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A tasty tradition that people in the Mohawk Valley look forward to every week, especially during the Lenten season? Friday night fish fry. The delicious, crispy, flaky breading or beer-battered coating with a juicy, and hearty piece of flaky fish that is deep-fried just long enough for the outside to be perfectly golden, while the inside stays moist and succulent, along with other seafood dishes, are enjoyed from Rome all the way to St. Johnsville – and everywhere beyond and in between.
So we asked you, yes we know, we asked, and asked, and asked again – where your favorite places were to enjoy a decent fish fry in the greater Utica area, and you answered with thousands of entries. Then we narrowed down that lengthy list, to the top 15 places to grab a plate, or a take-out container – the best of the best – and let the people of this great region vote again. And here are the rankings:
15. Get this: a place known for their killer omelets and lunchtime sandwiches – made the list for the best fish fry. Top of the Morning Café in North Utica secured enough of the vote to make the list – and don’t let their No. 15 spot fool you, they are popular for their savory fish fry, with a variety of sides as well. The fish is a healthy portion and whether you like a tradition breading or beer-battered – you can literally see the effort that is put into this piece of art. So squeeze that lemon slice and give their place a try in what they call a “laid-back atmosphere!”
414 Trenton Rd
Utica, New York 13502
14. The No. 14 slot goes to a place that specializes in pizza, but the owner says his fish fry is a top seller come Friday night. The Pizza Box in East Utica has only been open to the area for a short time, but it’s obvious they know what they’re doing. In a recent Facebook post, they say they’re selling hundreds of fish fries to customers, who keep coming back for more. The fish fry is a solid piece of fried deliciousness with a heaping side of fries, and don’t forget the coleslaw!
933 South St
Utica, New York 13501
13. A hidden gem over in Washington Mills also made the top 15 list. Packy’s Pub is a quaint, hometown type of atmosphere that some say “truly exudes the neighborhood pub.” Their fish fry is plated up with a heaping amount of fresh coleslaw and fries. The portion fills your plate and will leave you feeling satisfied.
9281 Kellogg Rd
New Hartford, New York
Call (315) 737-9910
12. The Killabrew Saloon comes in next, and many may think they’re just a local spot to get a brew in New Hartford, but you are wrong. The Killabrew is known for their food as well, and their fish fry reviews are through the roof. Come Friday night, they are all about their fish fry and seafood specialties from clam chowder, fish sandwiches, shrimp and the list goes on and on. The hearty portion of haddock will be perfectly positioned atop of fries, to go along with your drink of choice.
10 Clinton Rd
New Hartford, New York 13413
11. And what better place to get a fish fry than at your local fish market? Well, the Whitesboro Fish Market has been doing it for many years, and Fridays during Lent are some of their busiest throughout the year. The simple crust, and deep-fried until golden brown feeling this fish fry will give you is a must try. This is tradition at its finest – and you won’t go home hungry.
103 Main St
Whitesboro, New York 13492
10. O’Baby’s Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe, that sits right on Oneida Street in New Hartford, says their fish fry is award-winning – and get this – they deliver! The offer the traditional fresh fish fry with fries, slaw and tartar, but according to their Facebook page, they sometimes switch it up with a chip-crusted version. They might not have come in the No. 1 spot, but they say theirs is the best, and invite you to give it a try for yourself.
4126 Oneida Street
New Hartford, New York 13413
9. If you are feeling like taking a drive, or already live in and know the area, the Poland Firehouse is serving up a killer menu when it comes to Friday night fish fry. This is the place to be on Friday nights they say, and even if you aren’t a fish dish type of person – they have other specialties they offer (we know kids can be picky). Their fish comes broiled or fried and you can get your choice of fries, baked potato or pasta as your side. The drive from Utica is
216 Main St.
Cold Brook, New York 13324
8. You might not think of Club Monarch in Yorkville for your fish fry Fridays, but they say you should rethink that decision. They’re known for their banquets, parties, and catering services, but people say their fish fry is top notch. The best and fresh seafood dinners are a great accompaniment to your signature drink when you stop in.
