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Nine of the best UK fish and chip shops

From lemon sole in Fife to mackerel goujons in Porthmadog, check out our seaside selection this summer.

Battered fish and chips from Enoch's, Conwy.

Photograph by Enoch's
By Neil Davey
Published 12 Jul 2022, 11:00 BST

1. The Magpie Cafe, Whitby, Yorkshire
To be considered the best fish and chip shop in Whitby is no mean feat, given the sheer number of excellent options in the Yorkshire seaside town. It’s hard to find fault with The Magpie, and, while the fish and chips are naturally first rate, they’re actually a small part of an extensive menu that ranges from oysters and kippers to local lobster thermidor and a build-your-own fish platter. It’s well worth the queue, but tables need to be booked outside of lunch hour (noon-2pm).

A portion of chips from Anstruther Fish Bar in Fife. 

Photograph by Anstruther Fish Bar

2. Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther, Fife
Overlooking the harbour that’s the source of most of its menu, this multi-award-winner shouts loudly about its hand-filleting, sustainable practices and sourcing. Haddock is the mainstay, but there’s also lemon sole, but the local Pittenweem prawns and line-caught mackerel are well worth checking out when they’re on menu — ditto the battered black pudding. And for those unfamiliar with local pronunciations, the business’s social media handle is spelt phonetically in dialect — @ansterfishbar.

3. Oban Fish & Chips, Oban, Argyll & Bute
Put on many people’s culinary map by BBC show Rick Stein’s Food Heroes in 2002, this fish and chip shop is another that offers much more than just cod and haddock. It lists its locally caught options on the ‘catch of the day’ board, where you can expect to see sole, halibut and hake on a regular basis. But then there’s also squat lobster, sustainable haddock plus, when in season, herring and mackerel.

4. Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
Can’t get into this chippy? Then try one of its other two locations, also on Aldeburgh High Street. That fact this business is still thriving over 50 years since it was taken over by the Cooneys is due to the excellent standards the family have maintained — not least their commitment to the traditional approach of frying in beef dripping. Local boy Ed Sheeran is a fan, and so is José Pizarro, which is probably a better endorsement of its culinary quality.

The interior of Fish City in Belfast.

Photograph by Steven Neeson

5. Fish City, Belfast
There’s sustainable and then there’s Fish City. Certified by the Marine Stewardship Council — and the first fish and chip shop in the UK to be a corporate member of the MSC — the team also educate children on sustainability, feed the homeless and recycle food waste and oil, while also minimising order frequency (with most of their suppliers within a 50-mile radius) to help reduce their carbon footprint. Happily, the fish and chips are very good too.

6. Enoch’s Fish & Chips, Llandudno Junction, Conwy
Located near the mouth of the River Conwy, there’s a coastal feel to this ethically minded chip shop, which has been serving up fine fish and chips since 1963. What’s more, it sponsors two local football teams, supports the Fisherman’s Mission from carrier bag sales and donates 25p to the RNLI every time it sells a fishcake. It’s even developed a special-blend high-oleic sunflower oil to make its frying that little bit healthier.

7. The Creel, Porthmadog, Gwynedd
Located a stone’s throw from the local port, The Creel is a traditional, family-run fish and chip shop, that gets the basics right. Food is freshly made and tasty, there’s a nice outdoor seating area and the menu meanders from the traditional when the seasons permit, with dishes such as breaded mackerel goujons — which pair very well with the homemade tartare sauce.

Read more: 10 of the UK's best seafood destinations

Chez Fred in Bournemouth.

Photograph by Matt Hardy Photography

8. Chez Fred, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset
Adding red gurnard and hake to the usual mix, Chez Fred does the traditional things extremely well. Potatoes are chipped through the day, and twice fried in rapeseed oil. Mushy peas, sauces, sides and puddings are made on site. Most of the responsibly sourced fish is supplied by day boats in Cornwall and Devon. And if that wasn’t endorsement enough, apparently former football manager Harry Redknapp, a local, is a fan.

Read more: A culinary guide to the Isle of Thanet, Kent

9. The Swan Restaurant & Takeaway, Southport, Merseyside
Southport’s oldest fish and chip restaurant has been run by the Defty family for 45 years. Fish and potatoes are locally sourced where possible and, while the menu lacks modern curveballs, it does the classics well enough to have inspired passions across the town. And at very moderate prices too.

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