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PLACE: The Gruff / ADDRESS: 129 E 2nd Street (41011) / Fried Cod Sammy with house-made tartar sauce / Image: Caitlin Rice // Published: 2.18.21
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The Ultimate Lent List: 40 Places To Get Fish Leading Up To Easter

Okay, we know that technically if you celebrate Lent, you only have to abstain from meat on Fridays, but just in case you wanna go all-in this year, here are 40 places in the Cincinnati area that you can get some amazing carryout seafood specials—a spot for each day of the six weeks that lead up to Easter (Sunday, April 4th).


1. Ari & Mia’s Small Town Cafe

WHO: This small-town, family owned-and-operated spot normally features all your diner classics for breakfast and lunch, but during Lent they’ll be extending their hours into early evening on Fridays until 6 PM, starting Friday, February 19th.

WHAT: Fried Cod Fish Dinners with housemade tartar sauce (choose one to three pieces, includes two to three sides depending on what you choose) and a Fried Cod Fish Sammy on Rye meal that includes one side

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent (as supplies last each Friday or until 6 PM, whichever happens first)

WHERE: 6856 State Route 128 (45041)


2. Arnold’s Bar & Grill

WHO: Cincinnati’s oldest tavern is opening up their famous Lent “drive-by!"

WHAT: The drive-by fish fry is exactly what it sounds like—drive up to Arnold’s, tell ‘em you’re there for the Drive By Fish Fry, and they’ll bring a fresh fried fish dinner right out to your car window.

WHEN: Every Friday through lent (until supplies last each Friday)

WHERE: 210 E 8th Street (45202)


3. Bakersfield

WHO: This classic Vine Street taco spot always has a few Lent-friendly, and very taste bud-friendly, taco options.

WHAT: Baja Shrimp Tacos or the Crispy Mahi Tacos

WHEN: All day, every day (that they’re open, that is)

WHERE: 1213 Vine Street (45202) or order online


4. Bishop’s Quarter

WHO: Nestled right in the heart of Downtown Loveland, you’ll find Bishop’s Quarter. Their specialty? Giving a twist to classic New Orleans cuisine and dishes from the South.

WHAT: Fish and Chips, Lobster Risotto, Lobster Rolls, Crab Stuffed Redfish, and Crab Cakes

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent (Fish & Chips and Lobster Risotto offered daily, though)

WHERE: 212 W Loveland Avenue (45140) or order online


5. Blue Jays in Northside

WHO: Family-owned since 1967, this lowkey Northside diner will be offering weekly Lenten specials. The details will be announced weekly on their Facebook (linked above).

WHAT: They’ll let us all know weekly through Facebook, but you can always count on their Battered Cod, Fried Haddock, Fried Tilapia, and Grilled Tilapia sandwiches and dinner plates!

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: 4154 Hamilton Avenue (45223)


6. Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey

WHO: Led by Chef Christian Gill (of Food Network and Feast Mode 513), this cozy spot features a contemporary take on classic comfort food, including their Lenten special this year.

WHAT: Fried White Fish Sammy on a drop biscuit with slaw and served with a side of sweet chili glazed sweet potatoes

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: 1201 Broadway Street (45202) or order online


7. Chef Beena at Wooden Cask Brewery

WHO: Chef Beena (culinary instructor and chef at Findlay Kitchen, The Midwest Culinary Institute, and The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market) can be found regularly cooking in the Wooden Cask Brewery kitchen, and she’ll be serving up specials all through Lent.

WHAT: Details to come, but for now, we can tell you it’ll be a twist on traditional gourmet bar food.

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: 629 York Street (41071)


8. Dunlap Café

WHO: OTR’s oldest establishment will be featuring a fish favorite all through Lent.

WHAT: Their classic Fried Fish Sandwich or Fish & Chips

WHEN: Fish Sammy, every day! Fish & Chips, every Friday now through lent.