16 Erie St
Yorkville, New York 13495
Phone (315) 736-9359
7. Next up is The Brass Tack, the hometown feel you will get walking into this place, along with a warm welcome, is something the owners say will keep you coming back every Friday for their seafood specials. It’s a true testament to their product that they came up so high on this list. Located in Frankfort, with a small fraction of the population of bigger cities in the Mohawk Valley, the “Tack” as the locals know it – is known for their menu. Their fried haddock is lightly breaded and fried to golden brown perfection, but don’t stop there. They offer haddock oreganato, haddock Florentine, Roger’s, Johnny’s, Louie’s, and Susan’s haddock, stuffed haddock, haddock Italiano, baked haddock, and the list of seafood specialties they serve goes on, and on.
4258 Acme Rd
Frankfort, New York 13340
6. Now don’t let this place fool you, Casa Too Mucha is a Tex-Mex restaurant located in the heart of New Hartford that serves up an outstanding fish fry, every single day. During the Lenten season, this place is packed with people craving a traditional or panko crusted fish fry – and they don’t leave disappointed. The fish overtakes the entire plate, so if you are looking for a hearty Friday night dinner – this is the place to be. They’ll start you off with a complimentary order of chips and salsa, then bring you a full plate of deep-fried fish, fries, and coleslaw – and don’t be afraid to take some home if you can’t finish – it is just as good the next day.
13 Genesee St
New Hartford, New York 13413
Phone (315) 733-2183
5. Kossuth Fish Market in East Utica comes in the No. 5 spot on our list, so if you are asking why customer keep coming back – they say it’s all in the product. The fish fry here come in two sizes, smaller or BIG, and they fry the fish to perfection right in front of you. They offer sides to go along with their fish fry, and also carry other seafood they’ll fry up for you.
300 Kossuth Ave
Utica, New York 13501
Phone (315) 735-0100
4. Believe it or not, the volunteers at the Deerfield Firehouse might have another career path they are exploring. The fish fry dinner on Friday nights during Lent is unbelievable, according to their loyal following. The dinner comes with fries, a roll, and coleslaw and a healthy piece of fried fish. Don’t discount their other specials though, they offer up clams, scallops, shrimp, a child portion of fish and they have beer too!
5476 Trenton Rd
Deerfield, New York 13502
3. A staple in the city of Rome known for its fish fare is Stan’s Seafood – coming in at the No. 3 spot. People in the area say they are the best around when it comes to fish fry. Like a typical seafood market, they offer a variety of sides like coleslaw and shrimp salad, as well as other fried delicacies like shrimp and scallops, but their haddock or swai selection is bar none.
726 W Dominick St
Rome, New York 13440
2. Now if you are heading to the southern part of Oneida County one Friday, Wendy’s Diner in Cassville has one of the best fish fries in the Mohawk Valley. In the No. 2 spot the diner is said to be the best hometown place to get a good dinner, especially fish fry. So if you are craving a good milkshake and a solid piece of fried fish, check them out.
1717 State Route 8
Cassville, New York 13318
1. And last but certainly not least, the No. 1 fish fry spot in the Mohawk Valley goes to Fat Cats in Herkimer. They certainly know their seafood, offering a variety of specials all week long. They are also serving up sandwich and burger specials, however. If you are in the mood for shrimp, they also have specials on shrimp cocktail boats from time to time. If you are heading down on a Friday night, especially during Lent, the line might be long, but the people have spoken and say it will be worth the wait.
200 King St
Herkimer, New York 13350
And while there are plenty of great places to get a fish fry locally, we can’t forget our local grocer Chanatry’s who gets an honorable mention as one of the better spots to get a seafood dinner while you grab the household essentials as well.
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