The Best Fries You’ll Ever Have (Belgian-Style)

A few months ago, I went to dinner at my friend Clare’s house (home of the perfect cauliflower soup, by the way), and she and her husband served mussels and fries. Everything was delicious, but you know what actually stole the show? The tangy mayonnaise they served with the fries. So, here’s how to serve delicious European-style fries for an instantly special dinner…

The secret trick to making fries is…not to make them. They’re a hassle, and you need a deep fryer. And they often come out soggy or bready. So instead, buy a bag of Trader Joe’s Fries. Seriously! They are delicious! Then to make the Belgian-style mayonnaise, just mix regular mayo with a splash of red-wine vinegar, and stir together until you have the tangy taste you like best. Voila! You have an instant fun dinner. You can pair them with mussels, burgers, roast chicken, fish sandwiches…even just a frothy pint of beer.

Who’s in? :)

P.S. More best recipes, including bourbon banana bread and a lazy egg sandwich.

(Photos by Laura Ratliff for Cup of Jo. And thanks to Shoko for help with this series)

  1. Trenton Endres says...

    Where did you buy that cup the french fries are in?

  2. Excellent fries! Even using cheap potatoes, I got crisp fries. I love french cooking

  3. thanks for sharing.

  4. There are no nutritonal benefits of french fries at all. They are full of starch ( can cause diabetes). The potatoes become carcinogenic when deep fried ( cancer causing)

  5. Geraldine says...

    So, I never, ever buy mayonnaise. It’s dead easy to make so let me share with you my mayo recipe, you just won’t believe how easy it is. Many people say mayo contains vinegar but not my recipe (an old family recipe), the secret is in the mustard you use. In France, i like Amora but you can’t find it here so I find Trader Joe’s dijon mustard the best to use. so here it goes.
    1 egg
    1 heaped table spoon of dijon mustard (the stronger the mustard the better)
    Mix with an electric mixer then slowly add vegetable oil until you have desired consitancy, still using the electric whisk (don’t bother using a hand whisk, you’ll never reach desired consistancy). add salt and pepper to taste (i like trader joe’s lemon pepper best). Now, some people make it with olive oil but i hate it, it gives it a sickly taste. Try making it, you’ll never look back Enjoy!

  6. That´s so lame. It´s dead easy making your own mayo. It’s only egg and oil. A minute. We fry our chips in an ordinary pan and they come out crispy. No special equipment needed.

  7. We’ve always added a crushed glove of garlic (out of a garlic press is best, but a really fine mince will work, too) and a squirt of Sriracha in our mayo. It’s excellent with fries and steamed artichoke! I’ll try the vinegar/mayo combo asap!

  8. Yumyumyum! Mussels and fries with tangy mayo?! How fun:)Even in tiny Portland, Maine we have a Trader Joe’s. Thankfully!

  9. Hi Joanna,

    So this is going to be nit picky, and I apologize for that, but as an American who’s been living in Brussels for the last few years, I’ve been taught by my Belgian friends that it’s white vinegar that’s preferred, not red wine. But tomato, tomata, right?

    If you do have a deep fryer, making fries commes les Belges isn’t that hard actually. My friend’s mother recently took me under her wing to teach me the ways. Her recipe is here ( And yep, they are fried twice, just like what Sophie said!

    But seriously, fries with mayo taste great no matter what!

  10. You guys have starbucks we have fries joints! I go there once a week for fries, a bicky burger and something meaty fried (not sure that there is meat inside)! No other country in the world can make fries like that! And yes we put them into a pointy sack like on your photos and of course we eat it with mayonnaise! It is cheap, very greasy but I cannot live without

  11. Sophie says...


    I am sorry but those fries do not look like Belgian fries.

    I am belgian and i live in Brussels.

    The secret for making Belgian Fries is ………… you have to cook your potatoes 2 times… the first time for around 10 minutes in boil oil (around 140-150 ° celsius) then the second time just before eating into oil at around 180° celsius) until the fries become “gold” …

    Bon appétit

    I really like your blog

  12. Anonymous says...

    i’m with you abigail. oven fries are delicious and their even less fatty!

  13. Abigail says...

    You actually don’t necessarily need a deep fryer. I’ve made sweet potato fries in the oven and they have turned out great!

  14. Make that a Belgian beer and I’m definitely in! I’ll have to give the Trader Joe’s fries a try (I’ve been loving everything else from there).

  15. three words: sweet chili sauce.

    i had it with fries (and everything else for that matter) when i lived in australia. it is absolutely amazing. almost as amazing as your frozen french fry suggestion! i can’t wait to try them. it would be wonderful to have a good go-to frozen fry….


  16. J.Chung says...

    if you like spice you should try mixing mayo and sriracha hot sauce. amazing!

