Update 12 p.m. March 3: Voting in this round is now closed. Check back on March 5 for the Savory Sixteen.
Last week, we asked you to tell us where to find Pittsburgh’s best fish frys, and you did not disappoint. In the days since, nearly 120 nominations rolled in for this year’s Ultimate Pittsburgh Fish Fry bracket.
As usual, the competition will be stiff — and fried until golden brown.
We’ve got past competitors back for another shot at glory. We’ve also got newcomers with strong followings and new twists on this long-standing tradition — one doing curbside delivery (Saint Maurice, Forest Hills) and another with vegan options (St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, Monroeville).
Also returning this year? The loyal fan bases and lovely anecdotes.
“I remember when I was still in school, the second I would get off the bus, my dad and I would rush over and try to be one of the first people in line,” a nominator wrote of Ascension Roman Catholic Church in Windgap. “And the best part was getting to catch up with neighbors and friends while waiting for your food to be ready. Now that I’ve moved away, this is always the one fish fry I wish I could go back to.”
That’s peak Pittsburgh right there.
With your nominations in hand, we’ve seeded the competitors based on the number of nominations and nominators’ zeal in describing the fish fry (*see above). But seeding isn’t the end-all-be-all. Our last winner was seeded 7th, so it’s really all about the votes.
And that’s where you come in. We’ve whittled down the 100+ nominations into a field of 32 contenders that you’ll now whittle down to 16 in our first voting round.
The 2017 and 2018 champs (St. Alphonsus in Wexford and Ancient Order of Hibernians Division #32 in Carnegie, respectively) aren’t playing this year, so that means it’s time to crown a brand new fish champion.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Top left quadrant: Fire halls and social clubs from across the region.
- Bottom left quadrant: Eateries, including cafes, bars, and restaurants.
- Top right quadrant: Churches within the city limits.
- Bottom right quadrant: Churches in the ‘burbs.
Churches dominated the nominations, so we split them into two groups, drawing a dividing line with help from the city’s borders.
(Click here to download and print a high-res PDF of the bracket.)
Now for the voting. This first round of balloting lines up perfectly with the start of Lent and Ash Wednesday, so you have plenty of opportunity to do your research.
Use the form below to vote by noon on Tuesday, March 3. We’re giving you a little extra time to vote in this round since the pack is so large. The Sweet Sixteen will be posted on Thursday, March 5.
If you appreciate stories like this, please consider supporting us as a member! We’re grateful to our members for their support because for $8 a month they help us produce local journalism like this (and they also get awesome perks, too!). Head here to learn about membership.