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Louisville 2023 Fish Fry Guide

Stanley Peden takes a basket of fish out of the fryer at Holy Family Catholic Church.
Justin Hicks
Stanley Peden was hard at work on February 17, the first day of Holy Family Parish's annual fish fry.

LPM’s 2023 'Fish Frynder' is a reely big deal. Use our map to find out when your favorite Catholic fish fry is open or discover a new one.

Lent is almost here, and that means Catholic parishes across the city are battering and breading fish ahead of their first fish fry on Friday. Louisville is a city known for its fish fry scene. There’s even a Curious Louisville episode exploring why there are so many.

According to the Archdiocese of Louisville, Catholic fish fries have existed in one form or another since 1836. This was before Pope Paul VI loosened guidance on fasting in 1966, at which point fish fries grew even further in popularity.

For many years, LPM has put together a list of local fish fries using information from the Archdiocese of Louisville. This year we created a “fish frynder” to help you find the perfect catch.

2023 LPM "Fish Frynder"

Louisville Public Media's 2023 Fish "Frynder"

Use the filters below to find fish fries by the date, if it serves lunch or dinner, and if it has special activities.

Holy Family Catholic Church is one church hosting weekly Lenten fish fries.

“Every church that does a fish fry is very proud of their fish fries,” said Mary Beth Porter, Holy Family’s fish fry chairperson “And we all claim to have the best fish in town.”

Porter said several factors can differentiate one fish fry from another. This includes the type of fish used, the cut of the fish and the way it is battered and breaded.

Holy Family uses center-cut Icelandic cod and their own special breading recipes. On average Friday, Porter said between lunch and dinner, 1,200 portions of fish are served. That is around 600 to 800 pounds.

Beyond their special recipes, Porter said the amount the parishioner supports they receive makes her proud.

“I typically have over 100 volunteers working our fish fries,” Porter said.

She tries to make sure that everyone has a space to help. There’s a group of older women who have long volunteered, but long hours of standing are no longer feasible.

“They come over and help on Thursday and Friday morning and help with our prep work,” Porter said. “They love the fact that we’re including them, their generation, as much as we can in parish activities.”

Ever wonder why there are so many fish fries in Louisville? Because the food is delicious! (But there's more to the story.)

They’re prepping a lot of fish, so they need a lot of hungry people.

“We have people that show up when the doors open in the evening and they are the last ones to leave at the end of the night, we’re turning the lights out on them, it’s time to go home,” Porter said.

Despite the amount of work volunteers put in during Lent to ensure fish fry runs smoothly, Porter said she loves getting together with volunteers and enjoying one another’s company.

“We laugh, we carry on, we fuss a little bit at each other sometimes, but truly, we just have a really good time coming together to raise money that’s needed in our parish,” Porter said.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.
Justin is LPM's Data Reporter. Email Justin at jhicks@lpm.org.

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