Chicago Whether you’re going meatless on Fridays for Lent or... just like fried stuff, Chicago's myriad Friday night fish fry options are gonna come in handy this month. And they're also gonna come in "delicious", if you're doing them at one of these six Thrillist-approved, crispy-on-the-outside, flaky-and-tender-on-the-inside spots.
Parson’s Chicken & Fish: With the option to get three, six, or nine pieces, or a basket with nine pieces, slaw, and Texas toast (do that one!!), Parson’s fish fry gets first billing on our list because all of their fried fish is battered in beer. Yay beer!
Owen & Engine: O&E’s way-straighter-teethed take on traditional British fish 'n chips features a fried Haddock with house-cut fries, malt vinegar aioli, pea puree, and sauce gribiche.
Frontier: The preeminent stop for whole-animal shenanigans is offering an all-day fish fry deal on Fridays through Lent. $15 all-in gets you Chef Brian Jupiter’s expertly prepared fried fish, along with a swath of hushpuppies and fries, because we all need fried sides to go with our fried entrees.
Big & Little’s: This Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives favorite recently opened a second location on Belmont Ave, and lately, the beer(!!!)-battered, fried mahi mahi has been getting some serious lip service. Enjoy it with tartar sauce and truffle fries, shrimp banh mi, raw ahi tuna tacos, and a soft-shell crab po’ boy. Okay, we're done.
Pleasant House Bakery: This cozy bakery offers a different food special every day of the week (except Mondays), and on Fridays, it’s fish and chips. The fresh catch is beer(dude!!!!)-battered and fried, and served with crispy chips and tangy, homemade, preserved Meyer lemon tartar sauce.
Fish Bar: The folks at DMK’s seafood outpost teamed with local food-business incubator, The Plant, to bring classic fish and chips to the dining-out crowd on Fridays during Lent. Plant Chicago’s providing the fresh tilapia, and Fish Bar’s batter-and-frying it, plus pairing it with a heap of DMK’s signature thick-cut steak fries.
Parson's Chicken & Fish in Logan Square knows a thing or two about deep-frying -- the menu features chicken, fish, hush puppies, and cheese curds in all their breaded and battered goodness. Not everything is deep-fried though; there's a small raw bar selection and small plates to share. The spot is upscale for a quick-serve spot, and its large outdoor patio is one of the top summer hang spots in Chicago.
The term "gastropub" is thrown around loosely in the business of restaurant writing, but Owen & Engine truly fits the bill. The upscale British pub in Logan Square has a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin guide, so it might be better than many that are actually in England. The menu includes snacks and small plates like Scotch eggs and beef carpaccio, plus a selection of entrées that includes one of the best burgers in town. The extensive draft list is constantly changing but features IPAs, Belgian ale, stout, and more.
It may not be the final frontier, but with ice-taps pouring 16 traditional and seasonal brews, a meat heavy menu featuring specialty sausages, steaks, and "Animal Service", flat screen TVs, and a beer garden, you won't need to explore any further. Allied: Ready yourself for Animal Service with some Smith & Forge, the hard cider that's built strong -- built from Apples and built to Refresh.
BIG & little's is Chicago's one-stop wonder for fish 'n chips. There are also po'boys, truffle fries, burgers, and.... need we keep going? Just get there.
Pilsen’s Pleasant House Pub serves up pints and pies in an English pub setting. The menu is divided into pub snacks, pub plates, sides, salads, and flaky, savory “Royal” pies, which you can “crown” with mashed potatoes and gravy. Choose to eat this decidedly British fare in either the indoor or outdoor area, and if you have any room left, jump on the sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Stocked with a full bar of cocktails and craft beers, Pleasant House Pub will have you gabbing in your foolish English accent after one too many.
DMK's seafood concept, with outposts in Lakeview and Navy Pier, reimagines the quintessential seafood shack by taking inspiration from both New Orleans and New England. Expect east and west coast oysters, lobster rolls, po' boys, and gumbo, plus s'mores and oyster shooters and cocktails. The Lakeview location has bar and booth seating, as well as a seasonal patio.