Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Ranking Fast Food’s Fried Fish Sandwiches From Worst To First

Ranking Fast Food’s Fried Fish Sandwiches From Worst To First

In the six decades since McDonald’s invention
of the Filet-O-Fish, fried fish sandwiches have become big business in fast food. But which chain does it best? We tried all of the major chains to find out. No longer content with simple soft-serve,
Dairy Queen keeps promoting the so-called “Fan Food” side of its menu, with wildly mixed
results. The Dairy Queen Crispy Fish Sandwich promises
a crispy fish fillet topped with fresh green leaf lettuce and tartar sauce, served on a
toasted sesame seed bun. Sounds great, right? Here’s what we really think it tastes like:
freezer-burned, vaguely of seafood, with more bargain bin tartar sauce than you’ve ever
seen in your whole life. Turns out, Dairy Queen does one thing pretty
great — and it’s not fish sandwiches. Sonic Drive-In’s fish sandwich is a limited
time offering that only seems to be available during Lent — and that’s probably for the
best. The fish itself shares a familiar square,
minced style with many other fast food restaurants, though it’s crispier than most. But the breading forms a sort of protective
shell around the fish inside, and tends to break off in large, mouth-destroying shards. The fish inside has an unappealing, mashed
texture, and manages to be surprisingly oily and greasy, without a ton of fish flavor. An avalanche of limp, watery lettuce and a
squeeze of generic tartar sauce don’t help, putting this firmly in our “do not recommend”
category. While Wendy’s Premium Cod Fillet Sandwich
has a plump fish patty with a appealing crunchy texture, there are big drawbacks to the sandwich
as a whole. The sandwich we received was served south
of room temperature, adorned with a chilly slice of unmelted, firm, and flavorless American
cheese that definitely was not requested. The bun barely held the whole thing together,
and the overall sandwich ended up feeling oddly dry, in spite of a respectable smear
of tangy, flavorful tartar sauce. If Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. were a state, they’d
probably be Texas. Everything the two-named chain carries is
just big, and they’re proud of it. The restaurant’s Redhook Beer Battered Fish
Sandwich follows that trend — there’s a lot of fish going on here. The standard order should come with lettuce,
tomato, and way too much tartar sauce. But as a whole, it’s not bad. The fish is flaky, and tastes like it lived
in the water at some point in its existence, which goes a long way when you’re hankering
for something from the sea. The Burger King Big Fish sounds like everything
a fast food fried fish sandwich should be, featuring White Alaskan Pollock, crispy panko
breading, sweet tartar sauce, pickles, and a toasted brioche-style bun. But that’s just the ad copy — the reality
can be a little different. The sandwich we tasted was piled with limp,
soggy lettuce, steam-heated by the fish fillet into a tangle of wet shreds. The fish itself was mushy and over-coated. The bun was oddly chewy, and caused most of
the sandwich to spill out. Hardly an experience fit for the King. Weirdly enough, it’s possible that your local
Long John Silver’s doesn’t even serve a fish sandwich. The item usually only shows up at standalone
locations — not Taco Bell or KFC combination spots. If you can find it, here’s what you’ll get:
a hoagie roll with lettuce, pickles, and a healthy dose of tartar sauce, with a diamond-shaped
piece of fish. The fish seems to be the same crunchy type
you can get in any combo meal, leaving the bread and toppings to serve more as extras
for a piece of meat that can, and maybe should, stand alone. “Arby’s is best known for freshly sliced meat. But what about their fish?” The Crispy Fish Sandwich from Arby’s isn’t
always available, but when you can find it, it’s worth snapping up. The sandwich we sampled looked almost exactly
like the picture on the menu, which is a rare feat. The enormous fish fillet itself felt like
real food, with a natural shape and tender layers of flaked fish that pulled apart slightly
with each bite. Unfortunately, the fish wasn’t uniform in
flavor; some bites were mild, while others were intensely, overly fishy. The tangy dressing was a little overpowering,
overstaying its welcome, and the hot iceberg lettuce is never appealing. But in our opinion, Arby’s offering is still
worth recommending. White Castle’s stripped-down approach to sliders
translates surprisingly well into seafood form. The tiny pucks of minced Alaskan Pollock in
the Fish Slider are crispy and flavorful, without an excessive amount of breading. That’s a good thing, on a slider-sized sandwich
where the bun itself tends to dominate the flavors of the rest of the sandwich. This was also one of the few fish sandwiches
we tasted in which a slice of American cheese — in this case, a tiny slice — actually
seemed to complement the sandwich, adding a creamy balance of flavor to the slider. Just make sure to ask for some tartar sauce;
in our opinion, this scaled-down sandwich doesn’t come with quite enough. Made with a minced puck of Alaskan Pollock,
a half-slice of American cheese, and a heavy dollop of tartar sauce, McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish
is never going to win any beauty contests. But this sandwich stands out thanks to one
important element: The steamed bun. Each bite of the soft, steamy bun fuses the
sandwich into a puffy little bite of seafaring satisfaction, with none of the hot shards
of lettuce featured in other fast food fish sandwiches standing in the way of the experience. The Filet-O-Fish doesn’t hope to compete with
the artisanal-sounding ingredients found at other chains, and it never forgets what it
is: A taste of mild, crispy fried fish, topped with a quart of tartar sauce and served on
an angel’s kiss of a steamed bun. Score one that’s been freshly made, and you’ll
end up with a satisfying sandwich that only sets you back about two bucks. “Give me back that filet-o-fish, give me that
fish.” Popeyes continues to change the game with
its under-appreciated po’ boy lineup, featuring your choice of hand-breaded chicken strips,
fish fillets, or battered shrimp, dredged in the chain’s signature blend of herbs and
spices and crispy-fried to perfection. What sets their seafood po’boy apart from
competitors, however, is the bread. Instead of opting for another sad, stale,
round bun, Popeyes serves up their fish on a French-style baguette. It perfectly balances a crispy outside with
a fluffy, lightly chewy inside. The fish itself is extra-crispy, pleasantly
flaky, with flavorful breading. Altogether, it’s a balanced experience that
seals the deal on our selection for the best fish sandwich in fast food.

