These restaurants prove that tater tots aren’t just for soggy cafeteria lunches. Creative twists and quality ingredients create bite-size crispy potatoes that are a far cry from the frozen counterparts of your youth. In fact, french fries may need to step aside; these tater tots earn their spot as worthy potato snacks and sides.
Revolution House
200 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-4566

As the name suggests, the atmosphere of Revolution House honors Philadelphia’s rich history. Repurposed materials, including original 1798 brick from the former Quaker Friends Meetinghouse and wainscoting made from old Philadelphia school house doors, mix in with both American and British flag art and an impressive chandelier complete with an American Eagle. If the inviting décor isn’t enough to make you want to settle in, the creative comfort food will get you. Wood-fired pizzas, savory cupcakes and housemade tater tots are just a few of the signature items. Offered on the snack menu for $8, the tater tots are created with potato, onion, yam and parmesan and served with a mustard sauce for a unique twist on this comfort food favorite.

North Bowl
909 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 238-2695

North Bowl offers more than just bowling. It’s also the ultimate hangout space with pool tables, arcade games, two bars and a great retro atmosphere. Throw in some unique bar food, and it’s the perfect spot to go for a casual date or a night out with friends. With a whole section of the menu dedicated to the snack, it’s obvious that North Bowl knows its tater tots. Order the classic tots with ketchup for just $3.95 or pick one of the eight unique varieties such as pizza (with mozzarella and marinara), Spanish (fried onions, peppers and basil aioli) or buffalo (hot sauce and crumbled bleu cheese) for $4.99.

Barclay Prime
237 S. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 732-7560

Located right on Rittenhouse Square, Barclay Prime is a Stephen Starr restaurant that has the funky atmosphere of a Rat Packer’s personal library. The steakhouse is known for its $100 cheesesteak, made with wagyu ribeye, fontina and foie gras, and served with a small bottle of champagne. With a fancied-up sandwich like this, of course you need a unique side. That’s where the tater tots come in. These housemade tots are fluffy pillows of whipped potatoes that are lightly fried and salted. And while the extravagant cheesesteak might be the headline grabber, diners can also enjoy more practical options such as scallops, sliders, filet and roast chicken.

Related: Top Steakhouses in Philadelphia

Jones Restaurant
700 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 223-5663

Jones offers comfort food as only Stephen Starr can. In this retro-style restaurant, dishes like meatloaf and mac and cheese somehow become hip. The tater tots are a true favorite of the brunch menu. Enjoy them as a side to your pick from a list of omelettes including spinach and feta and cheesesteak, or order them a la carte. The spicy sriracha ketchup is the perfect complement to these crispy potato bites.

Village Whiskey
118 S. 20th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 665-1088

With Iron Chef Jose Garces behind Village Whiskey, it’s no surprise that the food is just as impressive as the over 80 varieties of rye, bourbon, scotch and whiskey available. In addition to one of the best burgers in the city, the restaurant also offers an upscale snack menu with spicy popcorn shrimp, deviled eggs and tots ($5). These aren’t the frozen tater tots of your childhood, of course. A nice, crispy exterior surrounds a soft, mashed potato filling. Cooked in vegetarian soy oil and served with crème fraiche, these are kind of like the beignet of tater tots.

Related: Top Pulled Pork in Philadelphia

Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open.