With a year of lockdowns behind us, we’ve learnt a thing or two about good takeaways. And, while restaurants may finally be starting to re-open, there’ll always be a special, vinegar-soaked place in our hearts for humble, flavoursome fish and chips.
Also, despite the capital not being overly close to the ocean, London does a surprisingly mean line in this Friday night favourite — from classic chippies to fine dining options. So refill your salt shakers, mush your peas and pickle your eggs; because here’s where to find the best fish and chips in London…
Kerbisher & Malt, Brook Green
Located in West London’s leafy Brook Green (also keep an eye out for its roving food truck at parks and festivals), Kerbisher & Malt is a traditional chippie with a modern approach. Doing roaring trade since 2011, it promises to only ever use fresh, sustainably sourced fish paired with handmade salads, twice-cooked chips made from local potatoes and its very own mushy peas and batters. This is restaurant quality food without the fuss.
Golden Hind, Marylebone
A more traditional option, Golden Hind has been operating on Marylebone High Street since 1914 so, if it’s the taste of an authentic fish and chips you’re after, this is the place for you. What Golden Hind lacks in frills it more than makes up for in quality and generous portions – which is why you’ll find it packed with well-heeled regulars popping in to get their fix on Fridays. Be sure to book in advance.
Golden Union, Soho
This independent, family-run business, owned by Billy Drew, opened in 2008 with the aim of providing buzzy Soho with an authentic-feeling British chippy with a modern twist. An instant success thanks to its sustainable fish and handmade East Anglian potato chips, queues are often out the door at lunchtime, with local workers picking up a mid-week treat. Luckily service is brisk and efficient enough that you’ll never have to wait too long.
Named for its founder Pops, who has been working in fish and chip restaurants sine 1952, the first Poppies opened on Brick Lane five decades later in the hopes of transporting customers back to those early days. Now with outposts in Soho, Spitalfields and Camden, each retro-style diner is filled with memorabilia from Pops’ own childhood and serves fresh fish delivered daily from Billingsgate market.
Fish House, Various
The East End is well known for its great fish bars and, with its two locations in Hackney and Stratford, Fish House is putting a contemporary spin on this venerable tradition. The key draw here is the extensive menu. As well as six different options for its classic fish and chips, its seafood offering includes fish tacos, paella, protein bowls, calamari and fishcakes. In true British style there’s also bread and butter pudding and apple crumble for dessert.
The Chipping Forecast, Notting Hill
If the frankly excellent name of this Notting Hill stalwart doesn’t convince you to visit then perhaps its promise of fresh Cornish fish and seafood will tempt instead. Big on sustainability, all its seafood is traceable back to the very boat on which it was caught and the offering includes crab, oysters, sardines, whitebait, mussels and, of course, a beer-battered fish made with cod, hake or haddock. It’s also the only place in London you’re likely to find a deep first Mars bar.
Bonnie Gull, Fitzrovia
Describing itself as a seaside restaurant in the city, Fitzrovia’s Bonnie Gull is upmarket enough for first dates while maintaining a casual, laid back feel. Nailing the ‘shabby-chic’ trend, its menu includes oysters, scallop ceviche and roast stone bass – but it’s the Schiehallion battered North Sea haddock with beef dripping chips and mushy peas we’ll be ordering every time. A glass of rosé on the side is de rigeuer.
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