If a plate of food exists that chips can’t improve, Eater has yet to find it. Weather-wise, they’re also the perfect transitional side: summery enough to eat with the fingers if the sun ever comes out, but spirit-bolstering if the endless winter that London is currently enduring persists. From haute cheesy chips to super-skinny frites and chippie classics, these are simply the best the city has to offer.Read More
15 Outstanding Places to Eat Chips In London
From chippie chips, fries, shoestring, beef dripping-fried and bloody mary-salted, this is the ultimate list
1. Shoestring fries at Black Axe Mangal
London N1 2UP, UK
The Reuben has proved the ‘gram-grabbing component of BAM’s weekend brunch menu (the pickles! That rarebit sauce!) But in its own way, the accompanying tangle of crisp, judiciously seasoned shoestring fries is just as much of a triumph of engineering — or so says Eater London’s own Michael Wolff, George Reynolds, who recently put them through their paces: “So fine,” was his verdict, “yet so potatoey.”
2. Plaquemine Lock
At Jacob Kenedy’s Louisiana-meets-Islington pub, the punchily seasoned fries act as a delicious bridge between the two principal components of the lunchtime special: a six-inch or foot-long po’ boy (go for the shrimp, or hogshead and pickled okra) and a cup of peppery gumbo. Stuff into the first, dunk them into the second. They also go nicely with the buttermilk fried chicken and the jambalaya.
3. Fish Central
“Possibly the freshest fish in London,” proclaims Fish Central. Happily, the chips are the business too. A hit since 1968, it’s hidden away in an out-of-the-way shopping precinct off Goswell Road, and is always packed; booking is strongly advised. Spud-wise, there’s no reinvented wheel here, but everything’s exactly as it should be: the chips are hand-cut and portions are gargantuan. Pair them with the perfectly flaky cod, which comes deep-fried, grilled, or crumbed in matzo meal.
4. Cyprus Potato Chips at Oklava
Twitter exploded when Nigella Lawson, the high priestess of comfort carbohydrates, declared these to be her favourite London chips. Sprinkled with chilli salt and served with proper garlic-and-herb mayonnaise, they hold their own on the turn-it-up-to-eleven menu at Selin Kiazim’s modern Turkish restaurant in Shoreditch — the obvious choice to accompany the charcoal-grilled chicken. Hopes are high, then, for the chip offering at sister restaurant Kyseri, set to open in Fitzrovia in May.
5. The Coach
For Tim Hayward, the search is over. “London’s best chip,” he announced in his FT review of The Coach, Henry Harris’s first major opening since Racine bowed out in 2015. The Clerkenwell boozer-cum-dining room prides itself on executing classics faultlessly, which, yes, includes the chips — they’re Betjeman-burnished and have an exceptional, almost Kettle-like crunch, which gives way to a fluffy dream of an interior. The kitchen’s Franco-British mission statement finds its fullest expression when they’re paired with the onglet and bone-marow butter, but honestly, they’re good with everything.
6. Triple-cooked Chips at Hawksmoor
Unlike so many wannabe usurpers cluttering up pub menus, Hawksmoor’s triple-cooked chips have actually been cooked three times: once in boiling water and twice in the fryer. The end — shatteringly crisp nuggets of gold somewhere between a chip and a roastie — certainly justifies the laborious means. Shunning traditional single-chip strategies, they also offer beef-dripping fries. Get both with the surf-n-turf (a 300g fillet steak and a grilled half lobster with garlic butter) for a delicious study in duality.
7. The Fryer's Delight
London WC1X 8SL, UK
Long before decimalisation, this Clerkenwell chippy was a place of pilgrimage for starchy carb connoisseurs. Again, dripping plays a crucial role in the substantial, compellingly meaty end result (they’ll also fry in vegetable oil on request). Portions are unfashionably vast, and the bread comes pre-buttered in wedges, all the better for making butties with. Miraculously, the photogenic Formica tabletops and chequerboard floor — 1960s originals — haven’t yet resulted in the queue being clogged up by an embolism of influencers.
