Over 35% Of People Agree That This Fast Food Restaurant Has The Best Fish Sandwich

Fish sandwiches aren't one of the more popular fast food offerings out there. While fish and chips may be beloved across the pond, America is the land of burgers and fries (and chicken sandwiches). Plus, we've got a sneaking suspicion that one reason why burgers aren't so big in the UK might have to do with the fact that European ketchup is kind of yucky...Anyway, there are really only a few fast food restaurants that are all-in on the fish thing, those being Long John Silver's and Captain D's (and the Krusty Krab, though they've yet to expand outside of Bikini Bottom), but many mainstream ones offer some type of fishwich.

In case you're wondering why, in a word: Catholicism. The Canon Law of 1983 (the most recent update, courtesy of Pope John Paul II) requires "abstinence from meat...on all Fridays" for all Catholics between the ages 14 to 60, although many adhere to the prohibition only during Lent. (It's complicated, but there is a loophole that allows for this without a one-way ticket to you-know-where.) Still, Lent lasts for 2 months out of the year, and the Pew Research Center counts approximately 51 million adult Catholics, so that's a lot of potential fish sandwich sales. So that's the why of fishwiches, but in order to answer the even more important question of where (to eat them), Mashed polled 656 random persons without regard to religion or any other qualifier other than a willingness to answer our survey.

The Filet-O-Fish was head of the school

Our surprise winner was a sandwich that nobody really seems to like (though it admittedly beats eternal damnation) the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish. This sandwich was beloved (or at least tolerated) by 35.37 percent of people we polled. In case you've ever wondered about the genus and species of the mysterious "filadda fish," we can tell you it's Gadus chalcogrammus, aka the Alaska walleye pollock (NOAA Fisheries hopes that helps with your next trivia night).

As to why this sandwich came out ahead, we suspect it may have to do with name recognition, or perhaps longevity (it's been around since the 60s), or maybe people just like (half) a slice of American cheese on their fish. Or it could have something to do with the fact that Shamrock Shake season just so happens to coincide with Lent, so maybe the good karma you get from abstaining from meat in accordance with church doctrine cancels out that sinful indulgence?

These restaurants kept on swimming

The number two finisher for best fast food fish sandwich, pretty close behind with 31.55 percent of the vote, was Long John Silver's. This makes sense since, after all, they do know their fish. (Chicken, though...not so much.) Still, a point in their disfavor may be the fact that nobody actually goes there unless they really want fish, which isn't that often since, as we already pointed out, this isn't the UK.

That isn't such a problem for the number three and four finishers, Wendy's (9.45 percent) and Culver's (8.84 percent). Everybody goes there, it's just that they order other stuff like burgers or chili or custard, things that actually taste good. If it's Lent, though, you could do a lot worse. Culver's fish is beer-battered, as befits a chain with Wisconsin roots, while Wendy's fish sandwich is made from the superior (though more expensive) cod. (Rumor has it that Wendy's fish filets may be on the well-aged side, though, so caveat comestor.) In last place was Checkers with just 4.27 percent of the vote...Well, duh, their burgers aren't that great, so why would their fish be any better?

A few answers were off the hook

As is usually the case with any survey, there are a number of respondents who don't favor any of the choices given and instead opt to vote for "Other." Fully 10.52 percent of our survey respondents (more people than voted for 3rd-place Wendy's) did not care for any of our candidates, but among those who chose to comment, only a few actually named a restaurant that we'd left off the list: Arby's, Burger King, and Captain D's each got a handful of votes, while regional chains Burgerville and Showmar's each got one. Sonic and Bojangles received single votes, as well.

By far the overwhelming majority of respondents opting for a write-in vote instead used their platform to tell us that they just don't like or eat fish sandwiches, period. Two said they were vegan, one said they were allergic, but others just thought the whole idea of eating fast food fishwiches was just plain "gross." There is some good news for any observant Catholics who share this dim view of fish sandwiches – canon law doesn't appear to frown upon french fries, though if you're planning to make an entire meal of them, you might want to hit up Five Guys for a super-sized serving.