I compared the cult-favorite fries from Five Guys and Checkers, and the cheaper option is more flavorful

Checkers and five guys bags
I ordered fries from Checkers (left) and Five Guys (right) to compare the two chains’ potatoes. Rachel Askinasi/Insider
  • I compared the fries at both Five Guys and Checkers at the recommendation of our readers.
  • While I’ve been a long-time fan of Five Guys’ potatoes, I had never tried the ones from Checkers.
  • After tasting both, I thought Checkers’ fries were far more flavorful and tasted better for longer.

After sinking my teeth into french fries from eight fast-food chains, I found that the top two, in my opinion, came from Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Checkers.

I’ve been reviewing a lot of fast food recently, and in sifting through emails from our readers, I saw that many of them love the fries from Checkers. After finally tasting them, I can see why they have such a cult-like following.

Checkers vs five guys fries
A small fry order from Checkers (left) and a little fry order from Five Guys (right). Rachel Askinasi/Insider

At the locations closest to me in New York City, I found that Checkers charges $US3.13 ($AU4) for a small order of fries, while Five Guys charges $US4.09 ($AU6) for their smallest order. Though potatoes from Checkers cost less, Five Guys comes with more in the bag.

When I compared the two orders, the first thing I noticed was the aesthetic differences.

Five Guys cuts their potatoes into around 1/2-inch-thick sticks and fries them until they are a deep golden color. The chain’s fries don’t have any additional texture other than the occasional piece of potato skin on the ends.

At Checkers, the fries are much thinner at around 1/4-inch, are slightly more orange in color (indicating more seasoning), and feature visible specks of pepper. They are also flakier than the ones from Five Guys, which adds an additional layer of crunch. Checkers fries do also have potato skin on the ends.

Checkers v five guys fries
Checkers’ fries were thinner than Five guys’. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Inside, the fries are relatively similar. They are both soft and have a slightly mashed potato-like texture in the center.

The flavor profiles were very different from one another, but both delicious in their own right.

If you’re a fan of a simple, salty fry, Five Guys is the one for you. The only other slight flavoring comes from the oil they’re fried in, but that’s pretty minimal, in my opinion. Their simplicity pairs really well with malt vinegar.

Checkers’ fries, on the other hand, are much more flavorful and bursting with black-pepper notes that would complement virtually any dipping sauce.

Checkers fries
I thought Checkers’ fries were more flavorful than those from Five Guys. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The most impressive attribute of Checkers’ fries was their longevity. At room temperature, the potatoes were still delicious and crispy, and when cold – around an hour after I ordered them – they were still crispy outside, super-soft inside, and just as flavorful as they were when fresh.

The fries from Five Guys were still somewhat enjoyable after an hour, but as they got cold, the outside was more soggy than crispy and they became more greasy to the touch than they were when fresh.

While I’ve been eating the fries from Five Guys for around nine years now, I had never tried the ones from Checkers until now. I’m glad to say I understand the hype around Checkers’ fries and would highly recommend anyone who’s looking for a flavorful, crispy, long-lasting french fry to head over to their local Checkers and pick up an order.