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Hagen's Fish Market
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  • Hagen's Fish Market

    Post #1 - March 28th, 2005, 3:45 pm
    Post #1 - March 28th, 2005, 3:45 pm Post #1 - March 28th, 2005, 3:45 pm
    I've posted briefly about Hagen's in the past, in answer to questions about sources for good fish sandwiches and smoked fish. Here are more details and some images.

    "Fresh, Smoked, and Fried Seafood," Hagen's has been "A family business since 1946," and is located near Montrose and Central (just west of Toot's!).

    They fry seafood to order, and sell beautifully smoked fish, fresh seafood, and all sorts of Baltic foodstuffs (including, in the frozen section, potato sausage, salted cod, Finnan Haddie, and, yes, lutefisk. They will even smoke, for a fee, fresh-caught fish.

    I've never been disappointed in the fried items: catfish strips, shrimp, scallops, smelt, scallops, oysters, lake perch, sea perch, clam strips, calamari, and hush puppies. I am partial, too, to their soft-shell crabs (frozen, but, hey!, this is the Midwest, after all), and I regularly take home the frozen crabmeat-stuffed flounder (it makes me feel as if I'm back on the Gulf Coast again).

    Hagen's has my favorite fried fish sandwich and fried oysters in Chicago. The oysters are dipped raw, right out of their liquor, and then hand-breaded and fried.

    Here are the promised images:

    Image

    A parking lot provides dining al fresco.

    Image

    Smoked fish counter

    Image

    Fish sandwich (with optional cheese) and hush puppies

    Image

    Fried oysters

    Hagen's Fish Market
    5635 W. Montrose
    773-283-1944
    http://www.hagensfishmarket.com
    Hours: M-Th 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fr and Sat 8 a.m.-midnight; Sun noon-8 p.m.

    Cheers,
    Wade
    "Remember the Alamo? I do, with the very last swallow."
  • Post #2 - April 3rd, 2005, 7:22 pm
    Post #2 - April 3rd, 2005, 7:22 pm Post #2 - April 3rd, 2005, 7:22 pm
    waderoberts wrote:http://www.hagensfishmarket.com
    Hours: M-Th 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fr and Sat 8 a.m.-midnight; Sun noon-8 p.m.

    Wade,

    We were just wondering about what to do for dinner so I started poking around LTH for ideas. Soon as I saw your pics of Hagen's fried oysters, fish sandwich and hush puppies that was it. That is, until I saw they closed at 8pm on Sunday. Oh well.

    I've been to Hagen's many times over the years, my in-laws used to live not too far away, and I've always thought them a solid choice for on the go fried seafood and smoked fish. Hummm, I wonder what time the Fish Keg on Howard St closes?

    Speaking of smoked fish, I was at Calumet Fisheries last week, had their smoked shrimp a number of times, but had never been to the shop/smoke house, except through JSM's Picture The smoked shrimp seemed moister and, if possible, even more full of flavor. Calumet Fisheries also has smoked trout, chubs and, on special order, sable, in addition to a number of fried items.
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - April 3rd, 2005, 8:55 pm
    Post #3 - April 3rd, 2005, 8:55 pm Post #3 - April 3rd, 2005, 8:55 pm
    I went back to Calumet Fisheries today with Pigmon. Their chubs are like fish-crack, and we needed a fix. We also got a glimpse of their smoking apparatus-

    The Smoke House:
    Image
    A peak inside...
    Image
    And the smoking racks.
    Image

    I was very excited to special order some sable, but found out that they don't smoke their own, but rather, order it from someone else. But judging from the quality of their product, I can't imagine that it would be anything less than great. There is a 3 lb minimum ($16.50/lb) when you order, and if you want it fresh out of the smoker you will have to pick it up on a Sunday around 3pm.

    Calumet Fisheries, Inc.
    3259 East 95th St
    773-993-9855
    open everyday until 9:45pm
  • Post #4 - April 4th, 2005, 10:04 am
    Post #4 - April 4th, 2005, 10:04 am Post #4 - April 4th, 2005, 10:04 am
    I am really glad to hear that Hagen's is still going strong. They were a once-a-week favorite when I was growing up in the area.

    We were thinking of Hagen's while we were doing our mad shopping spree to the Polish delis around that neck of the woods before Easter. We were getting hungry especially when driving around with the smells of smoked ham and polish sausage wafting from the bags in the car. Hagen's was one idea for some quick sustenance and we wondered and hoped that they were still there. But we never made it there that day.

