Top 5 places for fish and chips in London

In this battle of batters, who serves it better?

Golden Hind is highly regarded as one of the UK’s premier chippies (All photos: SooPhye)

From mom-and-pop establishments to classic British pubs, here are five fish and chips spots that are worth their salt (and vinegar).


What’s the hook: This beautiful lounge with cosy booth seating had its fair share of pop culture moments, having played a cameo role in rom-com Notting Hill (the bookstore is just around the bend) and hosted Adele’s first record-signing deal. Although the Duke of Wellington is not a fish and chips specialist per se, it is still pleasant to soak in the creative vibe left behind by great antique dealers, musicians and artists.

Taste: Fish, fried with Young’s Ale beer batter, comes steaming inside a golden crust that cracks with a tap of the fork, although the accompanying pale chips need another round in the fryer. A mercifully short menu makes ordering a breeze, but if you need a supporting cast to line your stomach before your friends call for more passion fruit martinis, make it the baked cauliflower. The cheese stretches. Call it glory.

Extra catch: Duke of Wellington is parked right next to Portobello Market, the world’s largest antiques hub with more than 1,000 dealers selling every kind of retro wares and collectibles. The famous street is in full swing on Saturdays, perfect when you drop by for weekend brunch at the pub.

179 ​Portobello ​Rd. +4420 7727 6727. More info here.


What’s the hook: Established in 1914, this long-standing dining stalwart with historic charm is mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Bentley’s and Rolls-Royce. The owners claim that most of its seafood is caught fresh, directly from Grimsby (home port to the world’s largest fishing fleet by the mid-20th century) and delivered on ice.

Taste: The grease from the batter prevails, but it is the lightest of the lot. It is not difficult to see why scores of salivating punters stampede their way to its door, when the heroes — thick cuts of cod, haddock and rock salmon with pearlescent flakes — are more than up to scratch. Golden Hind is highly regarded as one of the UK’s premier chippies, but the restaurant interior speaks otherwise — pick the chips off pristine plates with shiny cutlery and wash them down with a Pinot Grigio.

Extra catch: This restaurant offers the choice of preparing your calamari (another must-order) breaded or fried, before tempting you with quintessential British desserts such as Spotted Dick, Rhubarb Crumble and Treacle Syrup Sponge. Quick tip: The largest portions of mains are still moderately sized, which means you can — and should — order greedily. Skip the salmon fishcakes, though.

71a - 73 Marylebone Lane. +44020 7486 3644. More info here



What’s the hook: After a fire gutted the premises in 2009, leaving only the distinctive flooring behind, this institution in Marylebone restored both its visual lustre and reputation as a magnet for the glamorous. The restaurant is a little celebrity in itself — an assorted downtown glitterati such as Alain Ducasse, Stevie Wonder, Mary J Blige, Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa have been preaching the Sea Shell gospel far and wide.

Taste: You could almost smell the peanut oil — a mainstay in its recipe for 60 years — wafting through the premises as fillets hit the fryer. Batter is ethereally light, but provides just enough heft and crunch to flatter the delicate cod or haddock within. For a healthy twist (why should you?), fish can be grilled or coated with panko breadcrumbs, while regular fries can be swapped for the sweet potato version. The tartar sauce, packed with lashings of sliced pickles, is the best we have had. 

Extra catch: Decked out in Art Deco style with a giant octopus sculpture anchoring the room, this posh chippy evokes the nostalgia of hanging out in a 1970s diner. If you are pressed for time, there is a takeaway storefront with an al fresco option that packs your fried bounty in convenient boxes.

49-51 Lisson Grove. +44020 7224 9000. More info here.  



What’s the hook: The minimalist white frontage and bright red neon sign make this shop in Soho difficult to miss. Although the charmingly retro dining room is more evocative of a casual American diner, rest assured the food is strictly London pride. Seafood here is sustainably sourced from the North Atlantic and cooked in a blend of oils.

Taste: A made-to-order fish means no more having to eyeball the rack to check whether that haddock really came out of the fryer a minute ago. Its beer-battered dish has achieved a puffy and craggy enough shell to do justice to the most traditional iteration of the English staple. Exemplary, too, are the hand-cut Grade A East Anglian spuds that bear an unmistakably bronzed skin and plump king prawns that deserve making room for. Pile on the homemade condiments but, if you are calorie-watching, opt for the girthy gherkin to cut through all the fat.

Extra catch: Vegetarians can rejoice at the option of battered halloumi and pies. For those hankering for something sweet, old-school soft-scoop ice cream sundaes will appeal to the nostalgic, but give the milkshakes a miss. Commandeer the vintage jukebox while you wait for your order.

38 Poland St. ++44020 7458 4411. More info here.




What’s the hook: Its prime location, just off the shopping thoroughfare of Oxford Street, makes this a favourable spot for a carb-loaded lunch, especially after making your rounds at Selfridges. Holding firm to chippy tradition even as Mayfair  gentrifies around it, the retro eatery with signature chequerboard floor and white panelled walls is garlanded with awards, for both food and service.

Taste: Although its Crab on Toast and kidney puddings are touted as stunners, the main affair is always going to be the best-value-for-money Mayfair Classic. Presented on a wooden platter, fried cod or haddock is served with chips, mushy peas, tartar sauce and sweet-spicy curry sauce (or HP gravy). The haddock sings notes of the sea, with a firm texture that does not flake apart as much. Shepherd’s pie (made with braised lamb shoulder) is listed among the sides, but that is a technicality — it can easily command a meal.

Extra catch: There are less traditional dishes such as soft-shell crab burger, blood pudding fritters, as well as fish and chips made with jackfruit and tofu that make a great vegan stand-in. A queue snakes down the street whatever the weather or season, so make sure to call ahead.

14 North Audley Street. ++44020 7741 2233. More info here


This article first appeared in The Edge's London special issue on Oct 10, 2022.


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