With Mardi Gras in the rearview, many New Orleanians have begun their observation of Lent–the 40-day period in between Fat Tuesday and Holy Thursday. Part of Lenten tradition states that meat should not be eaten on Fridays, but fish and seafood get a pass, which is why seafood (be it boiled, fried, or any preparation in between) is a culinary staple during the coming weeks.
But even non-Catholics can agree, there's never a bad time to enjoy the fresh bounty of Louisiana seafood so you might as well pile a plate with all the fixins while the getting is really good.
Whether it’s fried catfish plates from staples like Mandina’s, Barrow’s, or High Hat, a catfish po-boy from Parkway, or a more indulgent meal from Heard Dat or PeeWee’s, there’s no shortage of amazing options all across the city.
Naturally, in keeping with this Lenten tradition, many local churches and schools are also holding fundraiser fish fries to support their local parishes. You can find a list of locations, menus, and dates here. Ranging in price from $10 to $16 per plate, you’ll find the best deals in town at a school fish fry. Plates often include fried fish, shrimp, mac ‘n cheese, vegetable, bread, dessert, and add-ons like seafood gumbo and cheese pizza.
Beyond the fried fish platter, there are plenty of dishes for the more adventurous. May we recommend the Coco bread fish sandwich at Queen Trini Lisa or the whole fried fish from Fritai? How about the stuffed shrimp from Dooky Chase’s? Perhaps you’re in the mood for fried oysters from Lüke or the crispy calamari from Jack Rose. Check out the restaurants serving fried seafood below.