Door North
This new restaurant's house-cut truffle fries are garnished with Parmesan and herbs. Available as an appetizer or on the side with the house Chuck burger.
3422 30th St., North Park. Onedoornorthsd.com