9 of the best fish and chips
by DON'T USE Abigail Spooner
Undoubtedly one of the nation’s favourite takeaways, fish and chips are iconically British and no other country batters quite like the UK. For many, the seaside classic conjures up feelings of nostalgia for greasy fingers and two-pronged wooden forks while keeping a wary eye on pesky seagulls. For others, it’s a Friday night favourite down the good old-fashioned takeaway. Doused in salt and vinegar, with a side of mushy peas or dunked in homemade tartare sauce… however you like your fish and chips, we’ve whittled down the best across the country. So, loosen your belts and prepare to indulge in deep-fried heaven…
Rope rigging, coastal pastels and stripped back wood give beach shack chic to this mini-chain of restaurants. Offering sustainable cod and haddock, caught in the ice-cold waters off Norway, in addition to the local catch of the day, Rockfish is a haven for fish fans along the south coast. For those with a hearty appetite, they do unlimited fresh cut chips when you order traditional fish and chips… you’ve been warned.
A trip to the seaside resort of Whitby isn’t complete without sampling some of the town’s renowned fish and chips. Head to the famous Magpie Café overlooking the harbour but be prepared to join an orderly queue for what has become a Yorkshire landmark. With bucket-loads of choice, the fish is locally sourced, often directly from the boats or the fish market opposite. Deep-fried the ‘traditional Whitby way’ in beef dripping, plus a generous side of thick-cut chips… it’s certainly worth the wait.
Proudly crowned National Fish and Chip Shop of 2018, this North Yorkshire family-run business has a 75-year history. Now run by father and son David and Nick Miller, their MSC sustainably sourced fish, cooked until perfectly flaky beneath a crisp batter, was enough to fight off strong competition up and down the country. They also cater to allergen-free diets, making the UK’s best fish and chips accessible to all.
Given its idyllic location right on the beach, this casual beach-tent-cum-restaurant is unsurprisingly popular. Best enjoyed when the sun is shining, take a seat on the terrace and soak up the spectacular sea views, which stretch across Lyme Bay. The tempura battered hake, chunky chips and homemade tartare sauce is not to be missed, followed by a stroll along the beach to walk off your lunch.
Defying its non-coastal location, Poppies is legendary among the capital’s chippies. Founder Pat ‘Pop’ Newland has been battering fish for more than half a century and the retro vibe of his youth lives on with diner-style uniforms, Formica tables and a jukebox. Take-away orders are wrapped in faux-newspaper in line with pre-health and safety tradition. As well as the nostalgia, enjoy top-quality fish, fresh from Billingsgate Fish Market, nestled alongside irresistible hand-cut chips.
Championing best of British local produce, highly-regarded chef-patron Eric Snaith combines traditional beer-battered fish and chips with modern twists, such as black garlic mayo and battered gherkins. The simple, industrial décor gives a relaxed, retro feel to the eat-in or takeaway establishment. If the weather is in your favour, take your order outside and catch some rays at one of the picnic tables.
In the quaint Scottish fishing village of Anstruther, this multi-award-winning fish bar has built up an unrivalled reputation. All the sourcing, prepping and cooking is under the control of the family-run business, ensuring consistently high quality from sea to plate. For the true fish supper experience, go for the best-selling Scottish haddock, fried in their ‘secret-recipe’ light and crispy batter and enjoy views over the Firth of Forth.
A stone’s throw from the pebble beach of this quintessential seaside resort, the often long queue of eagerly waiting customers speaks for itself. Family run for more than 50 years and fried the same way since 1967, fresh fish from the east coast is the catch of the day and local potatoes produce top-quality handmade chips. A range of portion sizes is on offer to suit all appetites… why not push the boat out and order extra large?
The essence of old-fashioned fish and chips by the seaside. This family-run business is now in its 3rd generation and boasts an enviable harbourside location, bustling with fishermen landing their daily catch. Weather permitting, opt for takeaway and tuck into crispy battered fresh fish and their signature crinkle cut chips while perched on the harbour wall.