9 Iconic Fish Fry Spots Around WNY

City Guide, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Guides


Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on February 21, 2023
Fish Fry at Curry's
Fish Fry at Curry’s / Photo courtesy of Curry’s

Fish frys became popular as observant Catholics looked to avoid eating meat on Fridays during Lent, even though fish is, technically, meat. And of course, it benefited the fishermen of the day.

Even though religious observances have been wanted in recent years, the popularity of the Friday fish fry has endured. 

Like pizza and wings, there are a lot of places for great fish frys in the 716 and everyone has their favorite spot. Also like wings and pizza, it’s hard to agree on what’s the best. However, we can probably agree on what fish frys are iconic. You know, those fish frys that are always top of mind whenever anyone is looking for suggestions. Below is a short list of fish fry spots you have either tried yourself or heard of.

Note: These are the top one’s we know and love but they are not ranked in any particular order nor do they complete the list of all the choices WNY has to offer. You can find more fish fry options here!

Did one of these places close? Send us a note!


fish fry - Wiechec's
Wiechec’s fish fry / Photo courtesy of instagram: @southbuffalove

1. Wiechec’s Lounge

1748 Clinton St, Buffalo, NY 14206 / More Info

When a tourist asks you where to go for the best fish fry in town, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll say Wiechec’s. It’s iconic, full stop.

fish fry - Hoak's
Hoak’s fish fry / Photo courtesy of instagram: @jessicao87

2. Hoak’s

4100 Lake Shore Rd, Hamburg, NY 14075 / More Info

To people who grew up in the Southtowns, Hoak’s is a seafood icon. Also a go-to spot for local TV reporters looking to cover waves and windy conditions, Hoak’s is busy year-round, not just during the fish fry crazed days of Lent.

fish fry - Bailey Seafood
Fish fry sandwich / Photo courtesy of Bailey Seafood

3. Bailey Seafood

3316 Bailey Ave, Buffalo, NY 14215 / More Info

Bailey Seafood is proof positive that some of the best food in any city can be found in its realist, grittiest neighborhoods. Make no mistake, Bailey Seafood is a diamond in the rough, and a city icon when it comes to fish frys. Above is one of their most popular items, a fish fry in a sandwich.


fish fry - Hayes Seafood
Hayes Seafood fish fry / Photo courtesy of instagram: @queencity_boxingclub

4. Hayes Seafood House

8900 Main St, Clarence, NY 14031 / More Info

Located on Main Street in Clarence, Hayes is at the opposite end of the neighborhood spectrum from Bailey Seafood. However, the quality is comparable, which is to say, very high.

5. Happy Swallow Restaurant

1349 Sycamore St, Buffalo, NY 14202 / More Info

This is a great little place knows a thing or two about making a good fish fry. The first thing you’ll find on their menu is their breaded haddock fish fry which you can choose to have half or full size and the price is pretty unbeatable.

fish fry - Swannie House
Swannie House fish fry / Photo courtesy of instagram: @buffalofood

6. Swannie House

170 Ohio St, Buffalo, NY 14203 / More Info

Swannie House is another traditional fish fry spot, but with a distinctly Cobblestone District vibe. A great place to pregame or watch a Sabres game, Swannie House is almost always bustling with a healthy mix of locals and out-of-towners.


Blackthorn fish fry / Photo x Step Out Buffalo

7. The Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub

2134 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14210 / More Info

It doesn’t get much more South Buffalo than The Blackthorn, which also happens to have a very good fish fry. To be fair, The Blackthorn probably wouldn’t be the SoBuff institution that it is without great food, and a great pint of Guinness.

Curly's Grille
Fish fry / Photo courtesy of Curly’s

8. Curly’s

647 Ridge Rd #1451, Lackawanna, NY 14218 / More Info

If someone told you back in the 90s that they wanted to bring a Caribbean restaurant concept to a Lackawanna pub, you probably would have told them they were crazy. However, Curly’s has endured, in part because of its reputation for great seafood.

*The iconic fish fry at Curly’s is also available gluten-free.*

fish fry - Currys
Currys fish fry / Photo courtesy of instagram: @jblatz716

9. Curry’s

864 Kenmore Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216 / More Info

Outside of the Ken-Ton area, Kenmore Avenue doesn’t get a ton of love, but this vital artery is chock full of comfort food, neighborhood joints. Curry’s is another such place and the fish fry packs em in on Friday nights.

Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

This post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated.

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Written by <a href="" 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 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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