I've tried it all, from small mom and pop shops to trendy seafood restaurants. So, after much research (and a few extra pounds), I am excited to share with you my findings on the best fried catfish in Chicago.

I've reviewed 12 different places, and let me tell you, the competition was fierce. But, I narrowed it down to the top contenders that are sure to satisfy any catfish lover's cravings.

So grab your tartar sauce and cornbread because we're about to take a delicious journey through the windy city's best fried catfish spots!

Two Fish Crab Shack

Two Fish Crab Shack
🗺️ 641 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60653
☎️ 773-855-8845
🌐 Website
Sunday: 1–6 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 1–9 PM
Wednesday: 1–9 PM
Thursday: 1–9 PM
Friday: 1–9 PM
Saturday: 1–9 PM
Seafood Boil
Fried Lobster Tail
Attentive Service
Delicious Catfish
Perfectly Seasoned Dishes

First and foremost, I have to say that the service was absolutely attentive. Our server made sure we had everything we needed, from extra napkins to a bib (because let's be real, seafood boils can get messy). Speaking of seafood boils, that was one of the highlights of our meal. The boil was full of juicy shrimp and crab legs cooked to perfection. And don't even get me started on the fried lobster tail - it was crispy on the outside and buttery on the inside.

But let's talk about what we're really here for: the catfish. Boy oh boy, did Two Fish Crab Shack deliver. The catfish was fried to a golden crisp and had just the right amount of seasoning. It wasn't too salty or too bland - it was just right. And let's not forget about the sides that came with it. The mac and cheese was creamy and cheesy, while the collard greens were perfectly seasoned.

Overall, if you're looking for some amazing seafood in Chicago, Two Fish Crab Shack is definitely worth checking out. From their delicious catfish to their perfectly seasoned dishes, this restaurant has definitely earned its spot as one of the best places for fried catfish in Chicago.

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Ina Mae

Ina Mae
🗺️ 1415 N Wood St, Chicago, IL 60622
☎️ 773-360-8320
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–10 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 4–11 PM
Wednesday: 4–11 PM
Thursday: 4–11 PM
Friday: 4 PM–2 AM
Saturday: 11 AM–2 AM
Best gumbo
Live music
Good value
Large portions
Butter biscuits

First off, let me just say that their gumbo is out of this world! It's the perfect blend of spices and seafood that will make your taste buds dance with joy. But enough about gumbo, let's talk fried catfish.

The catfish at Ina Mae is some of the best I've ever had in Chicago. The batter is crispy and flavorful, while the fish inside is tender and juicy. You can tell they use only the freshest ingredients to create their dishes.

As an added bonus, they have live music on certain nights which adds to the already lively atmosphere of the restaurant. And speaking of atmosphere, it's cozy and welcoming with a touch of southern charm.

One thing I appreciate about Ina Mae is their good value for money. They serve large portions that are sure to satisfy any appetite. Plus, their butter biscuits are a great addition to any meal!

Overall, if you're looking for a place with amazing fried catfish, delicious gumbo, live music and good value for money then Ina Mae is definitely worth checking out. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

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Hagen's Fish Market

Hagen's Fish Market
🗺️ 5635 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60634
☎️ 773-283-1944
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10 AM–8 PM
Monday: 10 AM–8 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM–8 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM–8 PM
Thursday: 10 AM–8 PM
Friday: 10 AM–10 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–10 PM
Fresh seafood
Variety of options
Made to order
Impressive taste

Firstly, let me tell you that Hagen's Fish Market is a family-owned business which makes it unique in its own way. The moment I entered the market, I was welcomed with a warm smile by the owner himself. He explained to me how they have been serving fresh seafood for over 50 years and that their secret recipe has been passed down through generations.

Now coming to the main highlight of my visit, the fried catfish at Hagen's Fish Market was simply outstanding! Each piece of catfish was made to order and cooked to perfection. The batter coating on the fish was light and crispy, and did not overpower the taste of the fish. The impressive taste of the fried catfish left me wanting more.

What I loved about Hagen's Fish Market is that they offer a variety of options for customers who are health-conscious or prefer something other than fried food. They also had a great selection of sides including hushpuppies, coleslaw, and fries.

