Best of Springfield

BEST CATFISH

Carter's Fish Market

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY CARTER'S FISH MARKET
Photo courtesy Carter's Fish Market

Carter's Fish Market is hands-down the best place to get catfish in Springfield. Carter's is primarily a to-go service, with diners lining up to order at a window. When the weather cooperates, there are a few tables for those who wish to dine al fresco.

We think our readers focused on the fact that Carter's has outstanding food and generous portions. Two people could easily share an order. Because of Carter's popularity, sometimes there's a bit of a wait, but our readers have declared that it's well worth it. Because there is almost always a line, smart diners call ahead so orders are ready to pick up upon arrival. We, however, think half the fun is standing in line and talking with those around you. To each their own!

Carter's catfish breading is on point and has just the right ratio of Cajun-style spices. It's not too heavy, and the crispy texture plays well with the flaky fresh fish that Carter's uses. The fact that the fish is then fried to perfection results in the winning trifecta of deliciousness that Springfield readers have come to expect from Carter's. It has people coming back time and time again.

Along with catfish, Carter's also offers fried walleye, shrimp and carp. The fish is always hot and made to order. All plates are served with pickles and onions. Hot sauce and tartar sauce are available upon request. In the last few years, Carter's has also started frying up Asian carp in an effort to "move them out of the water and onto your plate." There are also sides available for purchase which include river fries (thick cut American-style fries), corn fritters, hush puppies and coleslaw. The sides are as generously sized as the orders of fish. Carter's doesn't skimp on food – it will not leave you hungry. For those who would like to cook up some catfish at home, it can be purchased inside the adjoining store along with the exact breading mix they use.

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