Food & Drink

The 11 Best Local Spots for Fried Fish in Chicago

Published On 04/13/2015 Published On 04/13/2015
titus ruscitti/thrillist
titus ruscitti/thrillist
Titus Ruscitti/Thrillist
titus ruscitti/thrillist
the gage
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1. BIG & little's 860 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60610 (Near North Side)

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.

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2. Velvet Taco 1110 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610 (Gold Coast)

Slinging more than a dozen modern and traditional varieties, this Texas-based taco shop planted its first non-Texas outpost right in the Viagra Triangle. Try the Indian-inspired crisp tikka chicken (spicy pepper sauce, buttered cilantro basmati rice, raita crema, and Thai basil), the American-inspired bacon burger (served on a flour tortilla, of course), and a side of elote-style rotisserie corn with the famous red-velvet cake for dessert.

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3. McGill's Bar & Grill 4553 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60630 (Albany Park)

This neighborhood favorite on Pulaski plays host to a cult following on Fridays, largely because that's when it serves one of the city's best-bang-for-your-buck bar meals: an all-you-can-eat fish and chips plate. Beer-battered cod is fried throughout the evening as regulars put down plateful after plateful. For best results, enjoy yours with an always accurately poured Guinness.

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4. Ba Le Bakery 5016 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Uptown)

Family-owned and serving up traditional preparations of classic Vietnamese eats, Ba Le is your go-to for noodle salads, banh mi, and more.

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5. Feed 2803 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Humboldt Park)

It feels like a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere even though it's in the middle of Humboldt Park. Try the roast chicken, fried chicken, and the fried catfish sandwich.

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6. The Monkey's Paw 2524 N Southport, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

It's been said that a monkey's paw has the power to grant wishes, which probably would have resulted in fewer pawless monkeys, if only they understood the concept of "wishing". Thankfully, your wish for an entire wall of whiskey has been brought true by the team at The Monkey's Paw, a new grub-pub handsomely stocking nearly 50 single malts and other fine browns behind a meandering cork bar that's flanked by a dusty-booked library, which operates on the Dewar's Decimal System.

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7. Troha's Chicken & Shrimp 4151 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60623

First opened in 1917 (!), this is one of the best shrimp spots in the city as far as both atmosphere and quality goes. Try their medium breaded shrimp that's fried to a golden perfection every time for a more than reasonable price.

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8. Steve's Lounge 13200 S Baltimore Ave, Chicago, IL 60633

To experience a true Midwest-style Friday Fish Fry, you need to head out to the far corners of the city. Located near the Indiana border in a residential neighborhood, Steve’s serves a classic fish fry each Friday, attracting locals who've been coming forever. The option of fish native to the Great Lakes makes it an even more authentic experience. The cheap beers and colorful corner tavern characters don't hurt either.

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9. Red Lion Pub 2446 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

This longtime Lincoln Ave favorite made its triumphant return after a long remodeling and the food is as good as ever. Try the English-style fish & chips, which features three nicely fried filets of ale-battered cod sitting atop a beautiful pile of fresh-cut fries. Pro tip: have them the proper English way with curry powder dusted on top.

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10. The Gage 24 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603 (Loop)

The Loop might not be the first neighborhood that comes to mind when considering weekend brunch options, but brunch at the Gage will have you rethinking your stance. The bustling restaurant pours a potent Bloody infused with CH Peppercorn Vodka and finished with pickled peppadew, Irish cheddar, and house corned beef; menu highlights include chilaquiles, a caramel sticky bun, and the popular venison burger. If the weather is nice, enjoy your delicious meal outside overlooking the park.

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11. Frite Street 3006 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Avondale)

A food truck-turned-restaurant, Frite Street is a fry-centric offshoot of the slider slingin’ Slide Ride. The brick-and-mortar space is simple -- even a bit divey -- with red walls, minimal seating, and not a whole lot else. Score a few of the truck’s most popular sliders, along with 11 different French fry renditions, like poutine smothered in Guinness gravy; Korean frites with crispy pork belly, house kimchi, and garlic aioli; or the Mac Daddy number with pulled pork, mac & cheese, and a house pickle.

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