Fish fries are a seasonal tradition popular across the US, specifically in the Midwest and Northeast, coinciding with the religious observation of Lent in which observers refrain from eating meat on Fridays. At a fish fry, you can count on heaping portions of crispy fried fish, usually a flavorful and flakey whitefish like cod, haddock, catfish, or flounder, depending on where you're located, and an assortment of hearty condiments and side dishes like coleslaw, tartar sauce, French fries, and potato salad.
In many places throughout the country, fish fries pop up during the season at local community centers like churches or fire stations where plates of fried fish and generous helpings of side dishes are offered at affordable set prices. If you find yourself in New York City during Lent, you'll likely notice that traditional fish fries aren't all that common, but there are many excellent places, from family-owned casual dining spots to more elevated sit-down restaurants, where you can enjoy tasty fried fish with nourishing sides and condiments at various price points. We compiled 18 popular spots to satisfy your dietary needs and taste buds based on a combination of personal dining experience, local expertise, and notable customer reviews.
Read more: 15 Different Ways To Cook Fish
Bed-Stuy Fish Fry
Bed-Stuy Fish Fry is known for serving "the soul food of Brooklyn." The casual establishment, with locations across Brooklyn and a single storefront in the Bronx, offers a mouthwatering selection of rich dishes served cafeteria-style in plastic takeout containers. For a classic fish fry experience, choose from their wide assortment of fried seafood, including catfish, shrimp, tilapia, whiting, and salmon, all served with crispy chips, aka French fries. Next, you'll have your pick from a seemingly neverending variety of homestyle side dishes, including classics like collard greens, coleslaw, candied yams, macaroni salad, mac and cheese, sweet corn, and black-eyed peas.
Bed-Stuy Fish Fry is the place to visit when you're looking for a reliable, affordable, and laid-back dining experience. The menu is expansive, so you can return often to sample some of their other featured dishes like seafood sandwiches that are either fried, steamed, or grilled, or more elaborate platters of stuffed lobster tail, stuffed salmon, or stuffed shrimp. Most meals are under $20.
Multiple locations in Brooklyn and the Bronx
The Chippery is a small hole-in-the-wall in the East Village with a bright blue and yellow facade welcoming diners to sample freshly fried fish. Fish and chips are the name of the game here, with each piece of seafood lightly battered in flour and fried to order alongside a generous portion of fries. The eatery is casual with sit-down dining where your food is served in classic baskets lined with newspaper-style paper or available to-go in styrofoam containers.
Eating with a large group? The Chippery offers buckets of fish ranging from 10 to 25 pieces of seafood with a massive portion of fries, a generous serving of tartar sauce, and your choice of 4 to 10 sides, depending on the size of your basket. Some of those decadent and delicious sides include deep-fried pickles, mac and cheese bites, jalapeño poppers, onion rings, and corn dogs. Meals here range from around $11.50 and up.
Multiple locations in Manhattan and New Jersey
Sammy's Fish Box
Sammy's Fish Box, located on City Island in the Bronx, is a destination for lovers of fried seafood that's well worth the journey. Among the fried seafood specialties on offer at this festive and homey restaurant are jumbo fried shrimp, fried baby lobster tails, fried day boat sea scallops, and fried blue fish — starting at $26.95 and up. The selection is vast, allowing you to enjoy a classic fish fry while also satisfying the dietary preferences or needs of other members of your party.
A highlight of the menu includes an entire section dedicated to wood roasting, a technique pioneered by Native Americans where fresh fish is roasted on wood planks. At Sammy's, you have your choice of salmon, tuna, Chilean sea bass, or whole red snapper, all prepared on authentic alder wood planks — $34.95 and up.
