Fish and chips in a box
Photograph: Supplied/Out of the Blue

The 17 best fish and chips in Australia

It's hard work lying by the beach. Refuel with this Aussie summer staple

Melissa WoodleyCaitlyn Todoroski
Written by: Caitlyn Todoroski
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Fish and chips are such a nostalgic meal for Australians that it’s easy to forget that they didn’t actually originate here. Sure, the Brits often get the credit for the dish (they do love their salt and vinegar), but it turns out that Portugal is the motherland of the ultimate takeaway food. Wherever it was invented, we’re just happy that it touched down in the land Down Under, and at just about every waterside location you can imagine. After all, it isn’t a salty summer by the beach if your hunger wasn’t satiated with some fish and chippies, right?

So whether you're touring Australia's best beaches, or need a pit stop on your great Australian road trip, here are the best fish and chips shops in the land. 

RECOMMENDED: These are the best pizzas in Australia.

Best fish and chips in Australia

With all its fishing towns and welcoming little local-run shops, it's a crime not to order some fish and chips for lunch by the water on NSW’s South Coast. Pelican Rocks is just down past Nowra in the Shoalhaven region and is your one-stop shop for all things seafood. They don’t just dish up a mean battered fillet – they source local oysters and have lots of seafood packs that mix fresh and fried bites. The restaurant is still casual but more of a sit-down venue than the traditional fish and chips shop. If you want to fancy it up a bit, they also do seafood towers and cocktails.

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Caitlyn Todoroski
Contributor

The specialty at Grand Lane Fish House is their hand-cut chips served hot and fresh in a cone with their secret sauce. They may not be right on the beach, but the cafe is the go-to for Perth locals when they’re craving fish and chips. If you’re really hungry, you can forget about the classic fisherman’s basket and go for their dinner box that is a true ode to the traditional British takeaway featuring a battered pork sausage. The UK influence continues with mushy peas, curry sauces and haggis if you’re brave enough to mix up your regular seafood order.

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Caitlyn Todoroski
Contributor
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Down Under, we all love a good chippy and there is no denying that the best hot chips are the ones that are hand cut. Fraggles source all their produce in Tasmania so you can expect it to be super fresh; from the potatoes to the flathead and gummy shark that they use for their fish fillets. Expect a golden crumb and plenty of chicken salt. They’re even one step ahead of your traditional hole-in-the-wall fish shop with an online ordering page so you can skip the waiting and make sure your feed is nice and hot as soon as you pull up for pick up.

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Caitlyn Todoroski
Contributor

There are plenty of reasons to pay Fisho's a visit next time you're down in Torquay: stunning beach views, fresh (and frozen, if you like) Margaritas and frosty pints of local craft brews – and last but not least, some of the freshest, best-cooked seafood you can find on the Great Ocean Road. Owners and long-time friends Luke Edwards and Luke Dalton spent years working in bars and restaurants out in Victoria's ski fields before the bright idea to open a fresh seafood joint in their hometown was born. From the scallops and oysters to crispy traditional-style fish and chips, expect high-quality, locally sourced seafood that's best enjoyed in the sun. 

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Lauren Dinse
Food & Drink Writer
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  • Seafood
  • Petersham

Fich at Perersham claims to have the freshest fish in the Inner West and that’s something we can swim behind. It’s by the team behind Portuguese patisserie Sweet Belem and all-day eatery Lunas, and the menu includes a mix of nostalgic classics and modern touches. The fish and chips feature beer-battered ling, thick chips and tartar sauce. Dine in, or takeaway and head to a local park to enjoy under the trees.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Seafood
  • Brisbane
  • price 1 of 4

You can't talk about fish in the Redlands without talking about Costa's. In both 2019, 2021 and 2022, this place on Old Cleveland Road was named Queensland's Best Fish and Chips by the Great Australian Fish & Chip Awards. The owners, Maria, Chris and Costa Tapinos, have more than 30 years of experience in delicious things from the deep, and the family atmosphere is as palpable as the quality and value of what's on offer. A standard fish dinner ranges from $18.90 (for cod) to $29 (for a half dozen sea scallops) and comes with salad, chips, lemon and tartare. They do a range of seafood platters as well, both hot and cold, and old schoolers can get burgers, potato scallops, battered sav, dim sims or a Chiko Roll.

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Nick Dent
Associate Publisher, Time Out Australia
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This big blue shopfront plays facade to plates of gorgeously crumbed fillets and piles of golden chips. Forget digital menus, or even printed ones, because the offerings have been written up by hand on chalkboards all around the joint. Aside from all the classics, they have some enticing, and interesting, specials, like baked brie, buttermilk lobster burgers, battered mushroom wedges and crumbed sardines, and for dessert, deep-fried Mars Bars. The type of fish varies each day based on what’s been caught but some regular features include snapper, hammerhead shark and blue groper, all from the area. Albany has a wealth of bays and beaches to be discovered so Ocean and Paddock makes for the perfect lunch stop-off.

