Fresh fish? Check. Mac salad? Check. Potato salad, French fries, rye bread? Check, check, check. During Lent in Buffalo, there’s no shortage of neighborhood pubs, taverns, restaurants, and even churches serving up tender, delectable fish fry. With only so many Fridays left before Easter, you’ll want to make the most of each one by sampling the catch at these establishments that are just a little off the beaten path:
Joey’s Place, 1122 Hertel Ave., Buffalo
Known for its friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere, Joey’s Place offers traditional battered fish fry or broiled, lemon butter crumb and Cajun options. You can also expect a smorgasbord of sides along with your fry including delicious French fries, macaroni salad and cole slaw. Joey’s also boasts one of the latest kitchens in the city, occasionally offering food until 4am.
Jades Bar & Restaurant, 4495 Broadway, Depew
This neighborhood bar and restaurant has been a staple of the Depew community for decades, serving Polish fare like golabki, sausage and pierogi. Although under new ownership, the “every day, year round” fish fry recipe has remained exactly the same – just as it was over 45 years ago.
McPartlan’s Corner, 669 Wehrle Dr., Buffalo
A local fish fry institution for half a century, McPartlan’s cooks up the quintessential fish fry – light, flaky and never greasy. As with most fish fry places, you get your choice of a half or whole haddock fillet, but what makes McPartlan’s unique is the wealth of other seafood options available including scallops, shrimp and clams.
Bailey Seafood, 3316 Bailey Ave., Buffalo
Among their dozens and dozens of seafood options, Bailey Seafood serves one of the best fish frys in Western New York. What’s unique about Bailey Seafood are its options. Customers can pick from options of catfish, haddock, tilapia, cod, bass, red snapper, yellow pike or butterfish. Each order comes with French fries, coleslaw, tartar sauce and hushpuppies.
Wallenwein’s Hotel, 641 Oakwood Ave., East Aurora
Located in the charming Village of East Aurora, Wallenwein’s, or lovingly called “Wally’s”, has been a neighborhood-favorite hangout forever – and that’s an understatement. If you’re looking for a no frills kind of fish fry joint, Wally’s is calling your name. Offering beer-battered, panko breaded varieties and the rare Buffalo-style (hot sauce and blue cheese), you’ll want to get to this EA staple early as seating is limited.
Rodney’s, 4179 Lakeshore Rd., Hamburg
Where else would you rather eat a tasty, fresh fish fry than right along the shores of Lake Erie? Located about 15 minutes south of Buffalo, Rodney’s puts a unique spin on their fry – serving a corn meal-coated fillet that has some people calling it one of the best in the region.
Happy Swallow Bar & Restaurant, 1349 Sycamore St., Buffalo
This east side bar and restaurant will be packed to the gills during Lent. A very popular, breaded fish fry can be found at Happy Swallow in the weeks leading up to Easter. Served with all the fixins, this is the place to go to rub elbows with the local fish fry enthusiasts.
Boomerang’s Bar & Grill, 995 Niagara St., Buffalo
This west side restaurant’s motto is “food so good, you’ll keep coming back”. This statement couldn’t be more true as, over the years, tales of Boomerang’s fish fry prowess has spread throughout Buffalo and beyond, keeping lots of hungry fish fry fans coming back for more.
South Side Social, 444 Elk St., Buffalo
The South Side Social and Athletic Club, as it’s formally named, is as under-the-radar as you can get. Only open to the public on Fridays during Lent, entrance requires visitors to be “buzzed” in to dine on this deliciously battered South Buffalo fry. It’s all part of the experience!
Pamp’s Red Zone Bar & Grill, 1492 Southwestern Blvd., West Seneca
A relative newcomer to Buffalo’s fish fry scene, Pamp’s is taking it to a new level. Not only do they offer Cajun, Italian, Lemon Pepper varieties of their haddock, but their traditional fish fry is also served 4 days of the week (Thursday to Sunday)!
Wiechec’s Lounge, 1748 Clinton St., Buffalo
On Clinton Street in Kaisertown lies an old-time fish fry purveyor that seems to be growing in popularity as the years pass by. Revered for their massively portioned haddock fillets (served breaded, battered, Cajun or broiled), Wiechec’s has held true to the mantra of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.