I have to admit. I didn’t instantly fall in love with fish and chips the first time I ever tried them (even though I was in the United Kingdom, the homeland of fish and chips). There’s most certainly a learning curve when it comes to this dish (you’d think all fried fish and french fries could be done similarly — but you’d be wrong). And, after living in the UK for the last and best (almost) nine months of my life, I’ve learned a thing or two about British gastronomy — namely, you don’t just go anywhere for fish n’ chips. So put on your food critic hat, and let’s get a little snobbish about this particular dish.
While fish and chips are the classic British pub food, there’s a bunch of places around the UK that take it to the next level (where you definitely want to be, in my opinion). So the next time you happen to be traveling through Britain (kudos on figuring out on how to drive on the wrong side of the road, btw), make sure to mark up these places on your map.
1. Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther
Anstruther is a little fishing village in the county of Fife, Scotland, that would otherwise be relatively unmemorable save for their awesome locally owned fish and chips shop that has put the town on the map. The local Fish Bar, which is most famous for their fish and chips but also offer a great selection of fresh land crab or lobster, overlooks the picturesque harbor and boasts to have served Prince William, Tom Hanks, Tim Hinkley, and Robert De Niro their classic fare (maybe you’ll spot a celeb). Here’s some other amazing eateries you’ve got to try in Scotland.
2. Poppie’s Fish & Chips, London
The 1950’s are still very much alive at Poppie’s Fish and Chips takeaway in Spitalfields, London’s East End. Its owner, Pop Newland, has been making this particular dish his entire life and is really, really good at it. Make sure to grab their mushy peas on the side too, or you’ll really miss out. Check out these other foodie adventures you can go on while in London.
3. Frankie’s Fish and Chips, Shetland
Kudos to you for getting to Britain’s most northerly fish and chips shop. Luckily, Shetland is known for producing tons of Britain’s freshest and delicious produce, due to their amazing geographical location in the North Sea. Supporting only local fisheries, you can be assured only the best stuff is on offer here.
4. Cromars, St Andrews
While relatively new to the game (Cromars was established in 2013), they’ve quickly risen to the stop, being named the “Best Fish & Chip Shop in Scotland 2016,” which is pretty damn impressive, in our opinion. But they also offer much, much more — try their handmade fishcakes (£5) or delectable salmon bites (£6). While you’re in St Andrews, why not try these awesome bars?
5. Harbourside Fish and Chips, Plymouth
This bright and welcoming eatery is the perfect place to go for lunch after a morning at the National Marine Aquarium located basically next door. They prefer using cod in their fish and chips, and we’re not complaining, and value using sustainable seafood. What’s even cooler is they even list the names of their suppliers, with vessel names and catch methods all listed too, so you can be reassured they’re serious about their beliefs.
6. Henley’s of Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe
Promising only locally sourced ingredients, Henley’s has been committed to serving top-notch fresh seafood for over 25 years, and it’s where all the locals go. They’ve even been proudly featured in The Guardian and other established newspapers and several TV shows #famouz. And, a bonus, it’s not located too far from the University of Essex’s Colchester campus, so it’s a great place to stop between lectures, too.
7. Papa’s Barn, Ditton
Family friendly and open all day, Papa’s Barn takes fish and chips to the next (healthy) level by offering oven baked sea bream as a great alternative option to classic deep fried fish options. Established in 1966, they have a great track record for delicious options, and although the establishment unluckily burned down in 2010 due to a fire, the family re-opened the restaurant in 2012 and have been thriving ever since.
8. Quayside, Whitby
Freshly made fish and chips here come with your choice of fish selection: choose between delicious options of cod, haddock, plaice, or even cod fishcake and/or scampi. Alternatively, they even offer fish pie with locally sourced cod, prawns, and salmon, or you can go for their seafood salads or vegetarian lasagne, so there’s definitely something for everyone. If you can’t get out to try their amazing seafood salad, why not try this delicious crab salad recipe for home?
9. Kerbisher & Malt, London
This place takes chips to the next level by DOUBLE FRYING (yup, you heard that right) their chips to make ’em crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside (aka heaven). They even make their own sauces. On top of that, five London locations located in all different neighborhoods gives you a chance to experience their fish and chips wherever you may be located in the city. Here’s some other delicious London foods while you’re at it.
10. Simpsons Fish and Chips, Cheltenham
Considering you can even order from them by Deliveroo, there’s not a simpler way we could possibly imagine getting fish and chips delivered fresh to your doorstep. With a great outdoor terrace and an offering of delicious burgers as well, how can you resist? And we’ve got you covered: here’s some cool facts about chips you definitely didn’t know.
