Just Gonna Say It: The Filet-O-Fish Is A Great Burger & Anyone Who Disagrees Is A Big Baby

I never really liked burgers growing up. It was quite a few years before my taste buds matured enough to to appreciate barbecue sauce, pickles, onions and American cheese sitting atop a grilled patty. Lettuce and tomatoes still bug me, if they’re present.

My one respite when making the obligatory Macca’s pit stop of Aussie childhood road trips was the Filet-O-Fish. It didn’t have any of those icky flavours of the other burgers. It was a safe bet, close enough to fish and chips to be palatable but still a Macca’s burger, which meant I wouldn’t have to sit out while everyone else ate.

Take it from a seasoned Filet-O-Fish orderer: it’s a decent burger. Not only does it plug a gaping hole in the menu, but the taste is alright too.

Its origins are a testament to this. The burger was actually invented in 1962 with devout Catholics in mind as a non-meat option to eat on Friday or during Lent. The revolutionary meal combined a fish patty, tartar sauce, and a slice of cheese, all in the usual burger bun Macca’s customers know and love. It was a much-needed item to round out the menu for different diets and tastes.

The experiment proved to be successful. So successful, in fact, that it became a mainstay of Macca’s menus around the world. Now it’s the go-to for many who choose not to eat a beef burger, such as myself.

Sadly, people hate on the humble Filet-O-Fish for a multitude of undue reasons.

The buns are sweet and not too bready in taste. Even Filet-O-Fish haters will concede this, as the same buns are used in most other Macca’s burgers. I’d never eat fried fish in bread, but Macca’s buns are an exception.

Meanwhile, the fish itself is decent! I’m not going to pretend that it’s good quality, delicately cooked or – dare I say – gourmet, but it does the trick.


The packaging proudly announces exactly what fish you’re eating. It’s a fried patty sometimes made of hoki, sometimes pollock. This is about the same amount of info most people know about the patties in their Big Macs.

Sure, it’s not a fancy cut of a gourmet fish, but it’s not some processed plankton-and-krill monstrosity either. Those calling the Filet-O-Fish patty an oversised fish finger are doing a disservice not only to the Macca’s supply chain, but to their own taste buds.

I’ll admit having a slice of plasticy American cheese in the burger is a bit weird. Sometimes I’ll even ask for no cheese (one time the drive-thru attendant repeated my order as “one Filet-O-Fish with no fillet”). But like Icarus soaring above the clouds, Macca’s cannot stray too close to perfection and as such have apparently chosen to sabotage their seafood masterpiece with the incursion of dairy.

So, the Filet-O-Fish is good, actually. But did you know hating it makes you an elitist hater?

First things first, let me lay my cards flat on the table. I’ve eaten sushi out of a dumpster. By choice. But this doesn’t mean I have no taste, rather, it means I’m willing to look beyond conventional notions of good seafood to truly appreciate what makes a meal tasty or not.

Much of the hatred towards the Filet-O-Fish comes because it doesn’t meet people’s professed expectations. These people love to turn their nose up at shit food to prove how exquisite their own taste is. But the Filet-O-Fish’s most vocal opponents often lack any useful discernment when it comes to seafood.

These are the very same people who will pay no mind to seasons or geography when ordering seafood or literally anything else at any other kind of restaurant. But as soon as they see the supposed incongruence of a fish burger at a beef burger chain, their heads explode with arrogance. Basically, they have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to seafood and they use this blind hatred as a shield to protect their carefully-cultivated foodie image.

Nobody is claiming that it belongs next to tuna sashimi, ocean-fresh abalone or perfectly barbequed prawns. Just like nobody compares a Big Mac to a Wagyu ribeye steak. Macca’s fries, soft serves, even fucking Szechuan sauce – none of these live up to the ‘proper’ versions of the food they claim to be, yet each is beloved by the masses because it nevertheless tastes fucking amazing.

The damn burger costs $6. Enjoy food for what it is. Enjoy the Filet-O-Fish for the humble snack it is.

You cannot worship at the altar of Bunnings snags (which are GOOD, I agree) but look down on the Filet-O-Fish. People treat Bunnings snags like the everyman’s feast but the Filet-O-Fish as if it was something a Sims 2 character concocted with the fridge was full of random ingredients. This is incoherent and, quite frankly, makes you look like a snob.

Develop some considered opinions for once. Don’t shit on the Filet-O-Fish for failing to be something it never tried to be. Enjoy the fucking food.