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
2417 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, MI 48912
More info: eastsidefishfry.com/
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.
Stop 2: Nip N Sip
Nip N Sip
2603 N. East St., Lansing, MI 48906
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.
Stop 3: Harry’s Place Bar & Grill
Harry’s Place Bar & Grill
404 N. Verlinden Ave., Lansing, MI 48915
More info: On Facebook at facebook.com/HarrysPlaceLansing/
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
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]
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Join in by using the hashtags #mibest and #BestFishFry for our current search for Michigan’s Best Fish Fry.
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