No trip to London is complete without a fish & chips lunch or supper. It’s the national British food, and whilst it’s often poked fun at, or written off as a high-carb, high-fat meal, it’s also beloved by millions. As long as you don’t eat it every day, it’s a great meal — nutritious, delicious and cheap.
Moreover, apart from the fact that there are so many varieties of fish to choose from, every London fish & chips shop has its own ‘twists’ (whether it’s the batter they use, the way they cook their chips — and in what shape they make them - and the additional extras you’ll get on your plate — such as pickles or mushy peas).
Go ahead - indulge!
1. Sutton & Sons
A family-run operation, with premium-quality fish. Light batter and crispy chips make this a big favorite of the locals,and their diverse menu means that you’ve got a lot of options if you want to be adventurous. With their mussels, lobsters, clams, sausages and traditional ‘pie and mash’ you’ll be spoilt for choice. Oh, and if you’ve room for dessert (!), there’s homemade cake too.
- 90 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16
This is a traditional fish and chip shop that both adults and kids will love, complete with 1950's memorabilia and beer served in tankards. Set up by a bona fide East Londoner, ‘Pops’ Newland, who’s worked in the business half a century now, the fish is tender and flaky, the chips are chunky and the tartar sauce to dip them in is super tangy. The brave are welcome to try jellied eels (a traditional EastEnder's dish). Throw your diet plans out the window and head there now — but be prepared to join a long line!
- 6–8 Hanbury St, London E1
3. Kerbisher & Malt
This is a high-quality operation, with the team doing all they can to produce super appealing food. Chips are double-fried, the tartar sauce is made in-house and the fillets of fish are so flaky they melt in your mouth. Kerbisher & Malt also offers an array of ‘extras’ including breaded calamari, fish cakes and onion rings. A popular place with families and if you go early you’ll get a discount on your bill. Don’t delay — and don’t forget to try their tartar and lemon mayo sauce!
- 164 Shepherds Bush Road, London W6
4. Golden Union Fish Bar
Modern in its decor, and located in fashionable Soho in central London, this restaurant uses only sustainable fish and actually serves battered halloumi! The chips are fluffy and soft (made of Grade ‘A’ potatoes) and the fish comes well-flavored. They also use a combination of frying oils, which are changed at least four times a week. Big portion sizes, along with the mushy peas, and chicken and mushroom pies are also tasty. One of the more pricy options on this list, but well worth it.
- 38 Poland Street, W1F 7LY
5. The Fryer's Delight
This is a traditional ‘no frills’ fish and chip joint, but it’s not just locals and London cab drivers who come here. Despite its old-fashioned furnishings (formica tables), they’ve been frying here for 50 years and the owner Giuseppe, an Italian, knows what he’s doing. Fish is fried the old fashioned way, in beef dripping (there is a vegetarian option of course!) and the chips are piping hot and very crispy. Eat it with bread and butter (you’ll get a huge slice) then wash it all down with a cup of ‘builder’s tea’ — the real deal.
- 19 Theobalds Road, London WC1