WHERE: 1926 Dunlap Street (45214)


9. Garnish

WHO: The local catering company will be offering special seafood takeout meals throughout Lent. The featured meal will change each week.

WHAT: We’re not sure about all of Lent, because the special will change weekly, but we know the FIRST week will be Cajun Bronzed Swordfish with Grilled Shrimp.

WHEN: During Lent

WHERE: Order online with pick up at 9648 Kenwood Rd #2 (45242)


10. Goose & Elder

WHO: James Beard-nominated Chef Jose Salazar’s third spot in Cincinnati features seasonally driven casual American classics.

WHAT: Fish Fry Dinner

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: 1800 Race Street (45202) or order online


11. The Gruff

WHO: The Covington favorite features unique tastes delivered in an unexpected way.

WHAT: Fried Cod Sammy with house-made tartar sauce

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: 129 E 2nd Street (41011) or order online


12. Ivory House

WHO: Newcomer (they just opened last year!) Ivory House offers a blend of fine dining and comfort foods, and their Lenten offerings look no different.

WHAT: A lot. They’re offering an entire Lent Menu! Details here.

WHEN: All the way through Lent

WHERE: 2998 Harrison Avenue (45211) or order online.


13. Izzy’s

WHO: This classic deli, normally known for their Reubens, will be featuring a different sandwich through lent.

WHAT: The Codfather Special, a North Atlantic cod filet battered with Izzy’s special blend of 17 seasonings and spices, on a brioche bun garnished with lettuce and tartar sauce. It’s served with a potato pancake or coleslaw.

WHEN: During Lent

WHERE: Find the closest one here to visit or place orders online.


14. Jag’s

WHO: This Cincinnati surf n’ turf spot will be offering “Fish Fry Dinners for Four” during Lent, so make sure you have a friend with you or allow yourself a couple days to indulge.

WHAT: A ready-to-serve fish fry to-go. Each complete dinner serves up to four people. This one requires pre-ordering, though, so make sure to visit their site BEFORE stopping by.

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: Order and pick up at 5980 West Chester Road (45069)


15. K&J Seafood Co.

WHO: This seafood small-business is owned by two besties who are passionate about seafood boils, and they’ve perfected it with many years spent in the South.

WHAT: The new Hand Battered Cod Po Boy, just in time for Lent.

WHEN: Every Friday through lent.

WHERE: *Available at the Findlay Market location only!* at 1801 Race Street (45202) or order online


16. Keystone Bar & Grill

WHO: This go-to neighborhood bar & grill will be offering Lent specials at all three of their locations—Covington, Hyde Park, and Clifton.

WHAT: Three fish specials: Fish Sandwich + chips with Frisch’s tartar sauce, Fish & Chips with Frisch’s tartar sauce, or Fish Tacos

WHEN: Every Friday through lent

WHERE: Order online or visit any of their three locations.


17. Kitchen 1883

WHO: They pride themselves on offering a “melting pot of American flavors.” As such, they’ll be offering a variety of options throughout Lent.

WHAT: No details yet, but what we do know is that they’ll be introducing multiple new Lenten friendly dishes through the entirety of the season at all three locations.

WHEN: Varies (check for details online for the most up to date lent offerings!)

WHERE: Order online or visit any of their three locations.


18. La Bar A Boeuf

WHO: This French neo-bistro by Jean-Robert has a cod sandwich that is always a best seller, but they’ll be adding more for Lent.

WHAT: In addition to the best-selling Fried Cod on Rye Sammy, they’ll be creating daily seafood specials. Check with their Facebook (linked above) for the most up-to-date info.

WHEN: Throughout lent

WHERE: 2200 Victory Parkway (45206)


19. La Mexicana

WHO: This unassuming, locally owned cantina and tienda (yes, that means there’s a Mexican grocery in the back!) regularly has several lent friendly options, but we’re gonna direct you to something specific for Lent.

