Are tater tots popular outside the Midwest?

Every friend that’s visited Chicago seems to be impressed that tater tots are often on the menu as a side dish in casual restaurants. I’ll often order them unless I know that the place is known for good French fries.

I don’t often see them outside the Midwest, although most of my recent US travel has been to the West Coast and South Carolina.

Tater tots common in your area?

I wouldn’t say “common” but they’re available many places in Nashville. Frozen foods for sure. Hash browns, cottage fries, garden variety French fries all compete and it depends on the place which variety gets the most action.

But I’ll just say, “we know what they are and like them.”

We had them at home as kids in New England. Mom bought them frozen, and then heated them up in the oven. I can’t imagine ordering them at a restaurant, though!

Phil’s Sliders in Berkeley does a homemade variant cut into rectangles instead of standard french fries. Pretty tasty I gotta say and reminds me a bit of my youth.

They’re pretty common in Atlanta. Available as sides at several restaurants, my kids eat them in the school cafeteria (as did I, 35 years ago), etc.

Not too common on menus but all over the frozen food aisle in the grocery.

I’ve lived in the Midwest for 14 years and don’t ever recall seeing “tater tots” sold by name. Although fried potatoes is a common side dish but I think they’re common all over the US.

I meant to add… unless it’s some new, hip place that elevates that kind of food to an art. It’s like Mac and Cheese is suddenly fine dining everywhere!!

I ate them at school 30 years ago in western PA. Haven’t had them since. I wouldn’t turn them down though, as long as there was ketchup nearby.

Common here in Portland, Oregon.

I grew up on Ore-Ida frozen tater tots in Pennsylvania. I’d say they’re common everywhere, at least in the supermarket.

You don’t see them in restaurants in the South or Northeast that much but almost everyone is familiar with them and I think every supermarket in the U.S. sells them frozen. I believe they are considered a kid’s food more than anything else mainly because they are a popular side dish for school lunches and some frozen brands are specifically marketed towards kids. I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t like them at least a little but they generally aren’t something that adults eat that often in most of the country. French fries, hash browns, onion rings and even hushpuppies are more common for adult meals in restaurants depending on the region and type of restaurant.

Ammo for further exploration – Toddle House Tater Tots from a Yahoo! Image Search.

Toddle House had a wide footprint (until the late '80’s), especially in these parts.

As I said above, tater tots are all over the place in Atlanta, and many other places throughout the South. There was an article in Creative Loafing a year or so ago about the best tater tots in town.

Chili cheese tots are my go-to at Sonic.

I’ve lived in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, and don’t recall ever seeing Tater Tots on a menu. Now, however, I want some.

Wherever there’s a Sonic, there will be tots.

We ate them fairly often when I was a kid here in California. I’ve gotten some frozen tater tots from the store now and then as an adult.

In the grocery store, in the Northeast? Of course! Ore-Ida and store brands. In a restaurant? I don’t know, maybe on a kids menu.

I looked a few minutes ago at the grocery. The local Vons stocks plain, onion, cheese, and jalapeño tater tots.