PEI

P.E.I.'s best french fries and where to find them

They don't call P.E.I. Spud Island for nothing — not only does it produce more potatoes than any other province in Canada, just about every restaurant serves delicious golden french fries. We asked some Island experts to point us to their favourite fries.

You don't have to be a foodie to enjoy this ubiquitous P.E.I. staple

Caron Prins, the self-dubbed Queen of Fries, serves up some of her signature crispy P.E.I. fries in Charlottetown. (Sara Fraser/CBC )

They don't call P.E.I. spud Island for nothing — not only does it produce more potatoes than any other province in Canada, just about every restaurant serves delicious golden french fries.

And in the garden of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, there's really no excuse for them not to be perfectly cooked and generously heaped. 

We asked some Island experts to point us to their favourite fries.

The potato poobahs

Alex Docherty, chair of the P.E.I. Potato Board, is frequently on the road visiting farms — and eateries — across the Island, often in the company of the board's executive director Greg Donald, an unabashed fry fan.

Hand-cut fries and pizza from the Potato Museum in O'Leary, P.E.I. (Canadian Potato Museum/Facebook)

"I would have to say the best fries are the rink fries from the Crapaud rink," Docherty said.

"However, since it's the summer I would choose The Lobster Barn Pub & Eatery in Victoria, particularly their seafood platter."

It arrives with a large helping of perfectly-cooked fries, he said, accompanied with lobster, haddock, clams and scallops. 

"What better combination than the land and sea on one plate, all originating from P.E.I.!"

The Lobster Barn uses Cavendish Farms shoestring-cut potatoes — the processing plant is close by — seasoned with a special house blend of herbs including dried lemon, red and black pepper, garlic and other secret ingredients, staff said.

'Nachos and potatoes = potatachos,' writes the Canadian Potato Museum of this dish on its Facebook page. (Canadian Potato Museum/Facebook )

Donald seconds the concept of rink fries during the winter.

"There's just something about hot fries in a cold rink!"

In summer he lauds the fries at three spots: the Chip Shack on the Charlottetown waterfront, the Island Stone Pub in the heritage train station in the heart of potato country in Kensington, P.E.I., and the Canadian Potato Museum in O'Leary, P.E.I.., which hand-cuts its fries and even offers a loaded plate of potato "nachoes."

The food blogger

Maritime food blogger Barbara Mayhew lives in Charlottetown and is passionate about cooking, baking, local ingredients and beautiful tablescapes, sharing recipes, restaurant picks and cookbook reviews through My Island Bistro Kitchen online and on Facebook.

My Island Bistro Kitchen snapped this shot of fish and chips at Broadway 45 restaurant in Kensington, P.E.I., recently. (Submitted by My Island BistroKitchen)

"The best fries I've tasted in a long time are the ones at the new restaurant, Broadway 45, in Kensington," she said.  

"They are really tasty and nicely deep-fried and crispy, not doughy, soggy, or mushy as some are and they came to the table piping hot as they should be. They go particularly well with their breaded fish which is awesome." 

What you said

The Chip Shack on Charlottetown's waterfront with Island native Caron Prins at the fryer received a lot of shout-outs for her generous helpings of very crispy hand-cut fries with the skin on. Just $3.50 for a generous "small" helping, and $4.50 for a belly-busting large serving. Prins also makes apple fries and bespoke dipping sauces.

Caron Prins at the helm of the very busy Chip Shack on the Charlottetown waterfront serves up hand-cut Island fries. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

Also popular: Boom Burger which serves its fresh-cut fries with sea salt or zesty pepper and Ken's Island Fries in the parking lot at Canadian Tire in Charlottetown. Mussels and Bubbles at the Cavendish Boardwalk and Chuckwagon Farm Market in Belfast were also mentioned.

Island-owned Taters on the Charlottetown waterfront at Peake's Quay also has a solid reputation and a loyal local clientele addicted to its hand-cut Russet Burbank spuds.

Staff doesn't set a timer, but judges their readiness by eye.

"We don't treat each batch of potatoes the same. We change our technique based on the potatoes," said owner Sandra Breahaut. 

They charge $4.50 for a heaping brown baggie seasoned with sea salt. Hint: their fresh-squeezed lemonade is the perfect accompaniment.

About the Author

Sara Fraser

Web Journalist

Sara is a P.E.I. native who graduated from the University of King's College in Halifax. N.S., with a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) degree. She's worked with CBC Radio and Television since 1988, moving to the CBC P.E.I. web team in 2015, focusing on weekend features. email sara.fraser@cbc.ca