Overall, my experience at Hagen's Fish Market was delightful. From their friendly service to their mouthwatering fried catfish, there is no doubt that this place is one of Chicago's hidden gems for seafood lovers.

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Pearl's Southern Comfort

Pearl's Southern Comfort
🗺️ 5352 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
☎️ 773-754-7419
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–9 PM
Monday: 4–9 PM
Tuesday: 4–9 PM
Wednesday: 4–9 PM
Thursday: 4–9 PM
Friday: 4–10:30 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–10:30 PM
Excellent service
Impressive variety of dishes
Best Gumbo in town
Surprise hit catfish bites
Great cocktails

First off, I must mention that the service at Pearl's was excellent. The staff were friendly and attentive, making sure our drinks were never empty and our entrees arrived in a timely manner.

As for the food, Pearl's offers an impressive variety of dishes from traditional southern comfort food to unique fusion options. But let's get down to what we're really here for - the fried catfish. While I had high expectations going in, I was blown away by their surprise hit dish - the catfish bites. These bite-sized pieces of heaven were perfectly seasoned and fried to crispy perfection.

But don't worry, if you're looking for a classic plate of fried catfish, Pearl's definitely delivers. The catfish fillets were light and flaky with a satisfying crunch on the outside.

And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, Pearl's also boasts the best gumbo in town. Each spoonful was bursting with flavor and spice.

To wash it all down, their cocktails were spot on - refreshing with just the right amount of kick.

Overall, my visit to Pearl's Southern Comfort was a delight. With their excellent service, impressive variety of dishes, and standout catfish bites (among other things!), it's definitely worth a visit for anyone on the hunt for the best fried catfish in Chicago.

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Lowcountry Lakeview

Lowcountry Lakeview
🗺️ 3343 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657
☎️ 312-866-6161
🌐 Website
Sunday: 4–9 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 5–10 PM
Wednesday: 5–10 PM
Thursday: 5–10 PM
Friday: 5–11 PM
Saturday: 5–11 PM
Wonderful experience
Great weekday offer
Delicious Double Double sandwich
Best shrimp/crab leg boil
Amazing lobster tail addition

First off, let me just say that my experience at Lowcountry Lakeview was nothing short of wonderful. From the moment I walked in, I knew I was in for a treat. The atmosphere was inviting and the staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating.

But enough about the ambiance, let's talk about what you all came here for: the fried catfish. And boy, did Lowcountry Lakeview deliver. The crispy exterior of the catfish perfectly complemented the tender and flaky meat inside. It was definitely one of the best fried catfish dishes I've had in Chicago.

Now, if you happen to visit Lowcountry Lakeview on a weekday, be sure to take advantage of their great offer. You can get a pound of shrimp or crawfish with corn and potatoes for only $10! And if you're feeling extra hungry, try out their Double Double sandwich – it's delicious.

But wait, there's more. If you're not in the mood for catfish or shrimp/crab legs, don't worry because they also have an amazing lobster tail addition to their menu that is sure to make your taste buds sing.

Overall, if you're looking for some of the best fried catfish in Chicago with great deals and an amazing atmosphere, then look no further than Lowcountry Lakeview.

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What’s Krackin’ Southern Seafood

What’s Krackin’ Southern Seafood
🗺️ 1310 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615
☎️ 773-891-0455
Sunday: 12–8 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 12–9 PM
Wednesday: 12–9 PM
Thursday: 12–9 PM
Friday: 12–9 PM
Saturday: 12–9 PM
Fresh seafood
Stellar customer service
Well-seasoned food
Positive vibes

First, let's talk about the fresh seafood. As soon as I walked in, I could smell the ocean breeze (or was that just my imagination?). The fish looked so fresh that I almost expected it to jump off the plate and swim back to the ocean.

Next up is the stellar customer service. The staff were incredibly friendly and made me feel right at home. They even recommended some other dishes, but nothing could sway me from my mission of finding the best fried catfish in Chicago.

Now, let's get down to business - the food. The catfish was cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. But what really stood out was how well-seasoned it was. It wasn't overpowering but had just enough flavor to make me want more.

