French Fry Dipping Sauces That Are Better Than Ketchup

Switch up your French fry dip selections with these five flavorful condiments.

Spicy Beer Mustard

Los Angeles burger lovers agree: The one at Father's Office is incredible. No controversy there. But there is when it comes to chef-owner Sang Yoon's long-standing no-ketchup policy. Instead of using everyone's favorite tomato-based go-to, Yoon tops his amazing cheeseburger with a caramelized onion and bacon compote and serves his fries with aïoli.

Though the rule has distressed some Angelenos for years, the ketchup ban inspired a photographic protest on Yelp. One Yelper posted a picture of a basket of sweet potato fries covered in ketchup and ketchup packets on the Father's Office page, and is imploring other ketchup-loving Yelpers to up-vote it to the point where it will automatically become the restaurant's primary image.

We at Food & Wine support both Yoon's right to ban condiments and French fry fans' right to want them. Either way, both parties can benefit from a variety of sauce and dipping options. Here are prime contenders for best ketchup substitute.


Spicy Beer Mustard

Rich, dark beer is the key to this intense mustard. Chef Jeremy Nolen updated the German classic at Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia.


Mortar and Pestle Garlic Aioli
Jen Causey

This garlicky, mayonnaise-like sauce is thick, unctuous, and velvety smooth. The recipe is ideal for those who take pleasure in the flavor of raw garlic and deliberate, meditative cooking.

Queso dip

Bayless's Queso Fundido al Tequila
© Frances Janisch

Chef Rick Bayless's quick recipe for rich queso dip is just the thing to satisfy a sudden craving for something warm, cheesy, salty, and gooey. This simple, 20-minute dip of melted cheese is flavored with tomatoes, chiles, onion, and a hit of tequila.

Steak sauce

J & G Steak Sauce
© Tina Rupp

This rich, tamarind-inflected blend from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a cross between A.1. and Lea & Perrins. And it keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.


Spicy Green Chutney
Eva Kolenko

This robust sauce is a puree of cilantro, mint, lemon juice, and chiles. Its silky texture will coat a spoon, but is thin enough to drizzle on a salad or roasted vegetables.

Creole Mustard

Fried Boudin Balls with Creole Mustard Dipping Sauce
Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Brockman

This tangy, spicy Creole mustard dipping sauce is a popular party and tailgating snack.

Pepperoni Sauce

Limoncello Marinated Chicken Wings with Pepperoni Sauce Recipe
Victor Protasio

Try chef Jeffery Russell's irresistible pepperoni sauce on pizzas, sandwiches, or as a dip.

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