Happy Lenten season everyone!
If you’re a Pittsburgh native then you’re probably very familiar with Pittsburgh’s tradition of Fish Fry Fridays that usually begin the week of Ash Wednesday and run straight on until Easter. However if you’re a visitor to the greater Pittsburgh area or a new resident you may be wondering; “What’s the deal with these Pittsburgh Fish Fries?” To be exact and to quote Wikipedia a fish fry is:
“A fish fry is a meal containing battered or breaded fried fish. It usually also includes French fries, coleslaw, hushpuppies, lemon slices, tartar sauce, hot sauce, malt vinegar, and dessert.”
What you may not know is that Pittsburgh is one of the only cities where Fish Fry Fridays are wildly popular events! Fish Fry Fridays extend to many areas outside of Pittsburgh, but if you go as far as Philadelphia for instance, they are unheard of. If you’re wondering how this tradition started and got so popular in Pittsburgh, the question is still a mystery. Perhaps it’s simply because there are such strong religious communities in the greater Pittsburgh area. Because Fish Fries stem from the religious tradition of giving up meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during the Lenten season to represent the sacrifice that was made.
Fish Fry Fridays have become so popular in the greater Pittsburgh area that even restaurants are starting to participate. It has become a bit of a competition between local churches, fire halls, and restaurants to see who has the best options and fish during the Lenten season. Here are some great Fish Fry Friday options (in no particular order) to try during the Lenten season in 2018 this year.
Top 5 Fish Fries
- Where: St. Benedict the Abbot Church
- 120 Abington Drive
- McMurray, PA 15317-3398
- When: Fridays: February 16, 23, & March 2,9,16, & 23
- Lunch: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Dinner: 4:00 PM – 7:30 PM
- Contact: Website or call (724) 941-9406
- Their menu includes the traditional fish sandwich but also pizza, fish tacos, soup and even child portions! All options are available for dine-in or take-out as well.
- Where: St. Patrick Roman Catholic Parish
- 317 W. Pike Street
- Canonsburg, PA 15317
- When: Friday February 23, 2018
- Fridays: March 2, 9, 16, & 23
- Lunch 11:00 – 1:00
- Dinner: 4:00 – 7:00
- Contact: Website or call 724-745-6560
- As with all Fish Fries the classic fish sandwich is available but a number of homemade sides ranging from stewed tomatoes to mac & cheese. They also have additional options for dinner including shrimp dinners & seafood platters, just to name a few.
- Where: St. Thomas Moore
- 126 Fort Couch Road
- Pittsburgh, PA 15102
- When: Every Friday from February 16 to March 23 (except Good Friday)
- Lunches: 11:00 – 1:00 PM
- Dinner: 4:30 – 7:00 PM
- Contact: Website or call 412-833-0031 x. 238
- Sticking to the tradition the only thing offered on their website is the hand-breaded 8oz cod with the traditional sides that were mentioned above in the definition of a fish fry.
- Where: St. Joan of Arc Church
- 6470 Library Road
- South Park, PA 15129
- When: February 14, 2017 and every Friday during Lent
- (except Good Friday) from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Contact: Website or call 412-833-2400
- South Park’s new menu offers a wide variety of options for you to pick from! You can have anything ranging from a baked Norwegian Salmon to spicy fish bits! However the lunch specials are only from 11 AM to 2:00 PM and only include the fried fish sandwich with fries or a crab cake with soup.
- Where: St. Mary’s in Cecil
- 10 St. Mary’s Lane
- Cecil, PA 15321
- When: Ash Wednesday (2/14/18) and all Fridays of Lent
- Lunch: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Dinner: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
- Contact: Website or call 412-221-9771 or email [email protected]
- While their lunch menu is limited to baked or fried fish sandwiches and sides, their dinner menu has a wide variety of options to choose from! You can have anything from pizza to seafood samples to crab cakes and more!
So gather your friends and families and enjoy some great fish dinners for a few weeks until Easter! You don’t have to be religious to enjoy a great fish dinner like some of the ones listed above! And remember, these are just a few of our favorites in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh. There are a number of great fish fries throughout the greater Pittsburgh area, like the ones that our local news station and source for this blog WPlXI.com lists.
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Until Next Time,