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5 Underrated Fish Fry Spots We’re Trying This Season

Activities, City Guide, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Guides

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Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on March 3, 2021
Fish Fry Photo courtesy of North End Bar and Grill
Fish Fry / Photo courtesy of North End Bar and Grill

In Western New York, the closest thing we have to Groundhog Day is the Sabres season. After that, it’s fish fry season. 

For each season, we enter wide-eyed with the adrenaline rush of possibilities. Will Dylan Cozens become a fixture in the lineup? Is that dripped out fish fry in Medina worth the drive?

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Too often, hopes are dashed. That promising rookie gets relegated to the 4th line, while that much-hyped fish fry comes out of the kitchen dripping with grease. At Step Out Buffalo, we find it’s best to set your expectations low. Don’t look at the NHL standings. Don’t look at Yelp. 

Are the five fish fry spots below (listed in no particular order) the best in WNY? Possibly not (and don’t @ us). Will they give you a massive bang for your buck? You betcha. Read on.

the grill at the dome - tonawanda
Fish Fry / Photo courtesy of The Grill at the Dome in Tonawanda

1. The Grill at the Dome

175 Brompton Rd, Tonawanda, NY 14150

Served Fridays Only

The biggest draw at the Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome in Tonawanda might be the indoor driving range, but the attached restaurant packs them in year round, especially on the weekend. The fish fry is one of the best and the rest of the menu is tricked out af, with luxurious burgers and house-smoked barbecue.

Also, you won’t find another place on this list with more clean-cut, All-American family vibes. 

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Fish Fry / Photo courtesy of Blarney Castle
Fish Fry / Photo courtesy of Blarney Castle

2. Blarney Castle

1856 South Park Ave, Buffalo, NY 14220

Neighborhood: South Buffalo

Served Fridays Only

And then there’s the Blarney Castle… Although marauding SoBuff denizens successfully laid siege to the Castle years ago, the South Park pub keeps calm and carries on with its low-key hit of a Friday night fish fry. With a surface-of-the-Moon crust and homemade sides, this fish fry has got it where it counts and pairs well with a flagon of local ale.

Fish Fry / Photo courtesy of North End Bar and Grill
Fish Fry / Photo courtesy of North End Bar and Grill

3. North End Bar & Grill

2692 Elmwood Ave, Kenmore, NY 14217

Served Thursdays and Fridays Only

Not since the Pequod sailed the seas has such a massive fish been glimpsed by human eyes. Avast, such a Levithan has been known to inspire shrieks of terror and delight. Haughty diners beware: This venerable yet supple beast has conquered many a man and many a wo-man. Come ravenous with maw a-gape, and avoid wrapping thyself in the takeout box of shame.

Photo courtesy of Jade's Bar Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Jade’s Bar Restaurant

4. Jades Bar & Restaurant

​4495 Broadway Street, Depew, NY 14043

Served Daily

Basically an institution in Depew, Jade’s mostly flies under the radar across greater Buffalo. That’s a particular shame because Jade’s does a proper fish fry every day of the goddamn week. Coming in large, small or nuggets-sized, as well as with rye bread and hand-cut fries, we’re happy to f— with this golden bad boy.

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5. Happy Swallow

1349 Sycamore Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

Neighborhood: East Side

Served Fridays Only

The yin to the Blarney Castle’s yang, the Happy Swallow does Polish-American classics, and that means a compulsory Fish Fry Friday during Lent. The East Side pub is normally packed to the gills on the Fridays before Easter, and we sadly suspect that takeout might be the best option this year. Although it never hurts to try. The house-made sides include French fries, mac salad, coleslaw, and choice of American or German Potato salad.

More Underrated Finds

Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/brett-smith/" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for the Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.

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