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A one-story yellow building with a large wooden deck sits in shallow water.
Brown’s Lobster Pound is one of several excellent coastal spots at which to eat fried fish sandwiches with water views
Brown’s Lobster Pound/Official Website

Where to Eat Fried Fish Sandwiches on Massachusetts’ North and South Shores

It’s like fish and chips, only on a bun (which is to say, better)

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Brown’s Lobster Pound is one of several excellent coastal spots at which to eat fried fish sandwiches with water views
| Brown’s Lobster Pound/Official Website

Winter is coming, but New England is enjoying a stretch of unseasonably warm days; it’s the perfect time to keep clinging to thoughts of summer and escaping the city to visit Massachusetts’ North and South shores, which are dotted with seafood shacks and various other restaurants slinging crispy, golden fried fish sandwiches.

The best version of a New England-style fried fish sandwich — no, it’s not this — involves a fried piece of North Atlantic white fish (haddock and cod are interchangeable here), tartar sauce, and a seedless hamburger bun. A slice of American cheese is also acceptable despite the whole “no cheese with seafood” rule. It’s a simple pleasure and one that rarely costs more that $10.

There are plenty of fine options for fried fish sandwiches in and near the city proper — various outposts of Legal Sea Foods offer them, but the best might be at Yankee Lobster Co., and don’t forget about the Druid in Cambridge — but sometimes you need a change of scenery.

Head to Cape Ann or Green Harbor, gorge on some fried Ipswich clams or some Duxbury oysters, and enjoy one of summer’s best treats, even though it’s not summer: the humble fried fish sandwich. Tip: Call restaurants directly to verify hours before heading over; many are operating on limited schedules due to the season and the pandemic.

(Fried fish sandwich experts that are currently closed for the season — Lena’s Seafood in Salisbury, Tony’s Clam Shop in Quincy, and Green Harbor Lobster Pound in Marshfield — have been temporarily removed from the map; keep them in mind for spring 2021.)

Please note that a number of restaurants have resumed dine-in service, and the level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in the area, please visit the Massachusetts coronavirus website.

Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

This map was published on July 19, 2018, and it is updated periodically. The date of the most recent update appears above.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Brown’s Lobster Pound

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Brown’s is known for its lobster and fried seafood (especially the fried scallops), but don’t sleep on the fried fish sandwich, made with haddock and optionally topped with cheese.

Brown’s is currently open for takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining.

People in summer clothing mill about in a parking lot in front of a casual restaurant exterior with signage reading “Brown’s”
Always a line at Brown’s
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Markey's Lobster Pool

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Markey’s is directly across the street from Brown’s and has an equally gorgeous marsh view. Also, it has an equally delicious fried fish sandwich.

Markey’s is currently open for takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining.

markey’s
Might as well hit Brown’s and Markey’s on the same day
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Bob Lobster

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There are a lot of bizarre little hamlets in Massachusetts, but Plum Island might be the most bizarre. The beach might be falling into the sea, but at least they’ve got Bob Lobster. The lobster roll is (obviously) the star, but the fish sandwich isn’t half bad either.

Bob Lobster is currently offering outdoor seating and takeout.

gray-shingled exterior of a restaurant with a few small red lobsters painted above the windows and “Bob Lobster” in red
A Plum Island gem
Bob Lobster/Official Site

Clam Box of Ipswich

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The Clam Box is renowned for its fried Ipswich clams (the restaurant changes the oil daily, so there are never any off flavors.) But the Clam Box does everything well, including fried fish sandwiches. The line will be long at peak times (like, up to an hour long), but it’s worth it. Get a box of clams and a fried fish sandwich, and eat it all outside in the backyard.

The Clam Box is currently open for takeout and outdoor dining; it typically closes for the season on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The gray, boxy exterior of a casual restaurant called Clam Box
Ipswich’s finest
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

J.T. Farnham's

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Again, this is first and foremost a clam shop, but the fish sandwich — simple, with a fried scrod filet on a burger bun and slathered with tartar sauce — is worth the drive, too.

J.T. Farnham’s is currently open for takeout; it operates from March through the end of December and then takes a winter break each year.

Closeup on the yellow rectangular sign on the side of a gray-shingled restaurant exterior. The sign reads “Farnham’s Famous Clams” and includes a clam.
The marsh view at Farnham’s is tough to beat
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Woodman's of Essex

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Woodman’s claims to have invented the fried clam as we know it today. That’s probably a bit bold, but that doesn’t detract from it being one of the finest seafood shacks in New England.

