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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best Fish Fry in Minneapolis?

I’ll be at the Minnesota Monthly Food and Wine Show all weekend enjoying fine, fine wines and elite treats—come! But when I’m done I will turn my full attention to Fish Fry Season, which we’re in the middle of. (Fish Fry season kicks off because of Lent; Easter Sunday this year is April 8, and my guesstimate is that Fish Fry season ends sometime between Easter and the Minnesota Fishing Opener, May 12.) 

I can’t reliably get my act together to get to the pop-up church ones (though St. Albert’s is the one to beat), so I prefer restaurant options. My current top three? They’re all new:

The Oceanaire
The Oceanaire recently moved from their run-down old digs in the Hyatt to prime real estate on the corner of 6th street and Nicollet Mall, and on my visits so far it’s been the fish and chips (and the fresh oysters) that stand out as most craveable. Cod crisp as can be, so fresh you can practically hear the ocean slapping the side of the table, and only five bucks during happy hour. 50 S. 6th St., Mpls., 612-333-2277; theoceanaire.com

Eli’s East
Is walleye your favorite? Then get yourself to the new walleye king of Northeast, Eli’s East, where they’re serving a tempura-battered walleye that’s supremely delicate, and downright yummy. Tip: The burgers are pretty fantastic too, and the chicken coq au vin might be the best $12 chicken stew in the state. Actually, I’m sort of loving this little unpretentious supper club. Check it out! 815 East Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-331-0031; elisfoodandcocktails.com

The Anchor Fish & Chips
And the Anchor, the king, the queen, and the full royal court of the local fish and chips scene. Pacific, sustainable cod fillets as long as opera gloves, crisp as potato chips, British as all get out. If you haven’t had the fish and chips here, you are not a true fish and chips lover. And: Do you know I went a couple weeks ago and got in—no wait? I can’t guarantee it will happen again to anyone else, but it happened to me, so I’m here to say it in public, cross my heart and hope to die, it happened. And it was good. 302 13th Ave. Northeast, Mpls., 612-676-1300; theanchorfishandchips.com

What, your fish fry desire is not yet sated? Rick Nelson has a good round-up—including this surprise: he’s really liking Cafeteria, which does all-you-can-eat.

Finally, Kathie Jenkins at the Pioneer Press put together a great map of East Metro fish-fries, for those in a completist mood.

Eat up! Next thing you know it will be the fishing opener, which, dare I remind you, brings open water and sunscreen season. Yippee! 

Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Old to new | New to old
Mar 1, 2012 07:17 am
 Posted by  ibew292

Give the Seafood Market on Central a little love. Not much to look at but interesting fish.

Mar 1, 2012 12:10 pm
 Posted by  prufrock

Having lived in Northumberland, I have to say that the Anchor is in an (excellent) class by itself, though it's hard to call it "fish fry." I am grateful for K. Jenkins map, though-- 'cause I do love a good fish fry! (Those Wisconsin roots and all...)

Obb's is packed every Friday night year-round, but I wish they would get better fries and fix the terrible coleslaw. The fish is fish-fry good, though!

Mar 1, 2012 07:42 pm
 Posted by  pinecone

Love the chips and burgers at The Anchor (and the Guinness), but I really wish they would season the fish before battering.

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TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally bring the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Minnesota Monthly Senior Editor Rachel Hutton, Sustainable Food Correspondent Marie Flanagan, Home Cook Stephanie Meyer, Chef Jason Ross, Savvy Mom Kristin Boldon, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

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