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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

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In Dining

The Friday fish fry is a Milwaukee staple.

In Dining

Try the fish fry at Hybrid Lounge.

In Dining

Try the fish fry at Mo's Irish Pub.

In Dining

Try the fish fry at Lakefront Brewery.

Milwaukee fish fry guide




Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Aug. 14, 2013 at 5:01 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.


It's one of Milwaukee's most cherished and distinctive traditions: the Friday fish fry. Go to practically any other city, and they'll have no idea what you're talking about.

The Friday fish fry sprouted out of the city's Catholic community, which forbids the consumption of meat on Fridays during Lent. Plus, it offered a Milwaukee family the chance to go out to dinner without blowing a lot of cash on steak.

Most places in town have fish fries, and this guide couldn't possibly cover them all; but after much searching, asking and eating, here are some of the best places in the city to catch a fish fry.

And, as always, if we've forgotten your favorite or if you're willing to share your hidden gem ... share it with others by posting a Talkback below.

Downtown area/East Side

Bar Louie
1114 N. Water St., (414) 847-1492
barlouieamerica.com
Bar Louie serves up their Drunken Fish & Chips seven nights a week. Enjoy beer-battered fish, tartar sauce and tasty seasoned fries.

Black Rose Irish Pub
2856 N. Oakland Ave. (414) 763-6526
blackrosemilwaukee.com
The Black Rose Irish Pub on Oakland Ave. serves Fish & Chips as part of their specialties menu. Lightly battered fish fillets are served with coleslaw and fries.

Brocach
1850 N. Water St., (414) 431-9009
brocach.com

At Brocach, you can feast any night of the week on an all-you-can-eat fish fry featuring haddock, with curry slaw and mini rye rolls on the side.

Buck Bradley's
1019 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 224-8500
buckbradleys.com
Tasty baked or breaded cod fish fry, great sides and one of the longest bars east of the Mississippi.

Cafe Benelux
346 N. Broadway, (414) 501-2500
cafebenelux.com

Lowlands Tandem Dubbel bier-battered or potato chip-encrusted cod sh fry,
served with frites, cole slaw, and housemade remoulade. Also available: calamari, mahi mahi tacos, shrimp, salmon salad and more.

Cafe Hollander
2608 N. Downer Ave., (414) 963-6366

cafehollander.com
This East Side establishment offers a range of fish fry selections during Lent. From sauteed seafood tacos to wild-caught grilled salmon, there's something for everyone - or you can opt for the regular cod fish fry served with frites, cole slaw, malted rye bread and homemade remoulade.

Hooligan's
2017 E. North Ave., 414-273-5230
hooliganssuperbar.com
On Friday guest have a choice of cod, lake perch or walleye with the option of making it a dinner or sandwich. All dinners are served with coleslaw, tartar sauce, marble rye bread and your choice of french fries, fresh fruit or homemade potato pancakes.

Hi-Hat
1701 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 225-9330
hihatlounge.com
Hi-Hat is a place you might not first think of when you think fish fry, but Hi-Hat fries 'em up right and with a slight twist, from open to close every Friday night. Battered cod or Milwaukee-style fried perch, coleslaw, marble rye, fries and caper mayo make for a yummy combo. Or you can try a fish sammie or Lake perch tacos.

Karl Ratzsch's
320 E. Mason St., (414) 276-2720
karlratzsch.com
Every Friday during Lent, come to Karl Ratzsch's for Sprecher Beer-battered haddock with creamy coleslaw and a choice of potato.

Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden
1872 N. Commerce St., (414) 273-8300
lakefrontbrewery.com
The favorite of OnMilwaukee.com readers, Lakefront has one of the city's most unique fish fries. The Palm Garden offers a choice of cod, perch, bluegill, tilapia, shrimp (or a combo platter) and a choice of French fries or potato pancakes, cole slaw, applesauce and rye bread, from 4 until 9 p.m. A lovely setting on the river, polka music and tours of the brewery also are available.

