I Tried 8 Brands of Frozen French Fries — Here Are the Best

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frozen french fres by Marco Verch Professional Photographer (CC BY)

TGI Fryday

Is burger night a staple in your house? OK, so in 2023, maybe burger night has become black bean burger night. No shame in that. Either way, there is but one side dish that a burger needs in order to survive: french fries. Unless you're getting ready to slice a ton of potatoes and fry them up yourself, you might just want to throw a bag of frozen fries in the oven — or far better yet, an air fryer. But which brand do you reach for? To help answer that, I grabbed eight kinds of frozen fries and pitted them against each other in a taste test. Read on to discover the best frozen french fries, ranked from best to worst. 

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: Why McDonald's Fries Used to Taste Better

Arby's frozen french fries
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Best: Arby's Seasoned Curly Fries

$4.13 from Walmart

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I was pretty late to the party when I learned how good Arby's curly fries are, but luckily that didn't stop me from grabbing a bag of the frozen stuff. Throughout this whole thing, I got caught up in wondering whether the frozen version would be as good as the real deal, but I hadn't considered at any point that the frozen fries could actually be better. Arby's frozen curly fries are just that: They are crispy, they are perfectly seasoned, they are hot, and they are in the best shape a fry can be. No fry out of the warmer at an actual Arby's restaurant can compete.

Related: The Surprising History of the Humble Hamburger

checkers rallys frozen french fries
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2. Checker's/Rally's Famous Seasoned Fries

$4.13 from Walmart

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I have said many times out loud, and probably at least once on this very website, that Checker's/Rally's makes the best fast food fries. The frozen version is no exception, seasoned perfectly and steeped in a beautiful auburn color. Crank up your air fryer or oven a liiiiiittle longer than you think you need to. The crunch is heaven.

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steak n shake frozen french fries
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3. Steak 'n Shake Thin 'n Crispy Seasoned Potato Fries

Available from Instacart

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There's a lot to love about the Steak 'n Shake frozen fries, and if not for Checker's having mastered this game a long time ago, it easily could have won. I love the way the fries are somewhat jagged along the sides, unevenly battered and crunchy in different places. Very good job here.

trader joes frozen french fries
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4. Trader Joe's Potato Fries

Available in-store

These fries have character. Leave it Big Joe to inject a little life into this thing, you know? These look and taste like real, hand-cut, authentic fries. They've even got the skin on them, which for me is huge. Nice, skinny little sticks. Pair this with a bottle of TJ's Magnifisauce and you've got some wonderful dipping ahead.

ore-ida golden crinkles frozen french fries
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5. Ore-Ida Golden Crinkles

$3.68 from Walmart

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Is Ore-Ida the brand that first comes to mind when you think of frozen french fries? It definitely is for me. These babies are about as average as it gets, though like everything else here, the air fryer boosts that crunch beautifully. Nice ridges, nice crinkle, but nothing to write home about.

mccain frozen waffle fries
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7. McCain Waffle Fries

$3.50 from Albertson's

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It was harder to come by waffle fries than you'd expect; most of the fries lining the aisles of the frozen section are crinkles, shoestrings, or steak fries. McCain tastes like all the rest, with very little exception beyond the shape. I personally don't love how hard it is to dunk a waffle fry into a sauce container so I avoid them at fast food restaurants, but if you're in control of your sauce destiny, consider McCain. Though I find them to be a bit bland, the fun shape pushes them up to No. 7.

idaho hand cut frozen french fries
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8. Grown in Idaho Hand-Cut Fries

$3.94 from Walmart

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Yeah, these are fine. They taste like a french fry, which I guess is a victory. A bit of skin on the ends is nice, but at the end of the day, these are boring me straight into my grave. Trader Joe's handily defeats these.

red robin frozen french fries
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Red Robin

$4.14 from Walmart

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When I left the grocery store with many varieties of frozen, seasoned fries, I was a little nervous that I was going to get Bojangles'd. The chain drowns their fries in a river of seasoning that I'm surprised any human being can withstand. Red Robin's are the opposite, bordering on under-seasoned. I suppose I'm OK with this, since I'm probably dipping them in something anyways, but this was disappointing. Dippapointing? Dippapointing.