How People Really Eat Fries Around The World

No matter where you live or how old you are, what you do for a living, or what your favorite food is, there is one thing we can pretty much all agree on: French fries are one of the best foods out there. Yes, even if you aren't a big fast-food person, or don't really care for burgers or other foods that fries are typically served with, most people tend to enjoy fries. Whatever you dip them in, and however you like them cut and served, French fries are certainly one of the most popular foods around the world.

While French fries are typically served at most fast-food joints in the United States, fries are so versatile that they can be served so many different ways, and are in so many different countries. If you're a big traveler, then you've probably been to another country where French fries were served in a way unfamiliar to you. And whether or not you liked it, there's no denying that it was probably super interesting. Below are some of examples of the different ways fries are prepared around the world. But be warned, they all sound totally delicious and might make you want to hop on a plane as soon as possible.


If you've ever been to Canada, or if you know someone from Canada, then you're probably familiar with poutine, which is considered by many to be the country's national dish. But just what, exactly, is poutine? Well, it might not sound or look very appealing, but it's definitely beloved by most Canadians and those who have tried it. Basically, poutine is made up of a base of French fries — soft, not crispy — and topped with plenty of brown gravy and melty cheese curds.

While poutine is served all over Canada, it originated in Quebec, something the locals appear to be quite proud of. "Just as the whole world knows that pizza is Italian, everyone should know that poutine is Quebecois," cheese curd maker Luc Boivin told World Crunch. So, if you've ever wondered how French fries were typically consumed in Canada, it involves a lot of gravy, cheese curds, and national pride.

The U.K.

One of the most popular dishes in the United Kingdom is fish and chips. The traditional English street food comes piping hot, with a beer-battered fried fish filet served alongside crispy French fries (known in the U.K. as chips) that are usually topped with salt and vinegar. (Fish and chips is sometimes served with mashed peas as well.) The meal is filling, delicious, and something that you just want to eat outdoors, by the sea, and walking around on a crisp day. Of course, you could eat the fries without the fish (and vice versa) if you wanted to, but it wouldn't be the same. 

According to Historic U.K., the first known fish and chips shop opened up all the way back in the 1860s. So to say the dish has a long history in the country would be an understatement. And while you can find fish and chips just about everywhere these days, there's no denying that the dish is a lot more famous, popular, and easy to come across in the U.K. Definitely give fish and chips a try the next time you head across the pond.


When you picture Greece, you probably think of stunning turquoise waters, amazing sunsets, white buildings, ancient ruins, and maybe even the Olympics. But what about Greek food? Well, it turns out that one of the most traditional and common street foods in Greece features French fries, and it just might surprise you. Yes, the gyro is a well-known Greek food, but you might not have known that French fries were such an integral part of the dish.

According to Greek Boston, just about anywhere in Greece you'll come across a gyro, which consists of large slabs of meat (usually lamb or pork), spinning over a heat source in shop windows. The meat is slivered by the cook and then served on pita bread along with vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and cucumber, plus a drizzle of tzatziki sauce, and then finally topped with French fries. (Gyros usually also come with French fries on the side, as well.) Clearly, fries are an important part of Greek food, and if you've never had a traditional gyro, it certainly sounds delicious.


Traveling to Spain is more than just a fun vacation. It typically involves adjusting to some cultural differences as well. Apart from a different language and being in a whole new country, Spain also has some interesting food traditions. First, dinner in Spain is usually served quite late at night, as many locals observe the "siesta," or rest period, in the late afternoon and early evening. Additionally, tapas, small, appetizer-like dishes served at bars and restaurants late at night, are quite common in Spain, as well.

One of the most well-known tapas across Spain can best be described as their version of French fries. Rather than preparing long, thin, batons of potato, patatas bravas are crispy, fried potato chunks served with a side of dipping sauce — usually a type of salsa or aioli. Though not identical, it's pretty obvious that patatas bravas are Spain's answer to French fries, and undeniably tasty.

South Africa

Just in case you thought that all international varieties of French fries were served with hearty toppings, or in weird shapes, or alongside fried fish, allow us to introduce you to South Africa's version of French fries: slap tjips, or slap chips. "Slap" means "limp" in Afrikaans, so yes, these French fries are far from crispy. In fact, they're soggy, and that's intentional. Other than that important distinction, though, there's not much that sets slap chips apart from regular French fries. They're topped with salt and vinegar and usually served wrapped in paper from a street vendor, similar to the packaging of fish and chips in the U.K.

Slap chips might not sound like your version of a delicious French fry, but in South Africa they're a bit of a delicacy and definitely something worth trying out if you're ever on that side of the world. After all, a soggy French fry is still a French fry!


In Belgium, fries are quite literally a cultural heritage, as officially declared by UNESCO. It's obvious that Belgians take their fries seriously, and why shouldn't they? While France is the country that people most often associate with fries, the dish actually originated in Belgium. Suffice to say that the fries in the country that invented them are going to be good. 

