Some people track down the best steaks; others focus on where to get the best pizza. Me? I rank french fries.

No, not McDonalds' fries (though I do love them). I'm talking restaurants that serve fries so good, you come back later that same week just to have them again. I'm talking about french fries that are so good, you eat them as a meal, not as a side dish. These are my top 10 places to get life-changing french fries in Northern Virginia.

(Note: I tried not to include national chains that sell french fries across the country, otherwise 5 Guys would have made it onto the list.) 

1. Beef Fat Fries at Red Apron (Fairfax, Virginia)

Red Apron fries

Courtesy of Yelp

These are literally to die for. Don't let the fact that they are grilled in grease fat scare you. It makes them absolutely delicious. With the perfect seasoning of salt, garlic, and rosemary, these fries will haunt your dreams (in a good way).

2. Parmesan Truffle Fries at Big Buns (Ballston, Arlington, Virginia)

The burgers here are great, but it's the fries that made me come back. There's just something about french fries dipped in truffle oil and tossed with parmesan that takes this side dish to a whole new level. If that's not your thing, don't worry. Big Buns also offers plain fries, sweet potato fries, and my other favorite on the menu, Cajun fries.

3. Poutine Fries at Melt Gourmet Cheeseburgers (Leesburg, Virginia)


Courtesy of TripAdvisor

I almost didn't include these since poutine technically is an entirely different dish. But damn it, I'm going to include it anyway because they are just that delicious. The dish includes crispy fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. If that's not your thing, there are plenty of other types of cheese fries on the menu that will knock your socks off.

4. Fries at Costco (Sterling, Virginia)

fries on the menu

Fries at Costco? Whaaaaa? Yep, that's right. The Sterling Costco location has french fries in their food court. The Springfield store also reportedly sells fries as well. I don't know what it is, but Costco just gets it right. They're damn good fries and definitely a hidden gem since most Costco food courts don't offer them.

5. Garlic Fries at Holy Cow (Alexandria, Virginia)

garlic fries

Courtesy of Yelp

This Del Ray burger joint serves a great burger, but their garlic fries are totally addictive. I've tried the Cajun and truffle fries and, while they aren't quite as good as the garlic offering, they are excellent as well.

6. Parmesan Fries at The Counter (Reston, Virginia)


On Wednesdays we eat French Fries. Wait, that’s every day. 📷: @celestialskies

A post shared by The Counter (Official) (@thecounterburger) on

Oh boy. These fries are cut thin, tossed in garlic, and topped with parmesan, rosemary, and parsley. There aren't a lot of places where the side dishes actually make the entrees taste better, but this is one of those places ...

7. Pig Frites at Balo Kitchen (Annandale, Virginia)

pig frites

Courtesy of Balo Kitchen's website

Going into this, I wanted to really focus on more traditional fries. But these were just too good to ignore. This Asian comfort food restaurant has its own take on the french fry, adding in deep-fried sous vide bacon, scallions, and a spicy mayonnaise sauce. You can add egg to the starter, but don't. They are perfect just the way they are.

8. Hand-Cut Idaho Fries at Haute Dog (Old Town Alexandria, Virginia)

hand-cut idaho fries

Courtesy of Haute Dog's website

Put aside all of these fancy fries and poutines. Yes, they are delicious, but sometimes, you just want simple french fries. Sliced potatoes fried in oil and sprinkled with salt. There are a number of dipping sauces available, but trust me: these are too good to ruin with dipping sauces.

9. Curly Fries at Santini's New York Style Deli (Oakton, Reston, Sterling, Chantilly, McLean, and Fairfax)

This place can be kind of hit or miss when it comes to sandwiches. But even if one of their sandwiches lets you down, you will never be disappointed with Santini's curly fries. They remind me of summertime on the boardwalk.

10. Plaka Fries at Plaka Grill (Vienna and Sterling, Virginia)

plaka fries

Courtesy of Facebook

Few would expect a Greek restaurant to make the top 10 list for fries, but their spot is well-earned. Here, it all comes down to their fry seasoning (it's delicious).

Well, these are my favorites. What are yours? Tell me in the comments!

Just as a disclaimer, none of these restaurants paid to be added to this list. This is just one french fry lover's ranking.