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Caitlyn Todoroski
Contributor
  • Fish and chips
  • Heathcote

Family-owned eatery Heathcote Fish and Chips has been slinging cracking seafood, fish burgers, housemade fish cakes, potato scallops and salads to those in southeast Sydney since 1960. Here, one fillet of battered fish with chips, lemon and tartar will set you back around $12. No car? No worries. Heathcote Fish & Chips is found opposite the train station, and close to the stunning Heathcote National Park – which is home to a bunch of great day trails. We say lace up, make a day of it and go for a walk, followed by a feed at you know where.

 
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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
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If fish and chips weren’t already a nostalgic enough dish with flaky white meat and crispy potato cakes, The Fish Van is serving up the goods in adorable brown paper takeaway cones that make for super easy snacking. Their slogan is “fresh from our boat to you”, so you get to choose exactly what they cook to order – are you a battered, crumbed or grilled person? There’s also a decent spread of other delicious bites, like fish burgers, cray rolls and ridiculously cheap oysters. For dessert, the little kids (and big kids too) will look forward to the extensive array of ice cream.

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Caitlyn Todoroski
Contributor
  • Seafood
  • Manly - Lota

Few restaurants in Brisbane can boast iconic status but Manly Boathouse gets there on two counts. One, it’s a stunning white dining room with views of the boats moored in the marina as well as Moreton Bay. Lunch (or dinner) here can’t help but be an occasion. Two, you don’t have to be Daddy Warbucks to have an ace seafood experience here, but can line up for fish and chips in the casual outdoor patio section and eat your catch at the tables under big umbrellas. The fry-up also comes wrapped in paper, so you can also take the lot away and eat it on the esplanade if you prefer. 

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Nick Dent
Associate Publisher, Time Out Australia
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Almost every single type of fish here is locally sourced, but for those meals where everyone just wants to eat something different, there is plenty of variety. Aside from their specialty of butterfish, Dolphin Fish Shop dish up nuggets and schnitzel boxes; yiros packs with meat, onion, chips and garlic sauce; Aussie-fave chicken chippies, falafel rolls and burgers. To top it all off, you can finish with a cheeky fried dessert like their hot doughnuts, banana fritters or pineapple fritters.

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Caitlyn Todoroski
Contributor
  • Richmond
Richmond Oysters, Melbourne, VIC
Richmond Oysters, Melbourne, VIC

This Richmond favourite is an inner-city institution that serves decadent seafood platters of the highest quality. Unassuming fish and chips might not be your first thought when dining in this light-filled bistro, but we implore you to reconsider. First, pick your fish from the extensive range, then choose from one of four preparation styles. The result is a well-cooked piece of fish with perfect chippies (you can pick salad as a side, but that's not why we're here). After your lunch, grab some fish from the wholesale section and try to recreate the glory at home.

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Lauren Dinse
Food & Drink Writer
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  • Coogee
  • price 1 of 4

There’s always a throng of people waiting to get their fix at this Clovelly corner spot. She’s not very big, but she packs them in - then out the door and onto the footpath. The battered Pacific cod comes with a bubbly crust that snaps under your fingers. We’ll skip the calamari next time and order a generous side of chips with chicken salt. If you’d rather eat from the land than the sea, the burgers here reached near cult status for good reason. Give your gut a real workout and finish things off with a deep-fried Mars Bar. The fish and chips come wrapped in paper, proper old-school-like, so you can cart them down the hill to the beach.

  • Seafood
  • Brisbane Inner
  • price 2 of 4

This family-run restaurant has been frying for several decades. A Seafood Meal here is a grilled, beer-battered or panko-crumbed fillet with chips, salad, tartare sauce and lemon wedges. The sustainable list goes from cod up to NZ Ora king salmon and spans goldband snapper, blue grenadier and red emperor, as well as prawn cutlets, barra and flake. The fully stocked bar includes wine and sparkling with a Cypriot lager and some Greek wines available among a large selection. We can see ourselves having a long lunch here with friends and making good use of the bar.

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Nick Dent
Associate Publisher, Time Out Australia
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If you order a classic fillet of battered fish from a fish and chips shop, chances are it's either hoki or basa because they’re so cheap. At Frying Nemo, they showcase the best produce that the Northern Territory has to offer. That being? The humble barramundi. There’s actually a whole list of fresh fish to choose from and you can decide if you’d like it beer battered, tempura battered, crumbed or grilled. Take your catch of the day to one of the venue’s picnic tables and enjoy waterfront views of the Tipperary Waters Marina.

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Caitlyn Todoroski
Contributor

Pipi's is a contemporary kiosk in Albert Park serving world-class fish and chips, backed up by some serious hospo pedigree (chef Jordan Clay worked in Paris' Le Chateaubriand). Pipi's champions sustainable and locally sourced seafood, done simply and done well. Delicate fresh fish with crispy batter and chips dusted in saltbush powder juxtapose a humble classic with cheffy prowess. And make sure you order the homemade tartare – trust us, it's good.  

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Lauren Dinse
Food & Drink Writer
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Ralphy’s used to have a little shop in Falcon’s Miami Village, but they’ve since moved to a fish and chips trailer. They’re only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you’ll have to wait until the weekend for your fish and chips fix. When they’re not dishing up good takeaway grub, they’re touring the farmers markets slinging fresh produce, like their signature marinated octopus, fresh salmon, seafood chowder and local blue swimmer crabs.

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Caitlyn Todoroski
Contributor
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