    I did not realize that they had such beautiful fried oysters! I guess when we were growing up, the most exotic thing we got at Hagen's were the scallops. Gosh it might be time for another long trip to the old neighborhood. THANK YOU for this reminder and the great pictures! --Joy
  • Post #5 - April 4th, 2005, 12:06 pm
    Post #5 - April 4th, 2005, 12:06 pm Post #5 - April 4th, 2005, 12:06 pm
    Joy wrote:I did not realize that they had such beautiful fried oysters! I guess when we were growing up, the most exotic thing we got at Hagen's were the scallops. --Joy


    Joy,

    I grew up in the area, too, and have been going to Hagen's since the late 1950s, but the oysters were off my radar, too. Next time I'm around there (I drive through that area by happenstance two or three times a year), I'm up for the oysters (which look fabulous in the photo; not too much breading:you can actually see the little oyster meat poking through the fry).

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #6 - April 4th, 2005, 6:07 pm
    Post #6 - April 4th, 2005, 6:07 pm Post #6 - April 4th, 2005, 6:07 pm
    If the fried oysters at Hagen's are off the radar, it might be because they are off of the posted menu.

    I stopped by there dozens of times, dutifully choosing off of the wall-hung menu (which does not list oysters). I was always highly satisfied, but I always left casting a wistful and longing glance at the chilled and shucked oysters, happy in their brine in the fresh fish case. One day, I worked up the nerve to inquire: "Would you fry me up some of those?"

    It never hurts to ask.

    Of course, they did and will. They scoop the oysters out of their liquor, take them to the back to bread them, and then bring them out to fry them.

    I ate that first pound sitting in my car in the parking lot, and then promptly went back in and got two more pounds for oyster po' boys.

    Hagen's charges for the oysters by the pint, which, I seem to recollect works out to $10-$12/lb. It's well-worth it here in the Midwest; these fried oysters are the best that I've had in Chicago: briny, sweet, crusty, just the right amount of breading, fried but not overcooked, and still moist inside. They are still mostly oyster.

    Hot damn. I'm hungry now, but I just made Frito Pie.

    Cheers,
    Wade
    "Remember the Alamo? I do, with the very last swallow."
  • Post #7 - April 4th, 2005, 6:37 pm
    Post #7 - April 4th, 2005, 6:37 pm Post #7 - April 4th, 2005, 6:37 pm
    Joy wrote:I am really glad to hear that Hagen's is still going strong. They were a once-a-week favorite when I was growing up in the area.


    Same here, my family has been going to Hagens since the early 60's.

    Although they where not to my youthful tastes, I remember my older brother and dad fighting over who would get the last chub. The fish chips and perch where the family staples during our biweekly Hagen's feast. I prefer the fried shrimp or scallops nowadays.
    I did bring a large northern pike to them to smoke for me a few years ago. They did an excellent job and we reduced that huge fish to bones in an afternoon.

    Thanks for the post! After 43 years of going there I learned that while I have had everything on the menu, I havent had everything that they offer. Gotta try them oysters soon!


    Bob
    Bob Kopczynski
    http://www.maxwellstreetmarket.com
    "Best Deals in Town"
  • Post #8 - April 5th, 2005, 8:29 am
    Post #8 - April 5th, 2005, 8:29 am Post #8 - April 5th, 2005, 8:29 am
    ha ha ha I can just imagine the staff at Hagen's being mystified at the sudden run on fried oysters! "What's the deal with all the oysters??!" they ask each other, shaking their heads and muttering. ha ha ha

    A lot of good eating takes place in parking lots, doesn't it?

    --Joy
  • Post #9 - September 4th, 2005, 1:11 pm
    Post #9 - September 4th, 2005, 1:11 pm Post #9 - September 4th, 2005, 1:11 pm
    Just hit Hagen's Fish Market today.

    Amazing lightly breaded oysters. Just fabulous. Solid thinly cut fries, lightly salted. Had a fish sandwich as well. Think it's cod but I'm not sure. The fish was slightly breaded and very fresh and flavorful. This piece of fish was huge as it was overflowing out all sides of the simple - yet very tasty in and of itself - bun. This fish was cooked perfectly and not overcooked as are so many of the fish sandwiches that I've tasted. The tatar sauce was fresh and was the perfect condiment to the sandwich. I did not opt for the cheese. Why people put disgusting processed American cheese on anything, much less on a brilliant fish sandwich, is beyond my comprehension.

