A Definitive Ranking Of The Best Fast Food Fish Sandwiches

iStockphoto/Burger King

A great fish sandwich is a perfect break from the heaviness of a burger. Don’t get it twisted, we love a big ol’ burger around these parts. But sometimes we need to switch things up and there are few better sammie alternatives than fried fish. The combination of smooth white fish, crunchy coating, tartar sauce, lettuce (or better, slaw), and a buttery toasted bun work wonders in the flavor department.

Fast food joints tend to do fantastic fish sandwich options. The problem is many of them only roll out their fried fish sandwiches during Lent. Spots like Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, and Chick-Fil-A only have fish during that Mardi-Gras-to-Easter period. That’s a real shame. DQ’s Alaskan Cod sandwich is one of the best on the market, but since you can’t get it year round we’re not ranking it here.

So, what are we ranking today? Fast food fish sandwiches that you can go out and get right now, today. There will be no arguments. This is final.

10. Big Fish — Burger King

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There’s nothing wrong with BK’s Big Fish, per se. It has the basic elements in place: crunchy fried white fish, tartar, lettuce, toasted bun. The thing is, it’s just okay. The fish is a bit listless and bland tasting. The crunch of the coating wanes under the weight of the bun. The lettuce might as well not be there. The thin layer of mayo adds little.

510 calories

9. Fish Sandwich — Jack In The Box

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This is already a pretty big step up from the Big Fish. The pollack is breaded in panko and fried well — you actually know you’re eating fish here. The bun is a standard Jack in the Box offering, which isn’t bad but it’s not great either. The tartar has a nice tang to it. The lettuce tends to be a bit crisper but can be wilted if it’s past midnight and the line cooks have stopped giving a shit behind the scenes.

414 calories

8. Whatacatch Sandwich — Whataburger

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Yes, we’re including regional shops in this ranking. Starting… now!

Whataburger’s Whatacatch is a simple sandwich that hits the spot. The Texan fish sammie has a nice, crispy fish filet covered in mild tartar with lettuce and tomato. The latter adds a nice layer of umami to the whole fish sandwich concept. More fish sandwiches should have tomato (and maybe even mushroom) umami layers. Well done, Whataburger.