Pittsburgh's Fish Fry-Days

Lent is here, which means that it's time for Fish Fry-days in restaurants, churches and fire halls across the city.

It’s almost Fish Friday season and there are lots of places around Pittsburgh to get a great fish sandwich. If you're not sure why fish on Friday is a thing, let me back up a bit. Lent (March 6-April 18), is a religious observance by many Christian denominations that covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday. During all of the Fridays of Lent, Catholics over the age of 14 abstain from meat and from foods made with meat. So this Catholic girl, Susan Mary Kristine, is happy to boost my Omega 3 intake with some great fish dinners for the next few weeks!

North

North Park Lounge, North Hills

The hook here is the NPL 12oz Giant Fish Sandwich comes from the secret beer batter that the fish is dipped in and then fried to a golden brown

Kretzler’s Tavern, North Hills

Family-owned restaurant where everything is made from fresh, local ingredients and prepared daily. Known for their Famous Fish Sandwich.

Monterey Pub, Mexican War Streets

Tavern featuring vintage wood booths and a fireplace and Irish and American comfort food, including an awesome fish sandwich served on a hefty Kaiser roll with tartar sauce.

Riverview United Presbyterian Church, North Shore

Serves all your favorite fish fry goodies! Riverview hand-batters their haddock, and all french fries are freshly cut. Their menu of classic side dishes include: haluski, mac and cheese, pickle chips, spicy hot cheese balls, clam chowder, and more.

South

The Pub Chip Shop, South Side

The fish and chips is excellent. Their hand battered haddock is moist, flaky and creamy. It’s spiced just right and the texture is not greasy at all. And it’s also reasonably priced at only $9.

Community Kitchen Pittsburgh, Hazelwood

Hand-battered fish along with many sides, homemade by culinary trainees, including pierogies, mac & cheese, soups and cole slaw. Credit cards accepted.

St. Joan of Arc Church, South Park

You can eat there or call for takeout. They have both baked and fried cod as well as fish tacos, shrimp poboy sandwiches and crab cakes.

Bobby’s Lounge, Whitehall

The best fish specials, sandwich or platters or just fish on a dish. There was a huge piece of fish on a hefty bun, fries and Cole slaw. The service is friendly and quick.

East

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.

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.

Stinky’s, Lawrenceville

Giant fish sandwich with great fries. 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. The place is hopping on Friday nights and the restaurant isn’t that big so get there early.

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.

West

Rover’s, Carnegie

This place has fish every day and on Fridays you can get the the Fish on a Dish with mac & cheese special in either jumbo or small size. If you get the jumbo it will feed two people. Get it broiled or fried!

St. Margaret of Scotland, Green Tree 

They have a family special that includes four fish sandwiches, french fries and cole slaw for $30. Other menu items include haluski, pierogies, soup, baked potato, hand-cut french fries and more.

Downtown

The Original Oyster House, Downtown

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. Try to avoid going during peak lunch hour times (Noon-1 p.m.) as you'll see around-the-block lines at that time. I recommend going around 11:30 or after 1:30. But whatever time you go, the staff is efficient and the line moves quickly. The onion rings are perfection.

Epiphany Catholic Church, Uptown

The kitchen is in the lower level. They serve lots of scrumptious sides. Service is quick. You can call ahead and order and pick up. The pierogies are very good and if you’re not too full try the New England clam chowder.

Strip District

Robert Wholey & Co., Inc., Strip District

It’s the building with the big fish on the side! Fish of every kind imaginable including incredibly melt-in-your-mouth, buttery fish sandwiches. Try the Saintly Scallop Po’boy (breaded scallops topped with chipotle remoulade) or the Wholey Holy Moley (Icelandic cod sandwich).

Penn Avenue Fish Company, Strip District

Super casual, loft-like, vibrant restaurant for sampling sushi and daily catches. It’s a great place to get fresh and delicious fish.

Photo Credit: Wholey's Facebook Page

There are plenty more options in the greater Pittsburgh area to grab some fish over the next few months. If you're a fan of the church fish frys, check out this guide to Parish Fish Frys. KDKA also has a great guide you can follow, and there's even an interactive map of fish frys to check out! So many options, so much fish to try!