Top 4 Fish Fries in Stevens Point: Community Poll
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT — Whether it’s a chilly spring day or a pastel-sky summer evening, a classic fish fry hits the spot. Luckily for Stevens Point locals, the city is flooded with delicious, battered and deep-fried fish delectables.
The Gazette polled the community on the top fish fries in Stevens Point over the course of several weeks, and staff contacted the top four community choices to find out what made these local hotspots fish-fry-landmarks and what separates them from other restaurants, bars and grills in the area.
Hilltop Pub & Grill 4901 Main Street
Hilltop first opened in the 1980s and took the Stevens Point community by storm with their delectable food and unique decor. “Mitchell’s Hilltop Pub and Grill first opened in 1983, when Bill and Kathy Mitchell bought the Hilltop,” said Jodi Passwaters, manager. “With additions to the building and menu, we have grown into the restaurant we are today.” According to Passwaters, Hilltop’s fish fries are beloved due to their use of “high-quality North Atlantic cod, with a light beer batter.” Passwaters recommends a “cold Wisconsin beer” to go with the mouth-watering fish fries, severed daily at the eatery.
The Final Score Bar & Grill
908 Maria Drive
The Final Score initiated their mission to become a local hot spot in 2001 when Jim Billings, owner, took the reins of the business. “When we purchased it, I was living in Illinois, and my wife and I were looking to come back to Stevens Point because our kids were here,” Billings said. “It was an easy choice to come back to the area.” Billings feels that the bar’s consistency and five multiple batter flavors set them apart from their neighboring peers. He believes that the ideal drink-combo to pair with the bar’s Friday fish fries can vary from person to person, but admits that it’s “probably old fashioned cocktails, it’s kind of a Wisconsin tradition.”
Point After Pub & Grill
801 2nd Street
Point After started serving flavorsome food and cold beers in a welcoming environment in 2009. But Point After’s history runs much deeper than the 2000s. “Before it was Point After Pub it was Northside Bar for 30 plus years,” explained Nicole Molski, owner. Molski feels that the pub’s four distinct batter choices and other fish specials are what help define them as an area institution. She feels a classic old fashioned goes well with their Friday fish fries. “It’s a Wisconsin thing,” Molski said.
Two Harps Pub 2301 Church Street
Newest in the culinary lineup is Two Harps. The Irish pub opened its doors to the public in 2017 and has been recruiting fans and local patrons ever since. “I had done my career for a long time and was kind of bored of it,” said Nick Moore, owner. “And this opportunity fell in my lap, so I went with it and being of Irish heritage, it made sense to open up an Irish bar.” Moore’s secret to success with his fish fries is to use his grandmother’s advice when it comes to seasoning batter, “keep it simple.” The growing pub recommends guests try a cold beer with their Friday fish fry. “Any beer you like, we carry a bunch,” Moore laughed.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.