It’s Time For Fish Fries. This Map Will Help You Find One Near You
Lent starts on March 2, and many local organizations are already prepping their fryers.
’Tis the season — not for Christmas trees and peppermint mochas, but for fish.
Beginning with Ash Wednesday on March 2, Lent marks a 40-day period of reflection and preparation leading up to Easter, which this year falls on April 17. Traditionally, folks who observe Lent abstain from eating meat on Fridays, replacing it with fish instead. But even those who don’t observe the holiday have flocked en masse to some of the area’s most popular fish fries at churches, fire halls or restaurants.
In fact, fish fries are often a church or fire hall’s biggest fundraising opportunity of the year. Resurrection Parish in the South Hills, for example, typically raises around $15,000 by serving 600 meals each Friday during Lent, according to the Post-Gazette.
While pandemic-era difficulties with the supply chain and price of fish has caused some local groups to cancel their fish fries this year, there are still plenty of places you can go to grab a tasty seafood lunch — even if you have to pay a dollar or two more than in years passed.
Pittsburgh Magazine Dining Critic Hal B. Klein included Community Kitchen Pittsburgh’s fish fry among his “most memorable food experiences of 2021.” This year, the Hazelwood-based organization will return for its fourth-annual fry at 107 Flowers Ave.
Walk-ins are welcome, its website says, but pre-orders are encouraged to shorten wait times. Online ordering begins at 9 a.m. Thursday for each Fish Fry Friday. In addition to fish sandwiches, you can also grab New England clam chowder, pierogies, haluski and more.
The Pub Chip Shop on the South Side boasts tasty fish and chips year-round, but it’s a popular Lenten destination, too.
If you’re looking to support a church directly, you can check out Pittsburgh Catholic’s Fish Fry Guide, which features detailed information about parishes around the region that are hosting their own events.
For information on the many, many other locations around the Pittsburgh area where you can grab a fresh fish sandwich, look no further than the Pittsburgh Lenten Fish Fry Map. An official project of Code for Pittsburgh, an organization focused on using technology to improve how the government serves the public, the map is compiled by volunteers who source its data from news outlets, social media and public requests.
It distinguishes between churches and community organizations so users can choose who they support with their fish funds, and it also allows you to filter for different things you might be looking for in a fish fry — other than fish, of course.
These include wheelchair-accessible locations, those that serve alcohol — or homemade pierogies — locations with drive-thru options and those that are open on Good Friday, for lunch or for takeout.
A lot of the fish fries are verified, but it’s always a good idea to contact the parish or organization directly before making the trip to make sure everything is still a-go.