1. Community Kitchen
107 Flowers Ave., Hazelwood. ckpgh.org
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays through April 15. Eat-in or take out.
Community Kitchen in Hazelwood is hands down the best fry in the area. It’s always the first one I recommend when people ask. I love CK because they’re a culinary training program for individuals who typically experience barriers to employment. Pre-COVID, I attended several of their special dinner events and the food, honestly, is excellent, and I just love the premise behind the program. It changes lives and helps find employment for people who were repeatedly told “no” prior to gaining this training. (I promise I’m not affiliated with CK in any way, I just think they’re awesome!) But regarding the food, the batter is perfectly light and crispy (great cronche!) and everything is made from scratch. The staff are always so helpful and it’s extremely well-organized.
2. Allegheny Elks Lodge
400 Cedar Ave., North Side. facebook.com/alleghenyelks or 412-321-1834
6-8 p.m. Fridays through April 15. Eat-in or take out.
This is another favorite. Fish portions are enormous and, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch some live music.
3. Swissvale Volunteer Fire Department
7400 Irvine St., Swissvale. tinyurl.com/SwissvaleFishFry or 412-271-8787
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays through April 15. Limited seating, take-out encouraged.
This is a very reliable standard year after year. They’re super popular and tend to sell out early, so I definitely recommend calling ahead.
4. Emil’s Lounge
414 Hawkins Ave., Rankin. facebook.com/EmilsLoungePA or 412-271-9911
10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays through April 15. Eat-in or take out.
Emil’s is incredible. I know this place has been around a long time and was featured on one of Rick Sebak’s specials back in the day, but it’s newer to me despite living in the East End for several years. I’ll definitely be back for their fish. Great homemade mac, too!