By Danielle Tucker, Belvoir Media
What makes a great fish and chips I hear you ask? And why might you want to indulge in fish and chips in London? In this article we’ll take a deep (fried) dive into some of the most enticing fish and chips available in the city, from the classic basic takeaway, to some elitist takes produced in top-rated restaurants. We’ll leave no fillet unturned. You’ll be sure to find the best fish and chips in London with this ultimate guide.
A short history of fish and chips in London
In true British style, the history of fish and chips comes from a mixing of cultures and really culminated during the industrial revolution. Researchers from the National Federation of Fish Friers have established that fried fish was first introduced to London by Jewish immigrants from Portugal and Spain probably as far back as the 17th Century, and fried potatoes as chips likely originate from Belgium. According to historians, fish and chips were first served together as a complete dish around 1860 with the Malin family of London and the Lee’s of Mossley, near Manchester both staking claims to be the first.
Furthermore, understanding the significance of fish and chips to Britain’s working classes, the government ensured that they were one of the few foods which was never rationed during both World Wars, helping to feed the workforce and keep the country going through tough times. It’s even been argued that fish and chips helped Britain win the wars!
With the likelihood that fish and chips originated in London and even helped Britain win major wars, it’s no wonder that this delicious dish is so famously associated with the Capital.
1. Rock & Sole Plaice, Camden
Phone number: 020 7836 3785
Address: 47 Endell St, London, WC2H 9AJ
Keeping it historical by starting with the oldest fish and chip shop in London; Rock & Sole Plaice was established in 1871. Aside from serving Britain’s staple dish, the building also served as a meeting place for community volunteers and sheltered Londoner’s during the Blitz. They take pride in their high standards which have been upheld for over 150 years, and with an unrivalled history, this chippy just had to make the list.
2. Toff’s of Muswell Hill, Haringey
Phone number: 020 8883 8656
Next is another classic chip shop. Toff’s has been voted best fish and chip shop in the UK more than once. When you get to know them, it’s easy to understand why. Not only do they serve some incredible food, but they’re also aware of their environmental impact. Toff’s are members of the Good Catch Initiative. They have a policy to only use fully grown fish from suppliers who can trace them back to the trawlers as well as how they were caught and what fishing methods they used. Sustainability is all the rage right now, and we’re very impressed with this philosophy.
3. The Golden Chippy, Greenwich
Phone number: 020 8692 4333
The Golden Chippy ranked on TripAdvisor as the best chip shop in London in 2022. One reviewer described it as “the best, best, best ever” and multiple reviews comment on how friendly and happy the staff are. With extra points for inclusivity, they even offer halal and gluten free options upon request!
4. Brockley’s Rock, Lewisham
Phone number: 0208 694 1441
Address: 317 Brockley Road, Brockley, SE4 2QZ
Sticking to the theme of inclusivity, Brockley’s Rock offers a number of vegan options on their menu, including vegan fish steak. So if “fish are friends, not food”, you can still enjoy the classic dish! On top of that, they have a kids menu so everyone feels included. Marketing itself as an eat-in restaurant (which does takeaway too), it’s not the cheapest place to satisfy your craving. However, it’s definitely worth a visit if you want fish and chips, without the fish, or you have little ones to feed!
5. Every Fish Bar, Harrow
Phone number: 0203 754 6900
As well as offering vegan options on their extensive menu, which includes options for children, Every Fish Bar in Harrow also caters for anyone preferring halal and gluten free fish and chips. With some lovely reviews from customers on their website, and offering eat-in or takeaway options, this place seems to have it all.
6. The Golden Hind, Westminster
Phone number: 0207 486 3644
Address: 71a-73 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2PN
Marketed as a fish and chips restaurant in the heart of Marylebone Village, The Golden Hind has served its customers for over 100 years. It boasts seven different types of fish on its menu, including the typical cod and haddock. Being a proper restaurant, it’s definitely on the pricey side for fish and chips, although the quality does match the cost. If you love both fish and chips and eating out at nice places then The Golden Hind is win-win.
7. Poppie’s, Spitalfield’s, Soho & Camden
Phone number: 0203 161 1422
Address: 6-8 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR, UK
With three thriving locations across the city, Poppie’s features on just about every online list of favourite fish and chips in London. When retiree Pat “Pop” Newland founded Poppie’s, he wanted to give his customers a taste of the old East End, and you don’t have to look far to see the charm of his little chain of chippies. Poppie’s seriously take pride in doing things properly and declare themselves to be experts at all things fish and chips. They take care to explain the oils used in their cooking, and boast a welcoming community, as well as a wine menu! While Poppie’s isn’t the cheapest takeaway option, the nostalgia of a classic old fashioned chippy, accompanied by the memorabilia which decorates the diner sure makes up for it. It is certainly a contender for an Instagrammable spot in London.
