18 fin-tastic places to get fish fry in the Madison area

The Wisconsin fish fry is a tradition that extends throughout the state.
plate of fish fry from avenue club
Avenue Club's Fish Fry (Courtesy of Food Fight Inc.)

The Wisconsin fish fry is a tradition that extends throughout the state, and even Madison restaurants that you wouldn’t expect to serve up fish fry make sure to put it on the menu each week. Whether you want cod, walleye or perch, or you like your fish beer-battered, lightly breaded or sans coating, stop by to try one of these fish fries.

Quivey’s Grove
Available: All day Wednesdays and Fridays in the Stable Grill and Friday nights in the Stone House
Types of fish: Cod and perch
Batter: Beer-battered, most of the time with New Glarus Brewing Co.’s Spotted Cow
Sides: Choice of french fries or Parmesan potatoes, coleslaw and fresh baked bread
Tip: Quivey’s Grove is known for its award-winning fish fry, so expect a wait unless you make a reservation in the Stone House. The Stable Grill does not take reservations.
Location: 6261 Nesbitt Road, Fitchburg

Dexter’s Pub
Available: All day Wednesdays and Fridays
Types of fish: Cod, walleye, bluegill, shrimp, catfish and salmon — options may change based on availability
Batter: Varies based on fish, but lightly breaded, beer-battered, baked and seared with lemon pepper are a few options
Sides: Coleslaw, slice of Madison Sourdough rye bread, choice of brew fries, waffle fries, pub chips or baked potato, upgraded sides are also available
Tip: Dexter’s Pub aims to serve sustainable options when it comes to seafood — almost all fish is wild-caught and sustainably harvested.
Location: 301 North St.

Villa Tap
Available: Fridays, plus a lunch special on Tuesdays
Types of fish: Icelandic cod, wild-caught Lake Erie walleye, bluegill, jumbo shrimp and lake perch when available
Batter: Light breading; each piece is hand-breaded before being dropped into the fryer
Sides: Coleslaw, dinner roll and choice of french fries or baked potato (not available during lunch special)
Tip: Owner Chris Warren says tables are usually full by 4:45 p.m. on Fridays. If it’s your first time at Villa Tap, make sure to put your name in for a table on the neon board by the jukebox.
Location: 2302 Packers Ave.

Off Broadway Drafthouse
Available: All day Fridays
Types of fish: Cod, bluegill, perch and walleye
Batter: Beer-battered, but the walleye is blackened or pan-seared
Sides: Creamy slaw, choice of Yukon gold potatoes, cheesy hash browns or frites and a dinner roll
Tip: Co-owner Rita Klinzing suggests coming in early as waits start at 5 p.m. Large groups should call ahead to reserve a spot.
Location: 5404 Raywood Road

Avenue Club and the Bubble Up Bar
Available: Every night for dinner and during lunch Monday through Friday
Types of fish: Cod and walleye
Batter: Wisconsin Brewing Co.’s Badger Club Amber beer-battered (baked versions are also available)
Sides: Coleslaw, rye bread, lemon and tartar sauce, with a choice of house chips, fries, baked potato or mashed potatoes
Tip: Since fish fry is served daily, consider visiting on a night other than Friday to avoid the crowds.
Location: 1128 E. Washington Ave.

Blue Moon Bar & Grill
Available: Fridays 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Types of fish: Cod, salmon and shrimp
Batter: Cod comes baked or battered in New Glarus Brewing Co.’s Spotted Cow
Sides: Mashed potatoes or french fries, slaw and dinner roll
Tip: Friday is not only fish fry day at Blue Moon, it’s also the only day to get Boston clam chowder and the Seafood Buffet in a Bowl, which features Manhattan-style chowder.
Location: 2535 University Ave.

Crawfish Junction
Available: All day Fridays
Types of fish: Lake Erie perch, bluegill, salmon, walleye and cod
Batter: Depending on the fish, it’s hand-breaded, baked, deep-fried or pan-fried
Sides: Choice of potato, coleslaw and rye bread
Tip: Crawfish tails, jumbo shrimp, alligator and sea scallops are also available on the fish fry menu.
Location: W6376 County Highway A, Johnson Creek

Dorf Haus Supper Club
Available: Friday nights
Type of fish: All-you-can-eat haddock
Batter: Lightly breaded before deep-frying
Sides: French fries or German potato salad, coleslaw and homemade fritters
Tip: If you visit Dorf Haus during Lent, you can get roasted turtle on Wednesdays and Fridays. Since turtles are coldblooded like fish, it is said that they are an acceptable option for Catholics on Fridays.
Location: 8931 County Road Y, Sauk City

Other Spots to Try

plate of fish fry from merchant with fries and coleslaw

Merchant’s Fish Fry (Courtesy of Merchant)

Athens Grill: Gluten-free, hand-battered perch or cod with homemade tartar sauce, coleslaw, butter roll and fries 5430 Willow Road, Waunakee

Essen Haus: All-you-can-eat, beer-battered, deep-fried cod 514 E. Wilson St.

The Hilltop: Deep-fried lake perch or cod (baked option available) with coleslaw and a choice of baked potato, cranberry rice pilaf, scalloped au gratin potatoes or french fries 4173 County Highway P, Cross Plains

The Laurel Tavern: Fried or baked cod or walleye pike with soup or salad, a roll and choice of hash browns, hash browns O’Brien, baked potato or french fries. 2505 Monroe St.

The Lone Girl Brewing Co.: Walleye, lake perch or haddock with coleslaw, salad bar, a breadstick and choice of potato 114 E. Main St., Suite 101, Waunakee

Merchant: Beer-battered Lake Superior whitefish with hand-cut fries, house-made poppy seed slaw and tartar sauce 121 S. Pinckney St.

Mint Mark: Hamm’s beer-battered bluegill with rye bread, tartar sauce, coleslaw and choice of fries or baked potato 1929 Winnebago St.

North and South Seafood & Smokehouse: All-you-can-eat haddock fish fry 6604 Mineral Point Road; 605 S. Main St., DeForest; 958 Liberty Drive, Verona

Oakcrest Tavern: Wednesday and Friday nights with choice of lake perch or cod 5371 Old Middleton Road

Vintage Brewing Co. Sauk Prairie: All-you-can-eat Vintage beer-battered cod or Parmesan baked cod 600 Water St., Sauk City