    For a little over 2 bucks you just cannot get a better deal in Chicagoland than the fish sandwich at Hagen's.

    I also picked up a smoked salmon filet and 3/4 lb. of the smoked shrimp which I'll try later on tonight and then update my post.

    The place itself was a nice little seafood shop with many fresh offerings to tempt the palate. I'll be going back again.

    Thanks for the recommendation, Hagen's is a great place!
  • Post #10 - September 4th, 2005, 7:57 pm
    Post #10 - September 4th, 2005, 7:57 pm Post #10 - September 4th, 2005, 7:57 pm
    Hi,

    Where did you sit for your lunch? Was it eat off the hood or was there some seating available?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - September 4th, 2005, 9:59 pm
    Post #11 - September 4th, 2005, 9:59 pm Post #11 - September 4th, 2005, 9:59 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Where did you sit for your lunch? Was it eat off the hood or was there some seating available?Regards,


    At Hagen's, they have white wrought-iron type tables and chairs in front, and, as I recall, a solitary picnic table in back, or you can eat on or in your car (of course).

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #12 - September 5th, 2005, 8:27 am
    Post #12 - September 5th, 2005, 8:27 am Post #12 - September 5th, 2005, 8:27 am
    I ate al fresco in my car with the windows down and listening to the Cubs game, which practically ruined my meal - bad idea.

    They had 3 or 4 green plastic chairs out front but no table. I didn't see what they had in back.
  • Post #13 - September 9th, 2005, 9:06 am
    Post #13 - September 9th, 2005, 9:06 am Post #13 - September 9th, 2005, 9:06 am
    Man o' man...just found this board--

    If you're Italian & do the 'Feast of Seven Fishes' on Christmas Eve, Hagen's is basically the one-stop shop. And you had better get there early that day or face the music of long lines. They open (I think) at 9AM, and last Dec 24 I was standing outside Hagen's at 8:30 in minus 13 degree temps with about 20 other insane souls. Fortunately, they opened a few minutes before nine, and I picked up my previously-ordered mussels, then bought some shrimp, octopus salad, clams, smoked salmon, smoked trout & smoked sturgeon. All delicious.

    It is a drive for me, though, and I really have to make a point of hitting Hagen's more often than once or twice a year.
  • Post #14 - September 9th, 2005, 12:03 pm
    Post #14 - September 9th, 2005, 12:03 pm Post #14 - September 9th, 2005, 12:03 pm
    I've been going to Hagen's for decades. My usual MO would be to point to the finest looking fresh filet in the reefer case and say, "fry that up crispy, my man." Not having developed much of a taste for bivalves, I'd ignored the oysters. Now knowing it likely that the oyster beds of the Gulf are heavily damaged, and the price and scarcity of this commodity are sure to rise, I took a chance today on the fried oysters.

    As usual, Hagen's was impeccably clean, with nary a fishy smell. The help was efficient and friendy, and they even asked how well done I wanted them fried (I resisted the urge to say, "fry hard"). The oysters were subtle, sweet, and succulent.

    To round out my New Orleans lunch I also ordered something I'd avoided in the past: seafood gumbo. Being a gumbo snob, I knew this was a risky go. This was okra gumbo not my prefered file. The seafood was somewhat scarce. The rice had been cooked into the broth losing most of its texture. The base was not built on roux as dark as the Mississippi bayou. Still, it was edible, and a steal a $1.59 (plus tax).

    I'll return for the fried oysters, dependent upon price, but I'll skip to the gumbo and try the chowda.

    Ps: For the record, there are two two-person tables outside in front and a picnic table in the parking lot for your dining pleasure.

    Pps: I'm not much for religion, but I did ask a silent blessing for Katrina's victims as grace for this meal.

    -ramon
  • Post #15 - September 19th, 2005, 12:27 pm
    Post #15 - September 19th, 2005, 12:27 pm Post #15 - September 19th, 2005, 12:27 pm
    I had a fantastic lunch in the front seat of my car in Hagen's parking lot yesterday. A half-pound of fried oysters, an order of hush puppies, and a cup of louisiana hot sauce. With a drink, about nine bucks.

    I've never met a fresh-from-the-brine fried oyster that I didn't like, and these were no exception. Perfect breading, and fried just long enough to maintain a soft, juicy center. Truly excellent.

    But the real stars of the meal were the hush puppies. Well seasoned and full of visible bits of minced onion, they were among the best tasting hush puppies I've ever had.

