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You may like skinny, shoestring fries. Or fat, skin-on steak fries. But

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Seattle's Top 10 French Fries

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You may like skinny, shoestring fries. Or fat, skin-on steak fries. But chances are good you qualify as a French fry fan, since very few eaters are immune to the charms of potatoes, oil and salt.

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So where to get your fry fix? Here, we list the top 10 choices. As always, Erin Thompson (a shoestring fry advocate) compiled our contributors' comments, and there's no significance to the arbitrary, random order of our fry finalists.

10. Honey Hole

The Honey Hole's hot, meaty sandwiches deserve the credit for the mouth-watering aroma that's always drifting out of the restaurant. But their French fries are equally laud-worthy: They're thick and potatoey, not overly greasy, and if you're feeling extra-hungry or need a dish for the whole table to share, you can order a batch topped with vegetarian chili and cheese.

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9. The Pen at Safeco Field

Safeco Field's fry scene improved considerably with the 2011 arrival of Ethan Stowell's frites in The 'Pen. The skin-on frites, which come alongside Stowell's 6.5 ounce, grass-fed hamburger, are served with a boat of creamy garlic dipping sauce. You might end up eating so many you'll forget to save room for one of Stowell's Parisian crepes for dessert.

8. Golden Beetle

The presence of hot mustard on the Golden Beetle's za'atar-spiced French-fry plate makes an order inevitable. But the steaming hot fries are so good that it seems blasphemous to contemplate dipping. Burnished with beef fat, the glossy, skin-on fries twinkle with sumac and salt. They're so fabulous that owner Maria Hines had to invent a burger-like gyro to go with them--the beef and lamb sandwich, served with tzatziki and pickled veggies, makes an ideal complement to the superb fry plate.

7. The Wurst Place

This artisan wurst shop in Westlake offers up over 25 varieties of sausage and some stellar Belgian-style frites to alongside them. The potoates are double-fried to a golden, crunchy perfection, and best of all, they come accompanied with your choice of one of the Wurst Place's many custom dipping sauces, which run the gamut from basil mayonnaise and peppercorn ranch to curry ketchup and hot Sriracha.

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6. Cafe Presse

Cafe Presse does a lot of things well--artful salads, late-night dining, buttery baguette sandwiches--and French fries are naturally one of them. Some dishes, like the steak frites and the roast chicken, come with a side of fries, but some do not, which is why it's lucky that the savory pommes-frites are served morning, afternoon, and night by the heaping bowlful (with your choice of ketchup, mustard, or mayo for dipping) for $4.50. A croque madame isn't a complete meal without some of those frites on the side.

5. Schultzy's Sausage

Entrées at Shultzy's are accompanied by the so-called "World's Best Shoestring Fries," and they live up to their ambitiously golden-brown expectations. A sweet potato option is conveniently provided, but don't feel the need to stray away from the classic. The regular fries, perfectly crisped and salted, are as addictive as bar peanuts. Try dipping them in Shultzy's secret burger sauce for some variety.

4. Skillet Diner

Skillet ratchets up the value of their tasty french fries by serving it with extras: The poutine, a carryover staple from the food truck, probably wouldn't be recognized as such by a Québécois, which means there's more of the extraordinary snack for eaters who don't let semantics interfere with their enjoyment of a perfectly fried potato. Skillet's burnished skin-on fries are cloaked in sheer gravy and melted Cheddar, the cheese's sharpness waltzing with the gravy's satisfying sweetness.

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3. Katsu Burger

A joint that has the guts to fry its burgers understands the alchemy of hot oil. Katsu's shoestring fries--you can order them up plain, although they're even better with curry powder or nori flakes--are near-perfect examples of the genre. There's an array of dipping sauces, but no one will tell if you drag a crisp fry through your green tea milkshake.

2. Pike Street Fish Fry

Come closing time, especially on weekends, Pike Street Fish Fry is full of people eager to get their drunken paws on catfish sandwiches and battered halibut. But the French fries are just as good as--if not better than--the seafood, and are just as tasty at lunch when you're (presumably) completely sober. The potatoes are soaked, sliced, and blanched by hand, then served in a paper cone and accompanied by your choice of housemade sauce (the curry ketchup is awesome). The result is perfection: French fries free of excess grease that are as crisp on the outside as they are mealy inside. And just when you think it can't get any better, from 5 to 7 p.m. every third Friday of the month, Pike Street Fish Fry serves 'em for free.

1. Szmania's

The slender skin-on potatoes at Szmania's should probably be called French fries fries, since Ludger Szmania insists on frying the hand-cut beauts twice. But the potatoes first spend a night soaking in ice water, which leaches out the starches that might otherwise interfere with the fries' reaching maximum crispness. The regime works: Szmania's fries have creamy centers, crisp exteriors, and a lustrous gold finish.

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