Lastly, I have to mention the positive vibes at What’s Krackin’. The atmosphere was lively and fun, with music playing in the background and people chatting away. It felt like a party, except instead of cake, we had catfish!

Overall, What’s Krackin’ Southern Seafood is a must-visit for any fried catfish enthusiast. With its fresh seafood, stellar customer service, well-seasoned food, and positive vibes - it's no wonder this place is making waves in Chicago's food scene!

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Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp

Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp
🗺️ 2120 S Canal St, Chicago, IL 60616
☎️ 312-225-2113
🌐 Website
Sunday: Open 24 hours
Monday: Open 24 hours
Tuesday: Open 24 hours
Wednesday: Open 24 hours
Thursday: Open 24 hours
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: Open 24 hours
Fresh seafood at a good price
Ample seating and decently clean bathrooms
Quick cooking time
House made hot sauce is great
Dine in, take out or dine outside with a view

When I first walked in, I was impressed by the fresh seafood on display at a reasonable price. After ordering my fried catfish, I was pleased to see that there was ample seating available and the bathrooms were decently clean.

While waiting for my food, I noticed that the cooking time was incredibly quick which is always a plus when you're hungry and craving some fish. Once my order arrived, I couldn't wait to try their house-made hot sauce and let me tell you - it did not disappoint! The hot sauce added an extra kick to the already delicious fried catfish.

What stood out to me about Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp is that they offer multiple options for dining including dine-in, take-out or outdoor dining with a view. It's perfect for those who want a quick bite or those who want to take their time and enjoy the scenery.

Overall, if you're looking for fresh seafood at an affordable price with great options for dining in or taking out, be sure to stop by Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp. Their quick cooking time and house-made hot sauce are just icing on the cake.

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Troha's Chicken & Shrimp House

Troha's Chicken & Shrimp House
🗺️ 4151 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60623
☎️ 773-521-7847
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–8 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 11 AM–8 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–8 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–8 PM
Friday: 11 AM–8 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–8 PM
Consistent taste
Juicy pieces
Popular on Chicago's Best TV show
Delicious shrimp
Great for holiday traditions

First of all, I was impressed with the consistent taste of their fried catfish. Each piece had a perfectly crispy batter that didn't overpower the flavor of the fish. And let me tell you, those were some juicy pieces! I could practically taste the freshness.

I also noticed that Troha's has gained attention from being featured on Chicago's Best TV show, and I can see why. Their catfish is definitely one of the best in town. But don't just take my word for it - try it out yourself!

As much as I enjoyed the catfish, I have to give a shoutout to their shrimp too. It was so delicious that I almost forgot why I came there in the first place!

Lastly, if you're looking for a new holiday tradition, consider adding Troha's to your list. Their food is great for any occasion, but something about their cozy atmosphere makes it perfect for family gatherings.

Overall, Troha's Chicken & Shrimp House is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for top-quality fried catfish in Chicago.

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Snappy's Shrimp

Snappy's Shrimp
🗺️ 1901 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
☎️ 773-244-1008
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 11 AM–10 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–10 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–10 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–10 PM
Friday: 11 AM–10 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–10 PM
Local ownership
Fresh jumbo Gulf shrimp
Fair prices
Mom-and-pop restaurant
Vegetarian options

First off, I was pleased to find out that Snappy's Shrimp is a locally owned mom-and-pop restaurant. You can feel the love and care in every bite of their food.

I ordered their famous fried catfish and was delighted to find out that they use fresh jumbo Gulf shrimp in their recipe as well. The combination of both seafoods made for an amazing flavor explosion in my mouth. The batter was crispy and not too heavy, allowing the fish to be the star of the show.

Snappy's Shrimp offers vegetarian options, so if you're not into seafood, don't worry! They have something for everyone. And let's talk about their prices- they are fair and reasonable for the quality of food they offer.

Overall, I highly recommend Snappy's Shrimp to anyone looking for some amazing fried catfish or seafood in general. This local gem is worth a visit and will not disappoint your taste buds.

You might also want to check out the best seafood in Schaumburg.

