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Battle of the fish sandwiches: Which is the best deal?

Fast food outlets compete on size and price
Posted at 10:59 AM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 14:37:22-05

Portions of this report were first published in February 2018.


Fish fry! It's that time of year again, the Friday fish sandwich rush during Lent.

Ray Moon of Anderson Township told us last year he prefers the sandwich that started it all.

"Between fast food," he said, "I would say McDonald's, probably because they've had it for a long time and its pretty good."

Michelle Miller likes another popular favorite. "My favorite fish sandwich would have to be Arby's," she said.

So which is best? It depends if you are more interested in quality (which will be more expensive) or price (where paying less typically gives you less fish and a smaller, basic bun).

Business Insider compares popular chains

So we turned to Business Insider, which in 2018 did an extensive taste test of the major national chains.

Of the major chains, the report said:

  • Arby's scored lowest.
  • Burger King's sandwich was rated better but a bit "sad," according to the report. Poor little fish.
  • McDonald's was "not bad," but "boring."
  • White Castle was tasty, though they say the "bun overpowers the tiny fish square."
  • Popeye's was rated "decent."
  • Wendy's was the winner. Business Insider called Wendy's "shockingly good."

They did not rate a hometown Cincinnati favorite, Frisch's.

Best deals on fish

Of course, it's often a case of "you get what you pay for." We wanted to know which chain has the best value.

For 2019, here is what you will find:

  • White Castle is cheapest: $1.59 for a Fish Slider, but you will probably need at eat least two.
  • Arby's has two for $5 Crispy Fish at participating restaurants
  • Wendy's is $3.69.
  • McDonalds: $3.79 (though it may be on sale for $1.99 at participating restaurants)
  • Burger King: two for $6
  • Chick-fil-A has added fish sandwiches for 2019, at $3.55 each
  • Jack in the Box has a $4 Fish Combo, with sandwich, fries, and a drink for just $4
  • In the Cincinnati area, Frisch's tops the price chart at $5.69.

But the best deal of all might be your local church fish fry because you're helping a good cause. Plus, it tastes really good.

That way you don't waste your money.


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