Chow Down In Milwaukee

Restaurant Reviews

Fish Fry's Around Milwaukee

Everyone has their own opinion of what makes for a good fish fry. After conducting a few polls via social media, based on your suggestions, I decided to visit four Fish Fry’s in the Milwaukee area. They were: Amelia’s, Victor’s, Kegel’s Inn and The Thistle and Shamrock. Let’s take a look at what each of them have to offer.


Location: 724 E Layton Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11AM to 2AM, Friday and Saturday 11AM to 2AM

Dine in and curbside pick is available.

Amelia’s Friday Fish Fry is $14 and comes with beer-battered fried cod, coleslaw, rye bread and fries. They also have other seafood options under their Friday weekly specials list. For instance, my company ordered the Perch Dinner.

I was excited to dig in to my large filets of beer-battered cod, probably my favorite fried fish. The fillets were not only thick and sturdy, they were tender and flaky. The cod was contained in a somewhat thin, airy breading which was lightly crisped on all sides. Their homemade tartar sauce was slightly tangy and a great addition to the warm fish.

My company’s Perch Dinner is $16 and came with several pieces of perch. The fillets were thinner than the cod and had a thicker, crispier crust. There’s a crunch as you bite into this meaty, hearty fish.

The soft marble rye came out first with the coleslaw and tartar sauce. The coleslaw seemed like it had a mix of a mayonnaise and vinegar base to it. I liked how the slaw was evenly coated, as well as the slight tartness to it. The fried cod came with fries that remind me of thin pub fries, not real crispy, kind of mushy, but still tasty

I also ordered a side of Potato pancakes which are $4. They were traditional, but the edges were pretty crispy, while the middle was just done enough. I liked the consistency of the potatoes and I always enjoy it with applesauce which was served with them.


Location: 1230 N Van Buren St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Hours: Monday – Thursday 4PM-2AM, Friday and Saturday 3PM to 2:30AM, Sundays are closed.

Dine in available.

The Friday Fish Fry at Victors will run you $15.75, and comes with either beer battered or baked cod, a huge loaf of white bread and butter, coleslaw, and your choice of potato – fries, baked potato or cheesy hash browns. Perch is available as well.

Here, too, I ordered the fried cod, which I am very happy I did. The plate came out with four decent sized fillets of well-coated beer-battered cod. The cod meat was very juicy and moist, just fell apart delicious. The coating wasn’t too thin or too thick, but it was a little greasy. The tartar sauce that came with it was alright, not too tangy but I could distinctly taste the relish.

I didn’t care too much for the coleslaw so much. It had a very earthy flavor to it and is quite chunky and in my opinion, needs a tad more sauce for the base.

For the potato, I ordered the cheesy hash browns. When I looked at my plate of fish and potatoes, I was amazed by the heaping mound of hash browns that was almost as big as my face. They were definitely cheesy, with a good sharp flavor. However, the hash browns were slightly underdone and could have been cooked a little longer.

I must say, the service was extremely slow, but the fish and cheesy hash browns made up for it. Overall, this dinner was quite filling and the atmosphere makes for a great place to gather and enjoy a Friday Fish Fry.

Kegel’s Inn

Location: 5901 W National Ave, West Allis, WI

Hours: Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday 4PM-8PM, Friday 11AM to 8PM, Sundays and Mondays are closed.

Dine in, drive through and delivery available

Tonight my significant other treated my son and I to a Fish Fry at Kegel’s Inn. I decided to go a different route than the classic, and order the Walleye instead, while Justin and my son choose the Classic Cod Fish Fry. Each Friday Fish Fry plate comes with fries, rye bread, tartar sauce, coleslaw and lemon. Potato pancakes and German potato salad can be substituted for the fries at an additional $2 charge.

The Walleye coating was crispy and well-fried and lightly seasoned. I must say, it also stuck perfectly to the fish, so you get a crunch aspect in every bite. Walleye seems to be a slightly firmer and meatier fish. The meal comes with 2-3 fillets that are thinner yet long. For my first time trying Walleye, I was impressed, and I will definitely order Walleye again in the future.

I opted for the upgrade to potato pancakes which came with apple sauce. The cakes were crisp on the outside, slightly charred on the edges, but soft and smooth inside with a pleasant cheese flavor. This is not your typical potato pancake; I enjoyed it quite a bit, and highly encourage the upgrade.

Justin described his Cod as fresh, the freshest he’s had thus far (since he’s been with me to all of these fish frys). He liked the crispy crust and added some lemon juice from the given wedge which made it even more refreshing.

The tartar sauce was almost sweet, not too much relish, and very smooth. The coleslaw, too, was on the sweeter side, but was well unified by the creamy base.

The Thistle and Shamrock

Location: 3430 N 84th St, Milwaukee, WI

Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 11AM to 11PM, Friday and Saturday 11AM to 12AM, Sundays 11AM to 7PM, Mondays are closed.

Dine in and take out available

The Thistle and Shamrock is known for having the largest fish fry in Milwaukee, serving a variety of over 20 different kinds of fish. Knowing this, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try something different.

They have two combo options, meaning you can choose two half orders of fish. I chose the one costing a little more, $19.95. There were so many options it was very hard to decide. But finally, after serious contemplation, I choose the Catfish and Blue Gill.

There was one large, lightly breaded fillet of catfish presented on the plate. After taking my first bite, honestly, the taste reminded me of fried chicken – I’m not sure if it was the breading, the fryer they used, or what. But since I thought it may be the breading, I pieced it apart and tasted the meat of the fish. It was delicate, texturized and a little on the greasy side. Again, it kind of reminded me of the dark meat of poultry. Don’t get me wrong, it was a delightful piece of fish, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

The small fillets of Blue Gill were also lightly breaded with the skin on. The meat was tender and flaky. I was weary about the skin being left on, because I’ve never had breaded skin-on fish, but needless to say, the skin was super thin and didn’t interfere with the taste or overall bite of the fish.

My partner decided to order the Northern Pike which he described as rich and meaty. The breading was fluffy, not too crispy, but did sort of separate from the fish.

The potato pancakes might be a hit or miss. They were not your typical small, thin and somewhat smooth potato pancake. Instead, they were big and thick, a tad greasy and just barely cooked enough. I’d go with the fries, baked potato or their famous Thistle chips next time.

The Tartar sauce has a creamy texture with a unique but welcomed twist. That twist was the inclusion of dill in their homemade sauce. The potent taste of dill was also graciously accompanied by the apparent spice, tartar.

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