Major Goolsby's
340 W. Kilbourn Ave., (414) 271-3414
Serving the Milwaukee traditional fish fry only on Fridays, Goolsby's offers their guests breaded Icelandic cod filets with coleslaw and french fries. They additionally serve a sandwich on a bun with lettuce and tomato.

Mason Street Grill
425 E. Mason St., (414) 298-3131
masonstreetgrill.com
If you love your Friday fish fries too much for just one helping, stop by Mason Street Grill for their lunch and dinner special, which includes Great Lakes walleye, homemade tartar sauce coleslaw, fries and best of all, half-off seconds. Mason Street Grill's amber special also makes for a wallet-friendly way to wash it all down.

METRO
411 E. Mason St., (414) 225-3270
hotelmetro.com/dining/cafe-metro

Located in Hotel Metro, the Milwaukee-Style Fish Fry is served from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. every Friday and features battered or broiled Alaskan cod or pan-fried Canadian perch. Accompanied by rye bread, tartar sauce, and coleslaw.

Miller Time Pub
509 W. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 271-2337
millertimepub.com
Miller Time Pub welcomes their guests to try the famous Milwaukee fish fry tradition seven days a week. Their entree includes Miller beer battered haddock served with dill tartar, three cabbage coleslaw, potato pancakes, and apple sauce.

Milwaukee Ale House
233 N. Water St
., (414) 276-2337
ale-house.com
The suds haven in the Third Ward offers a year-round fish fry that's popular with customers. Take your pick of cod or walleye.

Milwaukee Beer Bistro
2730 N. Humboldt Blvd., (414) 562-5540
milwaukeebeerbistro.com

The new bar and grill, which was once home to Rio West Cantina, will be serving beer battered cod and locally raised baked trout.

Milwaukee Brat House
1013 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 273-8709
milwaukeebrathouse.com
Even the brat house is serving fish on Fridays! Stop in for their three pieces of fresh cod, coleslaw, rye bread and tartar sauce - a classic fish fry.

Milwaukee Sail Loft
649 E. Erie St., (414) 223-010
milwaukeesailloft.com
The Sail Loft offers a different twist on the classic fish fry by creating Schlitz-battered Alaskan Cod or Sweetwater organic breaded perch ,both available fried or broiled. Entrees are served with parmesan fries, cole slaw, creamy homemade tartar sauce and buttered rye bread.

Mo's Irish Pub
720 N. Plankinton Ave., (414) 272-0720
mosirishpub.com
Mo's serves their Irish classic fish and chips all year round. Entrée comes with golden brown, beer-battered Atlantic cod served with seasoned french fries, tangy tartar sauce and homemade coleslaw.

Motor
210 W. Canal St., (414) 287-2773
motorrestaurant.com

There's nothing more Milwaukee than a Harley and a fish fry. Head to the Harley-Davidson Museum's own Motor for an all-day Wisconsin Fish Fry featuring beer-battered fish served with fries, coleslaw and cornbread.

Old German Beer Hall
1009 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 226-2728
oldgermanbeerhall.com

Served every Friday, you get a half-pound of cod, with Hofbrau beer batter along with fries, bread and coleslaw.

Potawatomi Bingo Casino
1721 W. Canal St., (800) 729-7244
paysbig.com/dining
In the heart of the Menomonee Valley, Potawatomi's Buffet has a marvelous all-you-can-eat fish fry buffet with everything from beer-battered cod to crab legs, with coleslaw, potato pancakes, applesauce and German potato salad on the side. Dream Dance Steak also has a Friday night fish fry, served with fresh fish and tarragon slaw.

Stonefly Brewery
735 E. Center St., (414) 212-8910
stoneflybrewery.com

With a kitchen more than a couple years in the making, Stonefly's food has most certainly caught up to their beer. Serving healthy and fresh versions of bar food, Stonefly has added a Friday fish fry with a choice of cod, perch and a pretzel crusted smelt.

