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Fish n chips
Photo: Time Out

London’s best fish and chip restaurants

Yes it's a cliche, but it's a satisfying, tasty cliche, alright?

Written by
Time Out London Food & Drink
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It's an annoying, fairly inaccurate 'fact' that all Londoners love fish and chips. For most people it ranks behind curry, kebabs and burgers. When done well, fish and chips is a welcome, stodgy god-send. When they're bad though it's just a load of brown stuff, innit. So let's take the element of risk out of it. Here are the best places to get this particular cuisine in London. 

If you dig this, you might also enjoy our list of London's best cheap eats

Can't decide? We’ve selected five of the best in our video below:

 

The best fish and chips in London

The Chipping Forecast
  • Restaurants
  • Fish and chips
  • Ladbroke Grove

Having moved from its Berwick Street pop-up pitch, this punningly named chippy is now riding high in Notting Hill. Nautical shabby-chic is the style here, and sustainably caught fish from Cornwall gets the full treatment – check out the batter laced with BrewDog beer. Sides of pickled eggs and curry sauce please the diehards, while superfood salads and Asian slaw are there for the hipsters. CF’s owners have also returned to Soho and opened a second branch on Greek Street.

An unexpected gem in Harrow, the Every Fish Bar was spotted by industry experts Fry magazine. Owned by Mohammed Gbadamosi, this place does the traditional stuff (with fish sourced from Billingsgate) but also fusion Caribbean and African cuisine featuring jerk flavours and joloff rice. 

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  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Victoria Park

Part traditional chippy, part contemporary seafood restaurant, Victoria Park’s favourite fishy haunt is a minimalist space with a huge close-up of octopus tentacles covering one wall. Eat in from a creative menu that moves from moules marinière to a teriyaki-baked salmon bowl with quinoa, avocado, radish and crispy kale or stick to wrapped-up carry-out portions of the chippy classics. There’s a branch in East Village (E20) and another offshoot within the Virgin Queen pub in Hackney.

Fish Lounge
  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Brixton

Keenly upholding a singular British tradition, this super-spotless Brixton chippy gets everything right: each piece of fish is delicately battered, chips are pleasingly thick and delightful staff treat everyone like lifelong friends. Eat in or takeaway from a menu packed with the usual suspects – from cod, rock, skate and plaice to pies (including Jamaican patties), battered sausages, burgers and chicken. ‘Gluten-free Mondays’ are in tune with the times too.

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  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Holborn

A real-deal chippy of the old school, Fryer’s Delight has been serving London well since 1962. It may look like a London cabbie’s hole-up (Formica-topped tables, long benches, old-school menu), but fans come from far and wide to sample its battered cod, rock, skate, saveloys, fishcakes and pies with mushy peas and ‘wallies’ (gherkins). Owner Osvaldo ‘Ozzie’ Bartolo is particularly proud of his chips, which are thick cut (about 18mm) and fried in beef dripping. You can still show your support with takeaways and deliveries during these strange times for central London.

  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Marylebone

In 2014, the Golden Hind celebrated 100 years’ service as a trusty purveyor of fish and chips to the residents of Marylebone. Every detail is spot-on here, from the grease-free batter and chunky chips to the well-seasoned mushy peas – not forgetting a choice of fish that runs from fried cod, haddock and ‘rock’ to steamed plaice and salmon. There’s booze in the house too, and the restaurant has reintroduced its BYO offer.

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  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Soho

Forget the chain upstarts around Oxford Circus and head towards Soho for some proper old-school fish and chips. Golden Union looks like a cross between a retro chippy and a breezy American diner (complete with jukebox), but its approach to beer-battered sustainably sourced fish is bang on-trend. Provenance is king here and everything is cooked to crispy perfection, while puds include soft-scoop ice-cream sundaes. Our advice: drop by for a slap-up dinner – and commandeer that jukebox while you wait.

Hook Camden Town
  • Restaurants
  • Fish and chips
  • Camden Town

Fish tacos, panko-crusted cod, sea bream in basil tempura, dirty fish burgers, seaweed-salted chips, red slaw… welcome to Hook’s sustainable ‘new school’ fish and chips. The daily changing menu depends on the catch from Cornish day boats, but innovation rules across the board: Hook’s homemade tom yum ketchup knocks spots off the usual curry sauce, and there’s salted caramel pretzel pie to finish. Yep, you'll be hooked in no time. There’s also a branch at The O2.

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  • Restaurants
  • British
  • West Hampstead

Basic chip-shop batter is off the menu at Nautilus – everything is coated in matzo meal, fried in matzo meal and egg, or grilled. No worries, because this no-frills outfit is renowned for the sheer quality and freshness of its output. Servings are generous, with fish overlapping the plate and just enough room for the chips. Early opening (from 4pm) also makes this a smart choice for a family supper with the kids (there are mini portions too).

  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Spitalfields

Nostalgia rules at Pat ‘Pop’ Newlands’s legendary Spitalfields chippy, which comes decked out with a pick ’n’ mix assortment of shiny British kitsch (a jukebox, newspaper cuttings, model aeroplanes, wartime memorabilia). It may look like some fantasy trip, but there’s nothing airy-fairy about the food: fish comes fresh from Billingsgate each morning (have it fried or grilled), and the menu encompasses everything from jellied eels to hot seafood platters. Poppies also has outlets in Soho and Camden. While you can’t currently soak up the atmos, you can still indulge in its top takeaways.

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Seventeen Fish & Chips
  • Restaurants
  • Fish and chips
  • Balham
  • price 1 of 4

If you fancy fish and chips in Balham but want something a bit trendier than your average local chippie, this quaint little spot should tick all the boxes. Bearing all the hallmarks of a hipster paradise, the décor at Seventeen combines white tiled walls with distressed wood floors and dangling lights. But it’s not a case of style over substance: the battered fish is among the best in south London. Other hits include calamari, onion rings and a fish fillet burger.

Sutton & Sons
  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Stoke Newington

Sutton & Sons are London fishmongers of repute, so freshness is guaranteed at this high-end chippy across the road from its Stokey shop. In addition to the usual battered suspects, hungry locals are rewarded with freshly shucked oysters and moules marinière, while Mrs Sutton’s homemade cakes and Hackney-brewed Crate beer are further reasons to be cheerful. There’s also a full menu of plant-based imitations involving everything from banana blossom to Japanese potato starch. Branches in Hackney and Islington.

 

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Toff's
  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Muswell Hill

A true one-off, this wood-panelled Muswell Hill chippy bears all the hallmarks of a long-running family business that knows what it’s doing. Not much has changed here since the place opened in 1968, although using traceable, sustainably sourced fish is a sure sign that Toff’s has its finger on the pulse. Everything is battered, fried or grilled to order – be it skate, rock eel, halibut or sea bass. There’s fish soup to start, and spotted dick to finish. Show the restaurant some love in a tough year. Its owner and much-loved local George Georgiou passed away due to coronavirus in April. His family vowed to continue his legacy with the restaurant’s reopening in June.

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