Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market – Lakeview, Chicago

Happy Friday, Everyone!

Many of you are observing Lenten season and avoiding meat.  While I do not subscribe to any organized religion, fish is a huge part of my personal “house of worship”: Food.  That said, I have excellent news for you in the way of seafood.

Late last year, Glenn Fahlstrom (formerly of Glenn’s Diner), opened his new restaurant, Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market

Yesterday was a particularly sunny day with temps at a balmy 52 degrees.  So, I decided to hop the CTA Red LIne up to Fahlstrom’s for a light and lovely solo lunch.

Belmont 'L stop near Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market

Fahlstrom’s is located just 5 blocks from the CTA Belmont ‘L” stop at the corner of Belmont and Lakewood.  The #77 Belmont bus stops right in front of the restaurant as well.  Score!

Cross street near Fahlstrom's

Fahlstrom’s is part retail fish market and part restaurant.  There is also a small, cozy bar adjacent to the retail fish counter at the front of the house.  A sidewalk patio will open as soon as the weather warms up.  Yay!

The fish served here comes from all around the world.  Canadian walleye, Idaho trout or Pacific swordfish on your mind?  They’ve got it.  Dreaming of a vacation “down under” to “Oz” but can’t get there yet?  No worries.  Fahlstrom’s is flying in Australian barramundi just for you 🙂  It really can be difficult to choose from the many sandwiches, entrees and more on the menu, as well as from the daily chalkboard specials.  So, take your time and have one of Fahlstrom’s martini specials while you decide.  I did not have a drink with lunch today but I will be back for their Bloody Mary which I understand is garnished with shrimp!

Fahlstrom's fish menu

Chalkboard specials

Fahlstrom's chalkboard menu

Key lime pie? I’m in!

Here is how my lunch went down:

Since soup is my favorite food group, I started with a small mug of New England clam chowder which arrived piping hot, chock full of clams and potatoes.  Very nice!

Fahlstrom's clam chowder

Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market clam chowder

Chowda time!  Don’t forget to add some oyster crackers 🙂

After eyeballing the daily specials and the main menu, I felt it was my obligation to order Fahlstrom’s signature “Crabster,” an Alaskan King Crab roll.  Holy yum!  The perfectly toasty, buttery roll held 6 oz. of fresh, sweet Alaskan King Crab meat and some crunchy claw.  That’s it, folks!  I firmly believe that when it comes to fresh fish, you should let it shine on its own rather than cover it up with too many other ingredients. This is especially true of lobster and crab rolls.  I am so happy Mr. Fahlstrom agrees with me.  I added just a bit of hot sauce because, well, I like it hot and spicy 😉  My crab roll came with this very tasty potato pancake.

Fahlstrom's Alaskannking crab roll

My Alaskan King Crab roll came with a yummy potato pancake

Fahlstrom's crab roll


Glenn Fahlstrom has a bit of an obsession with cereal.  There is a wall of cereal boxes in the main room.  So, if you feel like breakfast, you can mix and match your favorite cereal together in one big bowl.  Quirky?  Sure.  It’s not exactly what you are expecting to find at a seafood-centric restaurant but that is what I love about it.  It makes people smile and feel nostalgic.  Nothing wrong with that 🙂

Fahlstrom's dining room

Fahlstrom's cereal selection

The wall of cereal 🙂 Mix it up a bit!

Fahlstrom's dining space

Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market cereal

I am looking forward to spending many warm summer evenings and Sunday brunches at Fahlstrom’s whether I return with friends or solo.

Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market retail counter

Buy some fresh fish to go!

Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market bar

Grab a drink and a bite at Fahlstrom’s bar. Watch the game!

Fahlstrom's sea plates

Sea Plates

Fahlstrom's sandwiches

Sea Sandwiches

Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market is located at 1258 W. Belmont Ave.  I highly recommend you stop in at as soon as possible.  It is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.  Brunch is available on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, visit www.fahlstromsfreshfish.com.

Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market sign

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Red, Brown or Purple Lines (or the #77 Belmont bus) to Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market.  Save on gas.  Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!