Sidekicks are never given enough credit. Tonto had to sit back and let the Lone Ranger take the spotlight; Ron Weasley faithfully followed Harry Potter to all ends of the wizarding world; and Robin always had Batman's back, no matter how sticky the situation. It's quite possible that our most beloved heroes would never have been as successful without their trusty partners by their sides. The same applies to food: Where would spaghetti be without meatballs, peanut butter without jelly or a burger without french fries?

French fries hold supporting roles on menus across the globe. The Dutch and the Belgians prefer them served in a paper cone with a side of mayonnaise, while the Brits like them sprinkled with just enough salt and vinegar to clear the sinuses. On the other side of the Atlantic, fries provide the foundation for many a quirky creation. In Canada, a saucy concoction known as "poutine" features french fries drenched in brown gravy and cheese curds. Here, in the United States, these crispy, golden spuds are often customizable: steak, shoestring, crinkle-cut, curly and waffle-cut fries are just a few variations to try. A disappointing french fry is hard to come by, but which eateries make the cut as America's finest potato-handlers?

Using tips from culinary experts and hungry diners, U.S. News Travel has tracked down 11 places where spuds get the respect they deserve. Whether you're a flavor innovator or a french fry purist, these eateries are consistently recognized by food critics and foodies alike for their mouthwatering portions of tantalizing taters.

See where to find America's Best French Fries »


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