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The Fryer’s Delight is still serving some of London’s best fish and chips George Reynolds/Eater London

Where to Get London’s Best Fish and Chips

The freshly fried fish, the bronzed chips, the pickled wallys and the mushy peas — fish and chips is the ultimate takeaway food

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It’s time to have an honest conversation about the London chippy. That London’s fish and chip scene can’t compete with those in the north of England, Scotland, or the coastal towns where salty chips and saline air provide an experience tethered to geography is obvious. But the scarcity of great fish and chip shops in the centre is also proof that no Londoner has ever found themselves there, thinking: “I’d love some fish and chips right now”. Fish and chips is home food; it’s food that feeds a community. Whole areas of London — Muswell Hill, Brockwell, Bromley — dine out on one good fish and chip shop that locals can proudly claim as their own.

The existence of great local fish and chips shops acknowledges a truth: The best way to consume fish and chips is ideally lounging horizontally, watching something bad on TV. For this, it is imperative that the chippy be within 5-10 minutes of home, within the radius of the one government-mandated walk per day. The pandemic has another unintended, wholly-positive side-effect: the lack of demand for fish and chips means that every single fillet of fish, every single golden chip, is being fried fresh to order. No more waiting on the counter going stale. No more having to eyeball the rack and work out if that haddock really did come out of the fryer two minutes ago.

So pile on all the condiments, chuck in some mushy peas, some pickled wallys, bread and butter, a battered saveloy. It may be childhood nostalgia, it may be the cholesterol, but this is one of the few meals left that still feels like a treat every time.

London’s restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars reopen for full indoor service from 19 July, when the government lifts all legal coronavirus restrictions. Some venues will continue to practice social distancing and masking: Customers can check with individual venues to determine their availability and Covid-secure measures before deciding to visit.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Fryer's Delight

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19 Theobalds Rd, Holborn
London WC1X 8SL, UK

Like most of London’s pie and mash shops, The Fryer’s Delight is one of those places that should be treasured for its cultural importance, against the secret wish that it were better than it actually is. To nip this in the bud: the fish and chips are alright. The batter on the fish always looks slightly like a fossilised rock, and if the chips weren’t fried in beef dripping they would be middling. Even the tallow is questionable: is that a particularly beefy tang or just old oil? The experience is what it’s all about here: the formica, the black and white tiles, the cod in bowler hat mascot, the fact that The Fryer’s Delight is not a chippy, but a caff that happens to serve fish and chips. It’s possible to get the works for about £7-8 sitting down, less if foregoing mushy peas, which would be a mistake: the mushy peas are an essential reminder that all brief joy can only be put into context next to the unremitting blandless of existence. Also, order the fried chicken. While the fish is merely decorative, the chicken is unexpectedly great — an unholy matrimony of beef and chicken fat, all puffed and crisped up like a confit. Order it and never go back to cod again.

2. Fish Central

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149-155 Central St, King Square
London EC1V 8AP, UK

Central, yet in the middle of nowhere, Fish Central is one of a select few London chippies in a tier just below actually going to the coast or moving North. Located on an estate just off Central Street, it’s run by Greek-Cypriots preserving British traditions, like most of the oldest fish and chip shops in the city. In Fish Central’s case it’s owned by George Digby, who can still be found frying the fish or expertly tossing the chips in salt. Cod and haddock are usually fried fresh to order and steam gently inside their exoskeleton of batter, meaning they actually taste like fish. A restaurant is attached but one of London’s great pleasures, in sunshine or in the cold, is to take the package outside, unwrap it like a Christmas present, and greedily eat the steaming chips out on the Barbican concrete.

3. FLADDA Fish & Chips

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55 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell
London SE5 8TR, UK

A good fish and chip shop has to understand what fish and chips is about. There is no point trying to gussy it up. If trawling the absolute best fish and willing to pay for it, why chuck it in a deep fat fryer? No one wants ikejime battered haddock. Fladda in Camberwell gets this, but isn’t shy to make improvements and alterations. Anonymous ‘chip shop’ sausages and pert, scarlet saveloys sit alongside battered sausages from The Butchery; homemade steak and ale pies alongside Pukka; whole fish fillets alongside a £5 fish bites and chips deal celebrating fish off-cuts that Josh Niland could be proud off. There is bread and butter. There is gravy. There is battered halloumi. Everything is expertly fried, with burnished, golden brown crunchy chips ... and... Are those scraps in the back? On hearing the words “anchovy mayo,” it’s even possible to forgive the mint in the mushy peas.

