If you’re of the opinion that you can never properly experience somewhere – especially if you’re visiting from overseas – without sampling its cuisine, then should you be coming to London anytime soon there’s a good argument you should check one of its fish and chip shops and sample one of the all-time favourite dishes of the British palate. But how avoid soggy chips and crusty chips? Well, here’s our guide to the best chippies in the capital…
The Fish & Chip Shop
(189 Upper Street N1 1RQ/ 69 Old Broad Street EC2M 1QS)
Technically speaking, both branches of this establishment are more restaurants than fish and chip shops, despite the name – sort of gastro-chippies, if you will. Run by a former chef at The Ivy, alongside frying fresh, fluffy fish magnificently, they also offer batter made from craft beer and starters including the likes of crab on toast. In addition to chip butties and saveloys, that is – just to reassure you they’re not too posh and serve up fun as well as fine food.
(6-8 Hanbury Street E1 6QR/ 30 Hawley Crescent NW1 8NP)
Don’t be deceived by the Poppies brand the abundance of effort that seems to have gone into its somewhat gimmicky retro appearance (it’s supposed to recreate the East London of the rationing ravaged late 1940s and early 1950s – back when the chip shop was king). Because the food on offer is most definitely kingly too. The succulent fish, which comes from the market at nearby Billingsgate, chunky chips and fried seafood platters are all excellent – and are served in mocked up, old fashioned newspaper as well. More than a good enough reason then, should you be staying in luxury suites London, to pay the original Poppies in the east of the capital (or even the second branch in the not-too-far away Camden) a visit.
The Fish Club
(57 Clapham High Street SW4 7TG/ 140 St John’s Hill SW11 1SL)
Choice is the name of the game at this place’s two outlets, which are definitely among the best London chop shops; they serve up everything from cod and mackerel to sardines and sole, while the fish comes grilled, pan-fried, deep-fried or baked. The chips too are delicious (thanks to being double-cooked), while the smoked sprats side dish also come highly recommended.
Golden Union Fish Bar
(38 Poland Street, W1F 7LY)
Despite its swish, modern appearance, this place is a bona fide Soho institution, having been in the vicinity for at least one-and-a-half centuries. Today it’s all about serving up seasoned, flavoursome sustainable fish; light, soft chips; battered halloumi and frying its efforts with a beautiful blend of oils. A word of warning, though, quality and a Central London location come at a price; it’s certainly more expensive than the average seaside town chippy.