It’s fish fry season!

Most residents of the Laurel Highlands know what that means, but not all do. While the history of fish fries is strong in Southwestern Pennsylvania, some, such as a fairly new member of the GO Laurel Highlands team, will be experiencing their first Catholic Lenten season here.

For those who have not yet fully grasped all that it entails, the Laurel Highlands is one of only a few regions in the United States that celebrates the fish fry tradition. Each Friday during Lent our church basements, restaurants and fire halls start dropping baskets into hot oil for a community celebration of deep-fried goodness.

Whether you're a fish fry aficionado or are new to the tradition, we invite you to try a Laurel Highlands fish fry by using this guide to locations, dishes and gatherings near you. We think you'll agree that this tradition is quite the catch.

FAQs about Fish FriesKeep Calm It's Fish Fry Friday

How do I order? Since fish fries have changed over the past few years, we encourage you to call in advance and see if you can place your to-go order to help things run as smoothly as possible.

Do I have to belong to a church to attend? You don't have to be Catholic or from the community to participate in an amazing Laurel Highlands fish fry. All are welcome to attend.

What's on the menu? In Southwestern Pennsylvania, the main dish of a fish fry is usually a battered, deep-fried cod or haddock served on a bun or roll. Baked fish, shrimp and crabcakes are also popular main courses, but call in advance to see what's on the menu. Side dishes include Polish-American favorites like haluski and pierogis and more standard fare like coleslaw, fries and hush puppies.

When does this happen? Typically, fish fries are held every Friday during Lent, and the dates vary slightly each year. For 2024, most Laurel Highlands fish fries will kick off the week of Ash Wednesday (February 14), then continue each Friday through March 30.

How do I pay? While many places accept cards, it's still a good idea to bring cash. There often are cash-only activities to participate in while you're there such as raffles, dessert tables and more.

Where else can I celebrate? Outside of churches and community centers, many Laurel Highlands restaurants, wineries and breweries add Lenten specials to their menus. From giant fish sandwiches to five-star, farm-to-table fillets, the Laurel Highlands has something for every appetite and budget.

Westmoreland County

Find Every Fish Fry in Westmoreland County

Downtown Greensburg Project - Fish Fry Map

With the largest population in the Laurel Highlands, Westmoreland County has dozens of halls, churches, social clubs and restaurants where you can enjoy a fish fry!

Not sure where to start? Our friends at Downtown Greensburg Project have done the hard work of creating a digital guide to all the area fish fries in one place

Westmoreland County Churches and Community Centers

The tradition of eating fish during Lent dates to the third century, and Laurel Highlands churches carry on this tradition today. 

Community United Methodist Church in Irwin Fish Fry

Community United Methodist Church in Irwin says it’s been proudly serving God and cod since 2005. Eat-in or take-out options are available from 4-7:30 p.m. Feb. 16-March 22. A complete meal of an entrée – fried or baked fish, a crab cake, chicken tenders or pierogies – plus a hot and cold side, dessert and a drink is just $16 for adults and $8 for kids 10 and younger.

A local favorite is the Knights of Columbus fish fry at St. Joseph's Parish Hall in Derry, where $14 gets you a veritable feast of a half-pound of baked or fried cod plus coleslaw, green beans, roll and your choice of potato, pierogies, haluski (a delectable Polish dish of cabbage and buttered noodles) or mac and cheese.

Bell Township Volunteer Fire Department offers an all-you-can-eat buffet for Lent.

Bring your appetite to Bell Township Volunteer Fire Department in Salina, which offers an all-you-can-eat buffet from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent. The $15 buffet even includes dessert, and a take-out menu is also available. 

Manor Volunteer Fire Department is offering an eat-in or take-out option every Friday during Lent. You can get an 8-ounce fish sandwich with two sides – fries, coleslaw, pierogies or mac and cheese – for $15 or a shrimp dinner with two sides for the same price. For those able to eat meat on Fridays, a chicken strip dinner option is available. 

Ligonier Township Volunteer Fire Department #1 in Waterford has a wide-ranging menu, with all dinners including your choice of two sides (green beans, mac and cheese, parsley potatoes, French fries); coleslaw; one dessert, roll or bun (with sandwich). Prices range from $15 for a baked fish dinner, fried fish dinner, fried fish sandwich dinner, and fried shrimp dinner to $12 for a chicken tender dinner and $10 for a fried fish sandwich. Credit/debit cards are now accepted, but a fee will be charged.

Westmoreland County Restaurants and Breweries

A gluten-free fish sandwich is a popular option for Lent at Little E's Pizzeria in Greensburg.

If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, be sure to check out Little E’s Pizzeria in Greensburg, which offers gluten-free battered wild cod that is flash fried and then baked. 

At locations throughout the Laurel Highlands, Eat'n Park has been serving up smiles since 1949. For 2024, Eat’n Park is offering a fish-fry-to-go, which includes two Whale of a Cod fish sandwiches, two orders of fresh chips with ranch dressing and a pint of soup or coleslaw. Try one in GreensburgIrwinNew StantonSomersetUniontown, or other Laurel Highlands locations.

