Best Fish Fry
Top 5 local fish fries, ranked.
- Beer-battered or baked haddock, or combo platter, $12.99 all-you-can eat; or 7-piece lightly battered lake perch (not all you can eat), $13.99
- Sides: Homemade potato pancakes, coleslaw and apple sauce.
- Friday hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (all-you-can-eat starts at 4 p.m.)
- Reservations: No, but call ahead to be put on a waiting list: 815.728.3017.
- “We think people love our food because the Rusty Nail has a casual, comfortable feel, it is a family-run business and people of all ages enjoy our place. We are able to seat larger groups. Our customers like to see our continually growing business and what changes are being made on a daily basis. We also offer extra parking behind the restaurant.”
- Hand beer-battered and fried or baked cod dinner, $10; or all-you-can-eat, $14. Also, pan-fried cornflake-crusted catfish, $10.50; catfish and shrimp po’ boy, $10; grilled shrimp salad, $9; or fried shrimp dinner, $11.
- Sides: Fries, potato pancakes, jalapeño corn hush puppies or deep fried horse radish-cheddar mash potato balls, plus apple sauce and coleslaw.
- Friday hours: Bar, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; kitchen, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and fish fry, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Reservations: Yes, but not necessary: 815.337.7254.
- “It’s good! Icelandic cod, cajun catfish – individually hand-battered and prepared upon order. It has a 1960s ambiance, friendly staff and eclectic patrons.”
- Dry-breaded wild Alaskan cod, $9.99 all-you-can-eat.
- Sides: Coleslaw, role and butter, three-bean salad, choice of fries or potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce.
- Friday hours: Serve fish fry all day on Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. or until it runs out (9 a.m. on occasion).
- Reservations: No: 847.639.6064.
- “Customers love our fish because our breading is light and our quality of fish is very high.”
- Beer-battered, broiled lemon pepper, garlic butter or cajun cod, $13 all-you-can-eat.
- Sides: Choice of baked potato, french fries, curly fries – additional charge for potato pancakes with coleslaw and fresh roll.
- Hours: Wednesday 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Reservations: No: 815.385.8811.
- “It’s good! You don’t have to stick with the same fish all night. For example, you could start off with beer-battered and switch to garlic butter cod.”
5 (tie): Crandall’s Chicken, Hebron
- Icelandic cod or broasted chicken for $12.95; or all-you-can-eat chicken-and-fish combo, $13.95.
- Sides: Choice of mashed potato, french fries, potato pancakes. All-you-can-eat comes with cole slaw, cinnamon roll or dinner roll.
- Friday hours: 11: 45 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Reservations: Every day but Friday: 815.648.2609.
- “We use fresh ingredients and try and make everything homemade because they want to use the best quality for customers.”
5 (tie): Kim & Patty’s Cafe, McHenry
- Always baked or deep-fried cod, and sometimes walleye, trout, lake perch, bluegill, southwest blackened haddock, $12.95-$17.95. Friday’s menu is posted the prior Wednesday.
Sides: Choice of potato (including homemade potato pancakes) or rice pilaf, green beans, and homemade soup or salad.
Friday: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Reservations: Yes: 815.344.5262.
“We want to be the place you go to and are excited about what will they have this time.”
Details are subject to change at any time. Always call ahead!
Vote in this month’s poll here.
Rusty Nail Saloon
Rusty Nail, Ringwood Road, Ringwood, IL, United States
Liquid Blues Ltd, North Benton Street, Woodstock, IL, United States
Bobby's Barrel Inn
Bobby's Barrel Inn, North Gilmer Road, Round Lake, IL, United States
Tracks Bar & Grill
Tracks Bar & Grill, West Main Street, Cary, IL, United States
Kim & Patty's Cafe
Kim & Patty's Cafe, Ridgeview Drive, McHenry, IL, United States
Crandalls, Illinois 47, Hebron, IL, United States