The most Midwestern thing you can do to earn your “Minnesota Card” is to “Fish Fry” during Lent. Our Wisconsin friends to the East “Fish Fry” all year long, but in Minnesota, we generally reserve such mayhem for the Lenten time frame. This year Lent is 7 weeks long (2/28, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20, 4/4, 4/10), so may I suggest you partake all 7 Friday nights? If you start your fish fry 2020 planning now, you can hit up at least a few churches, restaurants, and VFWs.
Last year (link here for last year’s picks), I was able to hit up St. Matthew’s in St Paul and Holy Family Maronite Catholic Church in Mendota Heights. I would highly recommend the latter for a wonderful community gathering with nice folks, large portions, and a Lebanese garlic sauce that was out of this world. The Catholic Spirit has the most comprehensive list of Fish Frys, soup meals, and Lenten Dinners. You can find their list here.
Lenten Fish Fry 2020
If you are more comfortable in a restaurant than a church setting, may I suggest the following Twin Cities restaurants be added to your Lent Fish Fry 2020 List.
Obb’s is a family-owned sports bar in St. Paul. Hot Turkey and Meatloaf sandwiches move over on Friday nights to make way for the $14.45 Fish Fry, which is a value for all you can eat with a baked potato or fries and coleslaw. Get there early as waits can stretch over 30 minutes during Lent.
This spot is a St. Paul classic run by a local family. Bennett’s is known for its shuttles to the Minnesota Wild Games and all-you-can-eat crab legs ($49.95) on Friday nights. During Lent Fish Fry 2020 is where it’s at – with all-you-can-eat beer-battered cod with fries and slaw. While you are there, add a Lift Bridge, Miracle On Ice, Golden Ale that helps celebrate the 40th year of the Miracle On Ice.
During Fridays throughout the Lenten season, Smack Shack is frying up one pound of Atlantic Haddock with a gluten-free tempura batter with Cajun fries, all for $14.95.
This spot keeps on trend by offering an all-you-can-eat fish fry but they also have a plant-based fish fry, made with soy protein and vegan mayo.
Mac’s is a fast-casual spot featuring made to order walleye, halibut, cod, shrimp and clam strips with fries or curds. You can take out or eat in. This fish is very satisfying, hot, and fresh. If you go once, you will be hooked (see what I did there?) beyond the Lenten season.
The Local has lots of practice at making an excellent fish fry. Beer-battered cod, chips, and tarter can be yours for $16.50, and they have an option to sub in walleye for an extra charge.
Perfectly cooked, flaky, Alaskan cod, and hand-cut chips with a side of curry gravy and mushy peas and red cabbage slaw is my perfect Friday night. The Anchor Fish and Chips really delivers on the experience.
All-you-can-eat baked or beer crusted cod is on the menu for $16 with sides. Add an Irish Mule, their house specialty cocktail featuring brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, simple syrup they make in house topped with a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey and ginger beer.
This gastropub is a part of the Cast and Crew local restaurant group. They have cod, fries, and coleslaw for $14, but they also have a fresh cedar plank salmon and an Ahi tuna poke bowl that is delicious for Lent.