4. Micky's Chippy

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2 Pellerin Rd, Stoke Newington
London N16 8AT, UK
020 7275 8530

There are more famous fish and chip restaurants in east London, but in the spirit of local chippies, Dalston residents could do worse than Micky’s Chippy on Pellerin Road, a neighbourhood fixture that has been serving the community for 25 years. Having changed hands somewhat back in 2018, the team has stayed on and the quality hasn’t dipped. The fish is fried to order, the oil clean, the mushy peas their proper, unnatural hue, the saveloy skins so taut they could take an eye out, the curry sauce correct, the banter on point (and also sometimes in Greek and Turkish.) Is it the best fish and chips in the world, or even in London? No, but it is competitive with many more famous names in east London, gets the spirit right, and does so for £8.90.

5. The Golden Hind

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71a, 73 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone
London W1U 2PN, UK

Walk into Marylebone’s The Golden Hind and on the left there is a board documenting the effect immigration has had on fish and chips development: First three Italian owners, then two Greek, now in the hands of Antonakis Christou, who has been at the helm since 2002. The hand on the fryer is light here, with more filigree batter. This tactic works better on the fish than on the chips: the fish still retains its flavour and the batter follows the line of the fish exactly, hugging it like a crisp, tailored suit, whereas the chips never descend into decadence in the way the best examples do. In a nod to the Italian/Greek heritage, the must order item on the entire menu may actually be the deep-fried fritters of cheese, feta or mozzarella, salty and sinful, arriving as oozing Kubrickian monoliths.

6. Masters Superfish

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191 Waterloo Rd, South Bank
London SE1 8UX, UK

An official ranking of how to eat fish and chips? Number one: on a sofa with oily hands; number two: on a wall somewhere within a five minute walk of the chip shop, trying to balance condiments, a paper cone of chips and an unwieldy fried fish in oily and possibly dirty hands. Somewhere at the bottom: in an actual restaurant, with a knife and fork. Masters will remain one of the few exceptions to this rule. Sitting down carries the same ritual of Mark Renton laying out all his utensils: little, cold prawns in their shells, sliced baguette, packs of butter, wallys, pickled onions, cup of tea, goblets of ketchup and tartare. All this before the fish and chips actually arrive, with thirty years of experience behind them: crunchy, tanned chips, fish covered in batter to eat just by itself. Ignore the mustard fried option. Masters really is that rare thing: a tourist trap that is actually good.

7. Golden Chippy

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62 Greenwich High Rd, Greenwich
London SE10 8LF, UK

It’s a small quirk of London that nearly every major chippy — Toff’s, Fish Central, Golden Hind, Brockley’s Rock — is run by Greek-Cypriots. The reasons for this are unclear, although it doesn’t take a detective to work out that a group of people, who could batter seafood before they could speak, came over to the UK and quickly saw an easy way to assimilate into the culture The Golden Chippy massively breaks this strong tradition: it is ... Turkish-Cypriot. Despite being voted #1 on Tripadvisor in the days when this meant slightly more than nothing, the fish and chips themselves are great, if sometimes needing more heavy handed seasoning. Oddly, the banana fritters impress the most. Here they arrive like yogurtlu adana in their ovular tray, logs of carefully battered banana, not a trace of grease in sight, cheap whipped cream as yoghurt, cinnamon standing in for chilli flakes and a drizzling of caramel. The crunch of the well-seasoned batter yields to perfectly molten banana, the richness of the caramel is cut through by the sandy warmth of the cinnamon. There is a sprig of mint to signal it was made by someone who cares. In short: a minor miracle.