WHAT: Fried Mojarra Whole Fish—a deep fried whole tilapia smothered with fresh garlic and served with corn tortilla

WHEN: All day, every day (that they’re open)

WHERE: 642 Monmouth Street (41071) or order online


20. Nada

WHO: Chef Falk’s first Latin-inspired spot always has some great seafood options, but this one is our fave...

WHAT: The Grilled Fish Contramar comes with achiote (an annatto seed paste), chimichurri verde, rice, charred lemon, and cucumber salad.

WHEN: All day, every day (you get the idea whenever they’re open)

WHERE: 600 Walnut Street (45202) or order online


21. Nine Giant

WHO: The craft brewery & scratch kitchen in Pleasant Ridge is doing the classic Fried Fish Fridays this year.

WHAT: Panko-crusted Haddock with Pommes frites, Cajun remoulade, sambal ketchup, and lemon

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: 6095 Montgomery Road (45213) or order online


22. The Phoenix

WHO: Normally a gorgeous event venue, the Phoenix now offers catering and weekly take and bakes. During Lent, they’ll be featuring a new seafood option each week.

WHAT: See the menu for the next two weeks here.

WHEN: Every Friday through lent

WHERE: Located at 812 Race Street (45202), but get in touch over the phone at (513) 721-8901 or via email to kleinl@thephx.com.


23. Pickled Pig

WHO: Normally specializing in, well, pickled things, the Pickled Pig is doing their own take on Lent this year.

WHAT: Salted cod & potato cakes with pickled fennel and yogurt on a challah roll

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: 645 E McMillan Street (45206)


24. The Pony

WHO: This OTR go-to for classic bar food & games is joining in for Fish Fry Fridays this year.

WHAT: Fried Fish Dinner & Lent beers

WHEN: Every Friday through lent

WHERE: 1346 Main Street (45202)


25. Smoke Justis

WHO: This Covington smoke house is normally known for their smoked meats of course, but their Catfish Dinner is a popular regular on their menu, and they’re adding even more for Lent.

WHAT: Smoked Tuna Dip and Smoked Crab Cakes

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: 302 Court Street (41011) or order online


26. Steak It Eazy

WHO: They call themselves the best take-out steak in Cincy, but for Lent, they’ll be featuring seafood.

WHAT: Shrimp Skewers Dinner or Grilled Salmon Dinner. Both meals include the options of blackened, Cajun, or lemon pepper and come with a baked potato, side salad, and a roll.

WHEN: Every Friday through lent

WHERE: 12082 C, Montgomery Road (45249) or order online


27. Stellar Street Eats

WHO: They’re exactly what they sound like. They specialize in making stellar street food-inspired cuisine.

WHAT: During Lent, they’ll be featuring a Tuna Melt meal (comes with one side).

WHEN: Every Friday through Lent

WHERE: 6685 Salem Road (45230) or order online


28. Zip’s Café

WHO: It’s the place where you can get the “best burgers in town,” (okay they do have some seriously good burgers) over in Mt. Lookout Square.

WHAT: Beer Battered Fish Sammy served with house-made Saratoga chips

WHEN: Every Friday through lent

WHERE: 1036 Delta Avenue (45208) or order online


[The following spots always offer tasty, Lent-friendly options]


29. Delish Dish

WHO: This locally owned small catering biz is known for their creative takes on fresh and healthy, and that’s the same style they went with for lent.

WHAT: They’ll be changing the special throughout lent, but first up is their Green Goddess Salmon meal kit. Each week they’ll have a vegetarian option and a seafood option. Kits can serve 2-4. Visit their Facebook for updates throughout lent.

WHEN: Every Friday from now through lent. (Orders are due by 12 PM on Wednesdays for carryout on Friday at their commissary in Covington between 10 AM-5 PM.)

WHERE: Via email or over the phone at (859) 250-0881


30. Alabama Fish Bar

WHO: They’re a no-frills fish dinner spot located in downtown, and if you’ve ever craved a fish dinner you’ve probably already been here. And if you haven’t, well now’s the perfect time for some Alabama take out.

