Where To Find Good Fish and Chips in London: A Local’s Guide

Here’s my local’s guide (from me (Melissa!) a long-time Londoner) with recommendations for finding good fish and chips in London. I’m here to help you avoid eating the dreaded stale fish and soggy chips!

Why are fish and chips so popular in London?

You’re probably wondering why fish and chips are so popular in the UK? Well, it goes all the way back to the 19th century. During this time, fried fish was a cheap and filling meal for the working class. It quickly gained popularity, as it was affordable, tasty and super easy to make.

Soon after that, restaurants had the idea of serving the fried fish with deep-fried potatoes too – and the classic combo of fish and chips was born! Lots of fish and chips shops started popping up across the UK, and restaurants started wrapping them in newspaper so they could be easily be taken away.

What should you order at a fish & chips shop?

Image Courtesy of Poppie’s Fish and Chips – an example menu at a Fish and Chips Restaurant

When you’re visiting a fish and chips shop, as well as serving various types of fried fish and chips there are lots of other classic staples you can try too (like saveloy, meat pies, scampi and battered sausage).

Here are the most common options you will find:

  • Fish: The most common type of white fish served is either cod or haddock. But, sometimes there are other types of white fish available – like pollock or plaice. The fish is battered and then deep-fried until crispy.
  • Scampi: If you’re not a fan of white fish then you can try scampi instead. This is breaded or battered pieces of shellfish or langoustine which are deep-fried in the same way as traditional white fish.
  • Savaloy/Battered Sausage: This is a type of seasoned sausage, often made from pork, that is boiled or fried and served alongside fish and chips.
  • Chips: These are usually thick-cut, deep-fried potatoes served hot and crispy alongside the fish. You will very rarely find a good fish and chips shop that serves thin fries-style potatoes – traditional fish and chips are thick, and then garnished with salt and malt vinegar.
  • Pies: Some fish and chip shops serve savoury pies like steak and kidney pie, chicken and mushroom pie, or vegetarian/vegan options too – if you are not much of a fish fan
  • Mushy Peas: These are the most traditional and popular sides to any fish and chips. (Personally, I am not much of a fan of them – but they are worth trying!). They are made from soaked marrowfat peas that are then boiled with a little sugar and salt until they form a thick paste.

How much do good fish and chips in London cost?

It’s hard to give an exact figure as the cost depends on where you are in London, what you order, and if you decide to sit and eat in a restaurant or buy your fish and chips to takeaway.

But, on average you can expect to pay anywhere from £15 to £25 for a meal of fish and chips in London.

How can you tell if you have a GOOD or BAD fish and chips?

The battered fish should be fresh, moist and flaky on the inside with a crispy and golden-brown batter on the outside. If the batter is soggy or isn’t very crispy then this is a sign the fish isn’t made fresh.

The chips should be thick-cut and crispy on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside. They shouldn’t be overly greasy or soggy from the oil they are fried in. If they are soggy, this is a sign they haven’t been made fresh, or are being refried for each customer.

Here are five great spots to find good fish and chips in London:

Trafalgar Tavern – Greenwich 

Image Courtesy of Trafalgar Tavern

The Trafalgar Tavern is one of my favourite pubs in London – they serve a really good fish & chips frm their pub classics menu. The pub is located in Greenwich, right by the river so has great views across the Thames. During the Summer, when the weather is good they have loads of tables and chairs outside so you can enjoy your food and drink outside.

Their beer battered haddock and chips is served with minted mushy peas and tartae sauce and costs £19. Here is a link to their full pub menu so you can see what else they offer. Their classic dishes include Bangers & Mash with confit onions & sage gravy and dry-aged Shorthorn beef steaks.

Book The Trafalgar Tavern Now

The Golden Hind – Marylebone

Image Courtesy of The Golden Hind

The Golden Hind opened in 1914, and it’s a really classic fish and chip shop on Marylebone High Street. They use high-quality fish that is caught daily and then cook it in their famous homemade batter, until its golden brown and crispy.

Their battered fish starts from £12 to £18 and their chips are £3.50 to £4.50. Here is their full menu so you can see all their prices. You can either sit and eat inside their restaurant or order their fish and chips to takeaway.

Book The Golden Hind Now

Poppies Fish & Chips – Camden, Soho, Portobello and Spitalfields

Image Courtesy of Poppies Fish and Chips

Poppies Fish & Chips is a retro-style diner that serves traditional fish and chips, pies and rotisserie chicken.

They have four restaurants across London, and take their name from East-end legend Pat ‘Pops’ Newland. He had an award-winning fish and chips restaurant in Spitalfields that filled with the retro memorabilia he had collected throughout his life.

Here is their full menu (they have loads of choice!). My highlights are their English sparkling wines you can pair with your meal, or their classic British desserts (sticky toffee pudding and handmade apple pie).

Book Poppies Fish & Chips Now

Fish! – Borough Market

Opened in 1999, Fish! is located inside London’s most famous food market – Borough Market. Their whole aim is to serve the best quality of fish they can, so their fish is delivered fresh daily, and lots of their ingredients are sourced from Borough Market itself.

As well as doing traditional fish and chips they also serve fish finger butties, soft shell crab buns and chip butties. Their fish and chips range from £14.95 to £17.95 (depending on the type of fish you choose) and butties and sandwiches from £7 to £9. Here is their full takeaway menu so you can see everything they offer.

You can sit inside their restaurant, or get a takeaway from their stand just inside Borough Market. It can get really busy at weekends, especially during lunchtime so the queue can be quite long – but it is definitely the best fish & chips you will find in Borough Market.

A few other Borough Market gems are Bread Ahead Bakery, The Ginger Pig‘s sausage rolls, and the Lee Brothers Potato Merchants wild mushroom risotto.

Want to delve deeper into London’s local food scene? Check out these food tours:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalise a purchase.

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