    I might have to have another meal in my car tonight.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #16 - April 16th, 2007, 8:12 pm
    Post #16 - April 16th, 2007, 8:12 pm Post #16 - April 16th, 2007, 8:12 pm
    Hello,
    Sorry to rejuvenate an old topic. I am Chris and I manage Hagen's Fish Market. I was browsing the web and came across your forums here and saw some stuff about us and wanted to thank you for all of the nice comments. I also saw some very good ideas in here.

    Good fried oysters are hard to find and we do a good job with them, I will try to get them added to the menu board!

    Any questions you may have about us, I would be glad to help with.

    I also do the website programming for us and have set us up to ship online so you can send our smoked fish anywhere in the US.

    Please check us out at www.hagensfishmarket.com and join our email list. I email specials and coupons.

    We have a forum for sharing recipes and fishing techniques as well!

    Thanks!

    You catch 'em and I'll smoke 'em!
    Why do people on shore cast as far out into the lake as they can and people in boats cast as close to shore as they can?

    Any color works as long as its yellow!
  • Post #17 - April 16th, 2007, 8:29 pm
    Post #17 - April 16th, 2007, 8:29 pm Post #17 - April 16th, 2007, 8:29 pm
    Hello Hagen's. Don't know if you remember me. I'm your old, old RC Cola guy, back around 1992. Use to get the lobster and crab legs every so often. I've moved on to the southwest suburbs so I can't really get up there easily. I did want to say hi and hello to the family. Best regards. Tom Gausselin
  • Post #18 - May 31st, 2007, 12:37 pm
    Post #18 - May 31st, 2007, 12:37 pm Post #18 - May 31st, 2007, 12:37 pm
    Just a quick note to alert you all to a good deal at Hagen's to celebrate their 61st year in business. Hagen's Meal Deal is 1lb fried shrimp, 1lb fish chips, large fry, 1lb coleslaw, and 8oz Hagen sauce for $18.99. Sunday through Thursday only through 6/23/07.

    Another reason to like Hagen's? The counter people don't look at you bug-eyed when you order 1/3 lb.
  • Post #19 - June 1st, 2007, 9:46 pm
    Post #19 - June 1st, 2007, 9:46 pm Post #19 - June 1st, 2007, 9:46 pm
    My family has been going to Hagens since it opened. Don't get there much now but glad to see its still going. We got the fried shrimp and scallops.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #20 - June 6th, 2007, 5:13 pm
    Post #20 - June 6th, 2007, 5:13 pm Post #20 - June 6th, 2007, 5:13 pm
    I wanted catfish, but I didn't feel like cooking. I saw this thread and I was pretty excited. It's not too far from home (google maps says 4.5 miles, but that's wrong -- it's past my aunt's house, which I know for a fact is 5 miles even).

    Hagen's was not worth the drive. Maybe tonight was an off night, but I won't be driving back. The batter is too thick and heavy, it's overly salty and otherwise flavorless. There are pockets of peppery red spice that just do nothing for the fish. I didn't see oysters on the menu, otherwise I would have ordered them.

    I'm not just an ordinary snob here... I've worked as a fry cook in a seafood restaurant. Our fish was never allowed to be frozen (ditto for the oysters), it was boned and trimmed by hand. Deep-fried in a light coating of corn flour, the catfish and oysters were nothing short of heavenly.

    Now if anyone knows where I can get THAT in Chicago (already tried J&Js), please... Please... PLEASE come forth and let me know. Until then, I guess I'll have to go back to cooking it myself.
  • Post #21 - July 12th, 2007, 8:27 pm
    Post #21 - July 12th, 2007, 8:27 pm Post #21 - July 12th, 2007, 8:27 pm
    Chris wrote:Please check us out at www.hagensfishmarket.com


    I noticed that there were no smoked ciscoes which I just had for the first time in far N Wisconsin. They were delicious, I've never seen them anywhere around Chicago.

    Anyone recall finding smoked ciscoes locally ?

    --
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #22 - July 13th, 2007, 12:15 pm
    Post #22 - July 13th, 2007, 12:15 pm Post #22 - July 13th, 2007, 12:15 pm
    Elptacek,

    You may want to try Trojas at 4151 W. 26th st. in the Little Village area. Great catfish and shrimp-haven't tried the oysters. Minimal coating, perfectly fried...
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #23 - July 13th, 2007, 10:43 pm
    Post #23 - July 13th, 2007, 10:43 pm Post #23 - July 13th, 2007, 10:43 pm
    If you want to feel like your in the middle of an Art Shay photograph check out Hagen's on the morning of Christmas Eve or the day before. The place is jammed by 7:30 with a sea of hardened, stoic mostly Eastern European type faces waiting patiently to place their orders. Last year was a classic scene with everyone shoulder to shoulder and one gentleman suddenly shouting loudly and angrily into his cell phone at someone in Polish for about three minutes. No one even flinched or failed to follow their precious ticket number. When done the man put his phone away and seamlessly joined back into the silent throng.

