And so the time has come for the culinary world’s greatest wingman to rise out of the ashes of those industrial friers and take centre stage. No, seriously. Whoever de-ranked french fries into side dish status is no friend of ours but luckily, we’ve uncovered a whole world of restaurants right here in Mumbai who feel the same.
We’re the kind of people who wouldn’t hesitate to fall face first into a plate of cheese fries with bacon bits for breakfast or knee someone in the stomach for grabbing a fry from our plate unannounced; so you can be deathly sure that some brutal decision-making went into which places made the cut (no pun intended). No matter if they’re coated with creamy jalapeno sauce, the classic fried and salted, or a messy meal full of meat and cheese, you can be sure that every mention on this list is the best of the best.
So, yeah. If you’re the kind of person who always says ‘yes’ to ‘do you want fries with that,’ this is for you. If you’re the kind of person who says ‘no’ to that however, please never reveal yourselves, we can’t be held responsible for our actions towards you.
I. Cajun Spiced Potato Fries @ Woodside All Day Bar & Eatery
What we really love about Woodside Inn is how they’ve dedicated an entire section on the menu for fries, known as Pub Fries. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside - just the way it should be - served with flavour-filled roasted garlic, wasabi mayo & paprika aioli. Two words: additional toppings. If you, like us, believe that you can never have enough toppings, then pick away - your options are creamy bechamel sauce, chipotle mayo (both Rs 65) and smoky crispy bacon (Rs 155). We say add both.
Cost: On the pricier side, but so worth it @ Rs. 395.
Other Options We Love: The BBC-rubbed sweet potato chips with creamy spinach & artichoke (@ 345/) and the shaved grana padano & fresh rosemary fries (@ 395/) are both worthy contenders vying for your attention in this land of fries.
Bandra’s carb-happy joint is home to a certain bacon fries too good to pass up on. Drizzled with bacon oil and tossed with succulent chunks of cured bacon, these crispy fries have been known to cast a spell on you at first bite. We hear that the Chorizo Fries are another lip-smacking alternative you want in on.
Cost: Keeping it friendly @ Rs 129.
III. Awesome French Fries @ Cafe Zoe. No really, they’re awesome.
Quality controlled by a “Belgian who knows his fries,” the converted mill space of Cafe Zoe is home to Homegrown’s favourite rendition of the dish that illustrates how something can be perfect without being over-the-top. Completely classic (fried and salted just right) the day you dip these fries into the simple cajun mayonnaise dip is one you’re unlikely to forget and you’re guaranteed to be back for more. Our editor says she sometimes cries when she eats them. But she’s a little weird, you’re more likely to laugh your way to foodie heaven.
Cost: (Gr)easy does it, it’s @ Rs. 180.
IV. Greek Fries with Feta Cheese @ Greko
The fries with feta at Greko are a thing of cult legend, even worth fighting the college crowd at Carter’s for. And we don’t even say that for those streetside shawarmas that cloud our better judgment and induce midnight cravings. The feta brings to the table a fresh salty taste that complements the oregano seasoning and squeeze of lemon juice that garnish the crispy fries perfectly.
Cost: Definitely hit this while it’s hot @ Rs. 140.
V. Cheesy Fries @ Alfredos
Alfredo’s has a subtle, dated style that is reminiscent of Colaba’s iconic bars Leopold and Mondegar, but it’s carved its own identity in the city’s gastronomical landscape over the years. Liberal with the cheese and seasoning, these fries are mouthwateringly good in that old-fashioned way that knows how to ensure you won’t be eating the next three meals that are placed before you.
Cost: Bring on the ketchup @ Rs. 210.
This is yet another dish off Smoke House Deli’s carefully-crafted menu that makes every visit here a special experience, injected with a smattering of art, if you know what’s good. With French Fries seasoned with sweet paprika powder and just a little bit of salt, these are fries that know how make an impression without trying too hard.
Cost: Pretty sweet deal @ Rs. 160.
VII. Homestyle Fries @ 212 All Day Cafe & Bar
We’ve had our eyes on this restaurant with its classy interiors and lip-smacking grub for a while now, and the homestyle fries here have become a staple during our visits. You can get them dusted with sea salt, masala or curry - but get them you must. Especially because it’s one of the only regularly affordable things on the menu!
Cost: Midrange crispiness @ Rs. 195.
VIII. Home Fries at Indigo Deli
Some magnificent love child of french fries and potato wedges, the home fries at Indigo Deli are heavenly hand-cut pieces of potatoes with the skins left on, fried to crispy perfection and seasoned with herbs with a perfectly mushy inside. We usually end up eating them so quick they burn the roof of our mouth so learn from our mistakes and...oh who are we kidding? They’re worth a burnt palate.
Cost: Rs. 225, only for your crunching pleasure.
IX. Chilli Cheese Fries @ The J
This is the place for fries-lover on a shoestring budget. Served in creamy cheese jalapeno and spicy garlic chilli sauce, the fries do get soggy after a while - but the kind of soggy that you like, and will have you licking your fingers (or elbows) clean. If you’re feeling like something a little chunkier, you can also go in for the chilli cheese wedges which is essentially the same thing… but better.
Cost: The messier the better @ Rs. 100.
Other Options We Love: These guys have gotten quite creative, with options like Pizza Fries, which are basically fries marinated in a pizza marinara sauce along with grated mozarella topped off with a liquid cheese jalapeno sauce. They also have Nacho fries which include fries with crispy tortillas chips, beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream and a seasoning that has our mouths watering already.
X. House Fries @ Doolally
While everyone usually heads to Doolally for its awesome array of craft beers, we’re going to let you in on a little secret: their house fries are to die for. Proper, thick-cut chips are served alongside not one, not two, but five dipping sauces! If there was ever hedonism in fried form, this is it. The sauces that accompany the fries at Doolally are sambal, chimichurri, wasabi mayonnaise, herbed cheese, and aioli. And please, do double-dip.
Cost: Piping hot fries and five dipping sauces @ Rs. 275. It’s a steal. Plus, you can get a refill for just Rs. 175.
So it might not be the most revolutionary opinion to reveal. But we’ve spent an alarming part of our childhood munching on these before exams, at stop-overs on long drives, shovelling them into our mouths while binge-watching TV shows, and they’ve become the most omnipresent, go-to fries that you know will never, ever change.
French Fries at McDonald’s
Where: Basically, everywhere.
Don’t go in for that peri peri stuff. Stay classy and stick to the original, they always seem to get the salt just right, they’re the perfect size plus they have those super crispy ones right at the end that’ll have you chomping your way down to the bottom.
Cost: Coming in three sizes, it’s @ Rs. 60, Rs. 75 & Rs. 90 for some McLoving.
[Yeah yeah. We know, nobody died and made us french fry goddesses. We’ll be impressed if you can outdo us on this list but if you’ve got better suggestions, bring it in the comments section below. We’ll even treat you to a portion if we agree.]
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