8. Nautilus

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27-29 Fortune Green Rd, West Hampstead
London NW6 1DU, UK
020 7435 2532

Nautilus is good enough to base a ritual around, where almost nothing has changed in 40 years, not least the dessert menu which boasts delights such as ‘Tarta Fantastica’ and ‘Bombed by Chocolate’. Expect to see them making a comeback at a cool Italian-inspired wine bar once the pandemic is over. The fish, unlike every other fish on this list, is fried in matzo, which means the coating adheres snugly to the flesh.. The frying is technically precise, in a similar league to 40 Maltby Street’s gossamer fritters, which ensures crispness throughout without it ever feeling heavy on the stomach. The chips, a pale straw yellow, are curiously underfried in that very Greek way that keeps them greaseless but never dried out, although they still feel a little like chips for people giving up chips. There are rumours that of a well-done option: consider it. A few more minutes in the fryer, taking them to golden, and this could easily be London’s best fish and chip shop.

9. Cod Fellas

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125 Bellenden Rd, Peckham
London SE15 4QY, UK

There should be a question on the UK citizenship test asking “under what circumstances will British people tolerate a bad pun as a shop name?” The answer? Hairdressers and chippies. Codfellas in Peckham is perhaps not as egregious at Battersea Cods Home, but on the same level as something like This Must Be The Plaice. It’s still open on Bellenden Road to collect from 12-2pm and from 5pm onwards, for filigree battered fish, thin-shelled like a crisp wafer; or even tofish, a vegan substitute that consists of a perfectly rectangle block of tofu standing in for a fillet, with nori seaweed skin. Chips are decent.

10. Bert's Fish Bar

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354 East St
London SE17 2SX, UK
020 7703 6601

The whole world can be found on Old Kent Road, but there is still room for Bert’s Fish Bar just off the main drag on East Street, which has been there — as residents might say — for donkey’s years. A common complaint of London fish and chips is that they simply aren’t decadent enough, that too often they don’t leave the stomach winded in a fat coma. There’s no such worry at Bert’s where the knobbly end of batter on the fish is as thick as an arm, giving an edible handle a Cornish miner would be proud off. Even though orders are now placed solely through the phone, the waiting time here has always been 15-20 minutes because that’s how long pleasure takes. The reward: handsome, bronzed chips, as decadent and crunchy as they should be.

11. Knight's Fish Bar

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39 Knight's Hill, Norwood
London SE27 0HS, UK
020 8670 5111

The other fish bar in London that fries in beef dripping, the fish and chips here in West Norwood is leagues better than the competition and somehow even cheaper, with the price of a daily cod and chips deal stretching the limits of credulity. Step in and the air is thick with the tang of beef tallow, a smell better than anything Diptyque has ever been able to conjure up and bottle in a candle. The owner, another Cypriot in London’s chippy hall of fame, insists that dripping is the only thing worth frying chips in due to the high smoke point, and tasting them it’s very difficult to argue with him. These are some of the best fish and chips in London. But even better than that, is the spam fritter fried in dripping — one of the most uncomplicated, blissful things available at any takeaway in the city. 

1. The Fryer's Delight

19 Theobalds Rd, Holborn, London WC1X 8SL, UK

Like most of London’s pie and mash shops, The Fryer’s Delight is one of those places that should be treasured for its cultural importance, against the secret wish that it were better than it actually is. To nip this in the bud: the fish and chips are alright. The batter on the fish always looks slightly like a fossilised rock, and if the chips weren’t fried in beef dripping they would be middling. Even the tallow is questionable: is that a particularly beefy tang or just old oil? The experience is what it’s all about here: the formica, the black and white tiles, the cod in bowler hat mascot, the fact that The Fryer’s Delight is not a chippy, but a caff that happens to serve fish and chips. It’s possible to get the works for about £7-8 sitting down, less if foregoing mushy peas, which would be a mistake: the mushy peas are an essential reminder that all brief joy can only be put into context next to the unremitting blandless of existence. Also, order the fried chicken. While the fish is merely decorative, the chicken is unexpectedly great — an unholy matrimony of beef and chicken fat, all puffed and crisped up like a confit. Order it and never go back to cod again.