100 comments on “Ranking Fast Food’s Fried Fish Sandwiches From Worst To First

  1. Minced Fish is not a very good choice, cut from a filet is the only way for flavor, the minced fish is pasted together.

  2. Ok so let me tell you that its a fact that McDonald's worst menu item voted by employees is their fish sandwich….anywho I would never eat fast food fish…none of your choices sound appetizing

  3. Mashed…always bought and paid for. This is just an infomercial; for Mc Ds. As always Mashed is a pathetic and dishonest channel that needs to be forced off the web. Mthrfkrs.

  4. Without doubt George Burgers fish sandwich kicks all those others sandwiches to the curb.
    Unfortunately they weren't mentioned in this video…no worries. Will have to disagree with the Mc'D's FOF.
    It couldn't be more boring and dull. It's not worth the price by a long shot, and you can eat it in less than 3 bites.
    If you were blindfolded and ate one of them, you'd be hard pressed to guess what it is.

  5. Actually, it's In N Out Burger, Five Guys, Red Robin, and a heads up for Wendy's, not necessarily in that order, .. nuff burger said.

  6. Dairy queen's food suuuuuux!!
    Did they go to these restaurants in the middle of the afternoon?? No wonder they're slamming every single one! Gotta go when the fryers are hot!

  7. I work for Arby's. I personally don't like fish sandwiches but ours is alright. Advice: Don't order the fish sandwich through the drive-thru. Order it inside and ask for it to be made fresh. It takes five minutes to cook so you'll be waiting but it's so so so much better when it's fresh. Insanely better. If you want to know what I don't recommend is or were the Oreo Bites. Thankfully we got rid of them. Nasty little balls.

  8. Went to MDs recently did order the Fillet o fish, most expensive tiny little sandwich ever $5 bucks. Not going back anytime soon.

  9. They all suck.
    Like psychotic turtle tongue fried in yesterday's corn oil. And it's called fish.
    We don't call water rat , fish, just because it swims so much.
    Fish meat should be a color like white or pinkish red, or mild tones of brown. your undershorts smelled like fish to me. Yeah, let's cover it with mayo…, and call it a fish sandwiches.