Stack'd
170 S. 1st St., (414) 273-7800

stackedbar.com
Sure, Stack'd is a burger bar but it serves some creative fish too. From champagne-battered walleye to tempura cod, the selection changes weekly and offers something for everybody. Stack'd serves up fish fries from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Trinity
125 E. Juneau Ave. (414) 278-7033
trinitythreeirishpubs.com
Trinity, just off the Water Street bar strip, serves lightly battered fish fillets with fries and coleslaw seven days a week.

Trocadero
1758 N. Water St., (414) 272-0205

ztrocadero.com
Same recipe as Cafe Hollander, but available only on Fridays during Lent. Lowlands Tandem Dubbel bier-battered or potato chip-encrusted cod sh fry, served with frites, cole slaw, and housemade remoulade. Also available: calamari, fish tacos, shrimp and more.

Turner Hall Restaurant
1038 N. 4th St., (414) 763-1490
turnerhallrestaurant.com
Executive Chef Thomas Peschong has created a modern fish fry that lives up to Turner Hall's history - it's the return of an old Milwaukee favorite. Atlantic Cod, beer-battered or baked, or Breaded Walleye or Lake Perch is served with coleslaw, marbled rye, tartar sauce, lemon and your choice of French fries or potato pancakes.

Water Street Brewery
1101 N. Water St. (414) 272-0406
waterstreetbrewery.com
The Water Street Brewery offers fish specials every Friday. The specials include 1/2 pound of battered cod, fries, cole slaw, rye bread and homemade tartar sauce. You can substitute the fries for potato pancakes for about a buck extra. The popular Downtown location also offers a perch fry that includes all of the traditional sides, as well as cod that's baked with a white wine cream sauce that's served with vegetables and white rice for a few dollars more.

South/Southwest Side

Amelia's
724 E. Layton Ave., (414) 483-0345
All-you-can-eat cod or smelt comes with cole slaw, rye bread and tartar sauce. Try other dinners like a fish sandwich with french fries or 1 lb. of lake perch.

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Talkbacks

JK27 | May 1, 2014 at 12:52 p.m. (report)

For my money, the New Berlin Ale House, 16000 W. Cleveland Ave., New Berlin, WI has the BEST fish fry in Milwaukee or the surrounding area. Skip the cod (available fried or baked) and go for the Lake Perch. Amazing! Comes with your choice of side (potato pancakes, French fries, salad, vegetable, etc.), cole slaw, rye bread, tartar and lemon. The Lake Perch simply is the best fish fry I've found so far!

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mlwrehwald | Oct. 7, 2013 at 10:54 a.m. (report)

Take a 20 minute drive from downtown MKE for a fish fry you will never forget. Sportsman's Landing on Wind Lake has baked cod that tastes better than lobster and a Surf n Turf special that adds a slab of prime rib. Delicious! Sportsman's has a vintage sportsbar vibe with a nice wine and craft beer list. Its at 25313 W Loomis Rd on the north shore of Wind Lake.

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kja | Feb. 27, 2013 at 2:33 p.m. (report)

So the Cedar Beach Inn located in Belgium is a bit of a drive for me, but this place has become my go-to fish fry spot. We always start with their Homemade Clam Chowder soup - absolutely delish! My husband's favorite entree is the Fish Pottage, a broth based dish with parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, small red potatoes and a bunch of other vegetables topped with poached haddock . A good dose of daily veggies but what a tasty way to get them! My personal favorite has a little bit of everything, the Combo Platter which is served with breaded cod, baked haddock and 3 fried butterfly shrimp and homemade potato pancakes. Try it and you won't be disappointed!

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SarahG0926 | Feb. 25, 2013 at 3:48 p.m. (report)

Umm, no there are 5 Fridays left in Lent. Easter is 3-31-13

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hardgeminiguy | Feb. 25, 2013 at 1:08 p.m. (report)

Why are there fish fry prices for some but not ALL restaurants? This does not serve your readers well. seems like sloppy reasoning at best.

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