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Cleveland Fish Fries

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Academy Tavern

Eat in the same establishment where mafia legend Danny Green and law enforcement great Eliot Ness used to hang out. "It's the oldest bar in the city, with 77 years of history," says owner Sam Gantous. "Danny Green had eaten breakfast here the day he'd gotten blown up." Enjoy an entree of pike or perch with your choice of creamy mac and cheese, collard greens, salad or broccoli, plus access to a full bar. $15. Fridays during Lent, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 12800 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland, 216-229-1171

Around the Corner
Those who drank the last Christmas Ale are in luck. Around the Corner offers Christmas Ale beer-battered fried cod coated with a sprinkle of pepper and salt. "It's a huge piece of fish, it comes out very crispy," says general manager Ryan Krivosh. "It is expensive to make, but it comes out well. It's not as strong as you think it is, but you can definitely tell the taste of the beer." Get there early since seating tends to fill on Fridays during Lent. And don't wait to make the trip. $12.95. Daily 3 p.m to close, open on Good Friday, 18616 Detroit Road, Lakewood, 216-521-4413,

Brennan's Fish House
This 151-year-old restaurant used to be a former hotel for gun slingers and weary travelers. "I'm only the fifth owner, so this place has serious staying power," says Sharon Hill. Nautical art provided by community members decorate the walls. Order Lake Erie perch or walleye, which comes with their creamy house-made coleslaw and fresh-cut french fries. $10.75-16.75. Fridays during Lent, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., 102 River St., Grand River, 440-354-9785,

El Carnicero
Get your Mexican fix with this unique Latin fish fry. A special Lenten menu includes chimichurri-drizzled French fries served with beer-battered perch and chipotle tartar sauce. "Chimichurri is a Brazilian sauce with cilantro, parsley and a little jalapeno," says owner Eric Williams. "It gives it a little kick." The fries are made in-house and cut from fresh potatoes. $12. Fridays during Lent, 4 to 8 p.m., 16918 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-3415,

Firehouse Grille and Pub
Mouth-watering side dishes await your taste buds at this all-you-can-eat fish fry. Pair your beer-battered or broiled cod with coleslaw, french fries, onion straws, or seasoned veggies. The loaded brew city fries are a special treat. "These fries are dipped in a real light beer batter and just loaded with sharp cheddar cheese, bacon bits, scallions and sour cream, to rave customer reviews," says owner Marty Graham. Satisfy your cravings and plan to eat all night. $11.99. Fridays year-round, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., 2768 Stark Drive, Willoughby Hills, 440-943-4983,

Hudson's Restaurant
Chefs Kevin and J.J. Altomare prove fish doesn't have to be served crispy with a side of fries. The brothers cook up lobster mac and cheese made with lumps of lobster tossed with shell pasta and rich white cheddar cheese, just for Lent. "We give you such a big portion, after a salad and pasta, you definitely have stuff to take home," says Hudson's Restaurant's Kendra Altomare, of this creamy concoction. $19. Starts Ash Wednesday and runs Fridays during Lent, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., 80 N. Main St., 330-650-1955,

Prosperity Social Club
Haddock lovers rejoice with the year-round fish fry menu at this favorite night spot. "Our haddock, a thick, flaky white fish with a mild buttery flavor, pairs nicely with our hand-dipped beer batter crust," says owner Bonnie Flinner. "It's the perfect choice for our tasty pub-style fish fry." You can order from the fish fry menu all week long, but stay late on Fridays. $10.95-$21.95. Fridays during Lent, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., 1109 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland, 216-937-1938,

Slovenian National Home
Join the party with live polka music, a small dance floor and a full bar. Accordion players perform Cleveland and Slovenian-style polkas. "Not a Friday goes by without folks getting up and dancing," says Rick Godic, board member and fish fry organizer. The menu features tavern-battered Pollock, breaded shrimp and potato and cheese pierogis served with onions and sour cream. Choose from clam chowder, home fries, coleslaw or french fries to round out the meal. $9-$11. Fridays, Feb. 12 through March 18, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., 6409 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, 216-347-9888,

St. Barnabas Church
The cod and tilapia are sure to be a hit this year. "We use a crispy, crunchy batter," says kitchen manager Jim Durdak. "So there are lots of crunch and crisps." But the weekly specials, such as San Francisco clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl or red snapper Veracruz stuffed with roasted red pepper, green olives and tomatoes, will bring you back more than once. Side dishes of red skin mashed potatoes and crab cakes ensure you won't leave without a full stomach. $7-9 regular menu, $12-$14 specials. Fridays, Feb. 12 through March 26, 4:30 to 7 p.m., 9451 Brandywine Road, Northfield, 330-467-7959,

St. Clarence
Leave it to a foodie to focus on the meal before the money at a fish fry fundraiser. "I'm particular about what I eat, [and] I know enough about food to be dangerous," says Rick Albertini, organizer of this seventh annual fish fry and a St. Clarence parishioner. Each Lent, Albertini and St. Clarence parishioners serve up lake perch, homemade pierogies and coleslaw to 1,200 guests from throughout Northeast Ohio. But the real draw is the french fries. "We serve the best french fries I could get," he says. "[It's] arguably the best-tasting fry in the business." $10.50-$12.50. Fridays during Lent, 4:30 to 7 p.m., 30106 Lorain Road, North Olmsted, 440-734-2414,