19 Theobalds Rd, Holborn
London WC1X 8SL, UK

2. Fish Central

149-155 Central St, King Square, London EC1V 8AP, UK

Central, yet in the middle of nowhere, Fish Central is one of a select few London chippies in a tier just below actually going to the coast or moving North. Located on an estate just off Central Street, it’s run by Greek-Cypriots preserving British traditions, like most of the oldest fish and chip shops in the city. In Fish Central’s case it’s owned by George Digby, who can still be found frying the fish or expertly tossing the chips in salt. Cod and haddock are usually fried fresh to order and steam gently inside their exoskeleton of batter, meaning they actually taste like fish. A restaurant is attached but one of London’s great pleasures, in sunshine or in the cold, is to take the package outside, unwrap it like a Christmas present, and greedily eat the steaming chips out on the Barbican concrete.

149-155 Central St, King Square
London EC1V 8AP, UK

3. FLADDA Fish & Chips

55 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, London SE5 8TR, UK

A good fish and chip shop has to understand what fish and chips is about. There is no point trying to gussy it up. If trawling the absolute best fish and willing to pay for it, why chuck it in a deep fat fryer? No one wants ikejime battered haddock. Fladda in Camberwell gets this, but isn’t shy to make improvements and alterations. Anonymous ‘chip shop’ sausages and pert, scarlet saveloys sit alongside battered sausages from The Butchery; homemade steak and ale pies alongside Pukka; whole fish fillets alongside a £5 fish bites and chips deal celebrating fish off-cuts that Josh Niland could be proud off. There is bread and butter. There is gravy. There is battered halloumi. Everything is expertly fried, with burnished, golden brown crunchy chips ... and... Are those scraps in the back? On hearing the words “anchovy mayo,” it’s even possible to forgive the mint in the mushy peas.

55 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell
London SE5 8TR, UK

4. Micky's Chippy

2 Pellerin Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 8AT, UK

There are more famous fish and chip restaurants in east London, but in the spirit of local chippies, Dalston residents could do worse than Micky’s Chippy on Pellerin Road, a neighbourhood fixture that has been serving the community for 25 years. Having changed hands somewhat back in 2018, the team has stayed on and the quality hasn’t dipped. The fish is fried to order, the oil clean, the mushy peas their proper, unnatural hue, the saveloy skins so taut they could take an eye out, the curry sauce correct, the banter on point (and also sometimes in Greek and Turkish.) Is it the best fish and chips in the world, or even in London? No, but it is competitive with many more famous names in east London, gets the spirit right, and does so for £8.90.

2 Pellerin Rd, Stoke Newington
London N16 8AT, UK

5. The Golden Hind

71a, 73 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone, London W1U 2PN, UK

Walk into Marylebone’s The Golden Hind and on the left there is a board documenting the effect immigration has had on fish and chips development: First three Italian owners, then two Greek, now in the hands of Antonakis Christou, who has been at the helm since 2002. The hand on the fryer is light here, with more filigree batter. This tactic works better on the fish than on the chips: the fish still retains its flavour and the batter follows the line of the fish exactly, hugging it like a crisp, tailored suit, whereas the chips never descend into decadence in the way the best examples do. In a nod to the Italian/Greek heritage, the must order item on the entire menu may actually be the deep-fried fritters of cheese, feta or mozzarella, salty and sinful, arriving as oozing Kubrickian monoliths.

71a, 73 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone
London W1U 2PN, UK

6. Masters Superfish

191 Waterloo Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8UX, UK

An official ranking of how to eat fish and chips? Number one: on a sofa with oily hands; number two: on a wall somewhere within a five minute walk of the chip shop, trying to balance condiments, a paper cone of chips and an unwieldy fried fish in oily and possibly dirty hands. Somewhere at the bottom: in an actual restaurant, with a knife and fork. Masters will remain one of the few exceptions to this rule. Sitting down carries the same ritual of Mark Renton laying out all his utensils: little, cold prawns in their shells, sliced baguette, packs of butter, wallys, pickled onions, cup of tea, goblets of ketchup and tartare. All this before the fish and chips actually arrive, with thirty years of experience behind them: crunchy, tanned chips, fish covered in batter to eat just by itself. Ignore the mustard fried option. Masters really is that rare thing: a tourist trap that is actually good.

