The Lenten season: Fish frys and the best fish sandwiches in Champaign-Urbana and beyond
Ash Wednesday — March 2, 2022 — 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 meals in and around Champaign-Urbana.
Special thanks to all our readers who helped us crowd source this list.
Restaurant Fish Options
Black Dog Smoke & Ale House, 320 N. Chestnut St., Champaign: Black Dog features both smoked salmon and smoked catfish on their regular menu as sandwiches or platters.
Boomerangs Bar and Grill, 1309 E. Washington St., Urbana: Boomerangs has “awesome fish sandwiches on Fridays!” says one reader. “We love Fish Fry Fridays at Boomerangs.”
Bunny’s Tavern, 119 W. Water St., Urbana: Features three fish sandwiches on Fridays: beer-battered walleye, dry-battered or grilled cod, grilled salmon (or grilled salmon salad!).
Esquire Lounge, 106 N. Walnut St., Champaign: “Esquire has a fantastic Friday Fish (cod) sandwich available every Friday, not just during Lent but all year.”
Hamilton Walker’s, 201 N. Neil St., Champaign: Hamilton Walker’s has their staples of grilled salmon, grilled scallops, penne seafood, grilled shrimp and fish & chips; and they always have crab cakes and shrimp cocktail. In addition, look forward to lobster tails and a seafood medley stew.
Legends, 522 E. Green St., Champaign: 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.
Meatheads, 1305 S. Neil St., Champaign: For a limited time, Meatheads has a build your own fish sandwich which includes battered cod, tartar, and lettuce. They also have a fish basket which comes with fish and chips.
Pia’s Sports Pub, 1609 W. Springfield Ave, Champaign: Icelandic codfish sandwiches are served only on Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m for dine in or carry out. Their fish is deep-fried in Pia’s secret beer batter and served with slaw and chips.
Seven Saints, 32 E. Chester St., Champaign: “We love Seven Saints salmon sliders and their summer salmon salad!”
Shark Grill, 1511 N. Bowman Ave., Danville: Shark Grill “is worth the drive for some fish,” says one reader.
Sun Singer Restaurant, 1115 W. Windsor Rd., Champaign: Sun Singer offers a fish sandwich on its Friday lunch menu. The fish options on their regular menu include Ahi Tuna Salad, Seared Sea Scallops, Grilled Salmon, Seared Ahi Tuna and Shrimp Scampi; and almost every day brings a fish dinner special. Options are available for dine-in or carryout.
Urbana Garden Family Restaurant, 810 W. Killarney St., Urbana: Urbana Garden Family Restaurant features tilapia, beer battered cod, and salmon on their regular menu.
Watson’s Shack and Rail, 211 N. Neil St., Champaign: Watson’s carries their Watson’s Hot Fish Sandwich (perch) and Firecracker Shrimp Po’Boy on their daily menu. Pair one with their signature coleslaw, and you’re good to go.
Church Fish Fry Options
Holy Cross Catholic Church, Champaign Fish Fry on March 4 and 25; April 1, 8 from 5-7 p.m.; pickup at back door as well as delivery to homebound available. Cake for sale at $.50/piece to support Children of Hope and Faith.
St. Matthew Catholic Church, Champaign Fish Fry in Feeney Hall 5-7 p.m.; to-go option also available. Fridays in Lent: March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1, 8.
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Urbana Lenten Fish Dinner, 5:30-8 p.m. on March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1, 8.
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, Mahomet Parish Fish Frys beginning at 6 p.m. every Friday of Lent: March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1, 8.
Know of a fish fry – church or restaurant serving fish entrees/specials – that we should include? Email us and we will update our listing.