8. North Sea Fish, Camden
Phone number: 0207 387 5892
Address: 7/8 Leigh Street, London, WC1H 9EW
Starting life as a modest little takeaway, North Sea Fish was repurchased in 1977 and quickly developed into a thriving family run restaurant. So ingrained in the framework of London, North Sea Fish is actually one of the landmarks featured in ‘the knowledge’ test taken by London cabbies! The restaurant’s ethos is to serve the best fish and chips around in comfortable surroundings with impeccable service, and they surely seem to live up to their own standards. Coupled with its prominent location (check out our guide to charity shops in Camden) and mouth watering fresh fish, North Sea Fish also offers a discount to cabbies in a nod to their expertise in locating the restaurant! Also, as a bonus point for Millennials who hate to use the phone, the restaurant’s website allows customers to order online. Phew!
9. Golden Union, Soho
Phone number: 020 7458 4411
Address: 38 Poland St, London W1F 7LY
Serving real British comfort food in the heart of Soho since 2008, Golden Union ensures all their fish is caught responsibly and sustainably. This no-frills restaurant focuses primarily on the quality of their good ole fish and chips. Despite their basic concept, Golden Union not only has an entire additional plant-based menu, but they explicitly acknowledge no less than 14 different allergens on their menus so anyone and everyone can rest assured that their meal is safe as well as delicious. Although they do admit preferring a £10 minimum spend per person, as well as adding a service charge to bills, the transparency is appreciated, and the quality of the food and the inclusivity more than makes up for it.
10. Codfellas, Peckham
Phone number: 020 7657 5287
Address: 125 Bellenden Rd, London SE15 4QY
In addition to serving all the classic options, including 10 different types of fish, Codfellas also offers customers battered halloumi cheese! On top of that they have an extensive vegan section on their menu, as well as a number of intriguing vegetarian options, and they proudly advertise that 100% of their food is halal. Their pricing is fairly considerate and customer reviews definitely point in their favour! Be sure to grab a pint for the full London experience.
11. Olley’s Fish Experience, Brixton
Phone number: 0208 671 8259
Named for Oliver Twist, whose author Charles Dickens referred to fish and chips in the famous novel, and with more than one site declaring Olley’s as the best fish and chips in Brixton, we couldn’t ignore the power of the people. Olley’s Fish Experience offers plentiful helpings, with the option of fried or steamed fish, so you don’t have to feel guilty! Gluten-free battered fish is also available, and if you register with them online you can receive a £5 voucher!
12. Sea Horse Fish Bar, Earlsfield
Phone number: 0208 947 7465
Address: 446 Garratt Lane, SW18 4HL
Revered by customers for being affordable but still delicious, Sea Horse Fish Bar has some excellent reviews both on and offline. The friendly and helpful service of the staff appears to be a common remark of regulars, as well as forgiving portion sizes. There’s a lot to be said for a big portion of classic fish and chips, served with a smile!
13. Sutton & Sons, Stoke Newington, Islington & Hackney Central
Phone number: 020 7249 6444
Address: 90 Stoke Newington High St, N16 7NY
Boasting 3 separate locations, family-run Sutton & Sons claim to have been sourcing only the finest and freshest fish for almost 20 years. As well as the classic dish, Sutton & Sons also serve local ale brewed in Hackney, to complete the London experience. With seasonal additions to their menu, including pigs in blankets at Christmas time, this chain is definitely worth checking out!
14. Gigs Fish & Chips, Fitzrovia
Phone number: 020 7636 1424
Address: 12 Tottenham Street, W1T 4RE
Established in 1958, Gigs is a true traditional British chip shop. Owned by Cypriots, they take pride in cooking their grilled foods over real wood charcoal, and only use the highest quality ground nut oil in their fried products. It’s the little things that make the difference in our opinion. Owing to their culture, their classic fish and chips are served alongside kebabs and Mediterranean meze dishes, giving Gigs’ that little extra something to keep you coming back for more!
15. The Seashell of Lisson Grove, Marylebone
Phone number: 0207 224 9000
London: 49-51 Lisson Grove, NW1 6UH
The Seashellis currently one of London’s busiest fish and chips restaurants, and it’s no wonder with the likes of Alain Ducasse (famous chef) and Mary J Blige, among others, as notable customers. We’re certainly impressed! Another restaurant with special treatment for its customers at Christmas, The Seashell actually serves its own fish-and-chips take on Christmas dinner on the big day, complete with vegan options and dessert!