191 Waterloo Rd, South Bank
London SE1 8UX, UK

7. Golden Chippy

62 Greenwich High Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 8LF, UK

It’s a small quirk of London that nearly every major chippy — Toff’s, Fish Central, Golden Hind, Brockley’s Rock — is run by Greek-Cypriots. The reasons for this are unclear, although it doesn’t take a detective to work out that a group of people, who could batter seafood before they could speak, came over to the UK and quickly saw an easy way to assimilate into the culture The Golden Chippy massively breaks this strong tradition: it is ... Turkish-Cypriot. Despite being voted #1 on Tripadvisor in the days when this meant slightly more than nothing, the fish and chips themselves are great, if sometimes needing more heavy handed seasoning. Oddly, the banana fritters impress the most. Here they arrive like yogurtlu adana in their ovular tray, logs of carefully battered banana, not a trace of grease in sight, cheap whipped cream as yoghurt, cinnamon standing in for chilli flakes and a drizzling of caramel. The crunch of the well-seasoned batter yields to perfectly molten banana, the richness of the caramel is cut through by the sandy warmth of the cinnamon. There is a sprig of mint to signal it was made by someone who cares. In short: a minor miracle.

62 Greenwich High Rd, Greenwich
London SE10 8LF, UK

8. Nautilus

27-29 Fortune Green Rd, West Hampstead, London NW6 1DU, UK

Nautilus is good enough to base a ritual around, where almost nothing has changed in 40 years, not least the dessert menu which boasts delights such as ‘Tarta Fantastica’ and ‘Bombed by Chocolate’. Expect to see them making a comeback at a cool Italian-inspired wine bar once the pandemic is over. The fish, unlike every other fish on this list, is fried in matzo, which means the coating adheres snugly to the flesh.. The frying is technically precise, in a similar league to 40 Maltby Street’s gossamer fritters, which ensures crispness throughout without it ever feeling heavy on the stomach. The chips, a pale straw yellow, are curiously underfried in that very Greek way that keeps them greaseless but never dried out, although they still feel a little like chips for people giving up chips. There are rumours that of a well-done option: consider it. A few more minutes in the fryer, taking them to golden, and this could easily be London’s best fish and chip shop.

27-29 Fortune Green Rd, West Hampstead
London NW6 1DU, UK

9. Cod Fellas

125 Bellenden Rd, Peckham, London SE15 4QY, UK

There should be a question on the UK citizenship test asking “under what circumstances will British people tolerate a bad pun as a shop name?” The answer? Hairdressers and chippies. Codfellas in Peckham is perhaps not as egregious at Battersea Cods Home, but on the same level as something like This Must Be The Plaice. It’s still open on Bellenden Road to collect from 12-2pm and from 5pm onwards, for filigree battered fish, thin-shelled like a crisp wafer; or even tofish, a vegan substitute that consists of a perfectly rectangle block of tofu standing in for a fillet, with nori seaweed skin. Chips are decent.

125 Bellenden Rd, Peckham
London SE15 4QY, UK

10. Bert's Fish Bar

354 East St, London SE17 2SX, UK

The whole world can be found on Old Kent Road, but there is still room for Bert’s Fish Bar just off the main drag on East Street, which has been there — as residents might say — for donkey’s years. A common complaint of London fish and chips is that they simply aren’t decadent enough, that too often they don’t leave the stomach winded in a fat coma. There’s no such worry at Bert’s where the knobbly end of batter on the fish is as thick as an arm, giving an edible handle a Cornish miner would be proud off. Even though orders are now placed solely through the phone, the waiting time here has always been 15-20 minutes because that’s how long pleasure takes. The reward: handsome, bronzed chips, as decadent and crunchy as they should be.

354 East St
London SE17 2SX, UK

11. Knight's Fish Bar

39 Knight's Hill, Norwood, London SE27 0HS, UK

The other fish bar in London that fries in beef dripping, the fish and chips here in West Norwood is leagues better than the competition and somehow even cheaper, with the price of a daily cod and chips deal stretching the limits of credulity. Step in and the air is thick with the tang of beef tallow, a smell better than anything Diptyque has ever been able to conjure up and bottle in a candle. The owner, another Cypriot in London’s chippy hall of fame, insists that dripping is the only thing worth frying chips in due to the high smoke point, and tasting them it’s very difficult to argue with him. These are some of the best fish and chips in London. But even better than that, is the spam fritter fried in dripping — one of the most uncomplicated, blissful things available at any takeaway in the city. 

39 Knight's Hill, Norwood
London SE27 0HS, UK

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