Lent is here, which means that it’s time for Fish Fry-days at restaurants, churches and fire halls across the city!
We’ve gathered a list of some of our favorites from across the city for you to check out. Whether this is your time partaking or you’re a regular, you’ll find something in the list for you.
WHAT’S A FISH FRY?
If this is the first time you’ve heard of a fish fry, you probably aren’t alone. Lent is a religious observance by many Christian denominations and consists of an approximately 6 week period prior to Easter. For each Friday during lent, Catholics abstain from consuming any meat products. So on these Fridays, many lent-observers choose to eat fish. Places like churches, fire halls restaurants and bars started offering fish-based specials to accommodate their Lent diners and the result has been amazing offerings of colossal fish sandwiches, fish sticks and more. Of course, it wouldn’t be Pittsburgh without additional offerings like pierogies, haluski, mac n cheese, french fries and more.
Fish Fry-days have become so popular that even those who don’t observe Lent are getting in on the fun, trying new establishments special menus every Friday.
Below you can check out the Fish Fry guide thanks to Visit Pittsburgh, but also take a peek at this interactive map of Pittsburgh fish frys for a more inclusive list of participating establishments.
Fish Fry Guide 2023
THE ORIGINAL OYSTER HOUSE, MARKET SQUARE
This old-school fish house & tavern (since 1870) located in historic Market Square, offers fresh seafood platters. The cod has a delicate flavor with just the right amount of spices and the onion rings are perfection!
BROTHER ANDRE’S CAFE, UPTOWN
If you’re near PPG Paints Area, head to the bottom entrance of Epiphany Church – Divine Mercy Parish for Brother Andre’s Cafe, one of Pittsburgh’s hidden gems for great coffee.
THE WARREN, DOWNTOWN
The Warren opens up for lunch on Fridays specifically for Lent, and their massive sandwich is available from 11 a.m.-midnight with chips or on a bun!
NORTH PARK LOUNGE, NORTH HILLS
The hook here is the NPL 12 oz Giant Fish Sandwich comes from the secret beer batter that the fish is dipped in and then fried to a golden brown.
ALLEGHENY ELKS LODGE, DEUTSCHTOWN
Run completely by volunteers, the Elks Lodge #339 fish fry is a fantastic stop in a historic neighborhood. The menu includes hand-breaded Atlantic cod on a fresh Breadworks roll and homemade sides.
THE GRANT BAR & LOUNGE, MILLVALE
Grant’s has long been known for their fish sandwiches. The generous size leaves plenty to share (if you want to!) Pair it with their off-the-chart onion rings and you won’t be hungry again for a while.
THE PUB CHIP SHOP, SOUTH SIDE
The fish and chips is excellent. Their hand battered haddock is moist, flaky and has the perfect texture. Get it with their crispy chips and tartar sauce.
COMMUNITY KITCHEN PITTSBURGH, HAZELWOOD
Constantly voted as one of the top Fish Fry locales in the region, and for good reason. Hand-battered fish along with many sides, homemade by culinary trainees, including pierogies, mac & cheese, clam chowder and coleslaw. Order online in advance before they sell out.
ST. JOAN OF ARC CHURCH, SOUTH PARK
Dine-in returns (takeout also available) for this Pittsburgh-favorite fry offering various fried and baked options including fried or baked fish, homemade crab cakes, shrimp dinner, mac & cheese, pierogies, desserts and more!
OAK HILL POST, BROOKLINE
Opened in 2020, Oak Hill Post is a casual neighborhood eatery offering delicious breakfast and specialty sandwiches, netting them top positions in restaurant rankings every year since they opened. Their cornflake-breaded Barramundi fish filet on a house-made buttermilk biscuit is not to be missed!
BIG JIM’S RESTAURANT & BAR, GREENFIELD
An off-the-beaten-path bar that’s not fancy but their food is great. Big portions and good service. They were featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” The atmosphere and location are part of the whole experience. A must-stop, simple as that.
SWISSVALE FIRE DEPARTMENT, SWISSVALE
Beer-battered fish sandwich is tasty and hearty. The mac & cheese is good and the haluski usually sells out quickly so get there early.
The Codfather is the stunner here, a huge filet of cod dipped in beer batter and perfectly fried, all on large kaiser roll. It gets crowded on Fridays during Lent, so go early or later in the evening.
E-TOWN BAR AND GRILL, ETNA
Tucked into a stretch of row houses along Butler Street, E-Town has a great beer selection and terrific food, including flavorful fish sandwiches. Etna’s best-kept secret has definitely gotten out.
Jumbo fried fish sandwich AND jumbo fried fish – need we say more? If you get the jumbo it will feed two people. Enjoy it with french fries and coleslaw.
ST. MARGARET OF SCOTLAND, GREEN TREE
One parish, two amazing fish fries at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church or Ss. Simon and Jude Church in Green Tree. Secret recipe crab cakes and fish tacos are great orders here, along with Friday’s famous bread pudding for dessert.
Us natives just call it Wholey’s (pronounced wool-ees)! Fish of every kind imaginable including incredible melt-in-your-mouth, buttery fish sandwiches. Try the Wholey Holy Moley (1 pound of Icelandic cod stacked on a sandwich) or Wholey Whaler (with 1 lb. of whiting)
Super casual, loft-like, vibrant restaurant for sampling sushi and daily catches. It’s a great place to get fresh and delicious fish.
Primanti’s famous coleslaw and fries piled atop their colossal fish and cheese is a match made in heaven. Get every flavor of the Pittsburgh fish fry in one bite, available here and at all Primanti locations.