Best French Fries

Best: Five Guys
Various locations
2nd Best: Brasserie Beck
1101 K St. NW, (202) 408-1717
Here’s a recipe for D.C.’s fanciest cheese fries: Go to Brasserie Beck. Order the “Roasted Tomato, Basil and Rocca” mussels. When they come out—always with a side of thin, crispy, yellow French fries—eat a few mussels until you have clear access to the steamy broth below. Then gently pinch a fry between your fingers, and scrape the potato along the bottom of the pan until it is coated in melted rocca. OK, now eat! Then again, the instructions aren’t necessary to enjoy the fries. Without mussels and melted cheese, a regular order comes with three delectable, house-made mayo condiments: A white mayo, a yellow curry mayo, and a pink tomato-flavored mayo. Let’s not give too much credit to the European frite, though. When it comes to D.C.’s best carved spud, you gotta respect the local favorite: Five Guys. This Lorton-based chain currently has locations as far away as Los Angeles County and plans to open 1,500 more in the next 10 years. The D.C. area has little to offer in regional specialties, but these perfectly salted, rough-cut, unpretentious potato sticks are our gift to eaters far outside the Beltway. Whether you’re a born-and-raised Washingtonian or an adopted local, you should be proud to see this export reach new lands.