Get us in your inbox

Search
A picture of fish and chips
Photograph: Anstruther Fish Bar

The 13 best fish and chip shops in the UK

It’s hard not to feel uplifted when you’re eating a good bit of battered cod. Here’s our official verdict on the best fish and chips in the UK

Written by
Lucas Oakeley
Advertising

Eating fish and chips should be a full-on sensory experience. Hearing the cry of a nearby gull and feeling the salty sea air inflate your lungs as you munch away are almost as integral to the fish and chip ritual as mushy peas and tartare sauce. But that’s not to say that excellent landlocked chippies don’t exist: you just need to know where to look. This list of the best fish and chip shops in the UK includes everything from seaside operations where you can get that 360-degree experience to chippies in Nottingham knocking out tremendous fish suppers in spite of their geography. 

We honestly believe that a strong number of the fish and chip shops in this guide should be counted as listed buildings considering how much value and history they offer to their local communities. Whether you’re a strictly-cod or only-haddock person, there are plenty of brilliant options here for you to sample. Go on, get stuck in: here are the best places for fish and chips in the UK. 

RECOMMENDED:
🍽️ The best restaurants in the UK
🍺 The best pubs in the UK

Best fish and chips in the UK

Whitby, Yorkshire

Established in 1937, The Magpie Café is widely and rightly known as one of the best places to eat fish and chips in the UK. It’s no frills, all gills at this spot that tenderly overlooks Whitby harbour. Responsibly-sourced local fish populate the menu and it’s the freshness of that fish – as well as the oil they use to fry it – that makes The Magpie so special. An order of a large cod and chips here will net you a supper of whale-like proportions: a fitting comparison, considering the fact that the striking black and white building which The Magpie Café calls home used to be owned by an actual whaling family.

Fochabers, Moray

The Fochabers Fish Bar is regularly touted as being Scotland’s number one fish and chip takeaway. That information should be reason enough to have you planning your maiden voyage to the village that’s also home to the Baxters soup factory, but if you needed a little more convincing, just know that the Fochabers Fish Bar more than lives up to their lofty reputation. Not only does the fish look (and taste) great, but so do the chequered tables and white tiles that make up the refreshingly retro interior that hasn’t changed since the day it opened. What’s more, the service at Fochabers is friendly, efficient, and will see that you get your supper in a flash.

Advertising

Whitstable, Kent

As one of the last fish-and-chip shops left in the south of England to still fry with beef dripping, VC Jones is a chippy that keeps things traditional. You’ll find regulars in the lengthy queue who have been going to VC Jones for their weekly fix for years, as well as tourists who made the pilgrimage to Whitstable for the town’s famous oysters but inevitably found themselves drawn in by the sultry smell of fried fish. A world-beater.

Belfast

Get in, get out, don’t fuck about. John Long’s is the longest established fish and chip shop in Belfast and describes itself (rightly so) as one of the city’s ‘top seven wonders’. The portions are generous considering the friendly price point and it’s rare to get served a wedge of battered fish here that doesn’t arrive in the perfect shade of amber. John Long’s is basically what you’d get if you told an AI to create the perfect chip shop from the ground-up: we wouldn’t change a thing.

Advertising

Anstruther, Fife

If there’s a general rule of thumb to follow when it comes to finding good fish and chips, it’s that the closer a chippy is to a body of water, the better it’s likely to be. That rationale certainly rings true for the Anstruther Fish Bar. Looking out over the harbour, this award-winning takeaway and restaurant specialises in fresh fish and seafood – of both the fried and non-fried variety. Fried-wise, you’ve got to go for the tender Scottish haddock that comes encased in an ethereally light, crispy batter. If you’re after something that hasn’t touched a drop of oil, though, then the dressed crab should be what’s on your radar. Chips are non-negotiable.

Whitby, Yorkshire

A lot of the best fish and chips in the UK can be found in the north of England and Trenchers in Whitby has set itself out as one of the must-visit places from that region. Having won numerous awards over the years, Trenchers keeps things simple while paying close attention to the finer details. The fish is all delicate and flaky (well-protected by its bronzed batter armour), while the gloriously chunky chips have more in common with a fluffy roastie than a crispy French fry. A box of those piping-hot chipped potatoes resting on your knees offers all the therapeutic benefits of having a cat in your lap, and then some.

Advertising

Cardigan, Ceredigion

More than just somewhere to get a golden tranche of fish and a mound of chips made from Pembrokeshire potatoes, Môr Ffein is a family-run chip shop that aims to preserve the traditions of the good old-fashioned chippy. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re afraid of pushing the boat out. As well as your tried-and-tested cod, you can also get your laughing gear around half a locally-caught Cardigan Bay lobster served cold with chips. It’s a hot and cold combination that’s second-to-none.

Exeter

When it comes to the best fish and chips in the UK, you should expect nothing but perfection. That means hot and flaky fish, encased in a golden glassy batter, served with a generous heap of chips. That’s what you’ll get at The Fish Shed. And that’s why you need to get there ASAP. Located on Darts Farm in Exeter, The Fish Shed doubles as a chippy and wet fishmongers shop, where the team works directly with a small handful of day boats who selectively line-catch the best of the best. Order a fish supper here and you can sample the catch of the day within 12 hours of it leaving the sea. How’s that for a USP?

Advertising

Brae, Shetland

Not only is Frankie’s Fish & Chips the UK’s most northerly fish and chip shop, it’s also one of its best. Sourcing premium and sustainable Shetland seafood, this spot was set up in the bucolic village of Brae to provide locals and tourists with the ultimate chish and fips experience. You can’t go wrong with a classic order of crisp battered haddock, but we’d also recommend saving some stomach space for a battered sausage on the side. Why? Because why not.

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Nestled on the wonderfully named Lower Frog Street, D. Fecci & Sons is a historic chippy that’s been in business since 1919. Tenby, where D.Fecci & Sons calls home, is a Welsh seaside town that specialises in the kind of sweetly grey and understated beauty that is all too easy to take for granted. All of the fish at this chip shop are sourced sustainably and cooked to order, providing punters with a fresh and affordable fish supper that can stand up, quality-wise, to any pan-fried square of hake you’ll find at a stuffy Michelin-starred restaurant.

Advertising

Amble, Northumberland

Offering idyllic views of the sea and an accompanying soundtrack of waves crashing on the shore, The Fish Shack is a harbourside restaurant that’s perfect for alfresco dining in the summer and bolting yourself inside to stay warm during winter. Regardless of what the weather is saying, though, the one thing that’s a given at The Fish Shack is their delicious beer-battered cod and chips with mushy peas. There’s an episode of The Hairy Bikers where they call this fish and chips the best in the UK. It’s hard to disagree.

Nottingham

Robin Hood. Sherwood Forest. Fish and chips. Nottingham might be better known for the former than the latter, but The Cod’s Scallops is a local chippy that’s slowly turning Nottingham into something of a destination spot for crispy battered fish. The menu changes daily depending on the catch, but you can always expect it to be swimming (sorry) with the highest standard fish about. Everything is cooked to order and is best consumed when piping hot – alongside enough slugs of vinegar to singe your sinuses.

Advertising

Portstewart, County Londonderry

Leading the charge of a new wave of chip shops taking over the UK, Chipmongers has a number of outlets in Northern Ireland that are all capable of divvying out cracking fish suppers without needlessly reinventing the wheel. It’s easy to feel sceptical when seeing a monkfish and prawn thai curry on the menu at your local chippy, but Chipmongers are dedicated to keeping their prices keen and doing justice to the traditions of the chipper with their craggy battered cod.

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising

    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!