Long John Silver's Menu Ranked From Worst To Best

Oceans make up such a large percentage of the Earth, and staring out at the tide crashing into the sand is an instant reminder of nature's beauty. A calm sea imbues a sense of peace in your mind. But, do you know what else it does? It reminds you just how much delicious food swims beneath the surface as well. Anyone who loves seafood knows that gawking at the sea not only puts a smile on their face but also boosts their appetite to gobble up amazing ocean cuisine.

One chain that embraces a love of great seafood is Long John Silver's. The restaurant has been serving customers since 1969 when it opened its first location in Lexington, Kentucky. It offers a decent selection of affordable dishes that definitely scratch that seafood itch when it strikes. However, as with any menu, not every single item Long John Silver's serves is worth putting on a snorkel to retrieve. So, the next time you decide to surf instead of turf, keep in mind which options are totally worth your money and which ones you should abandon far out at sea.

14. Chicken

Long John Silver's is known for its seafood (it's named after an infamous pirate, after all). The only protein it offers besides fish and crustaceans is chicken. The meal comes with three pieces of fried all-white meat chicken strips, two sides, and two hushpuppies. Now, if you find yourself at the restaurant craving fried chicken, you might be tempted to choose this option. But if that's the case, you're much better off leaving and going someplace that doesn't specialize in seafood.

The chicken is completely dry, to the point that you almost need a drink after each bite just to help it get down your throat. It's also really bland, making the two factors together hit you with a one-two punch of extreme disappointment. The only positive thing you could say is that the batter offers a nice crunch, but that's far from being a good reason to put yourself through this bummer of a dining experience. When you're at Long John Silver's stick to the ocean stuff.

13. Pacific cod

Fish can be a fickle thing to cook. It's not that it's especially difficult, but there's a very small window during its cooking time that you need to take advantage of, or else it'll come out too tough or underdone. Unfortunately, the Pacific cod at Long John Silver's falls into the former category, which is why you should definitely navigate your money elsewhere on the menu, even if you're a big cod enthusiast.

When cooked correctly, cod should have a delicate texture and gentle mouthfeel, but that's not what's happening with this stuff. The filet is tough, and you have to bite down much harder than you should to break it apart. Combine that with a fried breading and you have a meal that feels like you need to put in way too much work to enjoy it. Since the texture hints at the fish being overcooked, there isn't much flavor either. The result is that you munch into a bland fried filet with a firm texture.

12. Pacific cod sandwich

The first person to take a piece of fish, slap it between two pieces of bread, and slather some tartar sauce in the middle deserves an applause. Tartar sauce is the perfect condiment for fish, much like ketchup is for a juicy burger. If fish sandwiches are your thing, Long John Silver's offers customers a Pacific cod sandwich. The sandwich is simple: a filet of fried cod served on bread with pickles and tartar sauce. These basic ingredients have the potential for greatness, but sadly they fall short of ever achieving it.

Cod is the star of the show here, but it's undeserving of any kind of award. The fish is tough as opposed to delicate and flaky, and the batter it's coated in only adds to the unpleasantly firm texture. The only redeeming quality here is the tartar sauce, which definitely lends some moisture to the filet. However, you're not buying the sandwich for the sauce. You're better off choosing a different item entirely and snagging yourself a cod sandwich elsewhere.

11. Grilled salmon

Salmon is one of the most popular types of fish you can eat, and for good reason. It has a great flavor on its own, and you can glaze it with an assortment of sauces to up the flavor game. Plus, when it's cooked properly it has a delightfully flaky texture that almost melts on your palate. If you're the kind of person who loves to satiate your appetite with salmon, you might feel tempted to opt for the grilled salmon dish the next time you're at Long John Silver's. As it turns out, you'd be much better off buying a filet from the supermarket and making it in the comfort of your own kitchen.

The texture here is the biggest turnoff, although the flavor isn't anything to write home about either. Instead of the flaky, delicate salmon meat you're imagining, you get a filet that doesn't flake apart at all, but breaks apart in firm chunks instead. The seasoning on the salmon skin does have a bit of flavor to help you forget about the off-putting texture, but overall, this isn't the way to truly enjoy grilled salmon.

