Best Fried Shrimp Shacks in Chicago

Best Fried Shrimp Shacks in Chicago

Photo of Thrillist Chicago

Unlike Chicago's hot dog stands and pizza parlors, our fried shrimp shacks are 1) less ubiquitous, but 2) MORE FRIED!!, which makes them just as worthy of a best-of roundup. Here's a look at the shacks that're doing this longtime city favorite justice.

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    It's a pleasant vibe inside that'll transfer you to somewhere warm on the water, and while it might not be as old-school as the others, its fried shrimp comes made in that style.
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    If you like your fried shrimp Chicago-style and live on the Northwest side, then this is your place. Another mostly takeout spot, Fish N' Go uses thick batter, jumbo shrimp, and everything is fried to-order.
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    It's takeout-only at this quintessential Chicago-style shrimp shack that serves jumbo, heavily breaded shrimps with Heinies Hot Sauce on the side (the only Northside establishment I know of that has it).
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    Instead of the more common twice-battered shrimp that's been seasoned, these are on the smaller side and come with a really light breading. Locals line up for orders in the afternoon and through the night.
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    Started in 1950 by Lawrence Schweig, this is your spot for fried shrimp available 24/7. While it's grown since its humble beginnings, the quality of the product has not.
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    The menu is half-fried and half-smoked; both fish and seafood. The setting is next to the Chicago River, and its signature fried shrimp are a favorite of everyone from the Blues Brothers to Anthony Bourdain.
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    Quality is the key here, as they only use shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. It all comes supplied from Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and gets a lighter-than-norm breading, allowing the taste of the Gulf shrimp to shine.
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    One of the greatest hot dog stands in the city, they also make some mean fried shrimp and fresh-cut fries.
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    One of the best in the city as far as both atmosphere and quality goes, Troha's serves medium-breaded shrimp fried to golden perfection every time, for a more than reasonable price.
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