Support Us Button Widget

Friday fish fry in Wisconsin


Bluegill fish fry from RP Adler’s | Photo by @madisonfishfry

Living in Wisconsin, you’ve probably spent some of your Fridays enjoying a fish fry with your family + friends. A fish fry at the start of the weekend has been a longstanding tradition in the Badger State, but why?

  • When settlers came to the Wisconsin area, many with German and Polish backgrounds were heavily influenced by the Catholic Church. Until the 1960s, members of the Catholic religion were forbidden from eating warm-blooded meat on Fridays.
  • This led Wisconsin families to turn to the many lakes across the state, full of fish varieties such as the perch, walleye, haddock, cod, and bluegill.
  • When Prohibition was at its height, taverns began turning from selling booze to plates of fish. Frying fish was cheap, and it was not difficult to learn the fish fry cooking processes. This helped the taverns stay in business + spread the love of fish even more across the state.

New to Wisconsin and never experienced fish fry? No worries. Here’s what you can expect to find on your plate:

  • Beer-battered + deep-fried perch, walleye, haddock, cod, or bluegill
  • Potatoes — French fries, potato pancakes, hash browns, fried potatoes, or baby reds
  • Crisp coleslaw
  • Slice of rye bread
  • Assortment of condiments — lemon wedges, malt vinegar, or tartar sauce

Ready to get a taste of a true Wisconsin fish fry? Check out a few spots around downtown Madison offering the dish:

And for those passionate about their Friday fish fry, check out this local website that reviews fish fry across Wisconsin and the Madison area, ranking eateries who claim to cook up a true Wisconsin fish fry.

More from 608today
From Monday, July 22 to Friday, July 26, 2024, we’re shining a spotlight on the vibrant drink scene in Madison; check out our map of local drink deals.
Explore these dog-friendly places in Madison — from places to eat, drink, shop, exercise, swim, and stay the night with your four-legged friends.
Volunteer with Healthy Food For All at local farmers’ markets.
If you’re trying to get more involved in the community, here’s where you can start.
Huxley Yards is set to open in 2026.
The Wisconsin DNR is urging boaters to be safe over the holiday.
The Partisan Primary is only a month away, so we’re brushing up on the absentee voting process and deadlines.
Once booming, now barren. Let’s take a peek at some malls of Madison’s past — plus hope for the future.
Whether you’re looking for your next leisure read, a book for the whole family, or a thrilling fictional novel, we’ve got a list of books written by local authors in Madison.