We're now well past the holidays, which means we are in the middle of the winter season, which is many people's least favorite time of the year.

Believe it or not, we are only three weeks away from Valentine's Day, which also happens to be Ash Wednesday (February 14th).

Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent, which goes to Easter Sunday. Easter is Sunday, March 31st this year, which is earlier than most years, when it's typically in April.

That means that soon, Buffalo will be in fish fry mode.

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Western New York is known for great foods -- wings, pizza, beef on weck, pizza logs, etc. This region is also known for amazing fish fry's. There's a large Irish and Polish heritage in Western New York, so a Friday fish fry is essential for the Lenten period.

If you go to other cities around the country, they do have version of a fish fry, but few cities take it as seriously as Buffalo. It's also not just for Lent, fish fry's are very popular year-round in the city and surrounding suburbs.

What goes into a great fish fry?

First, you can have a breaded one or a beer-battered version. Both are great, but many people agree that it has to be a good size.

Secondly, you need to have fries with it. Then there are other sides, such as macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw and bread. You also need lemon and tarter sauce with a great fish fry.

There are dozens and dozens of great places for a fish fry. Here are 20 essential stops for 2024.

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The top 20 fish fry restaurants in Buffalo for 2024.

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