Another reason to love Lansing: 3 must-try fish frys

Lisa D. Small

LANSING, MI – One thing we know for sure, Lansing loves a good fish fry.

In our recent search for Michigan’s Best Fish Fry, we compiled 11 regional polls across the state of Michigan.

The Lansing area poll – which featured 23 restaurants from Leslie to Hubbardston and Mason to Owosso, as well as Lansing — had the third most votes of all our polls, just behind the Northern Lower Peninsula and the U.P.

We were impressed with the great variety of fish frys in the Lansing area.

We recently did a story on the Lansing poll winner, which was at a truck stop in Perry, and just yesterday did a story on a food truck in Grand Ledge, which finished in second place. (See the full poll results below.)

READ: Meet the Codfather: He’s got a Michigan fish fry offer you can’t refuse

READ: The winner of Lansing area’s Best Fish Fry is located at a truck stop off I-69

Today, we thought we would share three places we visited last Friday.

Stop 1: Eastside Fish Fry & Grill

Eastside Fish Fry & Grill in Lansing, Michigan is known for catfish and cod during the busy Lenten season.John Gonzalez

Eastside Fish Fry

2417 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, MI 48912

517-993-5988

More info: eastsidefishfry.com/

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

Eastside Fish Fry & Grill owner Henry Meyer. Eastside was a Top 10 pick for Michigan’s Best Fried Chicken in 2016. They sell about 17 different kinds of fish.John Gonzalez

Eastside Fish Fry & Grill

One of our top picks for Michigan’s Best Fried Chicken in 2016, Eastside Fish Fry is a must if you’re looking for fresh fish in the area. Located just down the road from Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill (Michigan’s Best French Fries and Michigan’s Best Neighborhood Bar), Eastside Fish Fry features as many as 17 different types of fish on any day of the week. They even have whiting fish, which is very popular. The top seller in the catfish year round, but during the bust Lenten season, cod overtakes the catfish, said owner Henry Meyer, who opened the “you buy it, we fry it” restaurant about 10 years ago.

You’ll see the fresh catch on ice in the display window, as well as several homemade desserts and pudding. His menu is extensive, and you can get a sandwich or meal, along with fries and slaw. We opted for the catfish filet sandwich, which was battered to perfection in his signature fish flour breading with six different seasonings. Crispy and light and makes everything right. Meyer said they’re hanging in there despite the Covid-19 pandemic. “We’re just making sure that door stays open, and we don’t lay anyone off. Prices on everything is going up. It’s tough. But we’re hanging in there.” This Lent has been their busiest season “because Covid shut down other choices,” he said. Along with being named one of Michigan’s Best Fried Chicken restaurants, TV personality Guy Fieri stopped in as part of an episode of “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” in the fall 2017.

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

Eastside Fish Fry & Grill in Lansing, Michigan, was featured in October of 2017 on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” TV show.John Gonzalez

Stop 2: Nip N Sip

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

The sign off Old US 27 at Nip N Sip Drive-In in Lansing, Michigan.John Gonzalez

Nip N Sip

2603 N. East St., Lansing, MI 48906

517-372-3734

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

The three-piece cod dinner at Nip N Sip Drive-In in Lansing, Michigan.John Gonzalez

Nip N Sip

In his nomination, MLive reader Greg said: “Classic Cod Fish and Chips, lightly battered and great fries!” Not knowing much about this classic north side drive in, we thought we would check it out. What did we find? An old school drive in that looks a little rough around the edges, but delivers 100 percent on great fish. Those who look for a thick, rich coating on their fish will love the Nip N Sip for its classic, deep-fried and meaty batter. Yes, it’s a tad greasy. But it’s a fish fry! Our cod dinner came with tarter sauce, coleslaw and malt vinegar. You can order at one of the classic drive-in car monitors or walk up to the window. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly.

Other fish options include a clam, smelt and shrimp dinner. In addition to great fish, the eatery is known for burgers, chili cheese fries, malts and shakes, Boston Coolers and the Hammy Sammy, a classic sub with melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a sesame seed bun. The coney dogs are also top sellers.