41 City Island Ave, Bronx, NY 10464
A Salt & Battery
This fish fry spot in Greenwich Village is an homage to Britain's cultural tradition of fish and chips. At A Salt & Battery, you have your pick of fried haddock, cod, sole, or whiting, served under a bed of expertly crisped chips (French fries). Your selection of sides continues to honor the English inspiration of the restaurant by offering mushy peas, potato dabs — also known as scallop potatoes, Heinz baked beans, and pickled onions. For dessert, indulge in the toffee crisp or pineapple fritter.
The interior decor is lowkey, with banners of British flags lining the walls above framed pictures of iconic periods of UK history. As is tradition, your food is served in a casual basket lined with paper. Portions range from a regular-sized piece of fried fish for $9.95 to a large-sized piece of fried fish with chips for $20.95.
112 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011
Sea & Sea Harlem
Sea & Sea Harlem is known as a fish market first and a spot to grab cooked seafood second, but what better place to fulfill your fried fish cravings than the source of the freshest fish itself? A fixture in Harlem since the early 1980s, Sea & Sea Harlem is a family-owned establishment that brings in freshly caught fish twice throughout the day.
The move here is to order a combination plate, allowing you to dig into a combo of fried scallops, fish and chips, fried shrimp, or fried crab sticks and chips. If you want to go non-traditional, you can swap out your chips for onion rings or fried vegetables. The inside of Sea & Sea embraces the laid-back style of the fish market. Food is served in takeaway containers, with prices starting at $5.00 and up.
310 St Nicholas Ave, New York, NY 10027
Smokin' Joe At Urban Hawker
Located within Urban Hawker, a bustling food hall in Midtown Manhattan specializing in Singaporean street food, Smokin' Joes is a marriage of Hainan Western cuisine influenced by British colonialism. While there are several excellent dishes to sample at Smokin' Joes, the absolute standout here is the platter of fish and chips made with Swai fish, a type of catfish from Southeast Asia.
The Swai fish is delicately breaded and expertly seasoned with a proprietary blend that tastes like a mixture of soy sauce, paprika, oyster sauce, and herbs. The nuanced flavor of the seasonings, as well as the crunchy texture of the Swai, is what makes this fried fish extra special ($21.91 for a large portion of fish and chips, including sales tax. After ordering at the counter, you can watch your fish get deep-fried, then bring your takeaway container to one of the food hall's many tables to feast.
135 West 50th Street New York, NY 10020
Devin's Fish & Chips
This casual eatery in Harlem serves generous portions of fish fry that can be savored at a limited number of bar stools within the restaurant but are more likely to be enjoyed as a to-go order or for delivery. At Devin's Fish & Chips, indulge in a plate of fried flounder, fried shrimp, and chips, or go classic with seven strips of fried catfish and chips.
To dress up your meal, we recommend opting for some of the restaurant's sumptuous sides, with highlights including fried okra, Spanish rice, corn on the cob, green beans, and sweet plantains. Prices start at $11, excluding sales tax for three pieces of fried fish and chips, and level out around $20 for larger portions and more elaborate platters.
747 St Nicholas Ave, New York, NY 10031
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
For a more upscale fried fish experience at one of New York City's iconic eateries, head to Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant. Located within the lower level of Grand Central Station, the Oyster Bar & Restaurant has been a time-honored tradition since the early 1910s for commuters, visitors, and locals alike. The menu here is extensive and changes daily based on fresh fish availability, but you can count on one of the many fried seafood platters to satisfy all your fish fry dreams.
Since prices are sky-high, ranging from around $29.95 to $39.95, we recommend going all in during your visit with one of the restaurant's elevated platters. Our favorites include the fried Maine sea scallops with tartar sauce and French fries, the fried coconut shrimp served with pineapple slices and coconut rice, and the fried Grand Central Oyster Bar bluepoint oysters adorned with tartar sauce and served under French fries.
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
Greenpoint Fish in Brooklyn merges the fish market and restaurant model by offering exquisite fried fish entrees at the very same spot where you can purchase whole fresh fish to cook at home. Like many New York restaurants, during the height of the pandemic, Greenpoint Fish expanded their dining outdoors and continues to offer outdoor seating while also accommodating guests at chic wooden tables indoors.