Woodman’s is currently offering takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining.

a long line of people outside of a casual seafood restaurant
Long lines, but worth it
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Bill & Bob's Roast Beef

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It’s a strange phenomenon (and one lacking in any concrete history), but for whatever reason, roast beef and seafood go together like peaches and cream on the North Shore. Bill & Bob’s in Salem is no exception. (There are locations in Woburn and Peabody, too.)

Bill & Bob’s is currently open for takeout.

Dube's Seafood

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From the outside, Dube’s looks like the kind of place you go inside and don’t return from, but damn it if the fried seafood isn’t as good as it gets on the North Shore.

Dube’s is currently open for takeout and outdoor dining.

Kelly's Roast Beef

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Again, seafood and roast beef. Everyone knows Kelly’s is the spot for North Shore-style roast beef sandwiches, but did you know its fried seafood is tops, too?

Kelly’s locations are currently offering takeout and delivery.

Brick-lined takeout restaurant exterior with large sign that says Kelly’s
Kelly’s Roast Beef in Revere
Kelly’s/Official Site

Belle Isle Seafood

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Winthrop can be a pain to get to from Boston, but it’s worth it if the end goal is Belle Isle Seafood. Get the broiled scallops, and get a fried fish sandwich as an appetizer. Cash only.

Belle Isle is currently open for takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining.

Exterior of a no-frills seafood restaurant at sunset
Belle Isle Seafood
Belle Isle Seafood/Official Site

The Clam Box

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The other Clam Box has an unobstructed ocean view and a laundry list of delicious fried seafood items.

Clam Box is currently offering takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining; it closes for the season on November 15.

Exterior of a casual restaurant at sunset, viewed from across a main street with traffic lights
The Clam Box
The Clam Box/Official Site

Burke's Seafood

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Burke’s Seafood in North Quincy is part fish market, part restaurant. It has been open for more than three decades for a reason: its fried seafood (especially its fish sandwich and its clams).

Burke’s is currently open for takeout.

Exterior view of a small seafood shop with a royal blue awning. A small two-seat table sits outside the front window, on the sidewalk.
Yet another Quincy restaurant makes this list
Burke’s/Official Site

Hingham Lobster Pound

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Hingham Lobster Pound used to be a bait shop. Now it sells what the bait aims to catch. Hit Nantasket Beach during the day, then hit the Pound for a few lobsters and, you guessed it, a fried fish sandwich.

Hingham Lobster Pound is currently open for takeout; it closes for the season on Christmas Eve.

Exterior of a small one-story red building with white-framed windows across the front and a gray shingled roof
Go for the beaches, stay for the fish sandwich
Hingham Lobster Pound/Official Site

Brown’s Lobster Pound

People in summer clothing mill about in a parking lot in front of a casual restaurant exterior with signage reading “Brown’s”
Always a line at Brown’s
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Brown’s is known for its lobster and fried seafood (especially the fried scallops), but don’t sleep on the fried fish sandwich, made with haddock and optionally topped with cheese.

Brown’s is currently open for takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining.

People in summer clothing mill about in a parking lot in front of a casual restaurant exterior with signage reading “Brown’s”
Always a line at Brown’s
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Markey's Lobster Pool

markey’s
Might as well hit Brown’s and Markey’s on the same day
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Markey’s is directly across the street from Brown’s and has an equally gorgeous marsh view. Also, it has an equally delicious fried fish sandwich.

Markey’s is currently open for takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining.

markey’s
Might as well hit Brown’s and Markey’s on the same day
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Bob Lobster

gray-shingled exterior of a restaurant with a few small red lobsters painted above the windows and “Bob Lobster” in red
A Plum Island gem
Bob Lobster/Official Site

There are a lot of bizarre little hamlets in Massachusetts, but Plum Island might be the most bizarre. The beach might be falling into the sea, but at least they’ve got Bob Lobster. The lobster roll is (obviously) the star, but the fish sandwich isn’t half bad either.

Bob Lobster is currently offering outdoor seating and takeout.

gray-shingled exterior of a restaurant with a few small red lobsters painted above the windows and “Bob Lobster” in red
A Plum Island gem
Bob Lobster/Official Site

Clam Box of Ipswich

The gray, boxy exterior of a casual restaurant called Clam Box
Ipswich’s finest
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

The Clam Box is renowned for its fried Ipswich clams (the restaurant changes the oil daily, so there are never any off flavors.) But the Clam Box does everything well, including fried fish sandwiches. The line will be long at peak times (like, up to an hour long), but it’s worth it. Get a box of clams and a fried fish sandwich, and eat it all outside in the backyard.