St. Dominic Church
Relive a childhood favorite with a hearty helping of the adult-sized mac and cheese entree and a slice of chocolate or yellow sheet cake at this popular church fish fry. "Of course, our must-have menu item is our most popular, the fried fish," says cafeteria manager Nancy Bogart. "Cooked to perfection with a crispy, golden-brown exterior and a soft, moist interior, it pairs well with either a baked or sweet potato or our crispy french fries." Mouth-watering sides also include coleslaw and Hawaiian rolls. $12. Fridays during Lent, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., 3455 Norwood Road, Shaker Heights, 216-561-4400,

St. John Bosco
Enjoy a fine-dining experience when your Alaskan pollock is served on fine china plates. "It's fresh fish that's hand-dipped in our special beer batter and deep-fried and broiled to order," says Debbie Hannan, dining room coordinator. Or try the eggplant lasagna, which boasts layers of eggplant and cheese and marinara sauce from Bruno's Restaurant, with loads of side options, including manicotti, coleslaw, mac and cheese, french fries, baked potato, cabbage and noodles and more. $12-$13. Fridays, Feb. 12 through March 25, 4 to 8 p.m., 6480 Pearl Road, Parma Heights, 440-886-3500,

St. John Neumann Church
Enjoy a true sit-down dining experience as volunteers from the parish serve up baked and fried fish dinners and pierogi dishes. "Our fish fry provides a restaurant-style experience with hostesses and servers," says Fran Gesten, parish secretary and fish fry coordinator. Entertainment for the evening also includes a magician and a clown skilled at balloon creations. All proceeds from the final fish fry on Friday, March 27 help to benefit the local community and their diocesan mission in El Salvador. $5-$10.50. Fridays, Feb. 27 through March 27, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., 16271 Pearl Road, Strongsville, 440-238-1770,

St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church
Music presentations from school children and other groups accompany baked or fried cod. "We are excited this year to take our fish fry to the next level with it being catered by renowned local caterer Italian Creations and its owner Ross Keller, who is a St. Luke parishioner," says William Gaydos, finance committee chair. Large portions of fish and sides, such as roasted red skin potatoes, pierogis and mac and cheese, provide a satisfying Lenten experience. $9.50. Fridays during Lent, 4:30 to 8 p.m., 1212 Bunts Road, Lakewood, 216-521-0184,

St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Cathedral
Get a plateful of culture with your cod at the country's first Romanian Orthodox Church. While feasting, family and friends gobble up Romanian history depicted on the 98-foot-long, hammered-copper frieze from the 1939 World's Fair lining the upper walls of the social hall. "It depicts the entire Romanian history for 2,000 years — the battles and kings," says the Rev. Remus Grama, pastor of St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Cathedral. $6 to $11.50. Fridays starting Feb. 12 to March 25, 5 to 8 p.m., 3256 Warren Road, Cleveland, 216-941-5550,

St. Teresa of Avila
If you crave fried fish like a cheesy gordita, try St. Teresa of Avila's drive-thru. "Guests only have to wait five to10 minutes. They don't have to get out of the car, and they're on their way," says fish fry organizer Carol Yonkof. Just because Lake Erie perch and parsley potatoes and a plethora of pierogies are doled out fast doesn't mean the church scrimps on portions or choices. "By going through the drive-thru, they don't lose anything. We cover a multitude of sins with our food," jokes Yonkof. $6 to $15. Fridays during Lent, 4:30 to 7 p.m., 1878 Abbe Road, Sheffield Village, 440-934-4227,

Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church
Sweeten the deal at this fish fry with authentic, homemade Greek desserts such as the galaktoboureko. "We have customers call ahead to make sure the dessert is still available," says Marguarite Stephanopoulos, one of the fish fry organizers. "It's a luscious combination of creamy custard and flaky filo dough that is baked to golden perfection then soaked with a honey and lemon syrup." Other delights include kourambiethes (powdered sugar cookies) and baklava, the perfect ending to your choice of baked or fried walleye. $9-$13.50. Fridays, Feb. 12 through March 18, 5 to 8 p.m., 3352 Mayfield Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-932-3300,

Sterle's Country House
Transport to an old-world Eastern European destination when you walk into this German beer hall. Stained glass windows and murals of Slovenian history surround you while you enjoy the upbeat music offerings of the in-house band Polka Pirates. "Generations of families come and sit at our tables to enjoy our fresh twist on great Eastern European cuisine," says owner Rick Semersky. Sterle's Country House provides a robust beer list with five house beers and an energetic atmosphere to start a new tradition for your family. $10-$15. Fridays year-round, 11:30 a.m. to close, 1401 E. 55th St., Cleveland, 216-881-4181,

Washington Place Bistro and Inn
This East Side spot is trading old-school fish and chips for their famous braised beef and wild mushroom pierogis. "When we updated our presentation of the pierogis, we heard from many guests that they missed our original pierogis, so we brought them back," says general manager Megan LeFebvre. The decadent, locally made potato parmesan pierogis are covered with braised beef, wild mushrooms and caramelized onions, plus a rich demi-glace and horseradish creme fraiche. $20. Daily, hours vary, 2203 Cornell Road, Cleveland, 216-791-6500,

West Park Station
This Irish/American/Italian restaurant provides casual dining among a bevy of photos that reflect the history of civil service in the neighborhood, from its horse-and-buggy past to the present. "It's a great tribute to our history," says Jason Salupo, partner and owner. Lake perch coated with a thick, buttery batter provides a satisfying crunch, while homemade pierogis leave the kitchen as fast as you can order them. $7-$12. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during Lent, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., 17015 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 216-476-2000,

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