Fish fries are a staple in Wisconsin’s food culture (right along with curds and beer brats). No matter what time of year, foodies flock to taverns, supper clubs and VFW halls to get their fix.
A typical Wisconsin fish fry includes beer-battered fish (usually cod, perch, haddock or walleye), French fries or potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce, coleslaw and rye bread with butter. (Drooling yet?) And you can’t forget a craft beer to wash it all down. Here are some of our favorite places to catch (get it?!) a great meal.
Kavanaugh’s Esquire Club — Madison
This third generation-owned restaurant has been dishing up world-class steak and lobster dinners since 1947, but they are really known for their Friday night fish fry. From all-you-can-eat ocean perch, to broiled or deep-fried Icelandic cod, seafood is king at Kavanaugh’s.
Cue Club of Wisconsin (fromerly Master Z's Cue Club) — Waukesha
Enjoy all-you-can-eat bluegill, lake perch and cod ($10-13) breaded in a light, flavorful batter (Friday only, 4-10 p.m.). Each dinner comes with seasoned waffle fries, marbled rye bread and creamy coleslaw. But the fish is only half the fun at Master Z’s. Play pool, shuffleboard or poker while listening to live entertainment. And if the mood strikes, get up and dance.
Headwaters Restaurant & Tavern — Boulder Junction
A fish fry anytime you want? Sign us up. Haddock is the daily special, but baked or pan-fried walleye is also on the menu. Head out to the deck overlooking the Manitowish River to take in all the beauty the northwoods has to offer.
Fayze’s — La Crosse
Nestled in historic downtown La Crosse, Fayze’s casual restaurant serves three meals a day including a famous fish fry on Friday nights. Indulge in all-you-can-eat breaded perch, grilled tilapia and batter-fried or broiled cod served with French fries or baked potato, plus soup, salad or coleslaw. Diners are also served Fayze’s famous Talame buns, a soft Lebanese white bread (a perk of dining at a restaurant with an on-premises bakery).
For more Friday fish fry fun, and to learn the story behind this Wisconsin tradition, visit Travel Wisconsin.