A proper meal will set you back at this upscale market and restaurant, but the quality of the fresh seafood is hard to ignore. Try the Captain's Feast for $42 featuring fried and battered sea scallops, wild shrimp, and a filet of fish all served over an excellent basket of crisp, salty French fries. The sides at Greenpoint Fish are also worth sampling as they're more elevated than you'll find at many other spots serving fish fry. Highlights include the mashed potatoes made with black sesame tahini and the shishito peppers with lemon butter, herbs, and clam aioli.
114 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Dame, located in the West Village, is a chic, light-filled eatery specializing in elevated seafood dishes. As the name suggests, the restaurant has a decidedly British influence, which is on full display on the menu where you can order a side of 'proper English chips' and sumptuous sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
We must sing extra praises for the English chips as they're hand-cut and triple-cooked making them perfectly crispy, salted to perfection, and thick enough to ooze with elegantly soft potato. The standout entree is the signature fish and chips made with fried hake, a flakey member of the cod family, served over those signature English chips with malt vinegar and herbed tartar sauce on the side for $29.
87 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
Famous Fish Market
This cash-only fish market and seafood counter in Harlem is known for the dependably long lines that have formed outside the eatery since its opening almost 50 years ago — and for good reason. The fish fry is simple, authentic, and exceptional. Staying true to its fresh seafood roots, the decor is minimal. There isn't any setup for indoor seating at the old-school neighborhood spot; instead, the emphasis is squarely on serving generous portions of high-quality fish fry at remarkably affordable prices.
You can satisfy your fish and chips craving for $9 or upgrade to shrimp and chips for $12.75. Chips/fries can be added to any order for $1.75. Everything comes served fresh out of the frier and is topped with a thick, creamy tartar sauce.
684 St Nicholas Ave, New York, NY 10030
Fulton Fish Co. At Tin Building
Fulton Fish Co. is an elevated seafood destination located in Jean-Georges Vongerichten's sprawling food hall, Tin Building in South Street Seaport. The elegant dining room has a grand raw bar as its focal point, where you can admire the freshly caught seafood as you decide which types of heavenly fish to order.
To truly embody the fish fry spirit, we recommend opting for the small plate of fried clams and shrimp, which arrive with an iceberg lettuce salad dressed in buttermilk remoulade, or the large plate of classic fish and chips with tartar sauce and lemon wedges. For something extra special, consider the fried whole black seabass served over French fries ($34).
96 South St, New York, NY 10038
Lolo's Seafood Shack
Lolo's Seafood Shack in Harlem has a glorious lemon-yellow storefront with a similarly funky, colorful, and laidback interior. On the Caribbean-inspired menu, there are a number of excellent fried fish baskets, including the shrimp, catfish, and chips combo for $20, offering crispy white fish, fried shrimp, and French fries all drizzled in the signature house pom pom sauce, which has a hint of sweetness. You can always go classic with the $13 fish fry and chips basket showcasing freshly fried white fish, French fries, and that pom pom drizzle.
The side dishes are where things really get interesting at Lolo's, as you can enjoy johnny cakes with gooey honey butter, sweet plantains topped with herbs and cotija cheese, and 'durty rice' featuring a diverse blend of beans cooked in coconut rice.
303 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026
Mary's Fish Camp
Mary's Fish Camp is a chic sit-down eatery in the West Village with a pleasingly modern and minimalist decor. The restaurant is best known for serving fresh seafood in sophisticated preparations that often showcase touches of international culinary techniques and nuanced flavor pairings. Savor the bao bun appetizer for $16 featuring crispy fried monkfish dressed in sriracha with lime and pickled cucumbers, or try the clam fritters for $18 with double-smoked bacon, corn, and a side of Matouk's aioli.