8. Fat Chips With Bloody Mary Salt at The Wigmore
London W1B 3DE, UK
Eyebrows were raised last year when a slick new “tavern” appeared next to the Langham Hotel with a menu steered by Michel Roux Jr. But if chips are a litmus test, The Wigmore passes with flying colours — these are the real, er, McCoy. As chunky as Lego and pleasingly irregular, they work as well on their own with a pint as they do with one of the pies. Far from being pseudy faffing, the Bloody Mary salt is an inspired addition — imagine the flavour profile of ketchup, but without the sogginess.
9. Rosemary Salted Chips at Honest Burgers
The undisputed mid-range champion. Honest’s “secret” recipe comes from co-founder Tom Barton (who came up with it at 2am after a pub shift), and the spuds come from a fifth-generation potato farmer in West Sussex. On the slim side, they nevertheless nail the coveted juxtaposition of a floury interior with a satisfyingly loud crunch (not improved, it must be said, by a trip on a Deliveroo bike; eat in, or not at all). Best enjoyed alongside the Tribute, Honest’s nod to a you-know-what: a medium-pink beef patty with bacon, American cheese, burger sauce, French’s mustard, pickles, onion and lettuce. [With twenty-three branches across London, these ones are easy to find.]
10. Fries at Parsons
What’s a fish restaurant without chips? Parsons has been universally applauded for its small plates (sea-trout tartare; prawns, Little Gem and battered samphire) and daily specials scribbled on the tiles — and luckily, the fries make the grade too. When he visited earlier this year they were, to a besotted Jay Rayner, what porridge was to Baby Bear: not too thick, not too thin, snappably crisp and rustling invitingly. Go for textural contrast by ordering them with the brown crab pissaladière, or stick with the fried theme and get several rounds of potted shrimp croquettes.
11. Quo Vadis
Jeremy Lee’s chips make a fine friend for dressed crab or a smoked-eel sandwich, but it’s at the bar that they really come into their own. Chunkier than average and served with just ketchup and (very good) mayo, they’re purpose-built for soaking up the martinis, Manhattans and half-bottles of merlot that flow freely at Quo Vadis. Consumed in sufficient quantity, these are the difference between going to work on Friday feeling a bit fuzzy and waking up with your head stuck in the railings outside Soho Square.
12. Le Bab
London W1B 5PW, UK
Since opening in 2015, Le Bab have been proving it’s possible to make high-end kebabs without being a totally tone-deaf about it. Positioned somewhere between après-ski and après-Scala, their double-cooked fries come with their own pan of molten cheese sauce. Dip them into it delicately with a raised pinky-finger, or go down the poutine route and pour the whole lot on top. No word as yet on whether they’ll be served at sibling Maison Bab — soon to open in Covent Garden opposite Temper Three.
13. Beef Dripping Chips at The Guinea Grill
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a perfect Porterhouse must be in want of Serious Chips. The Guinea Grill’s, like everything at the Mayfair steakhouse, feel authentic — they look and taste like potatoes should (not always a given). What really gives them the edge, though, over the other excellent starch-based sides — horseradish mash, Guinea gratin potatoes — is the fact they provide an excuse to order gallons of the béarnaise, which is, by some distance, the best sauce in the world to have with chips.
14. Beef Dripping Chips at Blacklock
Beef dripping is very much on brand at Blacklock, where the menu reads like Animal Farm. Crisp without and fluffy within, Midas-hued and perfectly seasoned, the chips cooked in it are justifiably famous. Blacklock is especially worth a visit on ‘Butcher Price Monday’, when the likes of Barnsley chops and tomahawks are up for grabs at cost price – the Soho original’s chips are just as good, but given the patchiness of the Square Mile’s spud coverage, this is where Eater’s hanging its hat.
15. Fish Lounge
London SW2 1AA, UK
At the end of the night, this neat little place glows oasis-like on Brixton Hill. Thoroughly spick and span (Mary Poppins doesn’t do chippies — but if she did...), its fish is the freshest for miles around, and the chips are those of happy childhood memory: fluffy, piping hot and chunky enough to pack into a knapsack and take rockpooling (or on the N3). As well as proper tea there’s Fentiman’s pop with which to wash them down— or, for those unwilling to admit defeat at chucking-out time, it offers BYO.