There’s nothing more hedonistic than a mess load of crazy fries. It’s already French fries, and now we’re going to load them up with savory meats, oozing cheese, gobs of sauce, and who knows what else. Burger and pizza joints are loading up their menus with this shareable dish – or not, no judgment – as the demand rises for starches weighed down with zany ingredients.
From jalapeño-chili-cheese-pastrami fries to bulgogi poutine, here’s where to find loaded fries in the Valley.
Bao Chow at Yucca Tap Room
29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe
Yucca Tap Room has a lot of fun changing up food and keeping things fresh, but they’d probably have a mutiny on their hands if they ever took the Bulgogi Poutine off the Bao Chow menu. This incredibly aromatic "dish" is a hearty pile of seasoned fries topped with Korean marinated rib eye, kimchi, sambal aioli, and lots of green onion. You can also opt for tots.
Blue Clover Distillery
7042 East Indian School Road, Scottsdale
While this Old Town Scottsdale distillery is known for its house-made spirits, its menu isn’t anything to sneeze at either. Choices of upscale pub fare at Blue Clover Distillery include green chile cheese fries – a pile of pretty crispy fries under a heap of chile con queso, cotija cheese, and green chiles. It's all topped with pico de gallo and fresh cilantro.
Mother Bunch Brewing
825 North Seventh Street, #102
This wife-and-husband run craft brewery and restaurant has some fun appetizers, and the Mother Loaded Fries is one of the them. A plate of fries comes under a layer of tomatoes, green onion, house mustard, and melted cheese, but you’re welcome to get crazier if you want. Add bacon, chicken, tri-tip, or shredded pork, or even jalapeño, green chiles, bleu cheese, or the Mother Bunch Brewing wing sauce.
4105 East McDowell Road
This New York-inspired, counter-service eatery and lunch spot has devoted a small section of its menu to "street" fries, i.e. inventive variations of cheesy string fries. At Outta Bronx, there’s the West Coast-inspired, jalapeño-heavy Baja fries. There's the Chili Cheese Pastrami fries, Big Tex fries with beef brisket, and the Hissy Fit – a pile of hot link, chili, pastrami, jalapeños, and melted American, cheddar, and jack cheese.
330 East Roosevelt Street
Pair your craft cocktail and people watching on Roosevelt Row with some loaded fries at Paz Cantina. Under the Primeros section, you will find the Cholo Fries. Give them an order. It’s a heavy dish of house-cut fries with cheese, beans, cream, pico de gallo, and chipotle aioli. It’s as beautiful as it is fun to eat.
This citywide favorite food truck offers up some incredible Latin-inspired food, and a hidden gem on the Que Sazon menu is an order of loaded fries. They start with crispy shoestring fries and weigh them down with your choice of slow-roasted shredded pork or grilled chicken, plus chimichurri aioli, chipotle aioli, cotija cheese, and house barbecue sauce.
Scottsdale Burger Bar
23535 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
The overtly simple Scottsdale Burger Bar knows how to put together a serving of loaded fries. They start with chunky, heartier cuts of fries, and then they go to work with generous portions of whatever topping you finally decided on. Options include Buffalo chicken, barbecue chicken, bacon burger, and chili fries.
Short Leash Hotdogs + Rollover Doughnuts
Hot dogs, check. Doughnuts, check. Loaded fries, check. A small section of the menu at Short Leash is devoted to this side dish, and much like the imaginative hot dogs it serves, Short Leash offers some great fry platters. Think green chili, pulled pork, bacon, and Dragon Sauce. Think a fresh version of poutine with house-made cheese curds. Short Leash even has a veggie option with vegetarian chili made using bulgar wheat, lentils, and assorted vegetables, cheddar cheese, and sour cream.
420 South Mill Avenue, #101, Tempe
This Philadelphia-themed, two-story pizza joint and bar has yes, pizza and beer, but the appetizer section of the Spinelli's menu is loaded with fries. One eye-catching order is the Philly Fries. It’s just what it sounds like. Spinelli's fills a basket with thin, crispy fries, which are then topped with Cheese Wiz, shreds of beef, onions, and salt and pepper. Yes, it’s a Philly cheese steak sandwich emptied onto a pile of fries.
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The Original Lenny's Burger
This beloved local burger chain has dedicated a chunk of its menu to cheesy and meaty loaded fries. The Original Lenny's Burger offers your standard chili fries and cheese fries, but things get more creative as you keep scanning. You can find bacon cheese fries, jalapeño-chili-cheese fries, ranch-bacon fries, and the menu item with the longest title, jalapeño-chili-cheese-pastrami fries.
929 East Pierce Street
There are some inventive orders over at Welcome Diner. Aside from the fun breakfast sandwiches, the fries plates are pretty exciting, too. Check out the poutine fries with cheddar cheese and their excellent country gravy. Or pork fries with pulled pork, slaw, and Carolina barbecue slaw; or Jack Fries, switching out the pulled pork for vegan jackfruit.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on September 6, 2018. It was updated on July 13, 2019.