For a more classic fish fry meal, opt for the fried oysters and clams served with lemon wedges and housemade tartar sauce for $21. The robust selection of main dishes features several whole fishes that can be prepared fried or grilled, including whole black sea bass, daurade, and bronzini. Mains are $28 and up.
64 Charles St, New York, NY 10014
Sylvia's Restaurant is a culinary institution in Harlem dating back to the early 1960s. The environment inside the restaurant is warm, inviting, and decidedly festive with live music and gospel performances occurring throughout the week. You truly can't go wrong with any item on the menu as every dish has been conceived of by Sylvia herself and honors the authenticity and heart of soul food with fresh ingredients and simple preparations that are mouthwateringly delicious.
For the very best in fish fry, order the Carolina-style fried catfish for $23, Grandma Julia's cornmeal fried whiting for $21, or the golden fried shrimp for $24 — all of which come with two sides of your choice and a slice of Sylvia's famous cornbread. The side dishes are a meal in their own right here, with standouts including gooey baked macaroni cheese, candied yams, savory black-eyed peas, and traditional collard greens.
328 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027
Cornbread Farm To Soul
Fish fry and soul food are nourishing, time-honored culinary traditions that were made for each other. At Cornbread Farm to Soul in Brooklyn, you can savor homestyle family recipes that marry both specialties in a spacious, light-filled, casual dining room. The classic order here is one of the fried fish meals, featuring your choice of fried and breaded catfish or whiting with the option of one or two side dishes — $18.99 and $22.99, respectively.
Those side dishes are as delicious as their fried fish counterparts and include a wide selection featuring cabbage, creamy potato salad, baked mac and cheese, and white rice with gravy. Craving a fried fish sandwich? Don't miss the fried catfish po' boy with lettuce, housemade tartar sauce, and your choice of one side for $14.99.cornbreadsoul.com
Multiple locations in Brooklyn and New Jersey
GG's Fish & Chips
GG's Fish & Chips is an iconic food truck in Brooklyn serving classic fish fry available for takeout, delivery, and catering. Heaping portions of freshly fried seafood are served in styrofoam takeaway containers lined with red and white checkered paper. The crispy fried catfish is exceptional here — and massive — as are the sides of decadently sweet candy yams, savory collard greens, and extra creamy mac and cheese.
You have your pick of seafood options for GG's signature plate of fish and chips with your choice of catfish, whiting, shrimp, or a combination of two types of fish. You can also opt to enjoy your fish fry Lousiana-style on a po' boy and can pair your fried fish with a helping of grits instead of chips. Fish and chips with coleslaw start at $12 and up.
234 Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Baby's Buns & Buckets
Baby's Buns & Buckets is a multi-generational female-owned eatery in Brooklyn's bustling Dekalb Market Hall dedicated to merging the flavors of Thai cuisine with the preparation of classic American comfort food. For a shockingly affordable $7, order the fried fish bun sandwich featuring a generous piece of fried Basa on a baby brioche bun smothered in garlic mayo and garlic chili sauce.
Another menu highlight is the fish bucket for $16, showcasing small pieces of fried fish over fatty garlic rice dressed in the housemade garlic chili sauce, with shredded cabbage, cilantro, and pickled onions. Looking for a make-your-own standard fish fry? Opt for the fish nuggets for $10 — 8 ounces of fried Basa fish and an order of regular or spicy fries with garlic mayo and ketchup for $5 and $6, respectively.
445 Albee Square W, Brooklyn, NY 11201
To compile this list of 18 popular spots for fish fry around NYC, I gathered a diverse assortment of top-rated and positively customer-reviewed dining establishments ranging in price point, location within the city, and eatery style. I began with my personal dining experience, then sought reviews from local eaters and city visitors, and finally expanded my research to incorporate reputable local news sources to build a well-rounded list of restaurants serving fried fish that exemplify the diversity of New York City.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.