The Season of the Fish Fry

BY Gabriela Reyes

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The classic fish fry is back. Whether you’re biting into the classic beer-battered British fish and chips with tangy tartar sauce, sinking your teeth into the spice-infused cornmeal of Southern soul food, or enjoying Grandma’s time-honored recipe on Lenten Fridays at a local Catholic church hall, there’s something for every palate. Explore our list of restaurants and church halls where you can partake in this delightful ocean-inspired feast.

First, a Bite of History

Although we won’t be indulging in any rabbi or priest humor, it’s fascinating to note the significant roles both have played in shaping the tradition of the fish fry. The roots of this culinary custom can be traced back to the western Sephardic Jews of the 15th century, from the Iberian Peninsula between Spain and Portugal. 

It’s believed they introduced a dish akin to pescado frito, or “fried fish,” to other parts of Europe. To make the dish the fish, often cod or haddock, gets dipped into a flour batter. Over time, this method has crossed seas, offering us a diverse array of options to savor. 

Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern

Rooted in Catholic tradition, Wisconsin celebrates fish frys to the point it’s become a way of life in the state. Here in Denver we have Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern offering a Fish Fry Basket, which includes tempura battered cod, coleslaw, marble rye bread, and some tartar sauce, all for $18. For those with hearty appetites, the all-you-can-eat special awaits every Friday, priced at just $24. 1417 Market St, Denver, https://www.wallyswisconsin.com/

CoraFaye’s Cafe

plate of fried fish with sides
Get fried fish any day at this soul food staple in Aurora. | Photo by CoraFaye’s Cafe

Transport your taste buds to the heart of the South with a visit to CoraFaye’s Cafe in Aurora, where they specialize in serving up authentic “southern home cook’n and soul food” so good, it will  have you coming back for more year-round. Dive into their fried fish selection, featuring your choice of catfish, tilapia, or whiting. A one fish meal with a side runs, $14.99, or opt for two fish at $21.99. 15395 E Colfax Ave, Aurora,, https://corafayescafe.com/

The Fort

To satisfy any dietary desires, The Fort is offering fish Fridays and vegetarian options alongside its renowned game dishes. The elevated menu includes Idaho ruby red trout baked with garlic, rosemary, and butter accompanied by an orange and honey sauce. You can also select salmon, lobster tails, refreshing salads, and a variety of other items to pair with the delectable dish. 19192 CO-8, Morrison, https://www.thefort.com/

Lake House Kitchen + Tavern

Head to Littleton not only for the fish fry, but the scenery as well. In fact, the expansive, renovated outdoor patio offers a panoramic view of the Johnson Reservoir, a perfect complement to the current special, fried fish. Choose from freshwater walleye, shrimp, or a mixture of the two, all with a $20 price tag.  Each comes accompanied by coleslaw and waffle fries. 8026 W Bowles Ave, Littleton, https://lakehousekt.com/

Get Battered Fish & Chips (GB Fish & Chips)

basket of fish and chips on wood table
GB Fish & Chips specializes in, well, fish and chips, the ultimate fish fry. | Photo by GB Fish & Chips

GB is undeniably Denver’s premier destination for fish and chips. With four venues scattered throughout the city, GB promises an authentic British experience through every season, religious holiday or not. While the classic fish and chips remain a favorite, GB offers eight protein options too. Dubbed “swimmers,” these options can be battered and deep-fried to perfection. Bonus, there’s outdoor seating too for those oddly warm March days. Various locations, https://www.gbfishandchips.com/

Bonus: Parish Fish Fries


For those craving a bit of adventure, we’ve included three Catholic parish fish frys available exclusively on Fridays during Lent, which ends March 22. While these may not be establishments boasting high-end chefs, they certainly excel in serving up hearty, home-cooked meals at incredibly affordable prices. Plus, they tend to have very welcoming staff. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the genuine charm and hospitality that these community dinners offer. 

Good Shepherd Parish Center, 2626 E 7th Ave Pkwy, Denver

Light of the World, 10306 W Bowles Ave, Littleton

Saint James, 1311 Oneida St., Denver

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gabriela Reyes

Gaby has been part of the Denver/Boulder food scene since 2015 when she moved to Colorado. While gradually losing her ability to eat due to six years of misdiagnosed food allergies, she became fascinated with the culinary scene. Gaby, aka The Restaurant Encyclopedia, has been DiningOut’s restaurant coordinator for food festivals since 2017 and joined the editorial team in 2022.

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