Tavern-Cut Potato Chips with Fresh Dill Dip at Farmhouse ($5)
Farmhouse's fried fare is always impressive, and these chips with dill dip are no exception. They're thin and crispy without a chewy one among them. While they're not greasy at all, they have that potato-chip-from-a-bag crunch, consistency, and saltiness.
The dill dip just enhances the chips with a super thick and creamy pool to dunk the taters in, but these chips can stand alone and be satisfying.
Frips at Chicago's Dog House ($2.50)
Half the magic of the frips at Chicago's Dog House is watching them plug an entire potato into a contraption that slices it up in seconds. Not only is it a performance, but it's cool to actually see what you're eating before it's deep fried.
They take 2 minutes to fry, and once you take a bite you know why. They're incredibly thin and taste more like a potato than any others on this list. Strung together in spirals that range from crispy to chewy, they're covered in cracked peppercorns and balanced out with salt.
Motel Chips at The Motel Bar ($4)
These are a bit on the thicker end, providing a great crunchy accompaniment to Motel Bar's sandwiches. There are two main things I love about these chips. One is the aforementioned thickness. The other is that some skin is left intact, which gives them extra potato flavor.
Plantain, Malanga and Corn Chips at Taco Joint ($4 with Guacamole)
I could sing the praises of everything at Taco Joint, but their chip-frying abilities must be added to their list of awesome skills. Both the guacamole and salsa are served with a trio of plantain, malanga (made from the malanga root) and corn chips.
The plantain chips are super thick but break easily—you won't chip a tooth on them. The malanga are thinner and crispier, with a more mild profile. Their corn tortilla chips remind me of El Ranchero, thick and strong. None of them are very salty, so you gotta have them with a dip.
Tortilla Chips at Xoco ($3 with chips and salsa)
A good tortilla chip doesn't distract from the salsa it's served with. Xoco's do this right. They aren't too salty and they aren't too crunchy. Since they are so light, you can eat the whole pile without feeling like you're going to explode. And trust me, you'll want to do just that.
Chilaquiles at Au Cheval ($17.95)
The chilaquiles at Au Cheval could legitimately feed over five people. The deceivingly dense creation is loaded with toppings all balancing atop the fried-to-order tortilla chips. The thick chips are full of multiple thin, crispy layers that break apart easily.
It's the absolutely best combination of crispy and creamy without getting soggy that I've ever encountered.
Chips and Dip at Burger Bar ($6)
These chips are thin and light, which seems appropriate when paired with a thick bleu cheese dip. They act as a vessel for this warm, comforting dip to shine, and not just any chip could have done that.
The huge slices don't get soggy, even when they've been sitting in the dip that's served on top. They're not overly salty or oily, and they have an airy crunch to them.