Across the Caribbean, posters decorate signposts, bar counters, taxi seats, and any other nook and cranny available, all in the service of advertising Fish Friday parties and functions. Gathering at any space imaginable — be it a beach, front yard or car park — these community events are centred on music and a grand, fish-based cook up. With its roots dating back to Christian abstinence from meat on the day of Jesus’ death, the tradition has lasted to the present day, though most Fish Friday events now heavily feature meat. Here in the U.K., the Caribbean community has imported the tradition, and many takeaways and restaurants offer vivid takes on the weekly occasion.Read More
9 Fantastic Fish Fridays to Try in London
Where to enjoy the weekly Caribbean staple, with escovitch prawns, fried sprats, steamed fish, and more
1. DanDans Caribbean Restaurant and Takeaway
London E4 8LP, UK
Dan Dans on Chingford Mount has proven to be an Island food solace for the people of Essex, and the London transplants of Caribbean descent that moved there and found the lack of home comfort food distressing. At the end of the working week the “Fish Fryday” whips up meals that look like they come straight out of Kingston. Lobster and fish alongside soft and sweet fried festival dumplings are a proven hit, as well the classic combo of steamed fish swimming in slimy okra and heavy steamed vegetables. A rarely seen jerk salmon is an easy way to start.
2. Caribbean Hand
With the surge in economy that football has brought to this northern end of London, many Caribbean restaurants nearby are seeing a benefit in custom. Caribbean Hand in Edmonton has created a British twist to its Friday offerings with its fish and chips offering that goes beyond just a bland fish batter and instead substitutes in an ever changing selection of Caribbean spiced fried fish. In addition to this, a street food favourite across Jamaica, fish tea, is dealt out at record speed, as well as fiery pepper prawns that are served both as finger food and swimming in curry.
3. Juicy Roots
Though based in north London, Juicy Roots is almost as deeply rooted in west London lore with its long standing presence in the capital’s world famous Notting Hill Carnival, grilling up a varied selection of jerk meats. Fridays at the restaurant are of coursed focused on fish, and the offerings are as eclectic as anywhere else. Chicken is switched out for fish in the front-running brown stew, while the more veteran aficionados opt for the likes of sea bass and sea bream all served up with a choice of white rice or rice and peas.
4. Yum Yum Caribbean Cuisine
London N7 7LL, UK
Yum Yum is a relatively new addition to the Caribbean food scene with multiple locations in north and east London; clean fresh décor and great service have led to quickly become a crowd favourite. Nowhere is this seen more vehemently than on ‘Seafood Fridays,’ where a whole additional section of the menu comes alive. A truly grand variety stems from tilapia, escovitch and steamed fish in addition to crustacean wonders like curry king prawns, curry crab legs, grilled lobster, jerked prawns and a leading lobster in coconut and white wine sauce. All are accompanied by rice, and a daily selection of hard food which consists of choices between boiled green banana, dumplings and yam.
5. Fulljoy Sea Food Restaurant London
This restaurant proudly sitting in the middle of a burgeoning Lower Clapton road is slightly cheating since everyday is Fish Friday at Full Joy. While fish options at other joints are reserved mainly for Fridays here full seafood meals with all the trimmings are served week round. The crowd favourite of steamed sea bass, here looks like its been plucked right out of Kingston’s famous Hellshire beach and served in this corner of east London. Complete with thick water crackers to soak up the droopy okra greens and the popular cassava based bammy helping to ease it all down.
London E5 8HB, UK
In a rapidly changing Hackney Central, Roan & Beverly’s R&B’s is a relic of a past time. Open for more than a quarter century, the husband and wife couple behind the shop have been the local neighbourhood’s kitchen since opening. Fridays see the transparent counter adorned with a seafood spread to make the mouth water. Tiny sprats that are devoured like popcorn sit alongside golden battered saltfish fritters, fried escovich fish, festivals and fried dumplings. There’s no forced menu here so pick and choose!
London SE4 1SY, UK
The Honeypot based on the stretch of road between New Cross and Lewisham centre in southeast London has been a local legend since the 1980s. Providing much needed sustenance for locals during the week, on Friday nights the road and opposite green combined with cars of punters booming old time hits provides a space that truly feels like back on the islands. On Fridays fresh fish is sourced from the not too far Billingsgate Market, and chefs are bussed in for the weekly Fish Friday occasion. From 6p.m., incredible platters of lobster, garlic and pepper prawns, roast and fried snapper, steamed fish and more are served up either plated for dining or in take away trays that glow silver.
8. Moorish Grill
Here, another growing local Caribbean chain with a growing fan group in the British capital. This time in south London. Moorish Grill, originating in the far reaches of Crystal Palace has been delivering island spice to British suburbia for some years now. At the end of the working week, its self-titled ‘Fish Friday Mayhem’ takes over with cars parked up for yards and yards.
Also at 15 Selhurst Road, London SE25 5PP
9. Mango Bottoms
Mango Bottoms in South London’s Balham looks to offer a rare sit down dining experience to go with Caribbean food in a scene that is dominated by takeout spots. Whilst Thursday nights are reserved for an ever popular vegan night, all that is swept aside the following day for a taste of seafood.