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I Tried 11 Popular Fast Food Fish Sandwiches—This Is the One I’ll Order Again

'Tis the season!

<p>Allrecipes/Abby Mercer</p>

Allrecipes/Abby Mercer

While fish sandwiches might not be the first thing you reach for at a fast food restaurant, during theLenten season popularity for them spikes. In fact, most fast food restaurants don’t even serve fish sandwiches until Lent to appeal to customers who are abstaining from meat on Fridays.

That’s actually why the first-ever fast food fish sandwich, the Filet-O-Fish, was added to the menu. During Lent, which is the 40-day period before Easter, Catholics abstain from eating red and white meats on Fridays and Ash Wednesday. In the ‘60s, a McDonald’s franchisee realized he was losing a ton of business on those Fridays, so he presented Mickey D’s CEO, Ray Kroc, with a solution to the no meat on Friday rule: a fish sandwich—and the rest is history.

But of course you don't have to be Catholic to enjoy these fishy delights! And it doesn't have to be Friday either. But since most of these sandwiches disappear from menus after April, this is the time to snatch up your favorite.

To find out which one is truly the best, I tasted eleven fish sandwiches from popular fast-food chains—here are the results.

How I Tested

For my judgment, I ranked each fish sandwich using the following criteria: the crispiness of the fish, flavor of the fish, sauce, overall flavor of the sandwich, and, ultimately, if I would order it again.

The Best Fast Food Fish Sandwiches, Ranked

11. Culver’s North Atlantic Cod Sandwich

<p>Culver's</p>

Culver's

Rating: 3/10

As a lover of all things Culver’s, I came in with extremely high hopes. Hoagie bread, nice overall packaging—unfortunately, that’s where the highlights ended. The North Atlantic Cod comes topped with lettuce, Wisconsin Cheddar cheese, and a tartar sauce consisting of olives, capers, and sweet relish.

I appreciate good breading on a sandwich but unfortunately, this filet's coating was way too thick. It took me a few bites to get to the meat of the fish sandwich and by then, I was over it. The sauce itself was also extremely heavy on the relish and took away from the overall bite. Culver's is better off sticking to burgers.

10. McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

<p>Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe</p>

Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 4/10

Oh, what a classic. The Filet-O-Fish is a fish patty with (half a piece of) cheese and tartar sauce on a steamed bun.

This was a great nostalgia throwback to have. My Nana always gets these and I remember as a kid sneaking bites when her back would be turned and I remember it tasting so good back then. Unfortunately, my memory serves me wrong when I ate this now. Compared to the other sandwiches I had, this is a pretty bland fish sandwich drenched in a watered down mayo sauce. If you’re on the hunt for a solid fish sandwich, there’s other places to look. Sorry, Nana, but you deserve better—there are plenty of other fish sandwiches in the sea!

9. Dairy Queen Wild Alaskan

<p>Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe</p>

Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 4.5/10

Dairy Queen’s Wild Alaskan Fish sandwich is a limited-time menu item, topped with lettuce and a tangy tartar sauce on a toasted bun.

In my opinion, most of Dairy Queen’s food is vastly underrated—unfortunately, this sandwich is not included in that statement. The breading on the fish was a little too thin for my liking but to its credit, it was extremely crispy. The overall bite was okay but it was slathered in way too much tartar sauce. Stick to the ice cream, please.

8. Arby's King's Hawaiian Fish Deluxe

<p>Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe</p>

Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 4.5/10

Arby’s offers a limited time fish deal with its King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe: a crispy fish patty, lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce all sitting pretty on a King’s Hawaiian bun.

I was pretty excited for this one! Who doesn’t love a sweet King’s Hawaiian roll? However, I think I came in with too high of hopes. The sauce itself is pretty sweet so pairing that with an even sweeter roll was extremely overpowering and took away from the overall fish experience. I also had some pretty flimsy tomatoes on my sandwich and would’ve much rather preferred the sandwich without them.

