Friday is Fish Fry Day

Local all-you-can-eat options differ in atmosphere and menu.

Diners seem to be looking for a good fish fry these days. And, it’s not surprising since we’re in the season of Lent. For Catholics, this means foregoing meat on any Friday during the 40 days before Easter.

So, when the homemade grilled cheese sandwich starts to get you down and the drive-thru fish sandwich just isn’t cutting it anymore, try one of these uniquely different fish fry options around town.

In Naperville, the Lenten tradition is the weekly fish fry at the —an event that’s been around for more than 40 years.

“We’re now seeing third generations coming to the event and that’s really neat,” said Mike Barbour, commander emeritus of the Judd Kendall VFW.

It’s such a popular event that they’ll host anywhere from 350-500 people a night during the three-hour time frame.

“It’s kind of like a block party,” Barbour explained. “The kids can walk around, have fun and take part in the coloring contest that we offer.” Local catering company does the cooking and provides an extensive menu including baked tilapia, fried cod, other non-meat entrées, a wide variety of accompaniments, dessert and even some meat items including chicken nuggets—a big favorite of the little ones (who are allowed to eat meat).

For those seeking a casual bar and grill kind of atmosphere, head to on Naperville’s northwest side. For 20 years, this local establishment has been serving up deep-fried Alaskan cod, lightly coated with a delicious beer batter every Friday—not just during Lent—making it a perpetual favorite with the regulars. And, since it’s all-you-can-eat, diners definitely need to come hungry.

If an atmosphere of good music and all-you-can-eat fish is a combination that sounds tempting, head downtown to on Jefferson Avenue where they serve up beer-battered, deep-fried Alaskan pollock every Friday.

Although this menu item debuted about a year ago for Lent, Rizzo’s manager Russ Sucik said its tremendous popularity has had them serving it on Fridays ever since.

“We have lots of regulars who come in just for that,” Sucik said.

While, Lent is a season of fasting, reflection and sacrifice, whether you are Catholic or not the opportunity to share a meal with family, friends and neighbors sounds like a good thing—and a delicious one at that.


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