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

The best fish and chips in Sydney

Sydney's got a big chip on its shoulder, and it's fried to perfection

Written by: Avril Treasure
Advertising

If you want a fuss-free feed come rain or shine, nothing beats golden, crisp, flaky battered fish and a hearty serving of chips. But what makes a really excellent fish supper? It's the quality of the batter through to the cut of the chip, the potatoes used and even the seasonings and sauces – are you for ketchup, vinegar, chicken salt, tartare or simply a squeeze of lemon juice? And it comes down to how fresh the fish is, of course.

There’s a lot that goes into getting it just right and a wide gulf between the catch of the day and yesterday's chip paper. So Time Out Sydney's critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure, have scoured the city to put together a list of the best to help you net the perfect catch.

RECOMMENDED:

These are the best seafood restaurants in Sydney.

Check out our guide to the top waterfront restaurants in Sydney.

Sydney's best fish and chips

  • Seafood
  • Drummoyne
  • price 1 of 4

A place that’s been around for more than 30 years must be doing something right. Ocean Foods is an Inner West institution, selling fresh and cooked seafood. The fish used in the fish and chips changes daily depending on the suppliers and is battered using a family recipe that’s been passed down through the generations. The result is a light, crisp coating that doesn’t dominate the flavour of the fish. Of course, we’re still going to add a little chicken salt to the chips and calamari. The extensive menu here covers old school classics like battered savs and seafood sticks (long may they live!) and is as cheap as chips. Do as the locals do and grab a box, sit out on the balcony and watch the world go by.

  • Bondi Beach

These ain't your average greasy, newspaper-wrapped fish and chips. From the team behind the Fishbowl empire comes a high-casual eatery that combines takeaway ease with a touch of understated North Bondi chic. In its basic structure, Fish Shop is just like your seaside local – you pick a main from snapper, ocean trout, barramundi or King Ora salmon, as well as a market fish, then add a condiment and tack on a side – but after that, it goes off-script. Add on sugo with capers, salsa verde or tangy ladelomono, a Greek-style vinaigrette of lemon and oil. 

Advertising
  • Coogee

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
  • Manly

There are more options for fish and chips in Manly than you can throw a thong at, but Fishmongers stands out from the crowd. Hoki is dunked in a light tempura batter that enhances rather than competes with the flavour of the fish. To the side are excellent hand-cut chips that are streets ahead of the usual fare. Deep fried strips of sweet potato on top add some extra crunch. These guys also try to do the right thing by our ocean friends by selling MSC certified seafood. Get your order to go and head over the road to the beach, because everything tastes better looking out over the big blue.

Advertising
  • Fish and chips
  • Cronulla

Paris Mavropoulos spent years mastering the techniques of excellent fish and chips and perfecting his batter, and in 1997 he opened Paris Seafood Cafe. Today, the Cronulla fish and chipper is still run by Paris, his kids Sofia and Christos, as well as their mum, Helen. The tight-knit family wants everyone who comes in to feel like they’re having a meal at their home, so expect generous servings and warm hospitality. The batter is thin and crisp, which allows the fish to be the star of the show, and the chips are fluffy and crunchy – exactly how you want them to be. Plus, Paris Seafood Cafe uses fresh oil daily – which is not always the case at fish and chip shops, and makes everything to order, including the salads. Paris was onto something in 1997, and as this place is always packed, it seems he’s never lost it.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106082023/image.jpg
Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Seafood
  • Naremburn

This unassuming joint in Naremburn is reminiscent of the chippies of yore. The menu runs the whole gamut, from fish and chips to seafood baskets (the lucky-dip of the sea), Chiko Rolls, and crab claws. The New Zealand cod used for the fish and chips is plump and juicy and they chicken-salt their chips here. Go retro and add some deep-fried pineapple for a sweet sidekick. Like the name, the prices here are old fashioned too. Anywhere you can order quality fish and chips and walk away with change from a tenner is a winner in our books.

Advertising
  • Fish and chips
  • Western Sydney

There are many things we like about Macquarie Park Boathouse Cafe, situated in the Hawkesbury region right on the north-western border of Sydney. Tasty fish and chips, friendly service and reasonable prices are all at the top. Plus, a bucket of fresh Aussie tiger prawns for $25? Count us in. Depending on where you live, it may take you a little while to get to get here, but we reckon it’s well worth the road trip for the golden fish and chips alone. Plus, there’s a playground right out the front, making it an excellent spot for a day adventure with your little ones. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for daily specials – think fish, chips and salad for just ten bucks.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106082023/image.jpg
Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Fish and chips
  • Heathcote

Family-owned eatery Heathcote Fish & Chips has been slinging cracking seafood, fish burgers, housemade fish cakes, potato scallops and salads to those in south east 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.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106082023/image.jpg
Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
Advertising
  • Manly

This spot is tucked away right around the bend from Manly Beach, and it's well worth the scenic walk over. Locals have been flocking here for years, tucking into eggs and bacon, and beer-battered flathead with Jenga-style chips right on the sand. And it's not just any old sand, mind you, but Shelly Beach – one of Sydney’s – if not Australia’s – most beautiful beaches. If we've got a craving for fish and chips, this is one of our favourite spots to hit up.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106082023/image.jpg
Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Seafood
  • Forest Lodge
  • price 2 of 4

Sustainable seafood purveyors Fish & Co have moved from Annandale into their new home in Harold Park’s Tramsheds, where they’re as popular as ever. These guys are deeply concerned with the provenance of their products, and ensuring that there’s still plenty of fish left in the sea for future generations. Strips of New Zealand hoki come coated in a golden beer batter that’s a little on the thick side but still has a nice snap. You can jazz things up by substituting regular fries for sweet potato chips. . Those wanting a break from tradition can choose from options like mackerel fish cakes and panko crumbed tiger prawns. Eat in if you’re feeling fancy, or for a cheaper option, grab takeaway and find a spot outside in the sun.

Advertising
  • Mosman

This long-standing fish and chipper is right across the road from Balmoral Beach, and it’s perpetually busy no matter the weather. They use only MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) approved fish here, which means that it’s come from sustainable sources. New Zealand hake, battered to order, is the centrepiece of the fish and chips – both of which need the pep of some vinegar to liven things up. The real winner is the calamari, which is lightly crumbed and buttery. Stroll across the road and watch the waves roll in while you eat, or if you prefer the feel of grass under your feet, there’s a park right next door.

  • Seafood
  • Petersham
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

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 nostalgia classics and modern touches. The fish and chips features beer-battered ling, thick chips and tartar sauce. Dine in, or takeaway and head to a local park to enjoy under the trees.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106082023/image.jpg
Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
Advertising
  • Seafood
  • Rozelle

As the name suggests, the team behind Love Fish are passionate about seafood, especially sustainable, locally sourced seafood. Order fish and chips here and you’ll get beer battered NSW tiger flathead to go alongside twice cooked chips. The fish is cooked to perfection and the batter to fillet ratio is spot on. The chips suffer a little from their second dunk, but are still a tasty accompaniment, as is the house-made tartare, which has a solid horseradish kick. The fresh, panko-crumbed calamari hits the spot too - tender, not chewy. Ethical eating here goes beyond the food; all of the packaging used is either biodegradable or compostable. 

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising