Fish Fridays

By: Karen Talaski | February 28, 2020

Whether you crave a seafood dinner or you are following a Friday tradition, enjoying a fish fry to start off the weekend has been a part of Metro Detroit for as long as anyone with taste buds can remember.

For anyone who seeks a Friday Fish Fry, there are a wide array of options available around this area. There are old-school ones that feature fried cod as well as side dishes such as French fries, cole slaw and steamed veggies that are as good as Grandma would make. There are fancy ones that feature salmon, scallops and shrimp, adding some sea-worthy delights to the overall menu.

Then there are the hybrids – these are fish fry dinners that come with cool new additions such as mac & cheese, pierogi, tacos and just about anything else you can think to include. Just because you’re following a longtime tradition doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy stuffing your face with a variety of fried foods, local favorites and seasonal delights. 

Another fun part of going out for one of these hearty meals every Friday are the locations. You can check out some of Metro Detroit’s gorgeous historical churches, where you’ll find families of every size enjoying dinner together. There are legendary seafood restaurants that are a must for anyone who wants to say they’re a Detroiter. And there are great community centers that offer a fish fry alongside their regular membership folk, giving you an insight into how people lived, loved and ate together in the days before smartphones and Netflix. 

Here are five local fish fries to try. 

St. Peter and Paul

This Detroit church has had a fish fry as far back as anyone can remember. Its classic menu includes hand-dipped, deep-fried cod and shrimp. There’s also baked cod for those who are watching their diet. Sides include a salad bar, soup of the day, French fries, mac & cheese and something called “lazy pierogi,” which is an intriguing name for a dish. 

St. Blasé Catholic Church

Drive over to Sterling Heights to check out this beloved church. It may be called a fish fry by name, but there is so much more on the menu. The fish includes cod, tilapia, shrimp, salmon and a few vegetarian options. There’s also lots of desserts to choose from as well as a big drink menu. There’s typically live music for those who stay and carry outs for those who gotta jet.

St. Isaac Jogues

Everyone around St. Clair Shores knows St. Isaac Jogues Church and its school. Every year, its Men’s Club does the Friday fish fry, which has won awards for its delicious food. There is something for everyone on the menu, which includes beer-battered cod, baked whitefish, crispy shrimp, shrimp tacos, pierogis and more. They’ve even got a delivery service for when you cannot attend in person. 

Scotty Simpson’s Fish & Chips

Everyone should enjoy this Detroit legend at least once, and Lent is a good time to head over. The classic fish-and-chips eatery has been feeding Detroiters for multiple generations, and that’s because it serves quality food and good prices. Plus, they say that everyone is family at Scotty’s, which means you don’t need a big Catholic family to hang out with the crowd and feel like you completely fit in. 

Nancy Whiskey’s Detroit

Every neighborhood in Detroit once had its own neighborhood bar, and a few lucky places still have one to call their own. Nancy Whiskey’s is that kind of place, and its Famous Fish Fry Friday is a wonderful reason to come by and visit. The atmosphere is congenial and welcoming, and the drink pours are as generous as the food portions.