July 13 is National French Fry Day. Above, a platter of garlic fries. Reuters/Eric Thayer

It’s National French Fry Day, a food holiday marked every July 13 that is the perfect way to justify eating French fries. Read on for some of the best places to eat gourmet fries on National French Fry day in New York City, as well as where to find a special deal in Philadelphia.

At some establishments, fries are hardly a side dish, but rather constitute a full meal. Think hearty potato wedges, their skins perfectly crisp and sprinkled with salt and pepper, or perhaps seasoned with a hint of barbecue sauce. In New York City, fry options exist for all tastes, running the gamut from shoestring fries eaten by the fistful to beefy wedges that may require a fork and knife. Not many establishments in the city appear to offer specials for French fry day, but that doesn’t mean one cannot indulge anyway.

Balthazar, in Soho, which is described by Thrillest as having the best steak frites in New York City, serves golden strips of russets that are lovingly cut and soaked, then twice fried and sprinkled with sea salt. Thrillest also recommends Northern Spy Food Co., in the East Village, for its mouthwatering wedges, which are fried in duck fat and come with a malted spice yogurt dip.

For crinkle cut fries, the obvious winner is Shake Shack, which has multiple locations throughout the city. It brought back this offering due to popular demand after switching, briefly, to thin, hand-cut fries. “We didn’t fully appreciate the simple, tactile pleasure and the emotional attachment our fans have to the crispiness, the ridges and pure joy that these fries bring to guests of all ages,” the company said when it announced it would return to the classic crinkle cut fry.

Sweet potatoes fry devotees should consider Bareburger, which can be found all over the city. Black Shack Burger, near Grand Central Terminal, has been described as “a hidden gem when it comes to fries.”

One of the city’s best-known establishments for Belgian fries, Pommes Frites, was recently forced to close after a nearby explosion and fire. It’s working to get back up and running, but in the meantime has a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo, to which fry aficionados can contribute.

Residents and visitors in the City of Brotherly Love will be thrilled to learn that Chickie’s and Pete’s is reportedly offering its famous crabfries for one dollar at full-service locations. Normally they cost $11 a bucket, according to Philly.com.

How French fries originated is a mystery, although one legend suggests that in Belgium in the 1600s, locals who were used eating small, fried fish as a side dish with meals. When inclement weather prevented them from going fishing, they chopped potatoes into long strips and fried those instead.