Calumet Fisheries

Calumet Fisheries
🗺️ 3259 E 95th St, Chicago, IL 60617
☎️ 773-933-9855
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10 AM–9:45 PM
Monday: 10 AM–9:45 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM–9:45 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM–9:45 PM
Thursday: 9 AM–9:30 PM
Friday: 9 AM–9:45 PM
Saturday: 9 AM–9:45 PM
Smoked fish
Exceptional service
Cash only
Limited seating
Street parking

First of all, let's talk about their smoked fish. Even though I came here to try the fried catfish, I couldn't resist ordering some smoked salmon as an appetizer - and boy was it delicious! It was so good that I almost forgot why I was there in the first place.

Now, onto the main event - the fried catfish. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The batter had just the right amount of crunch and seasoning, and the fish inside was cooked to perfection. It was so fresh and juicy that every bite felt like a party in my mouth.

But what really stood out to me at Calumet Fisheries was their exceptional service. The staff were incredibly friendly and attentive, making sure that my experience was nothing short of amazing. They even gave me some tips on how to make my own fried catfish at home!

Just keep in mind that this place is cash only and has limited seating, so come prepared with some greenbacks and be ready to grab a spot wherever you can find one on the street.

Overall, I highly recommend Calumet Fisheries for anyone looking for some outstanding fried catfish in Chicago. You won't regret it!

You might also want to check out the best seafood restaurants in Schaumburg.

Goose Island Shrimp House

Goose Island Shrimp House
🗺️ 1011 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60642
☎️ 312-642-3640
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 11 AM–7 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–7 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–7 PM
Friday: 11 AM–7 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–7 PM
Excellent seafood
Scallop dish is top-notch
Popular local spot
Cash and Credit accepted

First of all, let me start by saying that this place is a hidden gem. As soon as I walked in, I could tell it was a popular local spot. And the seafood? Oh my goodness, it was excellent. But let's focus on what we're here for - the fried catfish.

The catfish dish was seasoned to perfection with a crispy exterior and tender, flaky meat on the inside. It was so good that I almost forgot about the other dishes on the menu. Almost.

One dish that stood out to me was the scallops. They were top-notch and melted in my mouth like butter. Trust me when I say, if you're a seafood lover, you'll want to try them.

As for payment options, they accept both cash and credit, which is always convenient.

Overall, Goose Island Shrimp House is definitely worth a visit if you're looking for some of the best fried catfish in Chicago. Don't just take my word for it though, go check it out for yourself!

Duwell Fish Co

Duwell Fish Co
🗺️ 617 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60624
☎️ 773-826-9666
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 9 AM–5:30 PM
Tuesday: 9 AM–5:30 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM–5:30 PM
Thursday: 9 AM–6 PM
Friday: 8 AM–6 PM
Saturday: 8 AM–5:30 PM
5-star service
Best fish batter
Fresh seafood

Firstly, I have to say that the 5-star service at Duwell Fish Co is unmatched. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful in suggesting their best dishes. Now, let's talk about the main attraction - the fried catfish.

The fish batter at Duwell Fish Co is hands down the best I've tasted in Chicago. It was crispy on the outside yet juicy and tender on the inside. The batter had a perfect blend of spices that enhanced the flavor of the catfish without overpowering it.

What sets Duwell Fish Co apart from its competitors is their commitment to using only fresh seafood. You can taste the difference in every bite of their fried catfish. The quality of their seafood speaks for itself.

Overall, my experience at Duwell Fish Co was unforgettable. From start to finish, everything was perfect - from the welcoming atmosphere to the delicious food and impeccable service. If you're looking for a place to satisfy your cravings for fried catfish, look no further than Duwell Fish Co. Trust me, you won't regret it!

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Alex Irvin

Alex enthusiastically explores her hometown of Chicago with an adventurous spirit and a pen in hand. As a freelance writer, Alex specializes in reviewing places in and around the city. From restaurants to theaters, Alex brings attention to interesting finds throughout the area. Along with her reviews, Alex writes articles on Chicago's neighborhoods, engaging events, and her own travel stories. When Alex can't be found behind a computer, you'll find her sampling the newest restaurant, attending a play or strolling around the city.