Best Fish Sticks Ahoy!

I have not thought about fish sticks in approximately 20 years. Why would I? I’m an adult! Fish sticks are reserved for the elementary school lunchroom. Or so I thought.

As I prepared 15 packages of fish sticks, I had more Mythical employees stop and chat with me than with any other product I’ve ever prepared in our work kitchen. Over and over again people said, “Ooo, are those fish sticks? I love fish sticks!” Maybe I had been missing out on something this whole time?

After tasting almost every single fish stick on the market, I can confirm that I have, in fact, been missing something. Fish sticks are good! Well, some fish sticks are good. But don’t worry, I’ve compiled a list of all the best fish sticks you should buy.

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Best of the Best

365 Breaded Fish Sticks

The moment I sunk my teeth into the 365 Breaded Fish Sticks, I knew they were the best fish sticks we would try. I genuinely could not believe how much I liked these. They have fish flavor without being fishy. This is key to good fish sticks, and this brand has perfected it. Mark Catangui, Sporked social media manager, called these fish sticks “congruent.” After Googling the definition of “congruent” (“in agreement or harmony”), I have to say I agree with Mark. The fish and the breading don’t separate when you bite into them, making one beautifully homogenous fish stick.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon




Best Crunchy

Fremont Wild Caught Breaded Fish Sticks

“They’re greasy and it feels good.” These were the first words out of the mouth of Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked managing editor, after tasting the Fremont Wild Caught Breaded Fish Sticks. These have that crunchy, oily, craveable taste and texture you get from a piece of fried, battered fish at a restaurant. Plus, they’re one of the few fish sticks made from “minced fish” that still have good internal texture rather than feeling like fish mush.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart




Best with Tartar Sauce

Ian’s Natural Foods Fish Sticks

I don’t think I’ve ever had a cornmeal-crusted fish stick before, but after trying these Ian’s Natural Foods Fish Sticks, I’m on board! The cornmeal gave them a unique texture compared to the other fish sticks on the market. It’s almost like the breading is made from a hush puppy. They also had the most pronounced seasoning, featuring hints of salt and garlic. They weren’t overly fish-forward while still maintaining a natural fish flavor. Because of their strong flavor and interesting texture, I think these would absolutely rule if you dipped them in an herby, pickle-y tartar sauce.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target




Best for Kids

Dr. Praeger’s Fish Sticks

The Dr. Praeger’s Fish Sticks are the perfect size for small child hands. They have the nice, meaty texture and thick breading needed to hold up to a hearty plunge in ketchup. They are lightly seasoned to not overwhelm a picky eater. That being said, these may be the “best for kids” but they aren’t only for kids. The whole family will enjoy the fact that the fish flakes beautifully and that the coating has a strong crunch.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart




Best Quality

Pacific Seafood Gluten Free Fish Sticks

The Pacific Seafood Fish Sticks are absolutely massive. They are Fish with a capital “f.” They’re thick and juicy and feel like real fillets of fish. You could definitely eat these with some lemon and tartar sauce, but these would also be great to use in quick and easy fish tacos. They are already battered, don’t need to be thawed, and would be awesome slathered in tangy slaw and chipotle crema. A fun bonus is that these are gluten-free for any celiac fish stick fans out there!

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart




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About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • The beginning of this article starts out with how you haven’t even thought of fish dicks in 20 years and I got to say I’m in the exact same boat I laughed when I read that. Fish sticks isn’t exactly something that crave or have on my mind but after reading that gluten-free one and how you could use them in fish tacos it kind of struck me like oh of course fish sticks would be perfect for fish tacos. I’m totally gonna have to try this and dive into the underworld of that is fish sticks.

  • I hadn’t thought about fish sticks for 20 years as well. Outside of that glorious year where we all had that inside joke about Kanye West. Was it just me or were fish sticks like never-ending? Like I could eat SO MANY FISH STICKS. I feel like fish is not something should’ve made poppable.