The Best Fish Fry in Madison

outsideWe know our fish fry in Wisconsin. Every Friday across this great state,  deep friers are heated up in restaurants, supper clubs, taverns, VFWs and church basements and cod, haddock, perch and walleye are breaded and then tossed into the oil. Why fish? Why Friday? Why Wisconsin? Well, when the Lutherans kicked our Catholic ancestors out of Germany, they all came to Milwaukee. From there, they spread out across the state bringing with them the tradition of abstaining from eating meat on Fridays. Fish was the substitute, and what was supposed to be a penance became a reward.

fishfryThe Avenue Bar, a Madison institution, is consistently voted the best fish fry in town. We lived in Madison for over a decade before trying it, a sin of such magnitude, we may as well renounce our Wisconsin citizenship.  Go here on Friday and get the fish. If you happen to be here on a day that is not Friday, their Avenue Burger is the best burger to be had after 2pm but before 10pm. It is so good that former Packer Gilbert Brown once had one for desert after eating more than two pounds of steak for supper.

The bar is actually two rooms-one a bar and the other a supper club-style dining room. Both are equipped with TVs and have plenty of UW (Go Badgers!) memorabilia on the walls. The place is old, but clean and well cared for. The waitstaff is friendly and beer selection favors the local. This is the perfect place to have a typical Wisconsin meal washed down with a typical Wisconsin beverage.

Know Before You Go

Head over to Old Sugar Distillery to work up an appetite before coming here.

Bottom Line

What part of “best fish fry” didn’t you understand?

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