2022 Best of Lake Erie: Fish Dishes

Dive into the catch of the day at three Lake Erie favorites.

Casual Catches: Fish Shak
When you think about fish in Lake Erie, you think about walleye (Port Clinton bills itself as the walleye capital of the world) and yellow perch. Both are caught by the ton by commercial and recreational anglers, and many of them find their way onto plates at local restaurants, including the Fish Shak. 

Part of the Boardwalk complex on the waterfront in Put-in-Bay, the Fish Shak offers casual fare with hand-breaded Lake Erie perch and walleye sandwiches and baskets, as well as a generous variety of beer, wine and liquors and panoramic views of the water.
Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie Islands, 419-285-3695, the-boardwalk.com

All About Oysters: Bay House Oyster Bar & Restaurant
One seafood people might NOT think of when they think of Lake Erie is oysters. But Josh Graffius, sous-chef and oyster bar manager at Bay House Oyster Bar & Restaurant is trying to change that. Opened in December 2021, the restaurant offers steaks and seafood — including a variety of oysters (from the east and west coast, depending on season) prepared several ways.

Oysters are available on the half shell or grilled on the coals of the Bay House’s Argentine grill — “When it pops, it’s ready to eat,” Graffius says. They’re also breaded and fried, with hot sauce, spinach and feta cheese. “It’s a passion project,” he says. “We really want to be the best at it.”
Erie, Pennsylvania, 814-413-7440, upick6.com/bay-house 

All-You-Can-Eat Seafood: Pickle Bill’s
A waterfront landmark in Grand River, Ohio, since 1982, Pickle Bill’s is known for its all-you-can-eat seafood. Diners can eat in a barge on the water, getting their fill of deep-fried scallops, shrimp, fish and chips, Lake Erie perch and walleye or Alaskan snow crab. (You can also get all-you-can-eat prime rib, too.) The best part? It’s not a limited special. If the restaurant’s open and they’ve got it in stock, it’s available.
Grand River, Ohio, 1-800-352-6343, picklebills.com