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

You can order from your car or at a walk up window at Nip N Sip in Lansing, Michigan.John Gonzalez

Stop 3: Harry’s Place Bar & Grill

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

The sign out front at Harry’s Place Bar & Grill in Lansing, Michigan. It is located on North Verlinden Avenue.John Gonzalez

Harry’s Place Bar & Grill

404 N. Verlinden Ave., Lansing, MI 48915

517-484-9661

More info: On Facebook at facebook.com/HarrysPlaceLansing/

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

Harry’s Place Bar & Grill in Lansing, Michigan, was a Top 10 pick for Michigan’s Best Neighborhood Bar in 2014.John Gonzalez

Harry’s Place Bar & Grill

One of our picks for Michigan’s Best Neighborhood Bar in 2014, Harry’s Place is one of those places with “something special.” It might be hard to put your finger on it. It has great food, of course. A pool table. Regulars. Locals. Guests. It has vibe where everyone feels welcomed. But it’s been a rough year with the pandemic as that “something special” was lost a bit with social distancing, reduced capacities and takeout. They closed for six weeks last spring. “It’s been a rough patch, but we’re still here,” said owner Harea Bates, whose grandfather opened the establishment in 1921.

Harry’s Place finished fourth in the voting for Lansing’s Best Fish Fry. That’s mainly because of the popularity of their cod dinners, which is typically all-you-can-eat. But with limited capacity, they decided it was more important to get people in and out. “When the kitchen gets backed up it keeps people sitting longer, and we want them to go.” In fact, the dinners, which are served with fries and homemade coleslaw, are going over so well, Bates is considering to keep the Friday Fish Fry past the Lenten season. She said some customers miss more fish options, like shrimp, clam strips and smelt. “I haven’t been able to get smelt since last year. A smelt shortage! Who would have ever thought?” The cod is made with a beer-batter and lightly breaded. It comes as a 3-piece and 5-piece dinner. And it’s selling well. Last week they sold 249 cod dinners on Friday night.

READ: Pig Wings, popcorn and Greek pizza: Lansing highlights from Michigan’s Best Neighborhood Bar tour

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

The 3-piece cod dinner at Harry’s Place Bar & Grill in Lansing, Michigan.John Gonzalez

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

Mom and owner Harea Bates (right) of Harry’s Place in Lansing, Michigan, with her son Matt and daughter Kristi.John Gonzalez

Lansing area’s Best Fry – Final Poll Results

If you have questions about our search for Michigan’s Best Fish Fry or you want to suggest a future search, feel free to email us.

Amy Sherman: [email protected]

John Gonzalez: [email protected]

Follow our Michigan’s Best adventures on social media:

@mlivemibest on Twitter

@mlivemibest on Instagram

Facebook at MLiveMIBest.

Join in by using the hashtags #mibest and #BestFishFry for our current search for Michigan’s Best Fish Fry.

In addition:

Amy Sherman is on Twitter @amyonthetrail, as well as Facebook and Instagram @amyonthetrail.

John Gonzalez is on Twitter @michigangonzo, as well as Facebook and Instagram @MichiganGonzo.

Michigan's Best Fish Fry - 2021

The Hard Knocks Food Truck in Grand Ledge, Michigan, is parked in front of Sanctuary Spirits. It is open this Spring from 4-8 p.m. Fridays. Cash only.John Gonzalez

More Michigan’s Best

Bay City’s Fish Fry roundup, all these stops are a great catch

Meet the Codfather: He’s got a Michigan fish fry offer you can’t refuse

U.P.’s Best Fish Fry dates back 50 years and features an all-you-can-eat salad bar

A wildlife club is serving up Ann Arbor’s best fish fry with 1,000 dinners a week

Grilled steelhead? You will find it, and more, at Muskegon’s Best Fish Fry

This fish fry run by a Dad’s Club is named Michigan’s Best in Metro Detroit

Fish Fry Friday: 11 of Michigan’s Best to visit today

This classic hotel, bar takes back-to-back titles as Best Fish Fry in Northern Lower Michigan

Heck’s Bar is Saginaw area’s Best Fish Fry, even the owner can’t believe it

The winner of Lansing area’s Best Fish Fry is located at a truck stop off I-69

Take a trip to Greece at this poll winner for Michigan’s Best fish fry

Friday is ‘all-you-can-eat’ pollock at this Kalamazoo/Southwestern Fish Fry winner

The Deck Down Under is home to Jackson’s best fish fry

Don’t overlook this tiny contender for Michigan’s Best Fish Fry

Is Michigan’s Best Fish Fry at this Grand Rapids ‘Casino’?

Where you can get ‘Man-Eating Catfish’ in Michigan

Is Michigan’s Best Fish Fry at this tucked-away bar that serves steamed mussels?

Get a ‘fieldhouse’ of hand-battered fish at this Michigan’s Best contender

Is Michigan’s Best Fish Fry so remote that it’s in the Central Time Zone?

It’s a ‘Drive By Fish Fry’ this year at St. Mary’s in Pinckney

A 2021 guide to Jackson-area Friday Lenten fish fries

Grand Rapids area 2021 fish fry guide for Lent

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