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How Much Does a McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish Cost?

Last Updated on January 30, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

The Filet-O-Fish is one of McDonald’s most popular and iconic menu items. This battered and fried fish sandwich has been a staple on the McDonald’s menu for decades. But with frequent promotions and varying prices across locations, how much does a Filet-O-Fish cost?

This article will break down the average cost of a Filet-O-Fish sandwich at McDonald’s. We’ll look at current pricing, price history, geographic variations, meal deals, and other factors that impact the cost of this popular seafood sandwich. Read on to learn all about the true price tag on McDonald’s fish sandwiches.


  • Filet-O-Fish sandwich averages $3.79 alone, $6-8 for a meal deal
  • Prices range from $2.99 to $4.49 depending on location
  • Special deals like 2 for $5 or $1 off discounts are periodic promotions
  • Beloved for its crispy batter, tartar sauce, and budget price point
  • McDonald’s markets it as an affordable, Catholic-approved fish option

How Much Does a McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish Cost?

The current price of a Filet-O-Fish sandwich at McDonald’s in the United States averages around $3.79 though prices can range from $2.99 up to $4.49 depending on location. This cost is for a la carte ordering without any sides or drinks.

Over the past decade, the Filet-O-Fish has held relatively steady in price, hovering between $3 to $4 on average. There have been periodic increases each year, but the sandwich has not seen dramatic spikes.

Internationally, a Filet-O-Fish can cost more or less depending on the country. In Canada for example, a Filet-O-Fish averages $4.39 CAD ($3.28 USD). In the UK, the fish sandwich costs £2.99 (about $3.73 USD).

History of the Filet-O-Fish on the McDonald’s Menu

The Filet-O-Fish was created in 1962 by Lou Groen, a McDonald’s franchise owner in Cincinnati. At the time, his restaurant was struggling to attract Catholic customers on Fridays when they abstained from eating meat.

Groen came up with the fish sandwich idea to cater to this clientele. It was an immediate success. By 1965, the Filet-O-Fish was rolled out on McDonald’s menus nationwide.

Over the decades, McDonald’s has periodically tweaked the recipe and pricing on the Filet-O-Fish. But the core battered fish on a bun concept has remained unchanged and beloved.

Why Filet-O-Fish Prices Vary by Location

McDonald’s operates on a franchise model, which means pricing can vary between locations. Individual franchise owners have flexibility on setting prices for menu items like the Filet-O-Fish sandwich.

Prices also tend to be slightly higher in certain regions. For example, a Filet-O-Fish may cost $4.19 in New York but only $3.49 in Arkansas. Urban locations tend to have higher real estate and labor costs factored into menu prices.

Seasonal deals and limited-time promotions can also temporarily impact Filet-O-Fish pricing. Specials like 2 for $5 Filet-O-Fish deals or $1 off coupons may be offered for a few weeks at a time.

Filet-O-Fish Vs Other McDonald’s Menu Items

The Filet-O-Fish sits in the mid-range for sandwich pricing on the McDonald’s menu. It costs slightly more than a basic hamburger or cheeseburger. But it is lower in price than premium sandwiches like the Quarter Pounder with a slice of American Cheese.

Here is a sampling of average U.S. McDonald’s menu item costs for comparison:

  • Hamburger: $1.69
  • Cheeseburger: $2.19
  • Filet-O-Fish: $3.79
  • Quarter Pounder with Cheese: $4.79
  • Big Mac: $4.19

In terms of nutritional value, the Filet-O-Fish delivers 380 calories, 18g of protein, and 740mg of sodium. This gives it one of the better calorie-to-protein ratios on the McDonald’s menu for a sandwich item.

Filet-O-Fish Combo Meals and Deals

Ordering the Filet-O-Fish sandwich on its own will give you the base cost. However, McDonald’s incentivizes diners to upgrade to meal combos with discounted sides and drinks.

A typical Filet O Fish meal deal will include a sandwich, medium French fries, and a medium soft drink. Depending on location, this meal deal averages between $6 to $8 in total.

McDonald’s frequently promotes even cheaper Filet-O-Fish meal bundles like the double filet-o-fish, or 2 sandwiches, 2 fries, and 2 drinks for $10. Keep an eye out for special deal pricing on combo meals.

