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8 Popular Spots to Get a Friday Fish Fry in the Southtowns

City Guide, Food & Drink

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Written by Daniel Meyer

Published on March 8, 2022
fish fry
Wallenweins Fish Fry

As explained in our article on 10 Popular Fish Fry Places In The Northtowns, compiling a user-friendly guide for the best places to enjoy a fish fry in Western New York has proven to be a very daunting challenge. There are simply too many restaurants who have mastered the meal, which as consumers, is not a bad thing.

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Finding the most popular places is extremely difficult, and were sure this list will generate some feedback and debate, which is always welcome.

The following is a list of places located in the Southtowns that we have determined to be among the best of the best. A visit to any of these restaurants should leave you satisfied as you address your hunger pains this season.

Here they are in no particular order:

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

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1. Armor Inn Taproom

5381 Abbott Road in Hamburg  / More Info

Temporarily Closed

While this restaurant has become known as an outstanding eatery for anyone who enjoys barbecued meats, the fish fry dinner is splendid. Served only on Fridays, the significantly sized piece of boneless and skinless cod is beer battered and fried to perfection. Here you’ll also find a fun atmosphere and top-notch customer service.

2. Hoak’s Restaurant

4100 Lake Shore Road in Hamburg  / More Info

Strategically located on the Lake Erie shoreline, this is the ultimate place to dine outside during the summer months. But don’t let the lack of warm weather and sunny skies stop you from dining there. Served daily, their haddock fish fry is a golden and tender piece of deliciousness. Breaded and cooked to perfection, the fish is accompanied by coleslaw and French fries and for those who enjoy it, a specially flavored side of tartar sauce. Their hostesses and waitresses are always friendly and the family atmosphere is felt throughout this comfortable establishment.

3. Ebenezer Ale House

4348 Seneca Street in West Seneca  / More Info

Hearty portions is the name of the game here. The official name of their fish dinner is the “Flying Bison Aviator Red-Battered Fish Fry,” but if you simply tell your server “fish fry please” they will know what to do. What will be placed in front of you to consume will be a delectable meal that includes fresh cut French fries, coleslaw and a tasty pasta salad. Broiled and baked options are available, with a close friend who lives within walking distance saying both are consistently served to perfection.

4. JP’s Pub & Pizzeria

1986 Lakeview Road in Lake View  / More Info

One of the best places in all of Western New York to enjoy the comfortable old Irish pub atmosphere that so many of us cherish, they offer fine dining at pub prices. If you are with a larger group who want some variety for their Friday night fish fry feasts, this may be the ultimate destination. In addition to the traditional beer battered fish, their menu offers an extensive list that includes broiled artichoke and broiled Cajun fish dishes. All palatable meals, we seriously cannot recommend one over another. Plenty of love obviously goes into the side dishes, which includes coleslaw, macaroni salad and your choice of French fries, buttered spuds or “smashed” potatoes. Come hungry and leave satisfied.

5. Sneakers Bar

205 Martin Avenue in Blasdell  / More Info

A friendly neighborhood establishment, Sneakers would never make any fine dining chart but is on the top of most people’s lists of best places to chow down on a fish fry on a Friday night. Truly a place “where everybody knows your name,” Sneakers serves up your typical fried fish feast with homemade side dishes. Even people who live outside of the Southtowns regularly visit here for the fish fry, quite the compliment when you think of how many places throughout Western New York serve a quality fish fry.

6. Mandy’s Cafe

3796 Clinton Street in West Seneca  / More Info

Another great “mom and pop” style of eatery that serves their fish fry multiple ways, this is a cozy and comfortable place to sit down and dig in. Consistently serving sizable pieces of mouthwatering fish, they also offer truly unique side orders, including potato pancakes, garlic mashed potatoes and baby red potatoes. Perhaps the least known on this list in terms of immediate name recognition, this is a place you will want to try this Lenten season or really anytime of the year, especially since they serve their fish fry dinners daily.

7. Wallenwein’s Hotel

641 Oakwood Avenue in East Aurora  / More Info

A true gem that some folks outside of the Village of East Aurora may have never heard of, this is a model for what consistency and high quality bring you as a patron when you order their fish fry dinner. Each order features a piece of fish that is never greasy. In fact, the fish can best be described as tender and flaky. The batter is tasty but not heavy, meaning the tedious prep work is equally matched by attentive cooks as your meal is being prepared. Awesome side dishes and solid customer service that makes you feel welcomed and never rushed.

8. Water Valley Inn

6656 Gowanda State Road in Hamburg  | More Info

Temporarily Closed

Another cheerful neighborhood place, having a meal here almost feels like a trip to a long-lost family member’s home. You are always greeted with a  hearty “hello” from whoever is tending bar and quickly greeted by a host or hostess, often times the owner of this longtime establishment. The dining room area really needs to be experienced because any type of explanation simply does not do it any justice, but again, you feel like you are a guest in someone’s home instead of a patron in a restaurant. The portions are quite large, with the fish fry dinner highlighted by a moist and flaky piece of fish and accompanied by homemade side dishes just like Aunt Aggie used to make. If you are looking for good old fashioned food served in a family-oriented atmosphere, this is the place to eat.

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

This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.

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