It's fish fry season! 26 to try in the Twin Cities metro

Rick Nelson, Star Tribune
·7 min read

Cod. Haddock. Walleye. Perch. Bluegill. It's Friday fish fry season, and this year's version is going to feel a bit different, due to limitations created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fewer restaurants are offering all-you-can-eat options, and while many fish fry setups can be enjoyed in restaurant dining rooms, others are operating on a takeout-only basis.

The Anchor Fish & ChipsDuring Lent, this cult favorite — which is highly skilled in the deep-fryer arts — leaves the fish-and-chips heavy lifting to its food truck, with beer-battered wild Alaskan cod and hand-cut chips ($13.50) available in the parking lot on Friday nights. Takeout only.

302 NE. 13th Av., Mpls., theanchorfishandchips.com

Barley + VineChef Adiel Luna's fish and chips ($16.95) are a menu staple, and feature cod fillets battered with Indeed Brewing Company's Day Tripper pale ale, along with fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce. On Fridays, Luna also creates a seafood daily special.

17516 Dodd Blvd., Lakeville, barleyandvinekitchen.com

Birchwood CafeThis locavore's Friday night fish fry ($20) features two pieces of wild-caught walleye from the Red Lake Nation Fishery in Redby, Minn., plus French fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce. The whole shebang is gluten-free. Pick up a slice of Key lime pie ($6) or a gluten-free fudge brownie ($4.50) for dessert. Takeout only.

3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., birchwoodcafe.com

Black Dog CafeAt this Lowertown charmer, the all-day Friday fish fry includes beer-battered cod — using St. Paul-based Summit Brewing Co. beer — with fries ($12.95). "People are always looking for something that's a little bit different from their day-to-day stuff, even if they don't observe Lent," said co-owner Andy Remke. "It's like Oktoberfest beers. It's the thing to do."

308 E. Prince St., St. Paul, blackdogstpaul.com

Blue Door PubTwo Friday night options, both featuring beer-battered cod, coleslaw and tartar sauce. Dine in and it's an all-you-can-eat situation ($14.25), or go the takeout route ($12.25) and get two pieces of cod plus either fries or tots.

3448 S. 42nd Av., Mpls., and 1514 SE. Como Av., Mpls., thebdp.com

Burger Dive/Smack ShackThis popular duo inside Potluck — Rosedale's all-local food hall — is offering a fried walleye basket that includes fries (get the Cajun-seasoned version), a dill-infused tartar sauce and coleslaw ($14) every day during Lent.

1595 Hwy. 36, Roseville, burgerdivemn.com

Dakota JunctionOn Fridays, it's all about Alaskan cod (crusted with seasoned panko) that's served with a handful of housemade sides, including coleslaw, tartar sauce and potato chips or fries ($14.50). For those who want to skip the deep-fried potatoes, owner Stephanie Bolles will substitute a salad. Takeout only.

2281 Commerce Blvd., Mound, facebook.com/DakotaJunctionMound

Gold Nugget Tavern & GrillThe daily menu features beer-battered haddock served on a pile of thick hand-cut fries, plus a side of coleslaw ($19). Keep the deep-fried theme going with cheese curds ($10) or battered-and-fried pickles ($9).

14401 Excelsior Blvd., Minnetonka, gntag.com

Half Time RecOn Friday nights at this friendly neighborhood Irish bar, it's all about all-you-can-eat beer-battered cod and fries ($11.99).

1013 Front Av., St. Paul, halftimerec.com

The LexingtonChef de cuisine Antonio Murry has devised a fabulous fine-dining spin on the Friday fish fry tradition, serving herb-crusted halibut with a leek sauce, a tantalizingly golden pan-fried potato crisp and Meyer lemon-powered aioli ($44).

1096 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-289-4990, thelexmn.com

The Little Oven"Big portions, low prices" is the mantra at the hardworking East Side classic, which is serving beer-battered cod with a choice of potato (fries, baked, mashed, au gratins) or pasta, soup or salad, vegetable and a popover. The three-piece cod meal is $12.99, four pieces is $14.99 and all-you-can-eat (dine-in only) is $16.99. Lunch and dinner, no credit cards.

1786 E. Minnehaha Av., St. Paul, thelittleoven.com

Mac's Fish Chips StripsA quick-service source for fried fish and fried potatoes since 1991. It's all about choice (cod, walleye, halibut, shrimp, clams) in baskets and tacos, at affordable prices. Dessert? Freshly made saltwater taffy. Takeout only.

