The humble fish and chips shop, or chippy as it’s commonly called by locals, has become a true institution in the United Kingdom. Consumed within the UK more than anywhere else in the world, it has become an emblem of British food culture. Travellers visiting the country must at some point, give this unanimously loved dish a try. The following are some of the country’s best, consistently voted as the greatest spots to enjoy some flaky and crunchy goodness. Note that many of these establishments are offering only takeaway, self-collect or delivery options due to the pandemic, so do check their websites for updates.
1. Millers Fish & Chips, Haxby, York
Having been awarded the prestigious accolade of serving the UK’s best fish and chips in the 2018 National Fish & Chip Awards conducted by Seafish, the UK seafood authority that champions sustainability, Millers Fish & Chips in the northeastern town of Haxby is clearly doing something right. Not only has the fourth-generation, family-run establishment perfected the art of the tastiest fish and chips, it has also received MSC certification, thanks to its commitment to sustainable practices. What this means is that customers are assured its fish are 100 per cent sustainably sourced. For those with specific dietary requirements, gluten-free, halal and vegetarian options are also available.
2. Henley’s, Wivenhoe
In northeastern Essex, in the town of Wivenhoe, you’ll find Henley’s, another perennial star in the National Fish and Chips Awards, having snagged various titles in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. At Henley’s, the chips are fresh (they’re chopped and peeled daily) and the fish are sustainably sourced. In fact, this chippy is so dedicated to serving only the most sustainable seafood that it has removed certain items from the menu, such as skate and spotted ray.
3. Fylde Fish Bar Marshside, Southport
Located in the northwestern seaside town of Southport, Fylde Fish Bar Marshside frequently receives rave reviews across a number of restaurant-rating platforms. The fish sold here is perfectly coated in crunchy batter, with flaky flesh providing sublime satiety. As most Brits will recommend, it’s best to enjoy a fish and chips meal with a side of mushy peas, beans and gravy, all of which are deliciously prepared at Fylde Fish Bar Marshside.
4. Kingfisher Fish & Chips, Plymouth, Devon
Considering its proximity to the ocean, it’s unsurprising that Plymouth boasts more than a single fish and chips shop deserving of the highest praise. Using nothing but the highest quality, responsibly sourced ingredients, Kingfisher’s fare is legendary. They cook all meals to order, which means that only the freshest food is ever served. Even the chips and relishes are freshly prepared.
5. Burton Road Chippy, Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Having won second place in the Fish & Chips Awards in 2017 and 2018, it’s clear that the family-run chippy, with over 30 years’ fish and chip shop experience, has a winning recipe. The menu is both varied and traditional, offering something for every taste bud. The fish can be ordered poached, pan-fried, breaded or battered and fried. Gluten-free options are available too.
6. Poppie’s Fish & Chips, Spitalfields, London
Bursting with a real 1950s authentic chippy charm, and helmed by Pat ‘Pop’ Newland, Poppie’s in Spitalfields is often hailed as one of London’s best spots for fish and chips. Though the perfectly crispy traditional fish and chips, with both cod and haddock available, is undoubtedly this chippy’s claim to fame, a number of other tantalising seafood options tempt diners. Calamari rings, homemade fish cakes and scampi are good choices, while the hot seafood platter with an assortment is also a crowd pleaser.
7. The Dolphin Takeaway, Dungannon, Northern Ireland
Five-time regional Winner of the National Fish & Chips Awards from 2016 to 2020, this humble fish and chips shop is known for the best catch in Northern Ireland. A combination of the finest ingredients – including of course, local sustainably sourced fish – healthy dining options and extra-friendly customer service has secured this chippy its title as the region’s best. Also enjoyable are its variety of chips, that range from curry and cheesy to peppered and one that’s topped with taco minced meat.
8. Fochabers Fish Bar, Fochabers, Scotland
When you’re in Scotland and craving for fresh fish and chips, Fochabers Fish Bar in the quaint village of Fochabers should be at the top of your list. Rated as the best chippy in Scotland and run by husband and wife team Stuart and Carol Whyte, the shop presents a simple, yet no less delicious menu of top quality, fresh fish with all the regular trimmings. As with most of the top fish and chip merchants in the UK, sustainable practices are of paramount importance, and this is certainly the case at Fochabers, which boasts MSC certification and a five-star fish and chip award quality rating.
9. Harbourside Fish & Chips, Plymouth
Winning the third place in the 2018 National Fish & Chips Awards, Harbourside in the Devonshire coastal city of Plymouth defines superlative fish and chips, having received an impressive five-star rating in both quality and hygiene. Expectedly, the haddock and cod are always popular, both of which have the right amount of flakiness. For health-enthusiasts, Harbourside also offers grilled or pan-fried fish as an alternative to the deep fried favourite and operates a fully accredited gluten-free site.
10. The Cod’s Scallop, Wollaton, Nottingham
As the proud national winners of the 2020 Fish & Chips Awards, The Cod’s Scallop prides itself on its continued efforts in working with suppliers that provide sustainable catch wherever possible. Despite its location in Midlands region, this chippy joint offers an astounding array of fish and shellfish to choose from – over 20 species of fish are available daily – including swordfish and tiger prawns which are all made to order. The Cod’s Scallop also has a vegetarian and gluten free menu available on certain days of the month.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For updated information, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings on 2 March 2018 and updated on 5 May 2021.