The Fish Fry is a local summer favourite here on the shores of Lake Erie. Whether you find those shores reaching you on Pelee Island or on the mainland in Kingsville. We wanted to know the secrets behind what makes for the perfect summer fish fry so we reached out to some friends who have a long-standing local, family history of frying fish. With a combined 75 years of serving up local fish, they have some serious knowledge and experience on the subject.

Family Fish Fry Secrets From the Shores of Pelee Island

Established in 1978 by Alta WadsWorth, The Westview Tavern on Pelee Island is a familiar site as the ferry pulls into dock on the island’s west shore. Now operated by her granddaughter, Melissa Malloch, The Westview Tavern continues the tradition of the local Islander’s go-to favourite with their fish dinners served up sandwich, basket or dinner style.

We asked The Westview Tavern:

What’s your favourite fish to fry in summer? Lake Erie Perch.  

Top tip for the perfect fry? Make sure the oil is hot enough!

Batter Advice? Keep it simple! Egg wash and cracker crumbs are all you need.

Sauce? Favourite Tartar? A fresh made tartar of mayo, relish, lemon and a little Old Bay Seasoning, (her family’s special twist).

Tartar sauce fixings for fish fry

Favourite side dish? You can’t go wrong with fries and coleslaw or our famous Westview Broccoli Salad.  

If you find yourself at the Westview ordering one of their famous fish dishes, pair it with a Pelee Island Pinot Grigio VQA or Chardonnay VQA and a chat with the locals.

Family Fish Fry Secrets From the Shores of Kingsville

A staple of Kingsville’s restaurant scene since 1989, the Loop family knows a thing or two about frying up fish. Jack’s Gastropub & Banded Goose Brewing Co. offer 2 unique experiences including outdoor patios, distinctive dining rooms, their own in-house Banded Goose crafted beer and seasonal menus created with local farmers, producers & artisans.

We asked the Loop Team at Jack’s & The Banded Goose:

What’s your favourite fish to fry in the summer? Lake Erie Yellow Perch.

Top tip for the perfect fry? Make sure oil is hot (365-375F) and glide fish into the oil moving away from your body.

Batter advice? Rather than batter…..try seasoned flour, egg wash and Panko bread crumbs.

Sauce? Favourite Tartar? Malt Vinegar Tartar…..  add 4 tbsp malt vinegar to a cup of prepared mayo, 1 tbsp grainy mustard, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp Worcestershire and fresh thyme.

Favourite side dish? Fresh cut fries.

If you find yourself at Jack’s Gastropub, we suggest pairing their Loop Fisheries Lake Erie Perch with Pelee Island Pinot Grigio. At BGB? A must have are their Puerto Rican Picadillo Perch Tacos with one of their crafted brews.

On the Homefront

Ready to try out our local expert’s fish fry tips at home? Hot oil (as well as safety around the use of hot oil), keeping it simple and Lake Erie Perch are the consensus as your starting place.

For a home pairing with The Westview tartar, try: Lighthouse Riesling VQA or Bella Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé VQA

For a home pairing with Jack’s Malt Vinegar tartar, try: Lighthouse Sauvignon Blanc VQA or Ruggles Run VQA


Pssttt… Don’t forget! While you’re here to sign up for our Birthday Club and receive a $20 Gift Voucher for your birthday!