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Everyone loves a French fry. The crispy, golden strips of deliciousness typically top people’s lists of most beloved guilty pleasure foods—and they’ve likely been on those lists for quite some time, as French fries have existed, in one form or another, since the 16th century.
But as the years have passed, cultures around the world have given French fries their own unique spin—which makes them the perfect food to take you across the globe. From moules frites to poutine, here’s where you can taste the best French fry varieties the world has to offer.
Brussels: Belgium Fries
For a taste of the original French fry, look no further than Maison Antoine, a famous eatery located in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. There, guests can dig into generous portions of frites and pair them with many different sauces. A "small" is more than enough to satisfy one person, but at just $3 a pop, you may want to buy more than one. Pro tip: this place is pretty popular, so be prepared to spend some time waiting in line. While in town, book a stay at the Pantone Hotel, which not only offers unparalleled views of the city but is also one of the most colorful hotel suites in the world.
Paris: Pommes Frites
French fries go by a completely different name in France: pommes frites, or simply frites. But, that doesn’t make them any less delicious.
The Cafe des Musees, in Paris, is the place to go for taste-testing frites for yourself. The cafe also serves up a version of the local favorite, steak frites—a beef rib-eye steak with a side salad and frites, all smothered in a béarnaise—that is magnifique. While in Paris, spend a night or two at the Hôtel Le Placide, an 11-room boutique hotel that is ready to cater to your every French fry desire.
Though the fries in Amsterdam may look similar to the varieties Americans are used to, they are anything but. Here, these potato strips are known as Patat or Vlaamse frites. They are typically served at stands around Amsterdam and come in white, cone-shaped cups. And, sorry ketchup lovers, but fries here generally are smothered in mayo instead.
One of the best places to enjoy a cone of fries is Vleminckx, located near the Spui tram station. There, guests can taste dozens of globally-inspired sauces. Afterward, book a stay at the Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam, comprised of 25 separate canal houses that have been connected to make one stunning building. There, you’ll be able to sleep off all those French fries and be ready for round two.
New York City: Waffle Fries
Delicious fries are pretty much everywhere in New York City. But, if you’re looking for fries with a twist, look no further than Mother’s Ruin in Lower Manhattan, which serves up waffle fries smothered in spices. After devouring these waffle-shaped treats, spend the night in the Suite 5000: Mandarin Oriental, a 3,300-square-foot suite that isn’t listed on the hotel’s website. Instead, it’s only available to those in the know—which now includes you.
Athens: Gyro Fries
Biting into a gyro “with the works” is like biting into the world’s most perfect combination of food. In Greece, gyros come in many forms, but if you’re going to eat one, you might as well go big or go home and opt for one with everything—and that includes fries.
For the best gyro with fries pay a visit to SAVVAS, a family-owned business located in Monastiraki Square that has been crafting gyros since 1922. In Athens, stay at the nearby Andronis Hotel, a four-star boutique hotel that boasts stunning views of the Acropolis.
Quebec City: Poutine
Quebec has a culture and history all its own, so makes sense they’d have a unique French fry dish too: poutine, which consists of French fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy. There is perhaps no better place to try poutine for yourself than Frite Alors!, which serves up a traditional but near-perfect version of the dish. Afterward, take a stroll and stay at Auberge Saint-Antoine, a boutique hotel located just down the street that also offers farm-to-fork dining.
Cape Town: Slap Chips
One may assume that the only way to eat fries is if they are crispy and well-fried. But South Africa serves up a delivious alternative in the form of its "slap chips," a version that is softer and smothered in salt and vinegar. The secret to this texture? Only frying the spuds once. And the best place to try them out is Hook Line and Sinker in Cape Town.
At the restaurant, guests can try fish and chips, South African-style, or pair them with any number of seafood-centric dishes. While there, book a stay at the Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel, a 14-suite space that sits directly on the shore.
London: Fish & Chips
No list of the best French fries on earth would be complete without mentioning the United Kingdom’s most famed dish: fish and chips.
Thought to be introduced to the country sometime in the 19th century, fish and chips have long been a favorite food combination. And, according to Historic UK, there are now an estimated 8,500 fish and chip shops across the nation. One of the best happens to be Kerbisher & Malt. With two locations in London, Kerbisher & Malt offers up a high-quality take on the traditional dish. With sides like mushy peas, pickled onion rings, and homemade coleslaw, diners can’t go wrong.
While in London, stay at Claridge’s, one of the best hotels not only in the city but the world. The luxurious white glove service will undoubtedly make a person’s fish and chip adventures feel a lot fancier.
Tokyo: Furaido Potato
Though Japan didn’t invent the French fry, the nation did take the dish to the next level by adding some seriously tasty toppings like seaweed, sesame seeds, bonito, and sea salt.
Perhaps the best place to taste-test is Nihonbashi Imoya Kinjiro, a shop specializing in sweet potato creations in Tokyo. At the shop, foodies can revel in more classic creations, add unique toppings, or even try candied sweet potato fries. While in the city, stay at the five-star Peninsula Tokyo.