Lent is something else in St. Louis. We take our Mardi Gras celebration very seriously (second to only New Orleans) and we take our meat-free Fridays even more seriously. A local news station even has a Fish Fry Finder with more dots than you can imagine.
That map is very overwhelming so I’ll make this very easy for you and tell you that the best fish fry in all of St. Louis is the St. Ferdinand Fish Fry in Florissant, Missouri.
St. Ferdinand is so popular it is open every Friday all year long from 3 PM to 7 PM. Even in the off-season you can expect a short wait for the fish but during Lent you might be waiting over an hour and you won’t even complain because it’s that worth it. They’ve been serving fish fry to St. Louis locals for over 50 years. The fish fry is staffed by 20 adults, 15 high school students, and 17 grade school students all helping the local community and it takes all-week to prepare each Friday’s meal.
The fish fry serves over 1,000 people each Friday during Lent and they’ll go through 2,000 pounds of fish and 150 pounds of spaghetti those weeks. That’s right, this fish fry serves spaghetti along with 4 different varieties of fish (fried cod, baked cod, fried catfish, and cajun fried catfish). Highlights of the menu include:
- Fried Cod $11/lb
- Spaghetti with a German-style tomato sauce $3/pint or $4.50/quart
- Coleslaw $3/pint or $4.50/quart
- French Fries $3/pint or $4.50/quart
- Hush puppies $3/pint or $4.50/quart
They also have desserts and on my most recent trip with my mother I think she regretted not picking up a slice of lemon meringue pie the rest of the evening. St. Ferdinand also offers in-house dining in the school cafeteria with fish served in individual portions on a plate.
For the rest of the guests they pack your items up in styrofoam containers and plastic bags so you can commute wherever you live. The secret to driving home with fish is to pop the tops of the containers to let the steam vent out. My mother’s secret tip is to pick up 2 extra pieces and eat them while you drive.
St. Ferdinand Fish Fry
Dates: Fridays all year long
Hours: Fridays 3 PM to 7 PM
Location: St. Ferdinand School, Florissant, Missouri
Additional information can be found on the website
And to let you know what a meal for 6 looks like, here’s the spread from my family gathering. We had about 3 pounds of fish (18 pieces), a pint of hush puppies, a quart of coleslaw, and a quart of spaghetti. There was plenty of food leftover for snacking on over the weekend too. If you’re Catholic and in St. Louis or you just love a good fish fry, St. Ferdinand is the place to be.