    I'm there for the smoked fish with the Sable, Sturgeon and Shrimp their stand out items. Pretty good kidney bean salad also. They also wisely advise you to not keep any of the smoked shellfish in the plastic bags they dispense it in but transfer to a glass container loosely covered.
  • Post #24 - July 15th, 2007, 11:04 pm
    Post #24 - July 15th, 2007, 11:04 pm Post #24 - July 15th, 2007, 11:04 pm
    Anybody know of anyplace to score a box of smoked chubs on the cheap? I used to get them at Al's, but they're gone. And Hagen's is off the charts.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #25 - July 16th, 2007, 4:10 am
    Post #25 - July 16th, 2007, 4:10 am Post #25 - July 16th, 2007, 4:10 am
    Cogito wrote:Anybody know of anyplace to score a box of smoked chubs on the cheap? I used to get them at Al's, but they're gone. And Hagen's is off the charts.


    You might want to give a call to GNR Winner Calumet Fisheries. I'd suspect that they carry them.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #26 - July 16th, 2007, 6:55 am
    Post #26 - July 16th, 2007, 6:55 am Post #26 - July 16th, 2007, 6:55 am
    HI,

    Steve's right, Calumet Fisheries does have chubs. Whether they fit your criteria for cheap chubs, I don't know.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #27 - October 26th, 2007, 2:29 pm
    Post #27 - October 26th, 2007, 2:29 pm Post #27 - October 26th, 2007, 2:29 pm
    LTH,

    Stopped on by Hagen's today after picking up the SO's Halloween costume at a rental place on Milwaukee. Boy, I don't ever want to go in there (rental place) again. Suffocatingly crowded in a decent sized place at noon. It will be an ugly scene tonight for sure. Just brutal.

    Anyway, to bring my blood pressure and nerves down a few notches I took the short drive over to Hagen's for a nice lunch.

    Had the fried claims; fried oysters; and a fish sandwich sans the cheese (Except for maybe black licorice there is no food I loathe more than American cheese - ICK!). Everything was wonderful and instead of paying a couple of bucks for a few of their sauces I purchased a bottle of the London Pub Style Malt Vinegar and one of something new for me - Atlantic Lemon Dill Tartar Sauce. Boy was the tartar sauce fantastic. Very subtle lemon flavor & nice addtion of dill. I highly recommend you grab a jar for $2.10 out of the back fridge next time you're at Hagen's. Very nice.

    Picked up a pound of shell on shrimps for dinner. MMMMMMMMMMM GOOD!

    Hagen's comes thru again.

    Bster
  • Post #28 - January 14th, 2008, 7:36 pm
    Post #28 - January 14th, 2008, 7:36 pm Post #28 - January 14th, 2008, 7:36 pm
    What do you do when a place you've been going to for over 20 years lets you down?

    Catfish tonight tasted like something from a grade school fish tank.

    Fish chips were a 2.5 on a 1-10 scale. No flavor and seemed to be a mixed type of fish...not all the same species of fish.

    Normally they have pretty darn good flavor and freshness.

    Should I give them a pass and try it again some other time and not be so critical?

    25 bucks down the drain.
  • Post #29 - January 13th, 2009, 6:59 am
    Post #29 - January 13th, 2009, 6:59 am Post #29 - January 13th, 2009, 6:59 am
    Today's Chicago Tribune has an obituary of Bennet Hagen, patriarch of Hagen's Fish Market, opened in 1946. The obit covers the history of the market.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #30 - January 13th, 2009, 9:30 am
    Post #30 - January 13th, 2009, 9:30 am Post #30 - January 13th, 2009, 9:30 am
    Hagen's gone downhill?

    I think I'd better make a quick trip to The Fish Keg on Howard, grab a pound of fried shrimp, fries, & an RC for quality-control purposes. Given the weather conditions, however, I will not be dining on the hood of my car.

    The Fish Keg
    2233 W Howard St
    Chicago, IL 60645
    (773) 262-6603

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