Searching for the Great Milwaukee Fish Fry

Cream City Hostel

Milwaukee Community

February 18, 2020


Friday night-- time for fried cod, bluegill, or perch, some rye bread, french fries or potato pancakes, and of course some 'slaw-- the Friday fish fry is a delicious Wisconsin tradition that you'll find throughout Milwaukee. The tradition began in Wisconsin because Catholics forbade eating meat on Friday. There is a big bump in the fish fry biz during Lent (February 26- April 9). Read more on the fish fry tradition at WUWM's site here:

Finding a place that will dish some fish isn't hard-- in fact writer Caleb Westphal has now cataloged over 300 places to grab a Friday night fish fry in the Milwaukee area in an ongoing series for Milwaukee Record.

Here's three excerpts from Caleb's reviews of places walking distance from the Cream City Hostel:

Klinger's East (920 E. Locust St.)

"The fish was definitely the highlight of the meal. The long pieces curled with character, with their homemade quality shining through. They had what I will call a good grease, with a commendable beer batter that was light and thin. I couldn’t help myself from ordering a third piece."

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Full review:

Lakefront Brewery (1872 E. Commerce St.)

"The fry arrived and came with two pieces of shrimp, two pieces of cod, and three pieces of perch. The shrimp were large and couldn’t fit into the tiny cocktail sauce container that came with them, which is a good thing. Both the perch and cod were a little better than the norm, with the cod having a crunchy batter, and the perch having a light batter. This is not unlike most batters for these types of fish. The potato pancakes were fine, but the applesauce that came with them was the best I’ve ever had with a fish fry."

Full review:

Company Brewing (735 E. Center St.)

"I looked down at my plate, and saw one of the most neatly arranged fish frys of recent memory. More often than not, a fish fry is tossed on a plate without care, but this was not the case here. Now, one can debate the importance of fish fry aesthetics, and if the throwing of a meal casually on a plate is actually more true to the spirit of a fish fry than a more refined or sanitary look, but either way, this fry’s appearance stood out to me. The overall impression and experience of Company Brewing’s fish fry was that it was original, and that it was a modern take on a tradition."

Full review:


You can catch Caleb's fish fry reviews at 


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