11. Rockfish, Dartmouth
Voted the UK’s best independent fish and chips shop, it’s definitely the place to go. Also heavily focused on sustainability, they ship their cod and haddock fresh from Norway’s Barents Sea and buy it fresh daily for you. With a generous portion starting at £11.95, it’s an affordable way to fill up, and if you’re feelin’ fancy, try their Rockfish Fritto Misto (£14.95), a really unique dish of red gurnard, monkfish fillet, calamari, and prawns fried in batter, served with tartar sauce and as many chips as you can possibly stuff (seriously, they’re unlimited!).
12. Whitehead’s Fish and Chips, Hornsea
Seriously affordable dishes (you can get fish and chips starting at a mere £8.40) meets sustainable, locally sourced deliciousness at this cute little takeaway. You can also get your hands on affordable burgers, pies, and fishcakes.
13. Tailend, St Andrews
St Andrews is the town that keeps on giving, ’cause it’s got two of Britain’s top fish and chip shops within one square mile of each other (which definitely doesn’t give your stomach enough time to digest all that yummy fish between fish and chip shop jaunts). But you’d be a fool to miss out. While you’re at it, why not try some of St Andrews’ best smoked salmon?
14. Colman’s Fish and Chips Shop, South Shields
Family owned and operated since 1926, Colman’s has established quite the devoted following amongst locals, and there’s really no wonder why. In fact, they’ve been named the best fish and chips shop in the UK by Esquire, and have received accolades from everything from the Sustainable Restaurant Association to Waitrose’s Good Food Guide, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
15. Thornton Fisheries, Thornton-Cleveleys
Not only do they have some of the UK’s best fish and chips, they’ve also won the UK’s best mushy peas award. Talk about having the full package. They offer five different fish varieties, including haddock, plaice, silver hake, halibut, and Alaskan pollock, and you can potentially get your hands on more depending on what the daily special is. Why not try some wine with your fish?
16. The Bay, Stonehaven
Run by husband-and-wife duo Calum and Lindsay, who are the first couple to have won the UK’s Young Fish Frier of the Year Award, and located right on the beachfront in Stonehaven, the views and the good food make this place a must-visit. Calum, too, is a fish genius: he’s been invited to conferences in Japan and other amazing places ’round the world to disseminate all his fishy experience in cooking.
17. Oban Fish and Chips, Oban
With all the produce caught locally and sourced fresh specially for the restaurant, there’s no way you won’t find the tastiest fish here. PLUS, they also serve lots of other tasty dishes, like locally caught squat lobsters, house fish pie, squid, and even locally sourced haggis (’cause when in Scotland, right?). If you love seafood, why not try this delicious Spaghetti di Nero recipe right at home?
18. L’Alba D’Oro, Edinburgh
This high street-style fish and chip shop goes way beyond the call of duty and even offers delicious pizzas, ciabattas, soups, and more, so you can even come here with your vegetarian friends (bonus!). You can even get everything delivered to your doorstep if you’re in the Edinburgh area, so it’s never been so simple to pig out. Here’s some other awesome Edinburgh options, too.
19. Ossie’s Fish Bar, Faversham
Locally run for over two decades, Ossie’s has won a slew of South East England seafood competitions and offers fish and chips at a price you really can’t beat — £5.50 for a heaping portion. Alternatively, you can go for their delicious burgers, or even try their Southern fried chicken (PSA to American Southerners, it’s probably not going to be as good as Chick-Fil-A, but then again, what is?).
20. Aldeburgh Fish and Chips, Aldeburgh
Everything’s fresh and cooked to order, and you can take your goodies down to the beach after to munch on (watch out for seagulls, though — they’ve vicious). Or you can sit at a table and watch the world go by. Either way, it’s a win-win situation.
21. The Scallop Shell, Bath
With all your fish sourced from fresh daily catches, this cute little place was crowned the Best Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year in 2016. For only £7.50, you can get a freshly battered piece of cod and a massive helping of chips, and even a delicious side of mushy peas for only £1 extra (score!).
22. Hikary’s Fish Bar, Neath
According to Hikary’s, fish and chips are the healthiest takeaway option possible. We’re not so sure about that, but we do know they serve some of the best fish in South Wales. Plus, their fish and chips are some of the most affordable option: for only £3.25, you can eat your full without bankrupting yourself.
23. No1 Cromer, Cromer
The restaurant of famous chef Galton Blackiston, there’s tons of delicious options that go way beyond just fish and chips. Plus, if you’re not looking for a lot of food (or just that you wanna share for once), you can split Korean Pork Belly, Crab, and Pork Wonton (delicious). They’re also known for their delicious popcorn, so make sure to grab a portion of that, too. If you’re feelin’ more Asian style food with your classic fish and chips fare, be sure to check this out.
LeZ get fishy!