The Clam Box is currently open for takeout and outdoor dining; it typically closes for the season on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The gray, boxy exterior of a casual restaurant called Clam Box
Ipswich’s finest
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

J.T. Farnham's

Closeup on the yellow rectangular sign on the side of a gray-shingled restaurant exterior. The sign reads “Farnham’s Famous Clams” and includes a clam.
The marsh view at Farnham’s is tough to beat
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Again, this is first and foremost a clam shop, but the fish sandwich — simple, with a fried scrod filet on a burger bun and slathered with tartar sauce — is worth the drive, too.

J.T. Farnham’s is currently open for takeout; it operates from March through the end of December and then takes a winter break each year.

Closeup on the yellow rectangular sign on the side of a gray-shingled restaurant exterior. The sign reads “Farnham’s Famous Clams” and includes a clam.
The marsh view at Farnham’s is tough to beat
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Woodman's of Essex

a long line of people outside of a casual seafood restaurant
Long lines, but worth it
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Woodman’s claims to have invented the fried clam as we know it today. That’s probably a bit bold, but that doesn’t detract from it being one of the finest seafood shacks in New England.

Woodman’s is currently offering takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining.

a long line of people outside of a casual seafood restaurant
Long lines, but worth it
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Bill & Bob's Roast Beef

It’s a strange phenomenon (and one lacking in any concrete history), but for whatever reason, roast beef and seafood go together like peaches and cream on the North Shore. Bill & Bob’s in Salem is no exception. (There are locations in Woburn and Peabody, too.)

Bill & Bob’s is currently open for takeout.

Dube's Seafood

From the outside, Dube’s looks like the kind of place you go inside and don’t return from, but damn it if the fried seafood isn’t as good as it gets on the North Shore.

Dube’s is currently open for takeout and outdoor dining.

Kelly's Roast Beef

Brick-lined takeout restaurant exterior with large sign that says Kelly’s
Kelly’s Roast Beef in Revere
Kelly’s/Official Site

Again, seafood and roast beef. Everyone knows Kelly’s is the spot for North Shore-style roast beef sandwiches, but did you know its fried seafood is tops, too?

Kelly’s locations are currently offering takeout and delivery.

Brick-lined takeout restaurant exterior with large sign that says Kelly’s
Kelly’s Roast Beef in Revere
Kelly’s/Official Site

Belle Isle Seafood

Exterior of a no-frills seafood restaurant at sunset
Belle Isle Seafood
Belle Isle Seafood/Official Site

Winthrop can be a pain to get to from Boston, but it’s worth it if the end goal is Belle Isle Seafood. Get the broiled scallops, and get a fried fish sandwich as an appetizer. Cash only.

Belle Isle is currently open for takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining.

Exterior of a no-frills seafood restaurant at sunset
Belle Isle Seafood
Belle Isle Seafood/Official Site

The Clam Box

Exterior of a casual restaurant at sunset, viewed from across a main street with traffic lights
The Clam Box
The Clam Box/Official Site

The other Clam Box has an unobstructed ocean view and a laundry list of delicious fried seafood items.

Clam Box is currently offering takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining; it closes for the season on November 15.

Exterior of a casual restaurant at sunset, viewed from across a main street with traffic lights
The Clam Box
The Clam Box/Official Site

Burke's Seafood

Exterior view of a small seafood shop with a royal blue awning. A small two-seat table sits outside the front window, on the sidewalk.
Yet another Quincy restaurant makes this list
Burke’s/Official Site

Burke’s Seafood in North Quincy is part fish market, part restaurant. It has been open for more than three decades for a reason: its fried seafood (especially its fish sandwich and its clams).

Burke’s is currently open for takeout.

Exterior view of a small seafood shop with a royal blue awning. A small two-seat table sits outside the front window, on the sidewalk.
Yet another Quincy restaurant makes this list
Burke’s/Official Site

Hingham Lobster Pound

Exterior of a small one-story red building with white-framed windows across the front and a gray shingled roof
Go for the beaches, stay for the fish sandwich
Hingham Lobster Pound/Official Site

Hingham Lobster Pound used to be a bait shop. Now it sells what the bait aims to catch. Hit Nantasket Beach during the day, then hit the Pound for a few lobsters and, you guessed it, a fried fish sandwich.

Hingham Lobster Pound is currently open for takeout; it closes for the season on Christmas Eve.

Exterior of a small one-story red building with white-framed windows across the front and a gray shingled roof
Go for the beaches, stay for the fish sandwich
Hingham Lobster Pound/Official Site

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