Consumer Reviews on the Filet O Fish

The Filet-O-Fish has many devoted fans who return for this sandwich time and again. Reviewers praise the crispy batter, tartar sauce, melted cheese, and overall simplicity of the Filet-O-Fish. It offers a welcome lighter and cooler seafood option alongside beef burgers.

Some criticisms include the fish tasting overly processed or artificial. The small filet size also leaves some customers wanting a bigger and more premium fish portion.

On the whole, though, the easy price point and comforting flavor of the Filet-O-Fish makes it a go-to choice for those craving a quick fish meal on a budget.

How McDonald’s Markets the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich

McDonald’s heavily promotes the Filet-O-Fish based on its price and Catholic-approved fish status. Television commercials often focus on the affordability of the Filet-O-Fish value meal under $5.

In-store promotions highlight Filet-O-Fish Fridays or 2 for $5 deals. McDonald’s leverages the seasonal uptick in fish sandwich demand during Lent when Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays.

The convenience, customization, and “Always Hot, Always Fresh” tagline are also used to market the consistent Filet-O-Fish experience. McDonald’s positions its fish sandwich as the easy, budget-friendly choice for seafood.

Looking for something more expensive? Then you should read our articles about the cost of filet mignon, lasagna, or crab legs.

Nutritional values of the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish

As with any other fast-food dishes, it’s always best to know the nutritional value of a food item before ordering it. So let’s go over McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish sandwich nutrition facts, so you know exactly what you’re eating.

The fish is usually Alaskan Pollock and contains 380 calories and 18 grams of fat. 39 grams of carbs and 590 milligrams of sodium are also part of the nutritional value of this hamburger. It will offer 19% of your recommended daily intake of saturated fat and 25% of your needed daily sodium intake.

Filet O Fish Nutritional Values

Final Words

The McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish remains a menu staple for 60 years and counting. While prices have gradually risen over time, it still provides one of the most budget-friendly fish sandwich options in fast food.

Customization into meal deals and combo pricing further increase the value customers receive.

For those craving a crispy, hot fish meal on a tight budget, the Filet-O-Fish delivers quality and convenience. McDonald’s unique branding, promotion, and preparation of its fish sandwich help keep fans coming back.

When you need an affordable fast-food fish fix, the Filet-O-Fish is likely to remain a go-to choice for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are McDonald’s fish sandwiches 2 for $5?

McDonald’s frequently promotes a 2 for $5 deal on Filet-O-Fish sandwiches for a limited time. The deal allows customers to get two Filet-O-Fish sandwiches for only $5 total, making each one just $2.50.

This offer is not available year-round but runs for several weeks at a time during seasonal promotions. Check your local McDonald’s for the current 2 for $5 Filet-O-Fish deals.

How much is a fish fillet sandwich meal at McDonald’s?

A fish fillet sandwich meal at McDonald’s costs between $6-8 on average. This meal includes the Filet-O-Fish sandwich, medium fries, and medium soft drink. Meal prices vary a bit by location. An all-day value meal with a Filet-O-Fish can sometimes be found for around $5.

How to get free fries?

Here are some ways to get free fries at McDonald’s:

  • Download the McDonald’s app for periodic free fries with purchase offers
  • Sign up for McDonald’s email list and watch for free fries coupons
  • Check McDonald’s current deals as they sometimes offer free fries with certain purchases
  • Participate in McDonald’s customer experience surveys – these often provide free fries vouchers
  • Ask about special promotions – occasionally free fries giveaways are advertised in-store

The easiest way is to download the app and watch for free fry coupons with qualifying purchases. Free fries offers tend to require minimum purchase amounts, so read the terms carefully. With a little strategizing, you can occasionally score free fries at McDonald’s!

4 replies
    • Ted Mentz
      Ted Mentz says:

      David, I just had a McDonald’s fillet of fish yesterday at around $4.00 Today I went to Publics Grocery and got a pound of fried catfish for &9.00. Had enough fish to make 12 fish sandwiches the size I had at McDonald’s.. I guess where’s the fish would apply here.

  1. Brenda Black-Garnes
    Brenda Black-Garnes says:

    Today is 9/1/22. I went to the McDonald’s on benning road in north east, DC, and paid 13.00 dollars for two fish sandwiches. Your advertisement says two for five. Help me. I want the rest of my money back that I’m due.


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