McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Review | Is It Really Bad?

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich has been one of the most controversial sandwiches ever. While some like it, it doesn’t sit well with others because of its taste. So, let’s look at an honest McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich review.

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich has received mixed reviews from customers. While some love it, others feel it could be better than other fish sandwiches. 

Therefore, it’s better to discover the truth if you need clarification about this sandwich. We will look at what kind of fish McDonald’s uses in the Filet-O-Fish sandwich. Furthermore, we will also find out if this sandwich is the best McDonald’s sandwich to buy after taking a look at customer feedback collected from different forums. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

What’s In A McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish?

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is a one-of-a-kind sandwich on the McDonald’s menu. Please take a look at its ingredients list to determine how this sandwich is made.

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Ingredients:

  1. Fish Filet Patty: Pollock, Water, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Wheat Flour, Modified Food Starch, Contains 2% Or Less: Yellow Corn Flour, Bleached Wheat Flour, Salt, Whey (Milk), Dextrose, Dried Yeast, Sugar, Cellulose Gum, Paprika And Turmeric Extract (Color), Natural Flavors.

Contains: Fish (pollock), Wheat, Milk.

  1. Regular Bun: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour), Water, Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil, Contains 2% Or Less: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Potato Flour, Vinegar, Dextrose, Corn Starch, Modified Food Starch, Vegetable Proteins (Pea, Potato, Rice And/or Faba Bean), Sunflower And/or Canola Oil, Natural Flavors, May Contain One Or More Dough Conditioners (DATEM, Ascorbic Acid, Mono And Diglycerides, Enzymes).

Contains: Wheat.

May Contain: Sesame.

  1. Tartar Sauce: Soybean Oil, Pickle Relish (Diced Pickles, Vinegar, Salt, Capers, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate [Preservative], Calcium Chloride, Spice Extractives, Polysorbate 80), Egg Yolks, Water, Onions, Distilled Vinegar, Sugar, Spice, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Parsley.

Contains: Egg.

  1. Pasteurized Process American Cheese Half Slice: Milk, Cream, Water, Sodium Citrate, Salt, Cheese Cultures, Citric Acid, Enzymes, Soy Lecithin, Color Added.

Contains: Milk, Soy.

How Does McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Taste?

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is known for its distinct, delicate, fishy taste and texture. It also comes with a mildly tangy and creamy taste that is achieved by adding tartar sauce.

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich is typically made from a white fish patty, such as Alaskan Pollock or cod, and is seasoned with a blend of spices. It is crispy on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside. The patty has a mild, savory flavor with a hint of the sea. 

It is generously topped with tartar sauce made with ingredients like mayonnaise, pickles, capers, and spices. The sauce adds a rich, creamy, and slightly tangy flavor that compliments the fish.

Furthermore, it comes topped with half a slice of American cheese, adding a creamy and slightly salty element to the sandwich. Why half? McDonald’s has sound logic behind it.

Addressing customer complaints over the half slices of cheese in a 2010 Journal Star article, a McDonald’s spokesperson said, “It’s always been that way… When you think of a cheeseburger, it’s cheesy. With the Filet, a half slice compliments the taste rather than overwhelming it.” 

Lastly, the most important element of the sandwich is the bun. McDonald’s has crafted special buns for different kinds of burgers and sandwiches on the menu that contribute to the overall flavor. 

Thus, combining the crispy fish patty, soft bun, and creamy tartar sauce creates a pleasing contrast in textures. It also does not make the sandwich overly greasy or heavy. McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich is instead a relatively light and enjoyable option on McDonald’s menu. 

What Do People Say About McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish?

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich has been one of the most talked about sandwiches on the menu. However, it has yet to earn praise from all consistently. Let’s look at what customers have to say about it.

People had mixed reactions about the sandwich on a food reviewing platform, Chick Advisor.

While some customers enjoyed it, it didn’t work for the others. 

‘I like this sandwich. Especially the tartar sauce that it had. The cheese made all the difference, so good. I would buy it again. I highly recommend this delicious sandwich.”

“McDonald’s Fish filet sandwich is really good. When I’m tired of burgers, I order the fish. I don’t order fish very often, though, when you’re in the mood. Man, is it good!”

“I enjoyed the taste of McDonald’s Filet o fish sandwich with creamy tartar sauce, a slice of cheese, and a soft hamburger bun. The fish patty is crispy outside and flaky inside. I recommend this.”

“I personally am not a fan of McDonald’s burgers. However, fish is my go-to food for lunch or dinner at McDonald’s. The fish is good if it is fresh. If not, it tastes really bad.”

“It’s very cheap and heated up and doesn’t taste like fish at all.”

People on Twitter also have some good things to say about the sandwich. 

“If McDonald’s ever got rid of the filet o fish, that would be the day I call corporate,” wrote one. 

“After having my first filet o fish last night, I have found my fav McDonald’s item since snack wrap,” writes another. 

“McDonald’s Filet o’ Fish is way more Irish than the rest of the menu,” said a third one. 

Furthermore, here’s what people have to say about the sandwich on Quora.

The Filet is made with Alaskan Pollock, so naturally, it is quite delicate, flavor-filled, and easy on the stomach. One of the better Fish sandwiches in the industry, in my opinion,” wrote one. 

The fish is very light and decently flakey. It’s unusual to have a slice of American cheese on fish with tartar sauce, but it works and tastes good. I like to ask for lettuce on it, too. If you have not had one, definitely give it a try.

