The Best Fish & Chips in London
Fish and chips. It’s the most British food there is, and it’s one of our national dishes. But, for something so simple, it’s actually a really difficult thing to get right.
In the last year we’ve been hunting out the best fish and chips in London.
Now, pretty much everyone who serves it will claim that their is the best in London. In fact, you only have to step off the tube at Leicester Square to find hundreds of ‘the best in London’. And they should be avoided at all costs – since they’re about as authentic as Monopoly money.
So here’s the Totally Tailored Lowdown on the best fish and chips in London…
1. Don’t go to a pub
You can get some wonderful food in pubs – but they just won’t be masters of the fish and chips art. And it is an art form: lusciously deep fried (yet still crispy) battered fish, paired with chunky golden chips. Although things have improved in the last couple of years, most pubs still won’t produce great fish and chips. Instead, go for a roast dinner, or other traditional British food in a pub.
2. Do Take Away
Traditional fish and chips should be served piping-hot out of the paper, by the river or in front of the telly. And it really does taste best when eaten with your fingers.
3. Do Salt and Vinegar
This is a classic serving suggestion for a reason. The best fish and chips shouldn’t even need a lemon wedge. Salt and vinegar marries the white fish flavours to the batter perfectly, and enhances the potato tang of the chips. And if you *gasp* add ketchup, then you’re obscuring that fantastic traditional flavour.
4. Ask what’s Fresh
The most popular fish used in British fish & chips is cod, with more than 60% of dishes featuring the fish. But with depleting stocks and strict EU quotas forcing many fishermen to diversify their catch and forcing chippies to serve up other varieties. So just ask what’s fresh.
Lots of people find Haddock indistinguishable from Cod. Skate is good, but be prepared to pick through the bones. And Pollock tastes a lot better than it sounds. Just ask what’s fresh and you’ll get the best bang for your buck.
So, now you know the secrets of fish and chips.
But where should you go to find the fluffiest batter and crispiest chips?
I’m glad you asked.
Our Favourite Five Places For Fish and Chips in London:
Where: 38 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7LY
Proper fish and chips, very friendly service, and a great retro vibe, this is the perfect pitstop post Oxford Street shopping.
Rock and Sole Plaice
Where: 47 Endell St, London, WC2H 9AJ
This ‘plaice’ (get it?) claims to be London’s Oldest Fish and Chips shop, established in 1871 and brings in tourists and Londoners alike. It’s a great pre-theatre location, and lovely outdoor seating, making this a perfect pick for summer.
North of the River
Where: 38 Muswell Hill Broadway, London N10 3RT
Since opening in 1968, this Muswell Hill chippie has been repeatedly voted among the UK’s best fish shops. That’ll be due to the crunchy batter, juicy fish and fluffy-centred chips — plus the unbeatably warm welcome.
South of the River:
Fish! Borough Market
Where: Borough Market, Cathedral St, London SE1 9AL
Posh and fresh fish and chips – the perfect lunch after a visit to the South bank or Borough Market. Tourguide tip: Go to their takeout hut next tour for cheaper portions and take the five-minute walk to the river for Fish al fresco.
Masters Super Fish
Where: 191 Waterloo Rd, London SE1 8UX
The real deal, authentic traditional fish and chips brought in from Billingsgate each morning. Cabbie’s love it, and they’ve got some interesting extras like prawns and pickled eggs. This one probably works best out of our selection for an evening meal, you can bring a bottle or buy one from £12.95.
Long Lane Fish Bar
Where: 154 Long Lane, Southwark, London SE1 4BS
This is the most ‘local’ of our picks, but a true favorite, the ultimate in a no-frills fish and chip shop. Take-away only, full of Bermondsey dwellers getting their Friday night treat. Friendly service and consistently tasty.
Where: 6-8 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR
Classic fish and chips in a fab 1950s diner setting. Look around the restaurant for Poppie’s (the owner’s) lifetime collections of memorabilia and cockney rhyming slang on the walls. Poppies get’s our award for the best batter, light, delicious and tempura-like in quality. The atmosphere’s hard to beat too.