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It's an iconic British dish that tastes even better by the sea in summer. With our handy guide to the best chippie hotspots on the map, you will be guaranteed the full, hedonistic experience. We love nothing better than crisp batter, soft flakes of fresh fish and moreish chips. If you share our passion, read on.
Colmans Fish & Chips
This legendary South Shields chip shop and café has been in the same family since 1926, but it's never stood still. Its original coal-fired fryers are long gone, usurped by high-spec, ultra-modern Kiremko ranges that produce dishes such as real scampi (made using Whitby Bay langoustine tails) or Thai-style prawn fishcakes. An early proponent of sustainability, Colmans uses day-boat fish for its seasonal specials such as line-caught North Atlantic haddock and cod approved by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council). Both are cooked in a top-secret batter. Eat-in, meals around £9.
Another pioneer in seafood sustainability (and a long-term MSC affiliate), this seafront takeaway in Stonehaven near Aberdeen has always been equally focused on finessing the quality of its fish ‘n’ chips. Owner Calum Richardson is so well-respected in this field that the swanky Edinburgh seafood restaurant, Ondine, even uses his batter recipe for its deep-frying. Served with richly savoury chips cooked in beef dripping, the Bay’s haddock supper is knockout — and do not miss its smoked haddock fishcakes. Meals around £7.
Burton Road Chippy
Proper homemade mushy peas (a silken joy!), rigorous frying-to-order and its renowned fat, crisp and fluffy chips - made from carefully stored and prepared, locally-grown Maris Pipers - are just some of the many plusses that have made this Lincoln takeaway café officially Britain’s second-best chippy. (It was runner-up in the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards.) In many ways, Burton Road is the perfect blend of old and new. All its cod and haddock is MSC-compliant, while its menu runs from pickled eggs to hand-cut, panko-coated squid. Eat-in, meals around £9.
Combining fishmongers, takeaways and cafés, these two smartly seaside-themed branches of Cod’s Scallops offer a modish fish ‘n’ chip experience that will wow fastidious foodies (note: local Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains is a fan). Pick your fillets from a wet fish counter – where choices include MSC cod and haddock and day-boat landed seafood – before having it fried-to-order in beef dripping, or baked with garlic and lemon. Seasonal specials range from grilled sardines and Colchester Native oysters to marinières-style wild sea mussels and, in winter, a serious fish soup that starts with a base of soy sauce and roasted fish bones. Eat-in, meals around £8.
Awards are one thing and Hodgson's has won many since it opened in 1998. For instance, it was this year’s North West champ in the National Fish & Chip Awards. But, at peak times, this MSC-accredited Lancaster takeaway also has a queue of eager locals at the counter, which, more than anything else, is the ultimate testament to a chip shop’s consistency and quality. Expect greaseless fish with an almost tempura-light batter and rustling, buttery chips, as well as delicious, homemade Yorkshire-style fish cakes — that is, a kind of fish-filled, fried potato sandwich. Meals around £5.
The Fish Shed
Part of the vast Darts Farm food hall in Topsham near Exeter, the Fish Shed is a site of pilgrimage for chip shop connoisseurs. Opened by a local scallop diver, it sources through a tight network of Lyme Bay day-boats so that the fish it serves have usually been landed within the last 12 hours. Snazzy dishes such as lobster, scallops with bacon or salsa verde and well-honed standards like beer-battered haddock with beef-dripping-cooked chips combine to make this one of the UK’s very best chip shops. They'll also grill your fish or swap those chips for a leafy green salad. Meals around £9.
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