10. Battered shrimp

Shrimp are great for two big reasons: They're delicious, first of all, and they're also bite-sized, so you can toss back handful after handful without feeling like your belly is gonna bust open. You can dip these crustaceans in a ton of different sauces or add them to pasta dishes for a burst of flavor. Long John Silver's offers customers a battered shrimp option, but you should probably swim in another direction.

The issue you'll find trouble getting past is the batter. The shrimp underneath the crispy exterior is decently juicy and gives your mouth a nice rush of ocean flavor, but the batter is so greasy it strips some of the enjoyment away from the taste of the shrimp. You feel like you're eating a mouthful of oil along with some shrimp flavor, and it can quickly get overwhelming. There are a couple of other shrimp options on the Long John Silver's menu, so if you really need to kick it crustacean style, definitely check those out before choosing this dish.

9. Grilled salmon bowl

If you're heading to Long John Silver's with salmon on your mind but want something beyond a basic filet of fish with a couple of side dishes, the restaurant offers a grilled salmon bowl. The salmon is served over a bowl of rice, and you can choose the preparation style: Baja, Southwest, sweet chili, or seasoned. Chances are that if you love salmon, you could walk away from this dish feeling somewhat disappointed.

The texture of the salmon poses an issue for its enjoyment. It isn't the delicate cut of fish we seek when cooked correctly. Instead, it's a little too tough to thoroughly enjoy. Now, that's not to say you need teeth made of iron to get through it, but it doesn't offer a flaky texture that falls apart in your mouth. However, the rice that forms the base of the bowl helps to give it a softer consistency when the two are combined, so some relief is offered. Plus, depending on which style you order, there's an accompanying creamy sauce that also lends moisture.

8. Grilled salmon tacos

There's something about biting into a taco that can make you feel like you're at a party. The handheld vessel is associated with Mexican food, which could easily cause the word "fiesta" to spring to mind. And fiestas are where fun goes down. Biting down on a tortilla brings an enthusiastic attitude to your appetite, much like a party does to your demeanor. So, when you're at Long John Silver's you might as well order up the grilled salmon tacos and get the fiesta in your belly started, right? Maybe not.

The soft taco tortilla is great, and the choice of either Baja, Southwest, sweet chili, or a seasoned style is also a good feature. However, it's the salmon — the star of the show — that does not arrive ready to woo its audience. The texture of the fish just isn't as delicate as you want it to be. The saving grace here is the sauce that comes with the Baja, Southwest, and sweet chili preparations. It adds much-needed moisture so you don't feel that this item is a complete waste of your money.

7. Grilled shrimp

There are so many different ways to cook shrimp. Just ask Bubba Gump — he'll rattle off about a hundred of them without ever catching a breath. Well, perhaps the most basic way to cook them is by tossing those little juicy suckers on a grill. Long John Silver's serves a grilled shrimp dish for anyone trying to harness their inner Bubba Gump, and let's just say if you're looking for something that'll just fill your belly, it's a solid option. But if you want a blast of flavor, you might feel slighted.

The seasoning that dusts the shrimp looks like it'll hit you in the face with all kinds of spices, but it never really takes off the ground. You get a bit of salty and savory notes, but it never strikes your palate full force. The texture of the crustaceans is exactly what you want, however, so at least that's a win. For flavor seekers, opt for another version of the shrimp to avoid a letdown.

6. Wild Alaskan pollock

When you're heading to a restaurant you know serves fish, it's nice to have options aside from the usual salmon dish. As great as it can taste, sometimes you want a different flavor profile to change it up. This is what earns Long John Silver's some bonus points. Yes, the restaurant serves salmon, but it also offers Alaskan pollock to anyone craving a new flavor.

If you order the Alaskan pollock platter, you get two golden filets of fried fish. The batter on the outside isn't too greasy, which is nice because fish itself can feel oily at times. The flavor of the pollock beneath the crispy coating is very mild, to the point that you might wish it hit you with a bit more. However, it's not outright disappointing and it can still satisfy people who want a subtler taste. The fish has a delicate texture with a great mouthfeel, and that somewhat makes up for the lack of intense flavor.