16. Hook, Camden
Phone number: 0207 482 0475
Address: 63-65 Parkway, NW1 7PP
Reopening soon, with sustainable fishing practises a priority for Irish-owned Hook, you can rest assured that your fish and chips has the approval of the environment. Offering fresh Cornish fish and only British potatoes, Hook has the extra edge with the option of panko battered fish for a healthier choice, as well as seaweed salted chips for a fancy little umami flair.
17. Seventeen, Balham
Phone number: 0203 417 4210
Address: 17 Chestnut Grove, SW12 8JA
This hipster venue not only appeals to those who enjoy interior design, but also to those who love large portions of fish and chips in a comfortable atmosphere. Reviewers of Seventeen comment on how even simple sides like onion rings and scampi are perfectly fried and super-crisp – an added bonus!
18. fish!, Borough Market
Phone number: 020 3376 6002
Maintaining the same policy since it opened in 1999, fish! strives to always serve sustainably sourced, fresh fish, cooked in front of its customers in a simple and classic way. Having been refurbished since the 90s the restaurant appears considerably upmarket these days, with prices to match. The quality however, cannot be denied. Although not the best place for veggies or vegans, with 5 choices of battered fish, including a catch of the day, featuring on their extensive menu, this restaurant is a must if you’re after a fancy version of the classic fish and chips.
19. The Real Greek, Covent Garden
Phone number: 0207 240 2292
Address: 60-62 Long Acre, WC2E 9JL
Whilst a Greek restaurant isn’t the first place you might expect to find a great British classic, rest assured The Real Greek’s fish and chips is purported to be one of the best in the city. With affordable prices, Mediterranean dishes making up the rest of the menu, and kids eating free during some school holidays, this restaurant is a real people pleaser. Not to mention its convenient location, right in the heart of London.
20. Masters Superfish, South Bank
Phone number: 0207 928 6924
Address: 191 Waterloo Rd, SE1 8UX
With some great reviews by both locals and tourists, Masters Superfish is a favourite eat-in fish and chips venue. Having been in the business for over 30 years they know how to please their customers, providing only quality fish, crunchy chips, and a plethora of condiments and extras for diners to enjoy!
21. Nautilus, West Hampstead
Phone number: 0207 435 2532
Address: 27-29 Fortune Green Rd, NW6 1DU
Coating their fish in matzo breadcrumbs, Nautilus offers its customers a unique take on the classic battered fish with chips. On top of that, for those with specific tastes, customers have the option of under-fried or golden chips. And to finish, there’s an exciting dessert menu with choices like “bombed by chocolate” which certainly adds intrigue!
22. Bert’s Fish Bar, Old Kent Road
Phone number: 0207 703 6601
Address: 354 East St, SE17 2SX
Offering perfectly cooked fish, and decades of expertise, it’s no wonder that Bert’s is a favourite among Londoners. Well-known for thick batter and leaving customers with that familiar overly full feeling, this takeaway has some excellent reviews, particularly raving over the quality of the chips; handsome, bronzed and decadent.
23. The Original Fish and Chip Company, Wimbledon
Phone number: 0208 871 4454
Address: 255 Wimbledon Park Road, SW19 6NW
Despite some mixed reviews, The Original Fish and Chip Company still seems to be a favourite for many. On top of the classic fish and chips, this establishment also serves sushi for those who feel a little fancy! The establishment’s location is what really lends to its popularity, due to its proximity to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. As well as fast service and friendly staff, this chippy is popular among tourists, likely for its location.
24. Micky’s Chippy, Stoke Newington
Phone number: 0207 275 8530
Address: 2 Pellerin Rd, N16 8AT
Having served the local community for over 25 years, Micky’s is certainly a favourite in East London. Noted for serving all the classics and being affordable at the same time, they also boast fast service. Everything you look for in a classic chippy, it’s not necessarily the best choice in London, but the locals love it, and that has to be a good sign!
25. Fladda Fish & Chips, Camberwell
Phone number: 0208 127 6297
With bread and butter, gravy, and battered halloumi featuring as extras on the menu, Fladda Fish & Chips definitely knows how to make the customers happy! On top of that, affordable prices, fast service and friendly staff make getting a takeaway here a delightful experience. While they don’t have an online menu (forgivable for a chippy), reviews do note anchovy mayonnaise and minty mushy peas as memorable menu choices – don’t knock it until you try it!
While London may not be as famous as Northern cities or the South Coast for its fish and chips, with an incredible array of places to choose from, it certainly puts up the fight for offering the best fish and chips in the country! London’s quintessential fast-food can be found on almost every other street, and while every Londoner will swear that their favourite chippy is the best one around, it’s obvious that each establishment has its own credits.
Let us know if you try any of the restaurants featured in this article, and which one you think is the best fish and chips in London!