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Buffalo Eats 'Fish Fry Tournament' names top 2 spots in WNY

What's the number one fish fry in WNY? Voters weighed in
Posted at 10:38 AM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 10:38:12-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It was a northtown vs. southtown March Madness showdown and after 5,000 of you voted, we have a winner. Buffalo Eats had the top 16 fish fry spots in WNY face off on Twitter for the top spot.

"It's nothing special it's just doing it right," said Ben Holmes, owner of Wallenwein's Hotel in East Aurora.

Here's the seeding:

Buffalo Eats Fish Fry seedings
Buffalo Eats Fish Fry seedings

Seafood Giant since 1877, Hayes Seafood House in Clarence wasn't surprised to make it on the list.

"We told friends and family about it and we made it all the way to the finals, it was awesome, there are so many good fish fries around this area that it's nice to be recognized," said Nick Pyzikiewicz, Manager at Hayes.

What makes their fish fry so special?

"We got a different style here. It's got a mild, sweet flavor, we use a light batter, light breading, crisp it up nice so you can taste that fish and a lot of people are coming to realize it's a nice way to have your fish cooked," said Pyzikiewicz.

Wallenwein's came in as an underdog at the 12 seed, but came out on top in the final two against Hayes.

"I didn't even have a chance to look at it until I had a couple beers and I was like 'Oh we won! That's kinda neat'," said Holmes.

And what makes theirs number one?

"It's doing every little thing, just properly. There's no special ingredient, there's nothing I'm using that someone else isn't, it's taking what we have and doing the best we can," said Holmes.

They sold 700 fish fries on the first Friday in the Lenten Season, which isn't cheap these days.

"Last week, fish went up 30 cents a pound...when we're talking 400 pounds of fish, that adds up," Holmes.

Both Pyzikiewicz and Holmes say this recognition and the fish fry boost are huge for their bottom lines.

"January and February are the worst months ever in any restaurant, so it's kind of a nice transition, you need nights like [Friday's] just to stay open," said Holmes.

How to get these top fish fries:
1. Wally's
(716) 652-9801
641 Oakwood Ave
Greek or Italian specialty fish for $1 extra
Homemade sides of coleslaw, macaroni salad and your choice of potato
Fridays are busy, so if you just want fish, come on Wednesdays.
And they're hiring in the kitchen

2. Hayes
(716) 632-1772
8900 Main Street
Call ahead, before Friday
Two sides and a dinner roll included