  17. I make a California version: mayo and tapatio. We use it for anything. Fries, steak, even roasted brussels sprouts.

    P.S. – Trader Joe’s will be ALL OVERRR Texas in the next 2 years. Hold out!

  18. trader joe’s has the best everything. we also LOVE the whole foods fries. I season with a pinch of rock salt or seasoned sea salt (gotta love flavored salt!)

  19. Anonymous says...

    Have you had the fries at The New French in the West Village? Best fries and aioli ever!!!

  20. I am addicted to potatoes and I absolutely LOVE fries. They are so good and the best snack/pick me up. You can make them salty-sweet, spicy, savory with garlic or switch up the type of potato. This sauce just adds to the amazing non-ketchup ways you can season your potatoes.

    Crunchy, waffle shaped, skinny, thick, baked or fried…mmm I love fries! The perfect comfort food.

    Too bad we don’t have trader joes in Dallas.

  21. These french fries are making my mouth water, despite the fact that I just finished lunch not 5 minutes ago. I will definitely have to try these!

  22. Another greta combo – which teams perfectly with seafood is to mix horseradish in with mayo. Seriously to die for! Hand on heart not lying!

  23. Such a great idea to wrap it in newspaper! I love these photos, really beautiful. And now I want fries!

  24. yum! I also do this and use By The Sea Salt, which I first found on Martha’s Vineyard at Midnight Sun. They now sell it online, which is wonderful, because once you try it you will be hooked!

  25. I love how you name every food post ‘The Best…. You’ll Ever Have’! It really grabs people’s attention! And these fries certainly do look delicious….

    Kate {Something Fabulous}

  26. Ah, yum! I crave fries all the time. This post makes my mouth water…haha

  27. this is such a simple, different idea
    and i love a sweet-ish dipping sauce with my fries! makes me want to host friends on the next warm night :)

  28. I work at a Belgian bar and they make fires…they…are…DELICIOUS!

  29. One thing I like is Pomme Frites…with all the dipping choices …but this sounds delish!

  30. Have you seen the Rick Steves BeNeLux segment on “The Art of Flemish Fries”? Yum: I have to say this show is part of what convinced me to put Belgium and the Netherlands next on my foreign-travel list.

    P.S. I loved fries with mayo long before the idea grossed out Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction. :)

  31. Fun post! There is a restaurant here in Quebec City that gives you three choices of dipping mayo. Needless to say they get a lot (too much) of my money.

  32. That’s sooo much easier than I anticipated! Can’t wait to try it!

  33. Where I grew up, people mix mayo with a little maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper (or hot sauce) and dip fries into it. DELISH!

  34. Anonymous says...

    Who would ever make the themselves anyway??? :-)

    Having just gotten back from Europe, where we stayed in Brussels as a side trip, this is timely. That said, I had the frites at several places and did not find the mayo to be extra-tangy. If anything it was LESS tangy and more creamy than what we find here. Regular mayo (which already contains vinegar) should suffice, I would think, although as another poster said, I often love to put vinegar on fries, so this sounds like its own delicious thing… just doesn’t sound particularly Belgian.

    They put mayo on their fries in Montreal (where I used to live), too, so this does not seem odd to me. (Plus, I grew up obsessed with putting tartar sauce on everything including fries.)

  35. great idea! i sometimes mix a little bit of paprika in the mayo too {in addition to the vinegar} and it makes it so perfect.

  36. Yum but it’s sooo easy to make your own! Cut up any type of starchy potato and fry in a cast iron pan, in about 2″ of olive oil and voila-deeelic. My Greek Momma makes them all the time, soooo good! Salt when HOT and add a little oregano too and a squeeze of lemon. Mmmm

  37. omg, those fries are the best! I have gotten numerous friends hooked. I love eating them with fry sauce– equal parts ketchup and mayo.

  38. Yum! You’re making me so hungry for some fries! I love the dipping sauce for sweet potato fries, too!

  39. I’ve never thought of adding red wine vinegar to mayo. I’ll definitely try it next time we have fries!

    We often make curry mayo by mixing in curry powder and honey to taste – sweet and spicy!

  40. If only the UK had a Trader Joes!

  41. Looks Delish! We don’t have a trader joes here in Boise :( i’m sure I can find a good substitute though! Thanks for the mayo tip!

