Hooray for Fish Fry-day


Fire up those fryers because we’ve got another reason for you to look forward to Fridays! Lent kicks off this week, but here in Milwaukee, the Friday fish fry is a culinary institution alongside the city’s vast brewing scene and the delightful cheddar nuggets known as cheese curds. A tradition dating back more than a century, Milwaukee’s location along the freshwater coast of Lake Michigan has built the almighty fish fry into a golden-brown standard on menus. Restaurants around town offer the crispy, fried holy grail of the sea, usually served with a side of fries, coleslaw, and rye bread. No matter if you’re a fish fry novice or a pescatarian aficionado, we’ve put together a list of five places to try this tasty staple. 

Centraal Grand Café & Tappery – Haddock 

Drawing inspiration from Centraal Station in Amsterdam, the Centraal Grand Café & Tappery in the Bay View neighborhood is where culture, cuisine, and beverage offerings combine to create unique flavors. Serving dishes with an international flair in addition to more familiar American fare, the restaurant features a lightly browned haddock fish fry with fries, coleslaw, tartar sauce, and rye bread every Friday. 

Swingin’ Door Exchange – Perch 

In Milwaukee’s downtown, you’ll find the cozy bar and dining room of the Swingin’ Door Exchange. With an atmosphere of a traditional tavern, the stained-glass windows and pine wood paneling of the nearly 100-year-old bar offer the perfect ambiance for a Friday fish fry. The restaurant serves both Icelandic cod and lake perch every Friday. 

Hubbard Park Lodge – Walleye 

Hubbard Park Lodge is a hidden gem in the Shorewood neighborhood. The site of a magnificent beer garden in the summers, the lodge is accessible by the Oak Leaf Trail (weather permitting) or park your car in the lot and walk to the beautiful cabin. With the ambiance of being in the woods without ever leaving the city, this lodge along the Milwaukee River features walleye with a potato pancake, fries, coleslaw, and applesauce on their Friday fish fry menu, in addition to cod on a seafood-laden Friday menu. 

Lakefront Brewery – Vegetarian 

One of the city’s most highly regarded fish fries, Lakefront Brewery’s massive beer hall, live music, side-splitting brewery tours, and award-winning cheese curds make for a lively atmosphere that pairs beautifully with the brewery’s wide selection of craft brews, made on-site. Lakefront’s fish fry has been recognized as one of the best fish fries in Milwaukee and offers a daily cod fish fry as well as a vegetarian fish fry made from hearts of palm, nori and seafood seasoning that are beer battered, friend, and served with vegan tartar sauce and vegan coleslaw.

MOTOR Bar & Restaurant – All You Can Eat 

A fish fry that will never leave your stomach rumbling, MOTOR Bar & Restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat fish fry. Adjacent to the high-octane Harley-Davidson Museum, learn about the 120-year-old local icon with more than 450 motorcycles from the brand's inception to the present at the museum, then get your fill in the motorcycle-themed restaurant. Enjoy a delicious, golden-brown fish fry served with French fries, fresh jicama slaw, cornbread, and tartar sauce. 


Article originally published on 2/21/2022