French fries are the best side dish ever, period. While these guys can seem simple, the secret lies in the spices and the prep. As a vegetarian, I often find myself having fries at a restaurant in place of an "actual meal," so I consider myself an expert on all things fry. Here's my guide to finding the best fries in Wilmington

PT's Grille

chocolate, gravy, waffle, poutine
Olivia Clifton

The PT's food truck parks on UNCW's campus on Tuesdays from 11 am to 2 pm. If you ask nicely, they'll even drizzle your ranch (or other sauce of choice, like Honey Mustard, Buffalo, or Barbecue) all over. On a college budget, that kind of sweet customer service matters, which is why PT's is #1 on my list of best fries in Wilmington. 

These fries are handmade at PT's every day and fried to order. Crispy, always piping-hot, and sprinkled with a seasoning that's a combination of salt, cracked black pepper, and some mysterious lime and cilantro notes. 

You can try these for yourself at one of PT's five locations, or check out their menu here.

Munchies Food Co.

gravy, chicken, poutine
Olivia Clifton

Munchies is a Wilmington exclusive. True to the name, this restaurant offers exactly the things you'd crave if you had ~the munchies~ if you know what I mean. Their menu is totally wild, featuring everything from a sandwich called a Fat Joint to the glorious Sauced Fries pictured above. 

Eaten plain, Munchies fries are perfectly crunchy and well-seasoned. When combined with Munchies' tangy BBQ sauce and smothered with melted Mozzarella cheese... I have chills. 

Munchies also delivers until 3 am—just sayin'. 

Hell's Kitchen

potato, cheese
Olivia Clifton

I have two words for you: Beer. Battered. Here, you see these fried-to-perfection goodies alongside a pickle and a black bean burger. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these fries are seasoned simply: salt and pepper. It must be the beer that made this college girl fall in love. Shocker. 

Hell's Kitchen is located at 118 Princess Street, Wilmington NC 28403. Here's their menu.

The Dixie Grill

potato, sweet potato, sweet
Olivia Clifton

Okay, yeah. These aren't shaped like regular fries, but they're on the menu as "home fries," so I'm counting them. 

If you're not from the South, home fries might be new for you. Let me change your life: home fries are just little square fries, pan-fried for a crispy outer coating that gives way to tender, fluffy insides. I just gave myself goosebumps. 

I'd recommend them with a drizzle of hot sauce, but the salt and pepper already there is great, too. 

Check out The Dixie Grill's menu here, or see it all in person at 116 Market Street in Downtown Wilmington. 


breadstick, bread, french fries
Olivia Clifton

No restaurant can top an entire meal and a large sweet tea for $5.34. That's a fact. You can get fries from Cookout plain, or spice things up a little (so sorry for that pun) with Cajun seasoning, which is pictured above. 

Drunk Me is a HUGE fan of these fries, but even Sober Me craves them at least once a week. They're always fresh, and I haven't seen a single price increase since I started eating at Cookout religiously in 2014. 

Mission BBQ

chips, potato, salt, french fries
Olivia Clifton

I know this isn't the most vegetarian-friendly restaurant, but stay with me.  Mission BBQ keeps six sauces on every table in the restaurant, which are intended to be poured over pulled pork or chicken—but everything is better on fries, right? 

These guys are seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little bit of garlic. They're great by themselves, but test out the sauces on the table and drizzle your favorite over your order. 10/10.