Revealed: Britain's best fish and chips. I'm a food expert who has eaten at 5,000 restaurants… and here's my 37 ultimate chippies

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Fish and chips. Not so much a dish as a national obsession, an integral part of British heritage. This heavenly combination of sea and soil got us through the war years (fish and chips were never rationed) and continues to provide crisp, deep-fried delight. Who can resist the eternal thrill of that warm paper-wrapped packet, scented with vinegar and heady anticipation, ready to be ripped open and devoured, knife and fork very much optional? And while everything tastes better with the sea breeze fluttering through one’s hair, a beach or port is not essential. Good fish and chips transcend mere location.

As a food writer of 25 years, I’ve dined in more than 5,000 restaurants and have written nine food books. Here are my favourite fish and chip takeaways across Britain. 

Food critic Tom Parker Bowles picks his favourite fish and chips shops in Britain

Food critic Tom Parker Bowles picks his favourite fish and chips shops in Britain


Shakies, Fleetwood, Lancashire

It won’t win any prizes for décor (what decent chippy does), but this Fleetwood stalwart, a lozenge’s thrown from the Fisherman Friend factory, does hand-cut chips, double fried, and fresh fish, in a crisp, burnished batter. Don’t miss the deep-fried black pudding.

Takeaway: Large fish and chips with peas, £9.50 (

Whelans, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire

Whelans have been frying up fish and chips since 1937, so they know a thing or two about their art. The fish is sustainably caught and, when possible, local. Haddock is the staple, clad in the lightest of batters, and their homemade fish cakes are top notch.

Takeaway: Haddock, chips and peas, £10.25 (

The Swan, Southport, Merseyside

Owned and managed by the Defty family for nearly 50 years, The Swan is a Southport institution. Expect proper old-fashioned fish and chips – haddock (obviously), in a thin but mighty batter, serious chips, bread and butter and mushy peas. Either eat in or devour overlooking the harbour, seasoned by the salty air.

Takeaway: Cod and chips, £8 (

Seniors, Blackpool, Lancashire

Sitting between Blackpool and the rather more genteel Poulton-Le-Fylde, Seniors is a Lancashire classic, the haddock wearing the most diaphanous of batters. Not so thin that you can see the fish peering through (God forbid), but rather a glorious golden shell. Chips are big, broad and uncomplicated, while the steak pudding, softly seductive, comes from a nearby butcher.

Takeaway: Mini fish special with regular chips, mushy peas and soft drink, £8 (

Skippers of Euxton, Lancashire

Skippers not only serves up some serious fish and chips but is also certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). So you can eat your immaculately battered haddock, scampi and cod with conscience clear. And at Skippers, they know how to fry. Not only do they hold an ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award from The National Fish and Chip Awards, but owner Andrew Crook is President of the National Federation of Fish Fryers.

Takeaway: Whitby scampi and chips, £9.20 (


Magpie Café, Whitby, Yorkshire

The Magpie is so famous that it has almost become a fish and chip cliché. And yes, The Quayside, Hadleys, and Trenchers have their passionate supporters too. Whitby really is the fish and chip capital of the UK. But The Magpie is adored for good reason. Sustainably caught, and locally sourced fresh cod or haddock, beautifully fried in beef dripping. Dear god, that batter. Portions are huge, chips as good as they get, and everything best eaten as takeaway, as you gaze over Whitby Harbour. Be prepared to queue.

Takeaway: Haddock and chips, £11.95 (

The Fish Shack, Amble, Northumberland

Sitting on the edge of Amble’s harbour, The Fish Shack (not to be confused with the equally brilliant Riley’s Fish Shack, in North Shields, which doesn’t make this list, as it isn’t technically a chippie) not only fries up some superb haddock and chips but is passionate about sustainable and local sourcing too. The views are every bit as fine as the food.

Eat-in only: Haddock and chips, £17.95 (

Colmans, South Shields, Tyne and Wear

It all started way back in 1905, with a tiny shack on South Shields beach. Five generations later, the Colmans are still serving up some of the finest fish and chips in the country. Quality, as they say, endures. MSC certified, they also buy locally. The fish wears their crisp, burnished secret recipe batter. A true legend of the northeast.

Takeaway: Cod and chips, £10.50 (

Doyle’s Fishery, Shipley, West Yorkshire

No mucking about here, just fresh haddock, cooked to order, the batter light and gloriously crisp, with a huge portion of proper chippie chips. And don’t miss their fried fish butty too. Simple but sublime.

Takeaway: Haddock and chips, £7.90 (01274 598 555)

Wetherby Whaler, York, Yorkshire

The Whaler may be a small chain of Yorkshire chippies, but the quality is undoubted.

