The potato is a diverse and multifaceted vegetable and has shared many wonderful sides of its starchy character with the world: mashed potatoes, potatoes au gratin, latkes, gnocchi, baked potatoes, twice-baked potatoes, potato soup, hash browns, roasted potatoes, potato salad, potato rolls — the list goes on! But nothing compares to the potato’s most triumphant masterpiece: The French Fry!
Let’s celebrate this savory snack by highlighting Birmingham’s culinary creatives who capture the artistry of the French fry. From the classic fried potato to crispy sweet potato sticks to loaded dishes of French-fry goodness, the Magic City has a long list of French fries so delicious, you’ll forget about ketchup, altogether. If you’re looking for the perfect place in Birmingham for tasty French fries, use this list to guide you to your dream dish of crispy, savory and satisfying potato-y goodness!
Birmingham Fries to Try
2901 Second Ave. S., Suite 110, Birmingham, AL 35233 • (205) 323-6980
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Closed Sunday
What to Order: Garlic home fries drizzled in queso
Garlic lovers and fromage fans, rejoice! If you’re a fan of garlic and warm, melted queso dip, then these are the fries for you. The folks at Cantina do not skimp on the garlic on these aromatic crispy fries, nor do they hold back on the cheesy goodness on this French-fry dreamboat. Eat up!
200 20th St. N., Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 320-2824
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
What to Order: S.O.S. Fries
Topped with chunks of savory house corned beef, marinated tomatoes, chunks of cheese, chives and creamy goat cheese sauce, this French fry dish wins with its perfectly subtle yet tantalizing undertones of rosemary, the potato’s favorite herb. The only emergency with Paramount’s S.O.S. fries is that they need to get in your belly, A.S.A.P., before they are gone!
2007 11th Ave. S., Birmingham, AL 35205 • (205) 939-3221
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday
What to Order: Pomme frites
“It starts with Guadalupe slicing the potatoes every morning with a wall-mounted slicer into a bucket of water,” says Chez Fonfon Executive Chef Frank Stitt. “We use fresh, non-GMO vegetable oil and give the fries plenty of room for the first fry. We then put them on a sheet pan, which we place in the freezer. We fry them a second time in non-GMO vegetable oil to crisp them to order and then add lots of kosher salt.” The results are out-of-this-world, crispy, authentic pomme frites that will make you feel like you’re people-watching from a sidewalk cafe on the streets of Paris!
2430 Morris Ave., Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 440-2430
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.; Closed Sunday
What to Order: Loaded fries
“Our fries are hand cut, then go through a multi-step, two-day process. Then they are cooked to order, which makes them soft on the inside and crispy on the outside,” says Carrigan’s Public House head chef Jonathan Brennan. “Add some slow-braised oxtail chili, smoked gouda cheese, house-made ‘hipster ranch’ and fresh jalapeño slices: BOOM!” Need we say more? (SB Tip: The loaded fries are only served on the dinner menu, which is served from 5 p.m. to close.)
3156 Heights Village, Vestavia Hills, AL 35243 • (205) 876-8100
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday
What to Order: French fries
The only thing that outshines the comfortable yet chic vibe of FoodBar is Chef George McMillan’s creative farm-to-table cuisine, and his fries are no exception — salty, crispy-on-the-outside, melt-in-your-mouth-on-the-inside, thin, classic fries. As Chef George explains, “They are good because we cut them, blanch them, freeze them and then fry them!” Enjoy on FoodBar’s pooch-friendly patio with the big ol’ FoodBar burger of Alabama-raised Miller Farms beef, caramelized onions and Parmesan crisps!
1922 29th Ave. S., Homewood, AL 35209 • (205) 820-7100
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
What to Order: Sweet potato wedges
For a healthy and creative twist on the beloved side of fries, head to Real & Rosemary in Homewood. “Our sweet potato wedges are hand cut daily and are finished with sea salt. They are served with a lemongrass crème fraîche dipping sauce,” says Real & Rosemary owner and head chef Jennifer Mims. “They are a favorite for children and adults!”
2301 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., Suite 300, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 278-7270
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
What to Order: Jalepeño honey fries
These fries are the perfect combination of sticky sweet and supremely spicy. Whether you have the biggest sweet tooth or are always looking for more heat, these bad boys will surely satisfy. Pair these perfect potatoes with The Southern’s Black and Bleu Burger — Black Angus topped with bleu cheese butter, caramelized onions, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun — for a meal you will never forget!
2811 Seventh Ave. S., Birmingham, AL 35233 • (205) 203-4512
Hours: Every day, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
What to Order: Sweet potato fries
These are not your average fries. Simplistically done, these sweet potato fries are the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Fried to a crisp, these little guys are the perfect partner to a great big burger at Jack Brown Beer & Burger Joint. Or pair them with the Chiflet — a cheeseburger topped with applewood smoked bacon and egg — for a combination that is out of this world!
1629 10th Ave. S., Birmingham, AL 35205 • (205) 939-4278
Hours: Every day, 24 hours
What to Order: Ranch fries
Topped with creamy white ranch, these fries add a Southern twist to a savory fave. Seasoned to perfection, these ranch-tastic fries are perfect when paired with a gyro. You’ll soon be taking advantage of Al’s 24/7 service after late concerts or pub crawls in Downtown Birmingham!
1115 Dunston Ave., Birmingham, AL 35213 • (205) 745-3920
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Closed Sunday
What to Order: Sweet potato fries
Saw’s sweet potato fries are made with the same comfort, love and soul that the juke joint is known for. Made fresh, the sweet potato fries are the perfect combination of crispy, salty and sweet. And they are the perfect pairing to any Saw’s Juke Joint sandwich!
1210 20th St. S., Birmingham, AL 35205 • (205) 918-0726
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
What to Order: Poutine
Take the already amazing garlic Parmesan house fries from 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar and let Chef George Reis turn them into the famously popular Canadian specialty, poutine. “Garlic Parmesan fries topped with pulled pork, cheese curds and homemade beef gravy … ” says Chef George. “How can it not be awesome?” Mic dropped.