Get a crispy fried fish sandwich from Doug's food truck or their permanent location. (Ava Fasciano/Sun Graphic Designer)

May 6, 2021

The Best Fish Sandwich

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Nothing hits the spot like a crispy, fried fish sandwich. If you got the chance to read my article last week, you already know that I worked as a fishmonger for some time in high school. I’m passionate about seafood, and finding the best fish dishes is an ongoing quest of mine. As for finding the best fried fish sandwich, that’s already happened: Doug’s Fish Fry in Skaneateles, NY has fish that is unmatched in both taste and quality.

Doug’s Fish Fry is the epitome of a timeless, family-owned business that consistently serves phenomenal food. All ingredients are fresh, with fish being shipped in from Boston every five days. The oil used for frying is changed three times per day, setting Doug’s apart from most other restaurants. Additionally, all ingredients and dishes are prepared in-house. 

Cornell’s wellness days were the perfect opportunity for me to take a food-motivated day trip to Skaneateles. Only a short and scenic one hour drive away, the destination is more than worth the journey. I went for one purpose: a sit-down meal at the original Doug’s.

When I walked into the restaurant, I was overtaken by the wonderful smells of fish, onion rings and slaw. Don’t think twice before ordering and go right for the fish dinner. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider swapping the fries for some onion rings. Ask no questions; just trust that Doug’s famous fish dinner is famous for a reason.

The toasted bun barely supports a gigantic slab of fried cod, with lemony tartar sauce smeared across the fish. Served next to a toppling pile of greasy home fries and a sweet slaw, the fish hangs off the bun by at least a few inches on either side. Looking at my plate of mouth-watering food, I had to remind myself to take a picture for this article before devouring the dish. When I was finally able to dig in, my first bite into the crispy and flaky cod tasted divine. The tartar sauce with capers and lemon seemed to be uniquely made for this sandwich. After switching back and forth between the fries and sandwich, I was stuffed and had to take my slaw to go.

Doug’s has been so successful that they now have a permanent location in Cortland, along with a traveling food truck that occasionally travels to Ithaca. The snaking line is more than worth the wait. The fish dinner from the truck is just as fresh (trust me, I’ve tried it), and all takeout is served on paper plates and wrapped in paper; no plastic containers will go to waste! The to-go dinner is best enjoyed while sitting on Libe Slope and watching the sunset.

Every time I go to Doug’s, I know I can expect stellar quality and service. If you need a break from the endless school grind, a day trip to the famous fish restaurant will dissipate all stress and thoughts of prelims. Just make sure you come with an appetite!

Olivia Smith is a current junior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She can be reached at ojs28@cornell.edu