I have friends who make long detours for just one portion. It’s haddock here, fresh and sustainably sourced, encased in a gloriously crisp batter. And chips, cut to order on all of their sites, bring a greedy tear to one’s eye.

Takeaway: Haddock and chips, £8.80 (


Merchants, Bewdley, Worcestershire

Winner of many an awards, Merchants is adored for good reason. This Midlands chippy (and there are three branches) serves up some serious fish and chips. Owner Kyriacos Akathiotis has passed on the baton, after 50 years, to his son Anthony. It’s a favourite of Robert Plant, that Led Zeppelin legend and the quality, as he once almost sang, remains the same.

Takeaway: Cod, chips and mushy peas, £8.50 (

Sea and Earth, Nottingham

This small group now has three branches across the Midlands, but the quality is reliably consistent. Sustainably caught cod or haddock, lovingly battered, knowingly fried and served with proper chips, chipped and rumbled in-house.

Takeaway: Large cod and chips with mushy peas, £10.50 (

Duston Village Chippy, Northampton

Owned and run by the Hoang family since 2014, Duston Village Chippy has since won five national awards. No frills or fanfare, rather fresh fish, expertly fried, along with proper chips, mushy peas and curry sauce.

Takeaway: Cod, chips and mushy peas, £11.20 (01604 588 981)

The Cod’s Scallops, Nottingham

Another high-quality mini-chain, The Cod’s Scallop has won numerous awards for its MSC Certified cod, and line-caught haddock, which is always cooked fresh to order. Don’t miss their homemade curry sauce and gravy too.

Takeaway: Cod, chips and mushy peas, £14.40 (

Codsall Fish Bar, Wolverhampton

Good old-fashioned fish and chips, freshly fried with the most friendly of service. A Good Food award winner, locals swear by the place, as do others, who travel from further afield.

Takeaway: Mini cod and chips topped with mushy peas, £7.90 (01902 843 833)


Rockfish, Brixham, Devon

A true legend of West Country fish and chips, Mitch Tonks’ ever-expanding group offers some of the most sustainable and downright delectable fish and chips in the country. Their line-caught Icelandic haddock and chips is the classic, a true burnished beauty. You also get unlimited chips.

Takeaway: Haddock and chips, £9.95 (

Oyster Shell, Bath, Somerset

A younger brother to Bath’s much-loved Scallop Shell, this award-winning chippie is quality obsessed. And it shows. All their fish are sustainably caught, the chips cut in house and the sauces home-made. Their batter is the stuff of fever dreams.

Takeaway: Cod and chips, £13.50 (

Harbour Lights, Falmouth, Cornwall

They buy their fish daily from Newlyn in Cornwall, from CWT (Cornish Wildlife Trust) and MSC-accredited boats. Equally important, they are masters of the deep fat fryer, ensuring sweet, succulent cod and haddock, as fine as you’ll taste anywhere.

Takeaway: Haddock, chips and mushy peas, £12.50 (

Chez Fred, Bournemouth, Dorset

Run by three generations of the Capel family since 1989, everything at Chez Fred is freshly prepared each day, from the fish (sustainably sourced) and chips (made from local farmers’ potatoes) to the much-loved mushy peas. A true Bournemouth beauty.

Takeaway: Cod, chips and mushy peas, £10.25 (

Codfather, Kingsbridge, Devon

Traditional fish and chips, with no bells and whistles, this is about good fish, expertly fried. The chips are amazing too. Adored by both chefs and punters alike, this is one offer you won’t want to refuse.

Takeaway: Cod, chips and mushy peas, £14 (01548 853 319)


Osbornes, Seaford, East Sussex

Perfectly situated just behind the beach, this Seaford classic lets its fish and chips, rather than the décor, do the talking. Everything is freshly made, the batter divine, and once you have your order, retire to the breach to scoff it down.

Takeaway: Cod and chips £9.50 (01323 891 779)

Aldeburgh Fish and Chips, Suffolk

Not just a Suffolk legend, but one of the most loved chippies in the country, owners Horace and Celia Cooney have been frying up their golden delights since 1967. The fish is locally caught, the potatoes locally dug and everything is fried in beef dripping. Bliss. They also own The Golden Galleon and The Upper Deck, where standards are equally high.

Takeaway: Haddock, chips and mushy peas £10.50 (

Henleys of Wivenhoe, Essex

One of my favourite fish and chip shops in the country, Henley’s is an Essex classic. Everything is sustainably sourced, and local, where possible. And they even have a wet fish counter, meaning you pick your fish before it’s dipped into their home-made batter, and lowered into the bubbling fat. Chips are every bit as splendid.