  42. I love the TJ’s shortcut. I’m a sucker for a good mayo dipping sauce. I think this is a must-try.

    mon amy

  43. I lived in Belgium for a year so I am all over this…..I’m ALL in…feet, head, arms, body….ALL in! hahaha.

    Wish I could get to traders joes though, I mean, living in the south of France does have its down sides, believe it or not!!!! :)

    Louise xo

  44. My mother-in-law is Dutch, and this is her favorite way to eat fries–even if it’s just with plain mayonnaise.

  45. Yum I’ve always loved putting mayo on my fries! LOL it must be the fatty in me. I actually invested in a deep fryer and you can buy those frozen bag of Oreida french fries and fry them and they come out soo crispy and delicious! I was in Amsterdam last year with my boyfriend and we spotted those Frites stations everywhere- so of course we had to stop and indulge!

    xx Olivia

  46. I vote yes! But I already love mayo with my fries… it’s kind of a problem…

  47. Yum! Fries are the best! I like the idea of the tangy mayo. You also might like Emeri’s recipe for baked fries, which are healthy, but super tasty!

  48. many canadians, such as myself – well at least the ones that live in Québec and near Québec eat fries with a mayo type dressing… it’s soo delish.

  49. we did pomme frites for my daughter’s birthday party a couple years ago and had all kinds of fun dipping sauces, everyone loved them! but i had no idea about vinegar in the mayo… brills :)

  50. I’m going to have the real-deal Belgium moules et frites in just a few weeks when I land in Brussels! I can’t wait. I practically live off mussels and fries from a Belgian bar here in Philly called Monk’s. It’s so authentic.

  51. Susan says...

    Homemade mayo is the easiest damn thing in the world to make. Then you add the other stuff…seriously, ppl, make some w/ a blender (using farmers market eggs).

  52. Ooo yummm! If ever in Milwaukee, go to Hollander Café… they have fry just like this and they put them in the cute paper cone and cup. Haven’t tried the Trader Joe’s brand, but Alexia’s All Natural fry line is TDF. MMM, fries.

  53. WHAT. Those look SO good! I want to be friends with your friends ;)

    xo’s, Vanessa

  54. I live in Amsterdam at the moment and they seriously have the best fries here! I spent some time in Brussels one weekend and the fries were insanely good as well. My Californian girlfriends think its disgusting of course to dip fries (or frites as they say here) and mayo but now I wouldn’t have it ANY other way!!!!

  55. Anonymous says...

    I’m in. (Plus, my kitchen is too small for a toaster oven, let alone a deep fryer.) These look yummy.

  56. Anonymous says...

    I totally agree about making home made fries. They can be delicious if 2x cooked, but who has the time or inclination to do that? Not me! I think this is an ideal solution for when you want the fun of fries without the hassle. I have got to try that mayonnaise combo.

  57. Fries + aioli (especially a basil aioli–I have the killer-est recipe!) are my absolute weakness. Throw mussels in there and I’ll faint.

  58. Anonymous says...

    Love Belgian fries! Interesting thing is, fries, despite being so simple, appear in almost every cuisine. Different country, different spin.When I was growing up in Poland, we would buy fries in these little booths/kiosks. Always served in a brown paper bag. Salt only!

  59. Oh yes, we have recently become converts to Trader Joe’s potato fries (the sweet potato ones are a staple at our house too) since I read about them on momfilter. So perfectly delicious and easy!

    Did you hear about the new artisanal mayo store that opened in Brooklyn? I can’t wait to go!

  60. Yum those look delicious!! That’s one thing I’ve always wanted to make at home, homemade fries, it seems so simple but such a good snack to know how to whip up!

  61. Anonymous says...

    These look amazing. I love the spicy mayonnaise idea. The way they are served is gorgeous!!!!!

  62. Oooh my that sounds delicious. I always try to bake my fires and they just don’t turn out very flavorful. Will have to try trader joe’s:)

  63. As a current Belgian resident, I can totally attest to the awesomeness of Belgian fries… in fact, I may have to go out for some now :)

  64. thank you, marjolein!! and valerie, you’re right, those meaty ones are good….but trader joe’s doesn’t sell them! :)

  65. clara, YES! that place is mindblowing!!!

  66. After enjoying many a hot, salty paper cone of Belgian fries here in the Netherlands, I beg you not to use those puny, skinny little fries! It’s just not the same, when the originals are so thick and meaty.

  67. The mayo vinegar combo is my favorite. When I waited tables years ago, the restaurant I worked at put it on their shrimp po’boy. KILLER!!

  68. LOVE TJ’s fries! Will try this, including the paper cup. It just looks yummier! ;o)

  69. I love Belgian style fries!

  70. Clara says...

    Have you ever been here? They have nearly thirty types of mayo! Definitely a treat! I went during spring break last year.

  71. Haha, funny to read our belgian fries.
    No the real trick about making those great belgian fries is that you have to fry them twice. That’s what makes them crispy and offcourse the right kind of patatoes!
    Almost every Belgian will stop at a “frituur” to buy their fries after they have been on a holiday. They can be soooo good and the best thing is indeed with home made mayonaise.

    grtz from the belgian girl!