Friday Night Fish Fry:
The Best (and Worst) of Wisconsin

Here you'll find a comprehensive list of Wisconsin Fish Fry reviews as rated by "The Friday Night Fish Fry Fanatics."

Our methodologies and ratings are quite simple. We judge every fish fry experience by the following criteria:

  1. Fish: we order a variety of fish with each meal, hoping to find fish that's delicate, fresh, flaky, moist, meaty, cooked to perfection, and served piping hot. The fish should never be greasy or watery. Batter and/or breading should adhere to the fish and should not overpower the fish. Bonus points if the fish is available as "All You Can Eat" (or AYCE)

  2. Potato: once again, we order a variety of side dishes with each meal. Fries should be well-cooked, crisp, and served hot with just a hint of salt. Bonus points for potato pancakes or unique potato offerings (i.e., cheesy hashbrown potatoes).

  3. Old Fashioned: a Wisconsin staple, we always order at least one with a fish fry. We prefer whiskey old fashioned sours, but have been known to sample a brandy sweet. We want old fashioneds that are muddled (preferably with cherries) and made with Squirt. We deduct points for including an orange with the old fashioned sour.

  4. Accessories: bread, coleslaw, appetizers. We usually sample the cheese curds while waiting for a table. Curds are tricky to do right; most are of the Sysco variety and are often over cooked. A restaurant that can "nail" its curds will usually score high in the other categories. Curds should be lightly battered, feature a high quality cheese, and show no signs of excessive grease. Sounds easier to accomplish than it is.

  5. Ambiance: we're fans of the traditional supper club. You know the places - they're located just off-the-beaten-path, were built in the 60s or 70s, feature loads of dark paneling, have a huge bar area, and (if you're really lucky) a sunken dining area. A dying breed for certain, but oh so wonderful when you can stumble across one. We also give points for unique atmospheres that don't fit the supper club genre.

So there you have it - our criteria. And to be clear - we don't announce who we are or what we're doing when we're out and about. I'm sure that most people think we're "odd" for taking pictures of our food, but that's ok - it's the price we pay for being fish fry fanatics. We try our best to remain objective and true to the sport of ranking fish frys. Enjoy!



FISH FRY RATINGS / RANKINGS - WISCONSIN'S BEST (AND WORST)


Updated 12/07/12

  1. Buck and Honey's Restaurant (6/25/12); Buck & Honey's (10/12/12, 10/19/12)
  2. Schaumburg Dinner Club
  3. 5100 - McFarland
  4. Dorf Haus - February 2010; May 2010
  5. St. Peter's Catholic Church
  6. Toby's Supper Club
  7. The Wayside Inn
  8. Christy's Landing Tavern
  9. Norm's Hideaway
  10. Owl's Nest (2009 - former #1); Owl's Nest (2012)
  11. RP Adler's (March 2012)
  12. Draft House
  13. The Crawfish Junction
  14. MidTown Pub - February 2010; July 2010 (baked fish)
  15. Esquire Club
  16. Fish Tales (baked fish)
  17. Bridges On The Green
  18. Dexter's Pub
  19. Dexter's Pub (November 2011)
  20. Nite Cap Inn (October 2010)
  21. VFW Post 8483
  22. Avenue Bar
  23. Hering's Sand Bar
  24. Mulligan's Bar & Grille
  25. Spirit's
  26. Klassik Supper Club
  27. Blue Moon (baked fish)
  28. Alchemy Cafe
  29. The Green Lantern
  30. Big Ten Pub
  31. Mid Town Pub - August 2009
  32. Nite Cap Inn
  33. The Fireside Inn
  34. Flannery's Willhelm Tell Club
  35. Borland's Tavern
  36. Kelly's Bar
  37. R.P Adler's Pub & Grill
  38. Middleton Sport Bowl
  39. Jacs of Madison
  40. Cahoots Bar
  41. Quivey's Grove
  42. Fitzgerald's of Middleton
  43. Oakcrest Tavern
  44. Stadium Sports Bar & Eatery
  45. The Crawfish Junction (April 2011)
  46. Tully's II Food & Spirits
  47. Villa Tap
  48. The Grumpy Troll
  49. Feiler's
  50. The Old Fashioned
  51. Milford Hills Hunt Club
  52. Water Street Brewery
  53. Stamm House at Pheasant Branch (closed in 2011)
  54. The Monk's Retreat

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