Greenhouse Winery will have fish fry options from Lunch Lady on Wheels each Friday during Lent.

Even our craft beverage makers get in on the fish fry fun! Greenhouse Winery will also be hosting fish fries on Fridays with live music and tasty offerings from The Lunch Lady On Wheels.

Planning a trip to the Youngwood Historical Railroad Museum and Station Cafe? Your Lenten diet can stay on track with their annual fish fry, which begins Ash Wednesday and runs every Friday through Lent. The cafe offers a half-pound cod sandwich and coleslaw with your choice of haluski, three pierogies, or fries for $17. They even have a kids' menu with fish sticks and applesauce. 

Fayette County

St. George Maronite Church in Uniontown offers preorders for lunch and dinner.

There's plenty of fish fry to enjoy in all three counties! St. George Maronite Church in Uniontown is your place to go in the county for all the classic dishes. Pre-order is available – including online – so make sure you place your lunch orders with the office and your dinner orders so you can try everything they offer!

Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 is now open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Ash Wednesday and Fridays through Lent. A fish sandwich dinner – which includes fries and coleslaw – is just $14.50 while shrimp or crabcake dinners are $12.50. They’re also home to the Nozzlenut Sandwich, which includes cheese, fries and slaw on a fish sandwich!

Hiller Volunteer Fire Company offers a huge Lenten menu

Hiller Volunteer Fire Company offers one of the largest menus we've seen, with pollock or cod, shrimp, clams, crab cakes, and even crab legs! Can’t decide? Try the combo platter!

Connellsville Township is hosting a fish fry each Friday through March 29.

Connellsville Township Volunteer Fire Department offers lunch and dinner options for $13 starting on Ash Wednesday. Pre-orders are available, and you can dine in or get takeout.

Elevating the Lenten Tradition

Bittersweet Cafe Salmon

Want to up your fish Friday game? There are plenty of places in Fayette County that take the traditional to the next level. Bittersweet Café in Farmington offers a salmon fillet sandwich with an upscale take: Alaskan sockeye salmon served with spring greens and an herb and caper mayo on a homemade bun. 

Take your seafood dinner to the next level of luxury at Nemacolin. Aqueous and Chef De Cuisine Eduardo Quintana have truly excelled with their charcoal-roasted grouper, which is served al pastor style with avocado, pineapple, corn spaetzle and salsa verde. Dining at Nemacolin is available to overnight guests and members.

Stone House Fish Fry

The Stone House Restaurant and Inn is featuring Lenten specials on Friday, Feb. 16 from noon to 9 p.m. In addition to the traditional beer-battered fish sandwich and fries, the menu includes seafood bisque, peel-n-eat shrimp, creamy garlic shrimp parmesan, stuffed flounder, crab-stuffed portobello mushroom and a fisherman’s platter with beer battered shrimp, scallops, flounder, hush puppies, coleslaw and fries!

Somerset County Fish Fries and Restaurants

Seven Springs Fine Dining

After a long day exploring the Laurel Highlands, maybe you're just ready to relax at Seven Springs Mountain Resort and dine at Helen's. For the seafood lover, we recommend doing their three-course dining event. Start with the Chesapeake crab bisque and savor the shrimp and scallops as your main course, served with saffron rice, red pepper cucumber coulis and zucchini and squash. Finish the experience with a salted caramel semifreddo. 

Local Fish Fries and Events

The Meyersdale Elks Lodge is offering indoor dining and takeout from 4:30-7 p.m. each Friday during Lent. Takeout can be pre-ordered by calling 814-634-8411 from 7-9 p.m. Thursday or after 2 p.m. Friday. The menu includes fried or baked haddock, fries or baked potato, coleslaw, roll, and a beverage. Adult dinners are $13 for dine-in or $14 for takeout.

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in New Baltimore is famously known as the Church of the Turnpike, but in eastern Somerset County, it’s well known for its Lenten fish fry. Dinners, which are available on Fridays through March 22, include beer-battered haddock or baked cod, fried shrimp, soup, baked potato, stewed tomatoes, green beans, haluski, coleslaw, dessert and beverage. Dine-in is available, as is takeout, which can be pre-ordered by calling 814-733-2110 by noon on Friday. 

The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Lenten Fish Fry in Windber has been voted the Johnstown area’s best fish fry five years in a row, and whether you get it baked or fried, you’ll taste the difference of fish wild-caught in Alaskan waters. Fillets are hand-cut and hand-breaded as needed in the church kitchen. The extensive menu also includes shrimp – breaded or steamed – parsley potatoes, haluski, paguch pizza and homemade gob cake.   

Oakhurst Grille Fish Sandwich

Grab a fish hoagie at Tailgatez, or the fish sandwich from Oakhurst Grille (shown above).

We hope you take this invitation to become a part of the fish fry tradition of the Laurel Highlands and support community organizations, craft beverage makers, and restaurants that keep this unique tradition alive in our region!