Where do you go for that perfect CNY fish fry?


Two items for discussion: a good fish fry and a good hike.

We went to the Route 20 Diner recently for that CNY specialty, the Friday night fish fry. I know it’s not a unique regional dish but it certainly is a pretty important one here. Wife L and I debate the merits of each eatery’s fish fry like New Hampshire residents discuss primary candidates.

I have to say the fish fry at the Route 20 Diner did not rank in my top three.  The batter was too dense and not very flavorful. The haddock was flaky and moist, but its wrapper was mediocre. So far this year my favorite fish fry has been from the Huff Brau House in Earlville. There, the batter is crisp and crunchy, and the fish light and not a tad greasy. 

Any good fish fry has to have good side dishes. I don’t like vinegar-based cole slaw so I will always check how it’s prepared before ordering and I’ll opt for a  side salad if it’s an option. Sweet potato fries are a big plus if available and a welcome option to consider along with French fries or baked potato.

Wife L swears by the fish fry she had at Johnnie’s Pier 31 on Oneida Lake, just south of Sylvan Beach. Everything was just right for her and she says the battered fish still has not been beat.

Where do you go for a good fish fry? Leave a comment here with your recommendation for a new destination for this CNY staple.

Chittenango Creek along the Gorge Trail

I had a different destination in mind on Sunday. I am on a hike Madison County kick and decided to walk the Cazenovia Gorge Trail. This trail follows Chittenango Creek for 2.5 miles, offering good views of the rushing water as it heads north toward Oneida Lake.

I accessed the trail at Buyea’s True Value Hardware Store on Route 20 on the eastern edge of the village. Just skirt to the right of the store’s big parking lot and you’ll spot the first blue marker for the trail. It really doesn’t “begin” until Clark Street, where a trail map and information kiosk is located, but this is an easily accessible starting point.

The trail, which is part of the larger Link Trail,  follows an abandoned rail bed, and even with the rain on Sunday was mostly dry. It is a nice stretch of the legs and a great place to bring Fido if your pooch needs some exercise.

Stairs leading from the Gorge Trail to Bingley Road

A pretty view along Bingley Road in the town of Fenner

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7 thoughts on “Where do you go for that perfect CNY fish fry?

  1. Try Camillus Country Club! They do a great fish dinner every Friday. Alot of sides to choose from and a great atmosphere! $13.95 get you a soup or salad, choice of 2 sides and a HUGE piece of fresh haddock… Well worth it!

  2. Doug’s fish is bland, with a capital B!
    It is not even haddock, it is extremely mild flavored scrod.
    A true CNY fish fry MUST be haddock-accept no substitutes.

    Luigi’s on Valley Drive has a great fish fry.

    • Luigi’s??? We’ve been there a couple of times but never even thought ‘fish fry.’ We’ll have to visit again. I will have to compare it to doug’s when I get there.

  3. When traveling to New York from Maryland, we always plan our trip so that we are in Cortland at lunch or dinner time so we can eat at Dougs Fish Fry! Fantastic food. So wish we had something like that down here. Try it Tim, we bet you’ll like it!

    • We keep meaning to get to Doug’s, either in Cortland or Skaneateles, but haven’t had any luck so far. If there is an NFL season this year, fingers crossed, I will get to Doug’s if the NY Jets return to Cortland for training camp.

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