Happiness factories; how else could you describe the Friteries of the Nord? Popular and festive, friendly and authentic, they are literally overrun at mealtimes! The queues that form are often the ultimate chat room. Local goings-on, the latest news, everything, nothing, life itself! You come with your XXL salad bowl to fill generously or you bring home your fries in a paper bag. Unless you want to devour them on the spot, still piping hot, sitting at a table or standing at a counter. Conviviality and gluttony; it’s all good!
You will find Friteries all around the Pas-de-Calais, they can be set in food trucks or can propose seats like traditional restaurants, but be sure you’re in for a treat.
Here is a very short selection.
Friterie Brigitte, at Le quai des Paquebots in Boulogne-sur-Mer
With 40 years of frying under her belt, Brigitte is a local star and her chip shop a real Boulonnaise institution!
Along with two other chip shops, since July 2020 it has been located in a brand new permanent building, under the terrace that runs alongside the Nausicaà Gardens. This is one of the favourite walks of Boulogne’s inhabitants, along the quayside which leads to the superb red lighthouse pier.
The most modern tables and benches have been set up in front of the chip shop for the proper enjoyment of a local pastime that gives a great deal of pleasure, if not weight loss: eating chips facing the sea.
Brigitte, who uses twice-refined peanut oil, buys her raw fries from Pel’Pom in Aix-en-Issart. Growing potatoes in the Montreuillois area, this producer transforms them on the irfamily farm into fresh French fries, which are sold in vacuum packs. Local production, sustainable farming and the Saveurs en’Or label are good for the planet as well as for the gourmet on the go!
Friterie Pruvost, on the Esplanade Parmentier in Berck-sur-Mer
It’s impossible to miss this colourful chip van, right next to the Ferris wheel on the Rose des Vents area of the Esplanade! Its number one asset? The panoramic sea views afforded to those who sit down on a public bench right next to it to devour their fries.
Mickaël Pruvost’s is an exception among the chip shops in the Nord, and is also one of the last to peel his potatoes every morning. He then cuts them on the spot, before their first frying. Just like at home! And speaking of frying, he uses vegetable oil, as beef fat is not to the taste of some tourists out for a stroll in Berck. To accompany the chips, the American Steak Maroilles works very well, as does the fricadelle. For 31 years the Pruvost family has been delighting locals and visitors alike, putting happiness into little bags with salt and mayonnaise.
Friterie Sensas, at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens
At Bollaert, Sensas is like the twelfth man! Indeed, at each RC Lens match, in the stadium as well as outside, four or five huts heat up their fryers to give the thousands of supporters a hearty meal. Real chip shops from the Nord!
At the heart of the operation, Jean-Paul Dambrine, the real King of Chips for more than 50 years, also nicknamed Momo since we saw his chip stand in Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis.
It is said that he has not missed an RC Lens match since 1976… but without having seen any of the action! Of course, he is too busy serving, preparing American sausage or restocking the various stands.
Son of a miner, he has the region in his bones and doesn’t mess around with the recipe for his chips; two fryings in beef fat and a collaboration with the company Pom’Lorette d’Angres, a supporter of short supply chains, which transforms potatoes grown in the region into French fries. It bears the Saveurs en’Or label, which makes it a real local chip!
Friterie La Loco in Lens