The Top 10 Fast Food Seafood Items Across The USA, Ranked

These are the best of what fast food seafood has to offer, from fish sandwiches to seafood tacos.

Fast food seafood has gotten a bad rap over the years, and it’s easy to understand why. Many of the pescatarian options have been overcooked, mushy or bland. Times have changed, though, and with that, the quality of the industry’s fishy fare has shot up.

Whether it be whole fish filets or irresistible pieces of shrimp, there’s a lot more being offered than before. The fish sandwich may still dominate, but it’s gone from being overlooked to getting a ton of attention. These are the best of what fast-food seafood has to offer, from timeless fish sandwiches to seafood staples that could dominate for years to come.

When making this list, only items from major fast-food chains were looked at and ranked on quality, popularity and flavor. There will be some big names not on this list (sorry, Ronald), but that’s just indicative of how some newer chains have risen to the challenge and created seafood items that are just…well, better.

Here’s why McDonald’s keeps the Filet-O-Fish on the menu.

10) Tuna Pie, Jollibee

The fried chicken icon of the Philippines is no one-trick pony. When it comes to seafood, it’s a little harder to find, but this Lenten option is the best they have to offer. While the fact that it’s basically canned tuna in a cream sauce makes it less appealing, you have to appreciate its zesty, peppery flavor and flaky pastry crust.

Jollibee is quickly taking over America. Here’s why.

9) North Atlantic Cod Sandwich, Culver’s

View this post on Instagram

Our North Atlantic Cod is standing by, ready to satisfy.

A post shared by Culver’s (@culvers) on Mar 9, 2018 at 9:30am PST

To make it on this list as a standard fish sandwich, you need to get some basics right: a crispy exterior, intriguing fillings and a well-cooked piece of fish. Culver’s hits on all of those marks with the mixture of shredded cheese and lettuce and a light amount of tartar sauce (McDonald’s, take note) accentuating the flavors of the cod. It does need a bit more seasoning, however.

You need to know about these Culver’s secrets.

8) Fish Slider, White Castle

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by AnGeLaaaaaLiii (@anan_gela) on Jul 18, 2015 at 7:26am PDT

The phrase “simple is better” definitely applies to White Castle’s Contribution to the fast-food fish game. They don’t church theirs up with tartar sauce or lettuce, using just a slice of American cheese to top their Alaskan pollock. While the fish choice itself is “meh,” given how ubiquitous and overcooked pollock tends to be, their flavor is extraordinary given the slider’s size.

Did you know these White Castle burger facts?

7) Crispy Fish Sandwich, Arby’s

View this post on Instagram

The journey is far from over.

A post shared by Arby’s (@arbys) on Jan 23, 2020 at 12:00pm PST

Arby’s would be a lot higher on this list if they had decided to bring back their Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich. That version had a ton of kick and was a tasty contribution to the fast-food game. The Crispy Fish Sandwich gives you that seafood fill with tartar sauce, iceberg lettuce, a crunchy but soft fish fillet and, of course, a sesame seed bun. It’s no Nashville Hot, though.

We bet you didn’t know about the Arby’s secret menu.

6) Popcorn Shrimp, Popeyes

Popeyes knows how to do fried shrimp proper. They’re coated with the same seasoning as Popeyes’ top-notch fried chicken, elevating the crustaceans to a new level of flavor. Get the taste of Louisiana and them some with a 1/4-Pound Popcorn Shrimp Meal from Popeyes. If shellfish your go-to seafood, try learning how to cook crab legs at home.

5) North Pacific Cod Sandwich, Wendy’s

Who does the generic fish sandwich the best? That answer has to be Wendy’s. It’s something about the punchiness of their tartar sauce, how the cod is cooked well and how the fish has the right crunch. It’s more of a quality thing than a “we put other stuff on it” that makes their variant as good as it is. Of course, it is just your standard fish sandwich and, while it’s a darn good version of it, there are other things out there that showcase seafood better.

Here’s why Wendy’s burgers are square.

4) Jumbo Shrimp Tacos, Del Taco

All day I dream about crispy Jumbo Shrimp tacos and burritos. Is that normal? Del Taco’s take on the Baja-style seafood taco is surprisingly great. The shrimp are coated with just the right amount of seasoning, and the crisp lettuce and tomato offset it perfectly in terms of contrasting textures. The white sauce and fresh lime on top elevate this option into the top 5, because they provide the acidic punch and creamy consistency of tartar sauce with just a fraction of its heaviness. This is my personal go-to option for a seafood snack during the Lent season.

3) 2 Cod, 6 Shrimp Platter, Long John Silver’s

View this post on Instagram

Break up your day with some flaky fish deliciousness.

A post shared by Long John Silver’s (@longjohnsilvers) on Dec 4, 2016 at 1:45pm PST

Those looking to treat themselves to a seafood feast need to track this down. Being one of two fast-food seafood specialists in the country, Long John Silver’s knows how to give cod the appropriate TLC, keeping it crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. The seasoning is a little too close to KFC’s, but few can compete with their batter or the size of this platter.

2) Giant Fish Sandwich, Captain D’s

In the duel of the fast-food seafood specialists, Captain D’s is the people’s choice. Folks regard it as better because of its taste, and this Giant Fish Sandwich shows it off best. The fish pieces themselves are massive in terms of both length and flavor, and an appropriate amount of tartar sauce helps make this one of the most decadent sandwiches you can get in fast food. It’s better than its fishy rivals and one of the best fast food seafood item out there.

These frozen fish sticks may rival the flavor of Captain D’s.

1) Honey Walnut Shrimp, Panda Express

View this post on Instagram

TGI-Good Fortune Friday. Celebrate with #HoneyWalnutShrimp and a ?.

A post shared by Panda Express (@officialpandaexpress) on Feb 23, 2018 at 10:39am PST

Watch the rest of the fast-food seafood game disappear when compared to Panda’s signature shrimp. How can one compete with its sweet, savory flavor, balanced with the crunch and slight bitterness of walnuts? Nobody has been able to create something within reach yet, so until the fast-food seafood universe can catch up, Honey Walnut Shrimp will tower over anything that tries to one-up it.

Next up, try these Panda Express copycat recipes.

Popular Videos