We visited the iconic Mister Fish in Lakeland in 2017. Coming home from a recent daytrip to Pasco County, we felt like having some local food that we could bring home without breaking the bank. Mister Fish is close to our home and a known quantity, so there we went. The place is owned by the daughter of the founders, who opened Mister Fish in 1968.
We’re also fans of the fact that Mister Fish is just across the street from the Lakeland Public Library. That makes it the perfect opportunity to pick up a book before or after your meal (and soon a place to relax with a hot beverage).
The parking lot is on the small side but we’ve always been able to find a space (in a pinch, the library/art museum parking lot across the street always has space). For a place that is, basically, a food shack, they have a pretty diverse menu. Besides fish they offer chicken, burgers, corn dogs, shrimp and clams. There is a long list of sides that includes fried okra, hush puppies, crab rolls, and breaded mushrooms. There are a few picnic tables with umbrellas for dining on site, but most people get their food to go.
My wife and I both tend to be creatures of habit when we go to restaurants, so without even looking I suspect we ordered the same thing both times we’ve been to Mister Fish. In this case, we both had the same meal, a large Mister Fish basket – a fish sandwich with fries.
While a lot of restaurants serve wimpy sandwiches that are overwhelmed by the bun, Mister Fish puts three generous portions of fish on their sandwiches. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind a little more substantial bun, that’s the only thing I might change about the Mister Fish sandwich. The breading on the fish has a nice flavor to it – I can’t identify what seasonings are used (I think I tasted some sage in there), but it’s not spicy. I can’t promise, but the fish seems fresh, it doesn’t have the rubbery consistency frozen fish usually has.
Our total with tip was $26. We feel that’s completely reasonable for the delicious food and quality of service we’ve received at Mister Fish. If there was a checklist of places every Lakeland resident should visit, we would put Mister Fish on it. They are on East Palmetto Street in Lakeland, across the street from the Lakeland Public Library and the Polk Museum of Art. Enjoy!