photo credit: Veda Kilaru
Hagen's Fish Market
Since opening their doors in 1946, this little family-run seafood market in Portage Park has developed a loyal local following—and that following should also include you. Besides selling high-quality fresh, frozen, and smoked seafood (plus some fun merch), Hagen’s Fish Market is one of the last surviving natural hardwood smokehouses in Chicago. Meaning they’ll smoke whatever you caught on your last fishing trip for you. But if you’re not the sort to hunt and gather your own meal, Hagen’s will fry up some of their own fish, crustaceans, and shellfish for you. Everything has a light breading and somehow manages to stay briny and juicy, like the excellent fried clams and calamari. The crispy fish filet sandwich is also a winner, and a lesson in simplicity—just flaky whitefish, tomato, lettuce, and tartar sauce on a toasted roll. It’s what a Filet-O-Fish aspires to be.