The Ultimate Fast Food Fry Debate, Settled

It’s a question that’s been pondered since the dawn of time: which fast food chain makes the best fast food fries? Well, it’s at least been pondered since the first White Castle opened in the U.S. in 1921, launching the world into the fast-food era. We felt that over 80 years of discourse was enough and set out to end the great fry debate once and for all.

The team at CasinoReviews surveyed 2,000 Americans from across the United States and asked them who makes the best fast-food fries, what type of fries they like best, and other similarly delicious questions.

Key Takeaways

  • McDonald’s takes the French fry crown, with 43% of respondents saying the golden arches are home to their favorite fries.
  • Flavor and texture are more important to most people than price or portion size.
  • Most people (71%) feel that their local fry place can’t hold a candle to national chains.
  • When it comes to customization, size options are prioritized over dipping sauce variety or seasoning choices.

Why It Matters

Why do people like the fries they like? Taste? Texture? Price? These survey results reveal that taste and texture are more important to Americans than price or portion size. At least when it comes to French fries, quality trumps quantity.

These results suggest that the quality of products matters but also hints that brand loyalty plays a major role. McDonald’s has been around longer than most of the other chains in our survey, so perhaps it's not surprising that it holds a special place in more people’s hearts.

French Fry Frequency

Before we get to the meat and French-fried potatoes of the survey results, we need to get something out of the way: a whopping 83% of Americans who answered our survey eat French fries at least once per month. Even more surprising is that 41% of responders say they consume fast food fries on a weekly basis.

The Clown is King

The answer to the question Who makes the best fast food fries in America is here: McDonald’s makes the country’s favorite French fries, and it wasn’t even close. A staggering 43% of respondents say that McDonald’s fries are better than the rest.

The best fast food French fries in America ranked in 2024

In this fast food fries tier list the second-place finisher is Chick-fil-A, with a comparatively wimpy 10%. Five Guys, Wendy’s, and Burger King round out the top five with 9%, 8%, and 5%, respectively. McDonald’s didn’t just win; it was a landslide victory.

The rest of the rankings almost aren’t worth mentioning, given that no other chain manages to scrape up more than 4% of the vote. Arby’s and Checker’s/Rally’s win over 4% of Americans each, and Popeye’s squeaks out a measly 3%. In-N-Out Burger validates East Coasters’ opinions by getting only 2% of respondents to choose it as their favorite.

Culver’s and Shake Shack are favored by just 2% of responders, while Jack in the Box, Sonic, Whataburger, KFC, and Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s each get 1% of the vote. Del Taco, Taco Bell, and White Castle all get no votes. Del Taco and Taco Bell, we get, but come on, White Castle; you’ve had more than 80 years to get this right.

No Accounting for Taste

Actually, there’s a lot of accounting for taste. Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents say taste is what makes their favorite fries the best. Only 23% say the texture is what makes their favorite stand out, and 11% say saltiness is what does it for them.

Even though texture played a smaller role in the rankings than taste, it’s still an important point for many respondents to determine which are the best fast food fries in 2024. Around 57% of people say they prefer crispy fries, while 15% say crunchy fries are their favorite.

Nearly one-fifth (18%) of respondents say they like their fries lightly fried, and 10% reveal their serial killer tendency by saying they like soft fries. Ew. Probably the same 2% that likes In-N-Out Burger…

Spicing Things Up

We also asked respondents about their favorite fry toppings, apart from the most obvious choice (ketchup). Ranch dressing was, shockingly, the most popular fry topping, with 19% of respondents choosing it as their go-to topping. Cheese sauce was a close second, coming in at 17%. Honey mustard and barbecue sauce were the next two most popular toppings, with 13% and 12% of the votes, respectively.

Fifth place brings us the first real surprise: garlic Parmesan is the favorite fry topping for 7% of Americans. Mayonnaise is also popular (5%), and so is aioli (5%). Gravy and tzatziki don’t fare as well, getting just 3% and 1% of the votes, respectively.

The most controversial part of our survey’s customization section is what options people prefer. Size options are the most important customization option for 40% of Americans. Nearly as many (33%) prefer having more dipping sauce options, and 27% say that seasoning options matter the most to them.

The Best French Fries Are Worth the Cost

Surprisingly, only 1% of fry lovers in the U.S. say that price is the reason they chose their favorite fries. Similarly, 1% of people also say portion size is the main factor that determines their favorite fries. It turns out that flavor and texture matter much more to people than how much their fries cost. While it’s not surprising that people want a better product, it’s shocking how little price and portion size matter.

However, there is a limit. We asked respondents what the maximum amount is that they’re willing to pay for their ideal portion of fries. The median response for the most they are willing to pay for fast food fries is $4.32.


The Secretariat-like performance McDonald’s put on in this survey suggests that there’s a reason that it remains the king of fast food—no matter what Burger King’s mascot has to say about it. We’re sure that nostalgia and familiarity play some role, but there’s no denying the facts: America likes McDonald’s French fries. And the American populace is surely qualified to judge French fries. Almost half of them eat French fries every week, after all.

We don’t expect the great French fry debate to end just because we did some real research. But at least McDonald’s fans can rest assured that they have the weight of the majority of people behind them when they smugly tell Burger King aficionados that their favorite fries aren’t any good. And they aren’t.


We surveyed 2,000 Americans about their favorite French fries. We then analyzed the results, looking for trends and insights to extract from the raw data. The median age of our respondents was 36; 31% identified as male, 66% identified as female, and 2% identified as non-binary.

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