5. Popcorn shrimp

Some people might argue that shrimp are the popcorn of the ocean. They're small, which means you can throw them back just like a kernel of freshly popped popcorn, and best of all, they have great flavor when cooked right. So, why not deep fry those little crustaceans until they're a beautiful golden brown color and call them popcorn shrimp? Well, many places have, including Long John Silver's, and the restaurant's version is worth diving into the water to obtain.

The crunch of the popcorn shrimp is really satisfying. The breading isn't too thick and the shrimp are plump, so you never feel like you're getting stiffed with the breading-to-shrimp ratio. You can also choose from a variety of sauces to plunge those little suckers into to give you a plethora of different flavors. The sauce helps prevent the fried coating from ever getting overwhelming, and it cranks up the ocean flavor of the shrimp nicely. Bubba Gump would be so proud.

4. Grilled shrimp bowl

Simple grilled shrimp is a rather basic way to serve up the crustaceans. There are so many methods to prepare shrimp and this one doesn't really stand out. However, that doesn't mean you can't take grilled shrimp and do something great with them. For example, take the grilled shrimp bowl from Long John Silver's. Here, the grilled shrimp rest on top of a bed of rice, and you can get the whole dish prepared in four different ways, each one really boosting the shrimp flavor.

The seasoning on the grilled shrimp really doesn't add a huge punch of flavor, but since you can get the rice bowl in either Baja, Southwest, sweet chili, or seasoned styles, that lack of punch is okay. Each style is served with a different sauce that packs a really nice, creamy flavor to help bump that shrimp up several notches on the taste scale. Plus, the rice lends a soft contrast to the juicy crustaceans, as well.

3. Wild Alaskan pollock sandwich

A breaded filet of fish slapped down on a plate and served alongside a cup of creamy tartar sauce usually means you're in for a pretty tasty time. However, you're gonna want to crank that tasty time up a few pegs by slamming that golden filet right between a soft roll and topping it with crunchy pickles and a hefty slather of tartar sauce. Now you have a meal worth talking about. Long John Silver's offers a wild Alaskan pollock sandwich for anyone looking for a delicious handheld fish experience.

The Alaskan pollock filet has the perfect amount of breading so you never feel like you're biting into something that sat in a deep fryer for way too long. The crunch is delicate and light, and the fish underneath has a mild but sweet flavor. But it's the tartar sauce that really elevates this dish. It's super creamy and has a rich kick of tang that slices through the fried batter flavor and complements the sweet meat of the fish really well. This is a menu item you'll want to work into your Long John Silver's routine.

2. Wild Alaskan pollock tacos

Let's say you're standing in line at Long John Silver's and two thoughts enter your mind. The first is, "I really want to try the Alaskan pollock." The second thought that instantly jumps in is, "I sure do love tacos." Well, it's your lucky day. The restaurant offers up wild Alaskan pollock tacos for anyone who wants the handheld fun of a flour tortilla stuffed with the delicate flavor of pollock.

The pollock filet has a light-but-crispy breading that really plays nicely on your palate. It's not too intense, but the crunch is enough to contrast the flaky fish underneath it all. Here's where the tacos really become enticing; you can choose from four different preparation styles: Baja, Southwest, sweet chili, or seasoned. Each option offers a great kick of flavors and textures, from sweet to spicy and creamy to salty, to send your appetite into its happy place for the remainder of the meal.

1. Grilled shrimp tacos

Sure, a fork is an appropriate vessel to carry plump juicy shrimp to your mouth. But do you know what's a far superior vessel? A taco shell. Piling those crustaceans into a soft taco shell full of fixings offers a far more pleasant — and tastier — experience. Plus, you get to eat with your hands, which always makes a meal a bit more intimate. Long John Silver's offers customers grilled shrimp tacos, which is a fabulous option for anyone who loves shrimp and a handheld eating experience.

One thing you immediately notice when the dish appears in front of you is that Long John Silver's certainly doesn't skimp on the shrimp, so you know you're getting your money's worth. Since the shrimp are grilled they have a tender texture that combines wonderfully with the soft tortilla. You can get the tacos prepared four different ways: Baja, Southwest, sweet chili, or seasoned. All the options infuse the dish with tasty flavors that help launch the shrimp into a universe of ocean delight. Make these tacos a must-buy the next time Long John Silver's calls your name.