The Anchor Fish & Chips

Every day (except Monday, when the restaurant is closed) is fish fry day at this convivial northeast Minneapolis gem. But no one does the fish (Alaskan cod) and (hand-cut) chips thing better. The sometimes-challenging mix of cramped setting and first-come-first-served policy often translates into a wait for a seat. But it's worth it. Fish and chips are $13.50, or $10.50 for fish only.

302 13th Av. NE., Mpls., 612-676-1300,

Black Dog Cafe

Starting Feb. 28, this cozy Lowertown hangout is offering a deal every Friday (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) during Lent: a hefty serving of fried Atlantic cod, plus coleslaw and the kitchen's skin-on fries, for $12.95. Drop by in the evening for live music.

308 E. Prince St., St. Paul, 651-228-9274,

Birchwood Cafe

Chef Marshall Paulsen applies his farm-to-table practices to his year-round Friday fish fry (5 to 9 p.m.), serving sustainably caught walleye from the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians in Red Lake, Minn. The walleye's batter coating is gluten-free, the fries are cut from organic potatoes, coleslaw pops with crisp seasonal veggies and the tartar sauce is made with crunchy housemade pickles. Price is $20 for a two-piece plate, $24 for three pieces. The bar pours $4 beers from a pair of St. Paul breweries: a gluten-free American pale ale from Burning Bros., or a featured tap from Urban Growler.

3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., 612-722-4474,

Blue Door Pub

Two of the restaurant's four locations take a deep dive into Friday fish fry, following the all-day, all-you-can-eat routine ($13.95) with beer-battered cod, housemade slaw and a choice of fries or Tater Tots. The feast starts on Ash Wednesday and continues every Friday through Lent.

3448 42nd Av. S., Mpls., 612-315-2470 and

1514 Como Av. SE., Mpls., 612-367-4964,

The Brooklyn Restaurant & Bar

Every Friday starting at 5 p.m., this great-looking restaurant — overlooking a golf course and operated by the D'Amico family of dining establishments — gets into the fish fry act, with a serving of beer-battered Alaskan cod, fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce. Cost is $16 ($12 for ages 12 and under) and reservations are accepted.

8700 Edinbrook Crossing, Brooklyn Park, 763-315-8535,

Gluek's Bar & Restaurant

The Bavarian beer-hall-like dining room — a downtown Minneapolis treasure — goes fish fry every Friday, year-round, serving from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The all-you-can-eat format ($14.95) includes beer-battered (Gluek's lager, of course) and fried cod, fries, hush puppies, coleslaw and a caper-and-dill tartar sauce.

16 N. 6th St., Mpls., 612-338-6621,

Groveland Tap

Every Friday, year-round, this popular Mac-Groveland hangout embraces the all-you-can-eat fish fry ($12.50) routine, featuring beer-battered swai (a freshwater-farmed, catfish-like variety), crinkle-cut fries, coleslaw and plenty of malt vinegar.

1834 St. Clair Av., St. Paul, 651-699-5058,

Half-Time Rec

Every Friday at this fun-loving Irish dive bar, the $12 spotlight is on three pieces of beer-battered cod, served with steak fries and tartar sauce.

1013 Front Av., St. Paul, 651-488-8245,

The Little Oven

This popular, bargain-friendly East Sider offers a daily fish fry special that starts on Ash Wednesday and runs daily (starting at 11 a.m.) through Lent. Three pieces of beer-battered cod are $12.99, four for $14.99 and all-you-can-eat is $16.99, and all three options include soup or salad, choice of potato (fries, mashed, baked, au gratins), a vegetable and a popover. Cash or check only.

1786 E. Minnehaha Av., St. Paul, 651-735-4944,

Machine Shed

Every Friday (3 to 10 p.m.), the titanic East Metro outlet of this Iowa-based outfit serves an all-you-can-eat spread ($14.99) that consists of fried or broiled cod with a choice of a side dish (fries, sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, a daily vegetable medley). Reservations accepted.

8515 Hudson Blvd. N., Lake Elmo, 651-735-7436,

Octo Fishbar

Fish fry, from a James Beard award-winning chef? Believe it: Tim McKee is turning his considerable talents to beer-battered fish ("Last year it was cod, but we may do walleye this time, I haven't decided that yet," he said) and English-style fries with malt vinegar. The style? Single serving. "Who could eat more than one portion of fried fish?" he said with a laugh. The price is to be determined, and look for it to run Friday evenings starting March 6 and running through Lent.

289 E. 5th St., St. Paul, 651-202-3409,

Pub 42

Every Friday, the menu's single-serving fish-and-chips plate drops from $15.95 to $13.95. It's walleye, done up in a batter powered by Alaskan Brewing Company's amber ale, and it's paired with well-seasoned, thick-cut steak fries and tartar sauce.

7600 N. 42nd Av., New Hope, 763-278-4242,

Rascal's Bar & Grill

Fridays during Lent — plus the last Friday of every month, year-round — this friendly sports bar offers all-you-can-eat haddock (beer-battered and deep-fried, of course), along with single-serving sides of crinkle-cut fries and coleslaw. Cost is $14.95 and it's available from 5 to 10 p.m.

7721 W. 147th St., Apple Valley, 952-431-7777,

Red Stag Supperclub

Owner Kim Bartmann offers all kinds of variety at her year-round Friday fish fry (5 to 10 p.m.). The basket option — which includes potato chips, coleslaw and a sweet onion-infused tartar sauce — is a choice between beer-battered and fried cod, walleye or perch. Prices swing from $12 to $14 for a single serving, $17 to $19 for a double. The kitchen also offers fried calamari ($12), fried shrimp ($14) and the Twin Cities' best smelt fries ($9), which are served with an excellent smoked tomato ketchup.

509 1st Av. NE., Mpls., 612-767-7766,

Tillie's Farmhouse

On Fridays (after 5 p.m.) during Lent (starting on Feb. 28), this charming storefront setup turns out a single-serving fish fry ($15) of beer-battered cod, Old Bay-seasoned fries, cornbread, housemade pickles and tartar sauce. "It's a large portion, you can probably share it," said owner Tom Grittner. "We've got some great appetizers — Kung Pao cauliflower, Brussels sprouts — that will go really well with it."

232 N. Cleveland Av., St. Paul, 651-645-8950,

Urban Growler

Every Friday, the taproom at Minnesota's first women-owned microbrewery pays tribute to the beloved Wisconsin institution that is the fish fry. The fish is breaded lake perch, and it's served with fries, a creamy coleslaw, tartar sauce and pumpernickel rye bread. Although it's not an all-you-can-eat situation, the $18 portion is beyond generous, and it's served from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., or until supplies last. Brewer/co-owner Deb Loch suggests pairing the fish with her flagship Cowbell Cream Ale (the brewery's so-called "lawn mower beer") or Kentucky Uncommon, her twist on the bourbon formula in a brewery setting. Also: Consider making a habit of the $13 joy that is the taproom's Turkey Pot Pie Thursday.

2325 Endicott St., St. Paul, 651-340-5793,

Rick Nelson • @RickNelsonStrib