Wisconsin embraces the fish fry as an expected and much-loved dining option on Fridays.

The meal need not look fancy: A plastic basket with deep-fried cod, fries, coleslaw and slice of rye works. So does broiled whitefish with potato pancakes, served with white linens. Perch, walleye and myriad other species hit the pan too.

Find a fish fry in casual to stylish settings in Wisconsin—and the weekly tradition goes beyond restaurants. Plenty of neighborhood bars and service clubs serve fish on Fridays too. Consider this range of settings, for starters.


Inside the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is shiny, retro-hip Delta Diner, serving traditional fare with creative flair. That includes sinful desserts.


Quirky Skaliwag’s in Algoma, produces gourmet dishes in a humble setting near Lake Michigan. Catch of the day? Maybe snapper or waloo. facebook.com/skaliwags


Dine light or choose all-you-can-eat at no-fuss Serb Hall, a longtime Milwaukee favorite. Check out the the drive-up window, too. americanserbmemorialhall.com


Hundreds show up for fish, polkas and tours at Lakefront Brewery’s Palm Garden in Milwaukee. Expect a lively mood and family-style seating. lakefrontbrewery.com/beer-hall/fish-fry


Twice-monthly fish fries at the VFW Post 8637 in Eagle River have long helped veterans. Cooks they serve baked, grilled or fried cod. eagleriver.org/events/vfw-fish-fry


Fishermen converge at Wendt’s, which faces Lake Winnebago at Van Dyne, to banter and indulge at this four-generation family business. wendtsonthelake.com


Maricque’s Bar in Green Bay began serving fish in 1932. Single up to triple servings of perch arrive with a thick onion slice on rye. greenbayfishfry.com

New Spin

The Old Fashioned in Madison preserves cherished Cheesehead traditions in food and drink. Look for rural Wisconsin products and ingredients in all of their dishes.


The many Bavarian specialties rival fish in popularity at the Dorf Haus in Roxbury. Make room for from-scratch fritters and German potato salad.

Country Chic  

Norwood Pines near Minocqua provides fine dining in a comfortable Northwoods setting. Watch for deer as dusk arrives.

Mary Bergin of Madison is a longtime, Wisco-centric food writer whose Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook is in its fifth printing.


The Midwest U.S., environmental sustainability and regional food quirks are specialties for longtime Madison freelance writer and columnist Mary Bergin. Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook is her fifth book. www.roadstraveled.com