London’s Best Fish and Chips
Just Opened London’s ‘Best of’ series covers a combination of recently opened venues and established London favourites, to make sure you get the full lowdown on where to spend your time and hard-earned cash.
There aren’t many dishes in London more divisive than fish and chips and there aren’t many dishes that we’re so completely nostalgic for. It doesn’t matter where you grew up, that chippy at the end of your road was the best chippy in the world.
Unfortunately, most fish and chips in London teeter around the average mark and will only suffice if you’ve got a craving after a couple of beers on your way home from work. There are some places that get it spot on every time, though. Crisp batter, good portions, chips that get the fluffy: crispy ratio just right (bonus points if there are loads of crispy bits hidden at the bottom of the paper).
Here are London’s best fish and chips shops.
Turning trash into treasure is the motto at Trawler Trash, which means you won’t see any cod on the menu in this Islington chippy. Instead, you’re more likely to find less popular (but no less delicious) seafood such as coley and pollock. It’s an ambitious offering, especially at the very top end of Upper Street. But there’s a lot to love, too.
The battered fish is some of the tastiest we’ve tried in London, without even a little excess grease and chips were delicious (though not at all crispy, which was unusual). While the restaurant is beautiful and staff are very friendly, prices are high. At £14.90 for fish and chips, if you eat in, we’d rather take ours away and sit in the sunshine.
Trawler Trash, 205 Upper Street, N1 1RQ
Chamberlain’s Fish & Chip Shop
Chamberlain’s has been a fishmonger since 1904 and a restaurant for the past 16 years. Now, their fish and chip shop has upped its game, opening permanently from Monday to Friday (it was often closed before). They’re frying the fish they supply, of course, sourcing cod and haddock from Peterhead, in Scotland. All sauces and pickles are house-made, including curry sauce (*fist pump*) and pickled eggs (again).
Handcut chips are glorious, while mushy peas are the proper, marrowfat kind.
Chamberlain’s Fish & Chip Shop, 23-25 Leadenhall Market, EC3V 1LR
Gilly’s Fry Bar
There’s so much to love about Gilly’s. This is a modern fry bar combined with an old fashioned chippy and we love it. The fish frying each day is written on the front window, and we love the Asian influences creeping their way into the menu, like prawn toast.
You can also order bags of fry scraps (those crispy bits at the bottom of the bag that are basically the best bit) and there’s a bar with… highball cocktails. Look, we said it was modern.
Gilly’s Fry Bar, 4A Clifton Terrace, N4 3JP
There are two famous chip shops in Clerkenwell. Fryers Delight on Theobalds Road used to be much-lauded and was famous the city over, but a change of ownership meant a change in quality and it’s lost its shine.
The one that hasn’t changed a bit is Kennedy’s on Goswell Road. It’s got bucket loads of charm and ticks all of the fish and chips boxes. There’s a branch in Whitecross Street, and south Londoners aren’t left out – there’s a post right by Streatham train station.
Kennedy’s, 184-186 Goswell Road, EC1V 7DT; 5 Leigham Court Road, SW16 2ND; and 169 Whitecross Street, EC1Y 8JT
The North Sea
There are two halves to The North Sea. One half is your traditional chippy, which always has a queue snaking down the street at lunchtime. It’s the other half we get excited about: the restaurant offers refillable chips. That’s right. Eat your chips, ask for more. You’re paying proper restaurant prices, here – cod and chips is £13.45 – but endless chips is the way to our hearts.
The North Sea, 7-8 Leigh Street, WC1H 9EW
Poppies was created by Pat “Pop” Newland, who started working in chippies in the 1950s. Poppies has a definite retro vibe to it, and although sometimes it feels like that’s what you pay for – the portions are a little on the small side in comparison to some on our list – it’s really good quality. If you don’t want to eat in (and we totally understand; the queues for the restaurant are lengthy), they’ve got a kiosk in Spitalfields and the Stables in Camden Market, too. Make sure you get the curry sauce; it’s some of the best we’ve had in London.
If you don’t want to eat in (and we totally understand; the queues for the restaurant are lengthy), they’ve got a kiosk in Spitalfields and the Stables in Camden Market, too. Make sure you get the curry sauce; it’s some of the best we’ve had in London.
Poppies, 30 Hawley Crescent, NW1 8NP and 6-8 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR, with kiosks in Camden and Spitalfield markets.
Hook take their fish seriously. They only sell sustainable fish from day boats, and everything they serve is made on site, right down to their special seaweed salt. Everything is served on recycled and recyclable materials. They do things a bit different here, so purists might not go for their tempura batter and panko breadcrumbs, but we really do.
Hook, 63-65 Parkway, NW1 7PP
Sutton & Sons
There’s no getting away from it. For a neighbourhood chippy, Sutton & Son’s on Essex Road is expensive. Cod and chips is £10. Almost £12 if you want curry sauce or mushy peas (please, argue amongst yourselves about which is better).
But when a premium fishmonger opens a chippy, you know that it’s going to be the very best fish they can get their hands on. You might not visit every Friday, but it’ll be a treat when you do.
Sutton & Sons, 356 Essex Road, N1 3PD
If there’s a king of chips in South London, it’s Brockley’s Rock. Not only are they cheaper than most, thanks to the Zone 2 Location – cod and chips is £7.70 – but they’re one of the few chippies in London to offer gluten free (and it’s only a pound or so more).
Both offerings draw in customers from far and wide. South London is the place for gluten free – pop into Olley’s in Herne Hill on a Monday or Tuesday and they’ll sort you out.
Brockley’s Rock, 317 Brockley Road, SE4 2QZ