The Lenten Season: Fish Frys and the Best Fish Sandwiches in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
Ash Wednesday — Feb. 26, 2020 — marks the beginning of the Lenten season, and Lent means FISH! Some Christians abstain from meat during the entire 40 days of Lent; others avoid meat just on Fridays. Fish has become the go-to meat alternative for Lent … or perhaps you just like fish. Whatever your tradition, we are here to help you find the best Fish Fry events and fish sandwiches in and around Champaign-Urbana. Special thanks to all our readers who helped us crowd source this list.
Holy Cross Catholic Church — [UPDATED 3/12/2020: Remaining fish frys canceled] Fish Frys begin on Feb. 28 and occur each Friday of Lent through April 3; from 5-7 p.m. For more information, call (217) 352-8748 (405 W. Clark St.)
St. Matthew Catholic Church — Starting Feb. 28, every Friday during Lent until April 3; from 5-7 p.m. in Feeney Hall. Their bulletin promises “homemade desserts”! (1303 Lincolnshire Dr.)
Legends — This campus standby has been serving up one of the best fish sandwiches in town for years. The award-winning (and alumni favorite!) fish sandwich is served every Friday and Saturday throughout the year. Fun fact — Legends is located at the site of the former DeLuxe Billiards, which served a fish sandwich that lives on only in … wait for it … legend. (522 E. Green St.)
Sun Singer Restaurant — In 2020 Sun Singer offers a fish sandwich on its Friday lunch menu. Local foodies with long memories may wonder if Sun Singer is keeping the dream alive of the DeLuxe Fish Sandwich, hallowed-be-its-name (by way of Campustown’s DeLuxe, then downtown’s Dublin’s, then Sun Singer). The answer appears to be no — this fish sandwich belongs solely to Sun Singer. Let us know how you like it! (1115 W. Windsor Rd.)
Watson’s Shack and Rail — We need someone to check out their Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich (fried perch with Nashville hot dip on a hoagie roll) right away, please. (211 N. Neil St.)
Pia’s — Icelandic codfish sandwiches are served only on Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Deep-fried in Pia’s secret beer batter and served with slaw and chips. (1609 W. Springfield Ave.)
St. Patrick Catholic Church — Its 2020 Lenten Fish Fry Dinners are on Fridays starting Feb. 28 and ending April 3, from 6-8 p.m. For more information, call (217) 367-2665 (708 W. Main St.)
Urbana Garden — Has all-you-can-eat fried walleye every Friday, not to mention tilapia, cod, and perch specials. (810 W. Killarney St.)
Boomerangs Bar and Grill — Has “awesome fish sandwiches on Fridays!” says one reader. (1309 E. Washington St.)
Bunny’s Tavern — Features three fish sandwiches on Fridays: beer-battered walleye, dry-battered or grilled cod, blackened salmon. (119 W. Water St.)
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church — Will host Fish Fry dinners for Lent from 6-7:00 p.m., on Fridays from Feb. 28 to April 3 (except for 2/20/2020). For details call (217) 586-5153. (501 W. State St., Mahomet)
Sacred Heart Catholic Church — Hosts its annual Fish Fry in the Parish Hall on Feb. 28 from 4:30-7 p.m. (208 N. Pine St., Villa Grove)
Shark Grill — “is worth the drive for some fish,” says one reader. (1511 N. Bowman Ave., Danville)
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