While Belgian fries might not look all that different from the French fries you might get at any fast-food joint or restaurant in the United States, they are pretty different. According to Culture Trip, Belgian fries are a centimeter or less in thickness, never frozen or soggy, and are fried twice in an oil vastly different from the peanut oil most American fries are cooked in. In Belgium, the potatoes are fried in a blend of horse and cow fat, which might sound odd but results in a perfectly crispy fry. Belgian fries might just be the best of the best, that's for sure.


If you've never thought about the way in which Kenyans tend to prepare their French fries, then you are seriously missing out. Yes, you might not know that people in Kenya really enjoy their French fries, but they do — in a particularly hearty, flavorful, and memorable manner. One of the country's most interesting culinary traditions is incorporating some serious spice with their French fries. 

Called masala chips, the fried potatoes are basically your standard French fries, though cut a little thicker. But the major difference is the generous topping of masala sauce. In case you don't know what masala sauce is, it's a traditional Indian sauce featuring tomatoes, chilies, and a variety of spices including paprika and cumin. Basically, if you're a fan of tikka masala, you'll love masala fries. These just sound delicious even if you've never had anything masala in your life. Why not try French fries covered in so much flavor?

The Netherlands

When you think of the Netherlands, you probably imagine beautiful scenery, interesting history, gorgeous weather, and tasty food. But what you might not know is that one of the most popular traditional Dutch foods actually involves French fries. It should be noted that their preferred version is quite different compared to how most Americans enjoy their fries, and it all comes down to the topping.

Known as patatje oorlog, the dish features standard fries, topped with mayonnaise, onions, and most importantly, a satay sauce made with peanuts, chili, soy sauce, and sambal oelek. That potent combination is certainly far more intense than your standard ketchup dipping sauce. This is standard Dutch street food, so you can find people walking the streets with their patatje oorlog in paper cones, eating them with their hands. The dish is certainly packed full of flavor, and probably not what most Americans picture when they think of French fries, but it sure sounds tasty and creative.


Lest you think that French fries are only popular in Europe, Peru has an extremely beloved dish that takes them to a whole new level. Yes, while Peru might not be well-known for its take on French fries, salchipapas are something you should know about, and definitely something that shouldn't be ignored.

The Peruvian version of French fries are simply thicker-cut French fries, topped with sausages (in case you wondering, translating from Spanish to English, "salchi" is "sausage" and "papas" is "potatoes"). The combo is then served with a variety of dipping sauces. It doesn't sound too complicated or strange and actually seems pretty hearty as well. After all, what's better than French fries? French fries topped with meat of course! So if you're ever in Peru, give salchipapas a try! They're a very popular appetizer and street food all over the South American country, so why not taste them?


If you ever wanted to try French fries at breakfast, then you might want to head to Tanzania. The country serves its own version of French fries in an unusual, yet highly appetizing, manner. Sure, breakfast might not sound like the kind of meal that heavily features French fries, but in Tanzania, they've managed to perfect a dish that combines your favorite breakfast food with your favorite snack food. So, what's it called?

In Tanzania, they serve something called chips mayai, which loosely translates from Swahili to "French fry eggs." Basically, the dish is an omelet, simply seasoned, and filled with French fries. The dish is especially loved in Tanzania and is extremely popular there, as well. It's found just about everywhere and is a traditional Tanzanian dish you can't miss out on while visiting the country. And honestly, what sounds better than your typical omelet? One with French fries in it, of course!


When you think of Ireland, you probably think of history, Vikings, castles, and perhaps potatoes. Potatoes were obviously hugely important in Ireland, and even years after the horrific potato famine, they're still a huge staple of any Irish diet.

While Ireland is very close to the United Kingdom, and they definitely eat a ton of fish and chips there, they also serve their French fries in another highly popular manner you might not have heard of. The thing is, when people in Ireland are craving French fries, but they don't want any fish to go along with them, they tend to have chips and curry sauce. In Ireland, the chips, or fries, are served nice and thick, deep-fried, and with a sweet and spicy curry sauce for dipping. Again, you might not expect French fries to work so well with curry sauce, but they really do! People in Ireland tend to eat chips with curry sauce late at night or when craving a snack, so the next time you're in Ireland, give them a whirl.

The U.S.

If there's one thing that the United States does well, it's taking food and topping it with another food. For instance, French fries in America are served in multiple ways, but one of the most popular ways Americans eat French fries is topped with chili and cheese. Yes, it's the quintessential American dish: deep-fried potatoes topped with a hearty serving of ground meat, spices, and cheese. If that doesn't sound filling and satisfying, then what does?

Chili cheese fries might not be the only way French fries are consumed in the United States, but there's no denying the fact that people love them, and they are distinctly American. You're not gonna find chili cheese fries in France, that's for sure. So, if you want to feel like a true, patriotic member of the United States, then order your fries with chili and cheese next time. If you've never had it, you'll be shocked at just how well it all works together. And if you have had it, well, you can just enjoy it again!