  10. In Safeway and Walmart frozen food sections there's a brand of frozen batter-fried cod fillets called Young's. It's from England where they specialize in Fish and Chips.
    Once you try the cod fillets you will never be able to eat any other brand like Gorton's or Mrs. Pauls or any fast food. They are all inferior.

  11. Mc Donald's fish fillet cost about $4.35. for the Sandwich alone. And it taste bitter. The best I had was at Arby's.

  12. Since when was McDonald's fish sandwich 2$ and Arby's was 2 for $5, definitely not the McDonald's I go to..$$

  13. You're research pertaining to Long John Silvers was Incorrect. The sandwich is available if you ask for it! The fish, and chicken ,I feel, are good. As are the fries.

  14. Yeah, next time try showing THE ACTUAL FOOD YOU TRIED, NOT THE COMMERCIAL. I want to actually see what the ACTAL sandwich looks like and not a glamorous TV version of it

  15. McDonald’s fillet of fish reminds me of a large fish stick from the 50’s I would not give this sandwich to the homeless

  16. I think Arby's and Wendy's have the best fish sandwich, Mcdonald's taste horrible and not like real fish. The winner for my all time favorite is culver's fish sandwich as you can taste the freshness of everything

  17. If you do a follow-up eval in a year or two, include Captain D's & Rally's/Checkers. Most diners I know rank D's well above Long John Silvers. Now if I had a Popeye's near me, I'd try their fish, same with Hardees.

  18. Wendy's use to have a fish sandwich so good that one day as I was pulling out of the car park and for what ever reason I placed the sandwich on the dash. As I was turning out of the car park the sandwich rolled out the window. I stopped my car got out and got my sandwich. It was just that good.👌

  19. Haha, Hardee's fish tasted like it actually lived in the water at some point in its existence! 😂😆😂

  20. You should go to Culver's they a real fish filet and they make their own tartar sauce. The fish is cod and they also have it as a two or three pieces dinner.for me the fish at bugger king and McDonald's taste like cardboard

  21. When I go to McDonald's, I order the quarter pounder and have hem put a filet-o-fish bun on it. Awesome!

  22. NEVER had a fish sandwich at ANY fast food restaurant that tasted like anything at all. Never had Arby's though, and I like them generally.

  23. Maybe somebody can straighten me out on this. Debate on this thread regarding Catholics eating fish on Friday. I know that the FELLET-O-FISH was invented by McDonald's in 1970 to cater to this need. But I thought that the Pope later in the early 1970s allowed Roman Catholics to eat meat on Friday, still keeping the fish tradition during Lent. I am not Catholic so I only know what I have picked up over the years.

  24. I'm not sure if Mashed was talking about Popeye's cajun fish but god that thing is one of the if not the best sandwich I've ever tasted lol. On the other hand, Mc Donald 's Filet O Fish tastes terrible and is the worst sandwich I've ever tasted from a fast food chain. Idk why and how people keep buying that overpriced and bitter crap lol.

  25. Regional Midwest chain but Culver’s is the best. Of the ones in the video, Arby’s is pretty good.

  26. Jack in the Box #1 $3 fish sandwich, and the best. They need to put it on the menu permanently.

  27. I don’t know what McD you all went to where a fillet o fish is about 2 bucks. Plus it’s gotten fishier tasting over the years. No thanks.

  28. Yeah, and we're not supposed to think you're shills for Mac and dons
    Bun and runs fish sandwiches suck

  29. If anyone is interested, the fish sandwich from Chik Fil-A is yucko. Waste of $5 and over 500 calories!

  30. When McDonalds started, the fish was 18 cents, and a hamburger was 13 cents. That's about a 5% difference. Today, the fish is more than double the price of the burger. What up with that? And, oh yeah, in France, McDonalds fish is on a toasted bun. Different, but actually pretty good.

  31. I love the part where she says the Arby's fish sandwich almost felt like real food! And what's with the B roll? You're showing sandwiches that look delicious but when you actually go to the restaurant they're always squashed greasy messes. I especially like the part where you showed B roll of someone battering a fish from scratch. All of these fish come out of the box and just give reheated.

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