The Lenten Season is Upon Us … and So Are Delicious Fish Fries
See how you can locate the one closest to you with just a click of a mouse.
Armies of church ladies, fire hall volunteers and restaurant staff in the Pittsburgh area are busy prepping their fryers to bring you some of the most delicious Lenten meals this side of the Vatican.
Ash Wednesday on Feb. 22 will mark the beginning of Lent, 40 days of reflection, service and prayer that ends with Easter.
Pittsburgh has long been known for its Friday fish fries and this year will be no different. Crispy fish filets, buttery haluski and delectable pierogies are just some of the offerings guests can expect at numerous locations in and around the city.
Dedicated church and fire department volunteers, as well as local restaurants, serve up the dishes cooked with love to those who abstain from eating meat on Fridays — mostly those of the Catholic faith — throughout the season.
Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can find a fish fry near you with just a few clicks of the mouse. Pittsburgh’s interactive 2023 Lenten Fish Fry map is up and running.
The map is an official project of Code for Pittsburgh, a local subsidiary of Code for America, an organization focused on using technology to improve how the government serves the public. A group of volunteers sources the map data from news outlets, social media and public requests.
You can also find church fish fries in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Fish Fry Guide.
Some of our favorites include Mary Queen of Peace Parish (formerly Prince of Peace) at 81 S. 13th St. in the South Side, Community Kitchen Pittsburgh at 107 Flowers Ave. in Hazelwood, and the Swissvale Fire Department at 7400 Irvine St. in Swissvale (where pre-orders are strongly encouraged).
Dave Nickel, president of the Swissvale Fire Department, says their annual fish fry is extremely popular.
“We sell out every week,” he says. “Anyone who’s in the fish fry circuit usually tries to hit ours during the season.”
The fire department’s fish fries are held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (or until they sell out) on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent.
Beer-battered cod, baked cod and beer-battered grilled cheese sandwiches top their menu, along with their homemade haluski, pierogies, crab cakes, french fries, coleslaw and macaroni and cheese.
The fish fries at the Allegheny Elks Lodge No. 339 usually comes with entertainment by the Pittsburgh Banjo Club from 6 to 8 p.m. You’ll find that at 400 Cedar Ave. on the North Side.
Drooling yet? I know I am.