Faithfully, the fish fry is back. Happening Fridays between February 19 and April 2, over 35 of the best New Orleans restaurants will be serving their twist on everyone's favorite Lenten entrée. For the complete list of participating eateries, visit the Fish Fry Fridays website. Most places are offering to-go options, allowing you to stay safe and well-fed.
Beyond just being delicious, Fish Fry Fridays is a way to carry on a tradition. After a subdued Mardi Gras and a socially distanced Ash Wednesday (made complete by an Instagram filter smudging ash on foreheads), the return of the fish fry is more meaningful than ever. Even more momentous is the fact that Fish Fry Fridays is a fundraising campaign by the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation and United Way of Southeast Louisiana. For every fish fry entry sold each week, participating restaurants will donate $1 to Hospitality Cares.
Not for nothing, NOLA is known for its hospitality. The industry is a behemoth for employment, which was hard-hit by COVID-19's impact. In the past year, the city saw a 21.5% decrease in leisure and hospitality jobs, according to a recent update from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In this landscape, the Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund raised over $2.4 million for local professionals and workplaces. Fish Fry Fridays is the newest campaign—and it's a delicious initiative at that.
Get a Buffalo Fried Catfish Sandwich topped with blue cheese coleslaw, pickles, and tomato from the Mid-City BBQ pit masters.
900 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-822-2583, blueoakbbq.com
In the Warehouse District, this sustainability-focused and eclectically inspired restaurant with swagger and style is putting its spin on Fish 'N' Chips. According to Carmo's website, the dish is made from "the freshest Gulf fish dipped in our beer and cider batter, fried to golden perfection, and served with fried onions and house-cut potatoes."
527 Julia St., 504-875-4131, cafecarmo.com
The Wall Street Journal called GW Fins' Chef Tenney Flynn "the fishmonger czar of the South," so you know his Beer Battered Speckled Trout will be next level. The fish comes with fries and three dipping sauces: Meyer lemon tartar, Creole mustard cream, and spicy Korean aioli.
808 Bienville St., 504-581-3467, gwfins.com
A self-proclaimed "sometimes funky, sometimes fancy, always flavorful sushi joint," originally from Lafayette, is adding a Sapporo Tempura Catch of the Day to the mix. The dish arrives with an entourage of house-made nori chips and wasabi tartar sauce.
601 Poydras St. Suite B., 504-608-3474, servingsushi.com
Chef Susan Spicer's Navarre neighborhood restaurant is doing a Fried Oyster Linguine with artichokes, chilies, and lemon garlic butter. Sure, it's not a "fish fry," but if medieval monks found a way to classify beavers as "fish" and therefore a-okay to eat (this fun fact comes from a Tasting History with Max Miller YouTube video), then who are we to question Spicer's impeccable taste? Oysters definitely count as fish fry.
801 Rosedale Dr., 504-309-9595, rosedalerestaurant.com