Lou’s Fish in Two Harbors wins over Martha Stewart


Lou’s Fish Smoke House in Two Harbors is extra busy these days, thanks to Martha Stewart.

The mom-and-pop stop 20 miles up the North Shore from Duluth won kudos from Stewart’s Living magazine as the best smoked fish house in America.

Lou’s owner Brian Zapolski tells Duluth’s Northland News Center that smoking the fish to an exact temperature of 155 degrees is the key.

“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and we got a lot of orders going out on Monday and we have been shipping a lot of orders. We’ve been getting calls from all over the country.”

Zapolski, a lifelong Two Harbors resident and fisherman who has owned Lou’s since 2006, says the smokers take no shortcuts.

No liquid smoke, no chips, no gas or electric fires. Never! That’s because our passion is to provide our customers with a flavor that can only be found here at Lou’s Fish House!

We offer only the finest…from our Wild Alaska smoked Sockeye and King Salmon, to our local favorites, our smoked Lake Superior Trout, Whitefish, Herring and Ciscoes.


Zapolski exudes his Minnesota enthusiasm in this interview with Northland News Center.

  • Fun to think about the smoked fish on the north shore again. While living in Duluth back in the 70’s, working at St Lukes Hospital, St Scholastica and UMD, I ventured to Knife River to have smoked fish there as well. In Two Harbors, near the Red Wing Shoe Store, lived a down home insurance agent named “Booksa Johnson” I recall. Ah yes, time to return to the north shore and enjoy the treats of smoked fish and the ambience of cloudberries! Thanks for the blog and the memories through Martha Stewart even. Where there is smoke, there is fire!

  • wendy gaskill

    I have shopped at Lou’s for over 30 years. I knew Lou, himself, big robust guy – terrific fisherman. We always stop by his shop even though he is no longer there. We love the smoked salmon, brie cheese, crackers and wine or cider – a terrific Friday evening meal on the shores of Lake Superior.