Lent has begun, and that means fish fry season is in full swing in church basements and social halls all over town. But Chicago’s restaurant scene gets into it, too, tossing cod, whiting, perch, and the occasional haddock, walleye, and catfish into deep fryers with abandon, and then serving them up with tartar sauce, malt vinegar, and hot sauce. Here are some of the best places to fill up — including one that’s all-you-eat.Read More
Where to Eat Fish and Chips in Chicago
The Lenten tradition even non-Catholics love to observe
1. L. Woods Tap & Pine Lodge
Lettuce Entertain You’s lodge-themed supper club brings the Wisconsin fish fry experience to Lincolnwood. The Friday special features lake perch served with salt and vinegar fries and housemade tartar sauce. Order carryout and delivery here.
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2. Lady Gregory's Irish Bar & Restaurant
Lady Gregory’s in Andersonville serves up a fine fish and chips. The haddock is a change from the usual perch, cod, and whiting, and a gluten-free variation is available. Order online here.
3. The Atlantic Bar & Grill
Fans of football (that is, what Americans call soccer) head to this Lincoln Square Irish pub to enjoy a pint and some fish and chips while catching a match. Call to order takeout.
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4. Galvin's Public House
Over in Jefferson Park, Galvin’s is the place to visit for fried fish. The kitchen serves beer-battered Atlantic cod, and it’s the $14 house special on Fridays.
5. Hagen's Fish Market
Family owned since 1966, Hagen's sells deep-fried seafood by the pound (weighed pre-frying). Choose between lake perch and smelt for fish and fries and tater tots for the chips. The store is takeout-only, but there are tables and chairs outside in better weather.
6. The Globe Pub
7. Basant Modern Indian Restaurant
Basant does fish and chips Indian style, covering its cod in a spice rub before frying and then serving it up with a side of spicy fries. Order online here.
8. Duke Of Perth
One of Chicago’s most popular fish fries is at Duke of Perth, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays when the beer-battered cod is all-you-can-eat (dine-in only). Call for takeout orders.
9. Parson's Chicken & Fish
Just check out that light batter at Parson’s Chicken & Fish, which now has locations in Logan Square, West Town, Lincoln Park, and Andersonville. It’s essentially a hipster version of the fried fish spots found on the South Side. But they’ve manage to make this fish less greasy, and the hot sauces are also unique.
10. BIG & little's
At BIG & little's three fast-casual locations in River North, Lakeview, and Lincoln Park, diners can order a sizable piece of beer-battered cod. The batter-to-fish ratio is perfect and the simple seasoning is not too zesty. Carryout and delivery ordering is available here.
11. GT Fish & Oyster
This established River North seafood haven is the place for high-end fish and chips. GT uses walleye and serves it with dill pickle remoulade and malt vinegar chips. Order via Tock or reservations on OpenTable.
12. The Gage
The paper cone presentation does not affect the taste of the Gage's fish and chips, but it's a fun homage to the British tradition of serving the dish in newspaper. The fish varies from day to day, but the kitchen always uses Irish super stout Guinness in the batter. Order online here.
13. Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp
14. Pleasant House Pub
Pleasant House continued its Friday-only fish fry after relocating to Pilsen in 2016. Staff use Lake Superior whitefish and beer in the batter. An underrated aspect of the restaurant is its sauces: the lemon-caper tartar sauce is a terrific complement to the fish. Carryout and delivery orders can be placed here.
15. Troha's Chicken & Shrimp House
Open since 1917, this Little Village institution specializes in fried foods. The menu caters to different tastes by offering four types of fish: Cod, perch, and smelt, plus a Lenten special on whiting, two pounds for $23. Order here for carryout.
16. Honey 1 BBQ
The folks at Honey 1 BBQ in Bronzeville put a Southern spin on fried fish by using cornbread batter and dousing it with hot sauce (if desired).
17. Surf's Up South Shore
Surf’s Up has quietly expanded to Old Town and virtual kitchens elsewhere in the city. The specialty is fried lobster and Hennessy sauced chicken wings, but there’s plenty of fish variety: fried perch, catfish, and whiting, all with cornbread coating.
18. Kingfish Seafood
Let's show some love to the bottom-dwelling catfish, which Chicagoans and others in much of the landlocked Midwest have come to respect. Kingfish, in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood, offers a golden-brown version, along with perch, whitefish, and more.
19. Calumet Fisheries
Though it’s best known for smoked seafood, this little South Side shack balances its menu with wonderfully fried fish and shrimp coated in a family recipe batter. The James Beard Foundation deemed the business an American Classic in 2010.
20. Horse Thief Hollow
Horse Thief Hollow is one of Chicago’s best brewpubs, and every Friday during Lent, it serves fried fish two ways: with parsnip puree and shaved fennel salad or the classic preparation with fries, both equally satisfying with the cold adult beverages. If only someone could find one here...