Go Fishing for a Friday Feast

No meat on Fridays, no problem. Bergen’s seafood restaurants are a catch for any devout foodie any day of the week.
4 Go Fishing Feast
Photo courtesy of Oceanos


No matter how religious they are throughout the year, Christians of all denominations tend to abide by the rules of Lent, well, religiously. (What did you give up for Lent?) Catholics, meanwhile, may choose to practice an additional directive during the six-week period before Easter: abstain from eating meat on Fridays.

A day without bacon cheeseburgers, medium-rare steaks, lambchops and fried chicken sandwiches is a foodie’s ultimate sacrifice, particularly in Bergen County where the options are endless. The good news is the Catholic Church permits the consumption of seafood, essentially any animal that makes its home in the water. This includes fish, shellfish, reptiles and amphibians. Gator bites and frogs’ legs? They’re good to go. That might seem incorrect, but a rule’s a rule.

So, go ahead, Catholics and fish-hungry foodies, and feast on Friday (or any day of the week) at one or all of the following eateries—they’re five of our favorite seafood restaurants. Just don’t be tempted by the surf and turf!

  • Oceanos, Fair Lawn. You can fill up on selects from the raw oyster bar and apps like grilled octopus and New Zealand mussels, but you’ll want to save room for entrées such as grilled yellow fin and South African lobster tails. 2-27 Saddle River Rd., 201.796.0546
  • Seafood Gourmet, Maywood. People come from far and wide to buy fresh fish from the market, while others choose to dine in. This week’s specials include a grilled wild salmon bruschetta and swordfish steak Florentine. 103 W. Pleasant Ave., 201.843.8558
  • Segovia Steakhouse & Seafood, Little Ferry. Make your steak-eating friends jealous with lobster stuffed with crab and shrimp, perfectly seared sea scallops or a heaping order of paella—Segovia has three different versions, but one contains chorizo. 217 Main St., 201.814.1100
  • Stern and Bow, Closter. Don’t pass on the oysters here—a couple once discovered a genuine pearl in their order—just be sure to try other dishes like squid ink fettuccini and seared wild salmon or bronzino. 171 Schraalenburgh Rd., 201.750.3350
  • Varka Restaurant, Ramsey. This venerable seafood house puts a Mediterranean spin on its dishes, from lobster gyros and feta-stuffed calamari to diver scallops with moussaka and swordfish kabobs. 30 N. Spruce St., 201.995.9333

If dining out still isn’t on your to-do list, you can pick up the fresh catch of the day, your favorite shellfish and a pint or two of New England clam chowder from a neighborhood fishmonger. You’ll find what you need and more at Anchor Seafood in Montvale, The Fish Dock in Closter and Peter’s Fish Market in Midland Park.

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