The season of Lent is upon us, which means the season of the fish fry is about to go into full effect! Being a Detroit transplant, the fish fry culture is relatively new to me.
Here, every Friday during Lent, you can count on finding thriving fellowship, delicious food and an opportunity to support a local parish at a fish fry. Given the great variety of fish fries in the area, you may be (like me) unsure where to start! The best place to get started is by using the Fish Fry Finder; but as you begin to make your plans for the season, you may also want to consider some personal recommendations! I asked some long-time Detroiters which Fish Fry events they were most looking forward to and why, here’s what they had to say:
For the best basics
“I love St. Augustine/St. Monica’s. Their perch is my favorite, and I love that you preorder ahead of time in the week and pick up on Friday. They usually sell out every week!” — Jamie D.
For the foodies
“St. Genevieve-St. Maurice in Livonia serves a salmon special that is honestly to die for. I dream about it year after year. Thinking about it now and I honestly have never been more excited for Lent to start!” —Gabriella P.
“I strongly recommend the clam chowder soup from St. Ronald’s. It’s [chef’s kiss] delish, and something a little different than your typical fish and chips.” — Nicole T.
For the fish-fry lovers who don’t like fish
“St. John Vianney in Shelby Twp. It is run by an outstanding army of volunteers. Went two or three Fridays last year and it was packed each time with a variety of Lent-friendly foods for weirdos like me that don’t like fish! I really enjoyed the salad bar, they seemed to have pretty much every topping you could think of to build your own great salad, and the baked potatoes and fries were great. Looking forward to going again this year.” —Rick G.
“I love Knights of Columbus fish fry dinners and I can be kind of judgy, but the eggplant parmesan at St. Fabian’s Lenten pasta dinner is legendary! They regularly sell out of it. The recipe is a St. Fabian parishioner’s, who, for the last 25 years, get together with a crew of mom friends to make the dish.” —Michelle P.
For the ones planning a fish fry tour
“Here is a list of fish fries that I’m looking forward to: Sweetest Heart of Mary, St. Cyril and Methodius, St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church (Warren). All of these fish fries have some form of an ethnic twist, but given the Polish, Slovakian and Ukrainian influences, these are unique. I’ve always been a big fan of fish fries that do homemade/hand-breaded fish along with fresh sides, so I am looking to find more.” —Trevor M.
For fans of food AND service
Laura K. says “St. William in Walled Lake has a great one! I know some of the Dads Club members who work the fish fry and they claimed it was the best fish fry in metro Detroit. It did not disappoint! The food and service were excellent!” Not sure where to start? Elizabeth S. emphatically suggests the “Fried shrimp dinner!”
For the Pierogi Lovers
“Sweetest Heart of Mary: A) the fish is amazing and B) you can get a side of pierogi.” —Joe T.
“If Sweetest Heart of Mary was a restaurant, I’d give it a five-star Yelp review.” —Gerardo B.