“I like this sandwich. Especially the tartar sauce that it had. The cheese made all the difference, so good. I would buy it again. I highly recommend this delicious sandwich.”

“McD’s filet-o-fish sandwich is a good enough choice if you want something healthier than a beef burger. It is a small square of breaded fish filet that is plain tasting and acceptable as long as it is eaten while still warm.”

“It’s not the best fish sandwich you’ll ever eat, but it’s not the worst. Considering the fact that it is a fast-food fish sandwich, it’s pretty good.”

However, while comparing sandwiches from different fast-food restaurants, All Recipes rated McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich as the no—7 spot. “McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is the fast food fish sandwich, and so beloved that it’s a permanent menu fixture. The Filet-O-Fish is a fish patty with cheese and tartar sauce on a steamed bun.

It’s certainly a nostalgic offering—just ordering it took me back to post-shopping runs to McDonald’s with my Grandma. 

Unfortunately, the Filet-O-Fish hasn’t withstood the test of time. It’s a classic, that’s for sure, but it was also the most tedious and bland fish sandwich I ate. The patty doesn’t taste like much; my slice of cheese was barely there, so it certainly didn’t add any flavor, and the tartar sauce was more mayo than anything else. Sorry, Grandma, but it’s a no from me,” they said.

Sharing similar views, Uproxx wrote: “If you grew up eating these, then you’ll still order them. If not, this is a hard sell.

The bun is tasteless and chewy. Well, it does have a hint of cardboard to it. The fish filet has a decent crust but tastes of nothing. There is a real, decent flake to the fish, though. The only thing that saves this is the tangy tartar sauce. Still, that’s simply not enough these days when fast food joints are adding legitimately spicy sauces to help their sandos pop.”

Takeout editor-in-chief Marnie Shure said that Filet-O-Fish devotees love the sandwich because it reminds them of fish sticks. “I actually had my first-ever Filet-O-Fish in preparation for this article, and I wasn’t impressed—until I realized the sandwich wasn’t the problem. My expectations were the problem. I still don’t love the Filet-O-Fish, but I think it’s better to think of the sandwich as a big, flat fish stick inside two pieces of bread.”

Is McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Good?

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

After all of those mixed reactions, it’s only suitable that I offer my final thoughts on McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich. So, here you have it: 

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich is undoubtedly one of the most unique sandwich options on the menu. It is the fast-food chain’s lone fish option that is a classic example of a fast-food fish sandwich. 

While the steamed bun, fried fish filet, acidic tartar, and a slice of American cheese work well together, it’s hardly the best fish sandwich you’ll find at any fast-food establishment. 

It’s a simple fish sandwich that works well with its crispy patties and light seafood flavor. As a result, the tartar sauce is the redeeming grace. It gives the sandwich a creamy and tangy taste, making it more appealing. 

If that’s the fish sandwich you grew up with, you’ll enjoy it. Otherwise, you’d let it slide. As a result, McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich receives 3.5 stars on our scale.

Is McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Healthy?

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

No, McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich is not healthy. That’s because it comes with a high-calorie content, mostly from fat and carbohydrates. Moreover, its sodium levels are also high.

To better understand its nutritional profile, look at the nutritional values of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich in the table below.

Calories390 Cal
Carbohydrates39 g
Protein16 g
Fat19 g
Saturated Fat4 g
Cholesterol30 mg
Sodium580 mg
Potassium290 mg
Fiber2 g
Sugar5 g

The table above shows us that McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish calories can create a problem for our health if eaten regularly. Thus, it is advisable to enjoy it once in a while.

Can You Make A Better Version Of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish At Home?

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

Yes, you can make a better version of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish at home. You may use high-quality ingredients and air-cooking the fish rather than frying it in oil.

Look at our recipe if you’re seeking a fish sandwich recipe that tastes like McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. It has a tangy, creamy tartar sauce and a crispy, flaky fish patty with a moderate flavor.


McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich is one of the most talked-about sandwiches on the menu. Over the years, it has received mixed reviews from customers. Despite that, it remains one of the best-selling items on the menu.

This is because it evokes nostalgia in those who grew up eating the sandwich. However, when compared to other fish sandwiches, it falls short. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. Individual seafood preferences can differ. So, give it a shot and see whether you like the flavor of a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish.

You have many possibilities if you’re interested in learning more about the other items on McDonald’s menu. After reading their evaluation, you can sample the McDonald’s McChicken or the McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

Furthermore, McDonald’s McRib Sandwich is an excellent option if you enjoy BBQ flavors. Additionally, if you’re seeking a straightforward and pleasant burger, McDonald’s McDouble will become your favorite.

Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)

Is McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish healthy?

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is only partially healthy. It contains 390 calories, 580 mg sodium, and 39 grams of carbohydrates.

What fish is in McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich?

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich is made with a wild-caught fish fillet and tartar sauce served on a steamed bun with cheese.

Does McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish have lettuce?

No, McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish does not have lettuce in it.

Why is the Filet-O-Fish bun different?

The Filet-O-Fish bun is different from other buns used at McDonald’s because it is steamed, not grilled. Plus, it has no added flavor, so the taste of the fish and sauce shines through.

Why is there only half a slice of cheese on Filet-O-Fish?

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich only has half a slice of cheese as it complements the taste rather than overwhelming it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *