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One of Toronto’s best fishmongers has a new, delicious secret: a fish and chips-style takeout counter with the freshest seafood-fry menu in town.
At the Danforth location run by Laura Cleland and Sean Kinghan, Sailor’s serves a classic menu of casual bites made from the fresh, ethically sourced fish and seafood that Hooked is known and loved for.
“The concept we kept in mind from the beginning of this new chapter was to make food that we wanted to eat,” says Cleland and Kinghan.
It’s a simple enough approach—a store with ingredients so carefully sourced doesn’t need anything too complex. In fact, the appeal of Sailor’s traditional approach is this very simple fact of guaranteed-fresh and ethical seafood.
“What makes us different is the relationships that Hooked has acquired over the years with its fishermen. We take pride in knowing where, when, and how the seafood is caught, and by whom,” explains the duo.
At Sailor’s, classic fish and chips is made in a Southern style with crispy, buttermilk fried chicken batter with their own “secret herb and spice.” Every order comes with their house-made honey mustard, coleslaw, and Yukon gold fries.
True to what you’d expect from a dedicated fishmonger, the type of fish used in Sailor’s dishes will depend on whatever’s in season. This goes the same for all their other rotating menu items, including—for now—Rockfish Sliders with BC rockfish seasoned in a merguez-style and topped with caramelized onions, plus their own Old Bay aioli.
The team’s current favourite is the Lake Erie Perch Sandwich. Featuring pan-seared and seasoned perch, this “original sandwich” at Sailor’s is a nod to fish fry shops all around Ontario.
One of the newest and “hottest” items on the menu right now is a spicy version of their Filet OH Fish. The original version consists of a thick slice of breaded fish, house-made tartar, and Grünes German cheese on a potato bun. For the Spicy Filet OH Fish, the fried filet is dunked in a butter-and-garlic Louisiana hot sauce and finished with house-made spicy mayo.
Another sure-to-be fan favourite at Sailor’s is their new Escargot Poutine with escargots tossed in their own compound butter and herbs, laid over a bed of fresh Yukon gold fries.
“We’re always working on our menu. The quality of the product and taste is the most important part—our vision is a five-item menu that people can come to enjoy week after week.”
With ever-evolving seasonal items, you really never know what you’ll catch at Sailor’s, but one thing’s for sure: it’s going to be delicious. The other good news is they’re now open more than just five hours a week, so you can grab your Sailor’s lunch and dinner two days in a row.
Stop by Sailor’s Fish & Chips inside Hooked on 1246 Danforth Ave. They’re open Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For previews of their latest menu items, make sure to follow both Sailor’s and Hooked on Instagram.