Seafood Sensation: Wendy’s and Popeyes Dive Back into the Fish Sandwich Fray for Lent

Just as the winter chill starts to fade and spring peeks over the horizon, two fast-food giants are making a splash with the return of their popular fish sandwiches – perfectly timed for the Lenten season. Buckle up, seafood lovers, because Wendy’s and Popeyes are ready to battle it out for your taste buds!

Wendy’s: The Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich Makes a Return

Wendy’s first introduced its Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich in 2014, and it quickly became a fan favorite. The sandwich features a flaky, white Alaska Pollock filet coated in a crispy panko breading. It’s then nestled on a toasted bun with shredded lettuce, melted American cheese, dill pickles, and a creamy tartar sauce. This classic combination delivers a satisfying crunch with a light and flavorful fish filling.

Popeyes: Double Down on Seafood Delights

Popeyes, known for its spicy fried chicken, isn’t just dipping its toes into the seafood waters; it’s diving headfirst. This year, they’re bringing back two popular seafood options: the Flounder Fish Sandwich and the Shrimp Tackle Box.

The Flounder Fish Sandwich: This sandwich comes in both classic and spicy versions. The classic features a crispy-fried flounder filet topped with pickles and tartar sauce, while the spicy version adds a fiery kick with a Cajun-inspired spread. Both versions are served on a toasted brioche bun, offering a softer and richer bun compared to Wendy’s classic option.

The Shrimp Tackle Box: This combo is perfect for those who want a little bit of everything. It features a generous portion of crispy-fried shrimp, a warm and flaky biscuit, creamy tartar sauce, and your choice of side. This option delivers a satisfying mix of textures and flavors, making it a great option for sharing or a hearty solo meal.

So, Which Seafood Sensation Reigns Supreme?

Ultimately, the choice between Wendy’s and Popeyes’ fish offerings comes down to personal preference. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

For the Classic Fish Sandwich Lover:

  • Wendy’s: A familiar and reliable choice with a crispy panko crust, light fish, and creamy tartar sauce.
  • Popeyes (Classic Flounder): Offers a similar classic flavor profile with a slightly richer brioche bun and tangier pickles.

For the Spice Seeker:

  • Popeyes (Spicy Flounder): The Cajun-inspired spread adds a fiery kick that Wendy’s doesn’t offer.
  • Wendy’s: While not spicy, the tartar sauce has a slight tang that might satisfy those who prefer a touch of heat.

For the Seafood Variety Fanatic:

  • Popeyes (Shrimp Tackle Box): A diverse combo with shrimp, biscuit, and sides for a complete meal experience.
  • Wendy’s: Offers a simple and focused sandwich experience, but no additional sides or variety.


  • Wendy’s: Prices vary by location, but the recommended cost is around $6.16.
  • Popeyes: Both the Flounder Fish Sandwich and Shrimp Tackle Box are priced at $6.


  • Wendy’s: Familiar and comforting, the panko crust delivers a satisfying crunch, while the classic toppings offer a balanced flavor profile.
  • Popeyes: Both versions offer bolder flavors. The classic boasts a buttery brioche bun and creamy tartar sauce, while the spicy packs a punch with its fiery mayo spread.

Beyond the Sandwich: Sustainability Concerns

While enjoying these delicious seafood options, it’s important to consider sustainability concerns. Both Wendy’s and Popeyes have taken steps to source their fish responsibly. Wendy’s uses Alaska Pollock certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), while Popeyes sources its shrimp from Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certified farms. However, further research into both chains’ specific sourcing practices is recommended for those who prioritize responsible seafood consumption.

Ultimately, the winner depends on your personal preferences. Do you crave a familiar and comforting bite, or are you adventurous enough to embrace bolder flavors and a touch of heat? Do you prefer the mild taste of Alaska Pollock or the distinct flavor of flounder? Do you want just a sandwich, or are you looking for a more complete meal with shrimp and sides? Consider these factors and dive into the delicious world of Lenten seafood sandwiches!

Beyond the Bite: Sustainability and Ethics

As we indulge in these tasty treats, it’s important to consider the sustainability and ethical sourcing of the seafood. Both Wendy’s and Popeyes have made commitments to source their fish responsibly. Wendy’s uses Alaska Pollock certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), while Popeyes uses flounder from the Gulf of Mexico that meets the Seafood Watch “Good Alternative” standard.

So, whether you’re a Wendy’s loyalist or a Popeyes devotee, or simply a seafood enthusiast, there’s a delicious fish sandwich waiting to be devoured during this Lenten season. Remember to choose responsibly and enjoy the battle of the bites!

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