Fantastic Fish Fry
Nothing hits the spot quite like fish fry in Madison. It's a Wisconsin tradition, but Madison makes it its own with options that are classic, elevated, eccentric and culturally diverse. Want to enjoy fish fry the way a real Wisconsinite does? Preface it with cheese curds, pair it with a brandy old fashioned and top it off with a pink squirrel for dessert.
Trust us, this is what dining in Madison is all about.
TRIED & TRUE
If you like your fish fry as classic as they come, our supper club and tavern-style eateries don't disappoint.
Quivey's Grove has been recognized in the "Best of Madison" mix according to Madison Magazine readers in recent years. Other classic spots include the family-owned Kavanaugh's Esquire Club, known for their all-you-can-eat, hand-breaded ocean perch. The Old Fashioned Tavern & Restaurant is a favorite and just steps from the Capitol.
If a fancy fish fry is what you're looking for, try Tornado Steakhouse for white linen dining in a supper club atmosphere. Or, take a true seafood aficionado to Sardine, where the seafood menu is far from fried, and features everything from salmon and scallops to mussels and their famous Oyster Happy Hour.
For more of a twist, go for a little world flavor for your next fish fry. You'll find fish and chips served Irish style at The Coopers Tavern on the Capitol Square. The Essen Haus German restaurant serves all you can eat fish two nights a week and adds a little oomph with live oompah music played nightly.
Buraka on Madison's iconic Willy Street serves up an Ethiopian fish fry that is delicious and comes with sides worth raving about.
BEST PLACES TO PERCH
If where you eat is just as important to you as what you eat, you'll enjoy some of the more picturesque locations for fish fry. The Boathouse at The Edgewater hotel is a two-story restaurant with wonderful views of Lake Mendota and a classic fish fry. The von Rutenberg family owns Mariner's Inn, also on Madison's near north shore of Lake Mendota.
Or, try some of the neighborhood hot spots such as Blue Moon Bar & Grill on University Avenue (and stay for the pool and darts). On Monroe Street, you'll experience an eatery that combines East Coast, Italian-style fish house with a Wisconsin tavern feel at Gates & Brovi. Just off the Capitol Square there's Tipsy Cow, a triangular-shaped tavern that serves their fish fry with Tipsy Sauce instead of tartar. Meanwhile, if you're in Waunakee and craving fish fry, stop by The Lone Girl Brewing Company to get your fix while enjoying a craft beer and family-friendly atmosphere.