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Basant fish and chips
Photograph: Courtesy Basant

The best fish fries in Chicago

From Friday specials to daily offerings, here are our favorite spots for fish and chips.

Emma Krupp
Written by
Emma Krupp
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Whether you're frequenting fish fries at your local church for Lent or just love a heaping helping of fried seafood (and who among us doesn't?), you'll find plenty of places to quell your fish and chips cravings throughout Chicago. Order the beloved British dish served in newsprint at upscale pubs, get your fingers greasy at some of the city's best seafood restaurants or come with an empty stomach to gorge on all-you-can-eat orders—you can even seek out slightly more unusual takes on the dish, like a spice-rubbed version from one of Chicago's newest Indian restaurants. Whatever you're in the mood for, here are the best places in Chicago to get your fish and chips fix.

Where to find a fish fry

  • Restaurants
  • Scottish
  • Lake View
  • price 1 of 4

There's a lot to love about this Scottish pub in Lakeview (Scottish beer on tap! Malt whisky! Haggis pie!), but the bar's fish and chips just might be their biggest attraction. Fried to golden crispness in beer batter and served with peas, fries and malt vinegar, the dish is all the more delectable when ordered on Wednesdays and Fridays—that's when they come-all-you-can eat, if you can muster room in your stomach for more than one serving. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • North Center

Coating cod in batter and a blend of spices, Basant's fish amritsari is a variation on a popular Indian street food. At the North Center restaurant, it's served as an appetizer, accompanied by seasoned fries. It's not quite enough for a meal, but there are other delicious seafood dishes on the menu, including salmon basant or fish tikka.

  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Lake View
  • price 2 of 4

Fish fries are a Wisconsin staple, so it's no surprise that Will's Northwoods Inn—Lakeview's resident Wisconsin bar—offers its own version on Fridays: Cod fillets are coated in a Leinenkugel's beer batter, fried, and served with housemade tartar sauce, coleslaw, fries and, in true Wisconsin fashion, a piece of buttered rye toast (an addition courtesy of the state's German roots). 

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  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Lower West Side
  • price 1 of 4

Pleasant House Pub's Pilsen space is adorable, and it doubles as a great place to get a good fish fry—it is a British-inspired public house, after all. Available only on Fridays, the restaurant's fish and chips features beer-battered Lake Superior whitefish with fries and tartar sauce with Meyer lemons. 

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Hegewisch
  • price 2 of 4

This Hegewisch institution packs them in for its fried chicken, but its fish fry specials attract the same fervent (and delicious) devotion. Whitefish, lake perch fillet and more are available with sides of coleslaw, cottage cheese, fries and bread and butter.

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  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • River North
  • price 1 of 4

Settle down with the after-work crowd at this River North pub for a straightforward plate of wild-caught cod fish and chips, which are served with slender shoestring fries and a malt vinegar tartar sauce. Pro tip: Visit during the bar's 4pm–7pm happy hour on Fridays to grab $12 fish and chips (they're normally $19) and a $5 Guinness.  

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Loop
  • price 2 of 4

The Gage is a great spot for a traditional plate of fish and chips. Icelandic cod, fried in a Guinness batter, comes tucked in mock newspaper tissue (just like in the U.K.) and is served with sides of housemade tartar sauce and a lemon wedge to drizzle as you please. Be sure to order a pint of Guinness for the perfect pairing. 

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