7. Arby's Crispy Fish Sandwich

<p>Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe</p>

Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 5/10

I have to give credit where credit is due: I love the variations that Arby’s gives to its fish sandwiches. Its classic Crispy Fish Sandwich has a crispy fish filet, tartar sauce, and lettuce all on a sesame seed bun.

When you’re eating eleven fish sandwiches in one sitting, variation matters and I can’t begin to explain my excitement when I saw the sesame bun. Like its sweeter cousin, the King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe, this sandwich was topped with the same sweet, almost mustardy sauce that works well with the sandwich. However, for my sandwich I was skimped on the sauce so I recommend adding just a little more because without it, it’s a little underwhelming.

6. Popeyes' Spicy Flounder Fish Sandwich

<p>Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe</p>

Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 5/10

This fish sandwich is one of the newer additions to the lineup, with both the original and the spicy version coming out in 2021. This limited offering has a crispy flounder filet that’s marinated in the restaurant’s famed Louisiana herbs and spices, topped with pickles and spicy mayo on a brioche bun.

I am a lover of all things spicy but for a fish sandwich, there’s a delicate balance that must be struck. While I did enjoy the new flavor profiles from this sandwich, the spice from both the sauce and the breading of the fish was overwhelming and took away from the overall taste of the fish itself. However, the sauce by itself is quite enjoyable and I would definitely slather it on another form of protein in the future.

5. Wendy's Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich

<p>Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe</p>

Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 5/10

Wendy’s Crispy Panko Fish sandwich has a Panko-crusted fish filet with dill tartar sauce, pickles, American cheese, and lettuce on a toasted bun.

Wendy’s is underrated in the fast food world and it seems like its fish sandwich is one of those underrated gems. The breading is thick but not too thick and the tartar sauce has a nice balance of dill. The only complaint (that I never thought I would say!) was that the cheese was slightly too much for me on a fish sandwich, but as a whole, this one had me wanting to take a couple more bites.

4. Popeyes' Classic Flounder Fish Sandwich

<p>Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe</p>

Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 6/10

The classic version of its spicy counterpart, the Popeye’s Classic Flounder Fish sandwich has the same makings just with tartar sauce in place of the spicy mayo.

I appreciate the flavor coming from the spices in the breading on the fish patty, which is thick and crispy. My sandwich had a nice balance of spice, fish, and bread, and just like the Wendy’s sandwich, I was extremely tempted to keep on eating it.

3. Burger King's Big Fish

<p>Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe</p>

Allrecipes/Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 7.5/10

Burger King’s Big Fish sandwich has a crispy Panko-breaded filet with tartar sauce, pickles, and lettuce on a brioche bun. Unlike most of the sandwiches listed, this fish is available all year round.

This sandwich is exactly what you would imagine when you think of "crispy fish filet." While the other sandwiches were pretty crispy, this one had an even more satisfying crunch. The tartar sauce also had a stronger dill flavor that I appreciated. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

2. Burger King’s Fiery Big Fish

<p>Allrecipes/Abby Mercer</p>

Allrecipes/Abby Mercer

Rating: 8.5/10

This brand-new variation of Burger King’s Big Fish stays pretty similar to its classic counterpart, with the exception of a spicy glaze for an extra tang.

Unlike Popeye’s Spicy fish sandwich, I loved this one. The spice only lingers for a little and doesn’t take away from the overall fish flavor. I also appreciated the balance of sauce on this sandwich; it seemed easy to drench it in the spicy glaze but I had a nice layer that wasn't too overwhelming. I would definitely order this one again.

1. Long John Silver’s Fish Sandwich

Rating: 8.5/10

If you’re looking for a standard, good ol’ fish sandwich, look no further than Long John Silver’s Fish Sandwich. This classic battered Alaskan pollock filet sits on a toasted bun with crinkle cut pickles and tartar sauce.

I wasn’t expecting to like this sandwich as much as I did, but for a standard fish sandwich, this was arguably the best. The breading on the fish was just right, the sauce was sweet and tangy—this was just a great sandwich to end the night on. I would reach for this sandwich again and again. And I guess it makes sense—who can you trust to make a better fish sandwich than a seafood fast food chain?

Read the original article on All Recipes.