1330 W. Larpenteur Av., St. Paul, and 610 W. 54th St., Mpls., macsfishchipsstrips.com

Main Street Farmer EateryThe main event is Lake Ontario walleye (breaded with herbs, Parmesan and breadcrumbs), served with hand-cut skin-on fries, tartar sauce and an argula-lemon salad ($26), served Fridays during Lent. Or head next door to sibling establishment Bauernhof Klause, where the Friday fish fry ($19.99) features fried Alaska cod and tartar sauce, tempura shrimp and cocktail sauce, fries, pickles and a creamy carrot-cabbage coleslaw.

21 S. Main St., St. Michael, mainstreetfarmer.com

Magnolias RestaurantThis Payne Avenue landmark serves center-cut cod with potatoes (hash browns, fries, home fries, baked, mashed, au gratins), a dinner roll and a choice of soup, salad or coleslaw. Available all day Friday with two options: $13.99 for three pieces of cod, or all-you-can-eat for $16.99.

1081 Payne Av., St. Paul, magnolias-stpaul.com

MangerThrough Lent, chef/owner Mike Willenbring is serving panko-coated Lake Superior walleye with hand-cut fries and a housemade tartar sauce ($20). Closed Sundays and Mondays.

320 N. 5th Av., Bayport, mangerrestaurant.com

Margie's Kitchen + CocktailsA serves-four Friday night spread includes hand-breaded cod, fries, coleslaw and housemade rémoulade ($34). Takeout only. Dining in? A single serving runs $14.

13735 NW. Round Lake Blvd., Andover, margies-kitchen.com

NinetwentyfiveThe dining room at the Hotel Landing offers batter-fried bluegill, perch and walleye — along with fries, coleslaw and a spiced-up tartar sauce — in a serving ($34) that could easily feed two. Dinner only, served daily.

925 E. Lake St., Wayzata, ninetwentyfive.com

NighthawksThis homage to yesteryear's corner diner embraces the Friday night fish fry ritual with Alaskan cod, skin-on fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce ($14.95).

3753 S. Nicollet Av., Mpls., nighthawksdinerbar.com

Rascal's Bar & Grill"Friday fish fry" translates into battered-and-fried haddock plus French fries, coleslaw and housemade tartar sauce. At lunch, it's a single serving for $12.45. At dinner, it's all-you-can-eat for $15.45; the dinner takeout option is a single heaping helping.

7721 147th St., Apple Valley, rascalsapplevalleymn.com

Red Stag SupperclubTwo basket options — fried cod ($12) or fried walleye ($13) — are served with coleslaw, potato chips and a sweet onion-infused tartar sauce. Double the Friday night fun for an extra $5.

509 NE. 1st Av., Mpls., redstagsupperclub.com

Rock Elm TavernThe kitchen's Friday focus is on cracker-coated bluegill, steak fries and housemade tartar sauce ($15).

16605 County Road 24, Plymouth, rockelmtavern.com

Saint Dinette"I am a big fish fry fan," said chef Adam Eaton, and he demonstrates that enthusiasm by serving a Fridays-during-Lent meal of sourdough-battered cod with crinkle-cut fries and tartar sauce ($16). Takeout only.

261 E. 5th St., St. Paul, saintdinette.com

Tiffany Sports BarOn Lenten Fridays, this 50-year-old Highland Village hangout turns to St. Paul-brewed Summit beer to build a batter for Alaskan pollock, adding coleslaw and fresh-cut fries. Single servings (served to 6 p.m.) are $13.95, the all-you-can-eat version (served 6 to 10:30 p.m.) is $15.95 and the kid's plate (served 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.) is $7.95.

2051 Ford Pkwy., St. Paul, tiffanysportslounge.com

Urban Growler BrewingThe taproom's kitchen does a year-round Friday fish fry ($18) at lunch and dinner, serving lake perch, coleslaw, tartar sauce, pumpernickel rye bread and a side (fries, tots, tortilla chips and more). Takeout only, or bundle up and dine in the beer garden.

2325 Endicott St., St. Paul, urbangrowlerbrewing.com

Yum! Kitchen and BakeryAfter regulars requested — and requested — that the kitchen's fish and chips make a comeback, owner Patti Soskin recently restored the popular dish ($14.95) to her daily menu. It's a classic format: Alaskan cod, hand-cut fries, housemade tartar sauce. A slice of Patticake ($5.95), Soskin's decadent chocolate layer cake, is a must.

4000 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park and 6001 Shady Oak Road, Minnetonka, yumkitchen.com

Willy McCoysAt this Friday night feast, the all-you-can-eat setup is reserved for the fish — which is Alaskan cod — and it's served with fries and coleslaw ($12.99). Dine-in only.

Six Twin Cities locations, willymccoys.com

Rick Nelson • @RickNelsonStrib