WHAT: Three kinds of fried fish dinners that come with a side of fries, bread, and peppers & onions.

WHERE: 1601 Race Street (45202)


31. KungFood Chu’s Amerasia

WHO: This kitchy spot in the Cov is known for their Taiwanese dishes and fun Kung Fu inspired decor and menu.

WHAT: The Fried Flounder. We asked around town what people’s favorite seafood dishes are and this one was the answer multiple times, described as, “superb!”

WHERE: 521 Madison Avenue #B (41011) or order online.


32. Court Street Lobster Bar

WHO: A seriously good spot for lobster rolls. And yes, we know they’re currently closed, BUT they’ll be opening their doors back up in March just in time to grab one.

WHAT: Our personal favorite is the classic Maine Style lobster roll served with lotsa butta and lemon mayo.

WHERE: Check for details on exactly when they’ll be re-opening for the season on Facebook. When they open, you’ll be able to order online or in person at 28 W Court Street (45202).


33. Crow’s Nest

WHO: This 126-year-old West Side pub is an Irish bar & grill, so they’re kind of known for this whole fish & chips thing.

WHAT: One of their most popular items is their beer battered deep fried Cod Loin Sammy on Rye, but they also have a full Lent menu.

WHERE: 4544 W 8th Street (45238)


34. Harmony Plant Fare

WHO: All vegan, all the time, New York inspired deli located in the historic Findlay Market in OTR.

WHAT: Literally everything is Lent-friendly. But if you’re really feelin’ fishy, we recommend the Tu-no Salad Sammy.

WHERE: 1801 Race Street UNIT 105 (45202) or order online


35. Mr. Crab House

WHO: This seafood spot is rooted in Louisiana Cajun cooking, and a lot of it is Lent friendly!

WHAT: Our go-to? The Crab Cake Po’ Boy (comes with regular fries, sweet potato fries, or Cajun spiced fries)

WHERE: 3280 Highland Avenue (45213) or order online


36. Oakley Fish House

WHO: A continuation of the former Mt. Adams Fish House, Oakley Fish House has taken their best-known dishes and put a contemporary twist on them.

WHAT: A Filet of Sole sandwich (Friday lunch menu only), topped with slaw and served with seasoned garlic fries

WHERE: 3036 Madison Road (45209)


37. Off The Hook Fish & Chips

WHO: This fish kitchen on wheels always has Fish & Chips (obviously), and they’ll be taking a Cincy tour for Lent.

WHAT: The Fish & Chips, of course.

WHERE: The full Lenten tour schedule isn’t available at the time of this writing, but here’s the deets for February. Follow them on Facebook (linked above) for the latest info on when and where to find them.


38. Pelican’s Reef

WHO: A self-described “Laid-back strip-mall eatery dishing up seafood, salads & pasta in a kitschy setting,” Pelican’s Reef always offers options that are suitable for Lent.

WHAT: Two words: Coconut Shrimp. Okay, three more words: key lime sauce.

WHERE: 7261 Beechmont Avenue (45230)


39. The Governor

WHO: A modern diner in Milford, serving up diner classics in an elevated way.

WHAT: The new Smoked Salmon Salad sandwich or any of the other seafood options from their new menu

WHERE: 231 Main Street (45150)


40. Through The Garden

WHO: A classic American-style restaurant with fresh ingredients that are so fresh, in the summer they use ingredients grown right in their own garden.

WHAT: The Thai Shrimp Stir Fry (you can also get it with Hawaiian seasoning instead, if that floats your boat)

WHERE: 10738 Kenwood Road (45242) or order online


[Bonus Spot For Your Fur Babes!]


41. Pet Wants

WHO: Good pet food, locally made, delivered to your door. I KNOW, RIGHT?

WHAT: Fish & Chips for the pups and Fish & Nips (as in catnip) for your kitties—okay seriously, how cute is that?

When: All throughout Lent

WHERE: At the Over-the-Rhine location, 1409 Vine Street (45202)

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