Takeaway: Cod and chips £11.90 (

Sandy’s, Folkstone, Kent

A family-run fish and chip shop a mere cod bite’s fling from Folkstone harbour, Sandy’s has been in the frying business for over 30 years. Value, quality and great service mean the place is perennially popular.

Takeaway: Cod and chips £11.50 (

The Fish House, Ely, Cambridgeshire

Small and perfectly formed, their state-of-the-art fryer still produces very traditional fish and chips. Spanking fresh fish, elegant batter and cracking chips. A legend and well worth the detour, wherever you are. Ask for extra scraps.

Takeaway: Haddock and chips £12.40 (01353 662 720)

Stones, Acton, London

We all know that London is not exactly known for great fish and chips. Ok, so Fish Lounge (in Herne Hill) and Molesey Fish Bar (near Hampton Court) are much loved, but Stones, in Acton, is a winner. Its fish is MSC-certified, its batter light and crisp, its chips fresh cut each day from Lancashire potatoes. A West London star.

Takeaway: Six cod and haddock surprise bites with chips £9.20 (

Maggie’s, Hastings, East Sussex

A few metres from Hasting’s Fisherman’s Beach, its fish is so local that it’s actually bought from the market below it. Not so much food miles as food metres. And the view is every bit as delectable as the cod and chips.

Takeaway: Cod and chips, £15.50 (

Ossie’s Fish and Chips, Whitstable, Kent

Run by Turkish couple Ozan and Elvan Bodur (who come from a family of fishermen), you’ll find flawless fish and chips. Take them away and eat them on the beach.

Takeaway: Cod, chips and mushy peas, £11 (


Anstruther Fish Bar, Fife

One of the most famous, and best-loved, fish and chip shops in the country. MSC-certified Scottish fish (and great batter), freshly made chips made from local potatoes, and a view over the harbour. 

Takeaway: Scottish haddock and chips, £12.40 (

Sea Salt and Sole, Aberdeen

Another of my favourite chippies, with four branches across Aberdeen, Sea Salt and Sole not only cooks up some of the best haddock I’ve eaten (as well as some damned good chips too) but sells magnificent pies from the local butcher too.

Takeaway: Panko-crumb haddock and chips, £11.60 (

The Fish Works, Largs, North Ayrshire

A worthy winner of multiple awards, this Scottish gem, with sweeping views of the West Coast of Scotland, uses locally sourced, sustainably caught fish, and envelops it in the most lovely and brittle of batters.

Takeaway: Langoustine scampi in batter with double-cooked chips, £11.80 (


The Mermaid Fish Bar, Barmouth, Gwynedd

The Mermaid has been delighting punters since 1964. Portions are huge, fish is flawless and the batter crisp and golden. Oh, and the tea is brewed in a proper metal pot. Owners Will and Nina Huntley wouldn’t have it any other way.

Takeaway: Cod and chips, £9 (

Enoch’s, Llandudno Junction, Conwy

Not only does Enoch’s have excellent, sustainably sourced fried fish from local suppliers Gwyn Morris and Sons but also plays a keen part in the community, sponsoring two local football teams. Lucky them. It also fries in a special blend high-oleic sunflower oil that is said to be good for your heart.

Takeaway: Plaice, chips and mushy peas, £10.75 (

Ship Deck, Caerphilly town

Winner of this year’s Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Awards, this relative newcomer (it opened in 2019) uses fresh, sustainably caught fish, as well as being obsessive about the quality of its potatoes. It describes itself as ‘traditional yet modern,’ and Ship Deck has quickly become a national chip shop player.

Takeaway: Seafood tray with haddock, hake, calamari, scampi, chips and mushy peas, £13.25 (


John Long’s, Belfast

I asked a few Belfast-based friends as to their favourite chippie. And they all replied the same – John Long’s. It’s the city’s longest-established fish and shop, and is even listed as one of the ‘7 wonders of Belfast’. Fresh fish, Maris Piper chips and its own homemade pasties. The place for a proper Belfast fish supper.

Takeaway: Cod and chips, £10.10 (

The Gallery, Annalong, County Down

Everything is prepared fresh on site at multi-award-winning The Gallery, from the batter and chips to puddings, scones and bread. The fish is all MSC-certified, and the place has been in business for more than 30 years. The locals definitely know a good thing when they taste it.

Takeaway: Baked haddock, chips and seasonal vegetables, £4.50 (

The Friary, Carrickfergus, County Antrim

As you’d expect, all the fish is MSC-certified, but the art is in the cooking. And it has the awards to show it. The menu is simple but well-executed and its fried fish will please purists and novices alike.

Takeaway: Portavogie scampi, £12.75 (