You Should Only Order Large Fries at McDonald’s—Here’s Why

Updated: Jul. 18, 2024

It's the best deal in the world of fast-food fries.

It’s impossible to hate fries. When done right, fries are equal parts crispy and carby, with a bit of flavor and warmth from the oil. Paired with your favorite dipping sauce, they’re just about irresistible. Every type of fry has its merits, but shoestring fries from McDonald’s really stand out. There’s even science to explain why McDonald’s fries are so good!

If you want the best deal at the McD’s drive-thru, be sure to order a large fry.

Large Fries Give You the Most Bang for Your Buck

YouTubers The Food Theorists tested small, medium and large fries from four chains in three different cities: McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s and Arby’s. This allowed them to test shoestring, waffle, thick cut and curly fries. The testers individually weighed the fry orders using a digital scale to find out the exact weight and volume of each type and size. The goal? Find the most cost-effective fry order.

The Food Theorists found that the large McDonald’s fry was the best deal money-wise, at 1.26 cents per gram.

Close behind were Wendy’s large fries, at 1.32 cents per gram and Arby’s medium fries, which offered more fries than the large, at 1.35 cents per gram. If you want the best deal on shoestring fries, go with the large at McDonald’s. You can also use this hack to get fresh fries at McD’s every time.

See all the secrets McDonald’s employees won’t tell you.

Small Fries Have Their Place, Too

The Food Theorists found that McD’s small fries were the most effective at filling up the container, because they have the only bag made of paper.

It’s not as much bang for your buck you’ll get in a large, but the small is still a pretty good deal. Overall, the medium orders weren’t as cost-effective and didn’t fill their containers as evenly. So if there’s one fry size you shouldn’t order, it’s the medium (unless, you know, you’re at Arby’s).

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