In London, England, rare is a meal as traditional as fish and chips. This comfort food of British origin is simply golden battered fish atop a pile of hot fries. Said to have first appeared in England during the 1860s, the cuisine has since been added to numerous restaurants across the globe. By 1910, there were more than 25,000 fish and chip shops across the United Kingdom, with the local dish beginning to cross international borders only a few decades later.
In present-day England, this meal is now considered a celebration of British culture. Across Europe, there are events that honor the delicacy: each year since 1988, the UK hosts an annual National Fish & Chips Awards, while a special homemade chip sauce in Scotland has begun to gain popularity. With this level of admiration, a great fish and chips shop can be found throughout all the streets of London, though there are a few hot spots to consider when searching for the perfect one:
Fishers Fish and Chips
Where: 19 Fulham High Street
Price: An average of $14.15 USD (varies between lunch and dinner specials)
Why: A landmark restaurant of the Fishers family, this authentic fish and chips shop is one of the highest rated amongst locals. The family - which includes Gary, Alan, Nick, Alison and Beverly - have been welcoming guests for over 35 years and always serve them to the best of their standards. From the fish option of haddock to cod, and a range of burgers from Angus Scotch beef to vegetarian, the establishment offers a menu that can be enjoyed by everyone. Located in Fulham, a borough in South West London, Fishers Fish and Chips will have guests experiencing the absolute best of Britain.
The North Sea Restaurant
Where: 7-8 Leigh Street
Price: $16.40 - $31.65 USD
This classic chip shop has become so famous that cab drivers are required to know it when passing "The Knowledge." After being revived by Ian Edward Beauchamp in 1977, once a small restaurant has since grown into a local savory hot spot. Currently, it is a London established of over 30 years, and - while it has seen many changes - has remained a fish and chip shop at heart. Customers will become hooked once trying their homemade tartar sauce or their Dover Sole delicacy and will realize how it's become such a highly regarded fish and chip luxury.
When it comes to authentic British cuisine, it boils down to one dish - fish and chips. Hailed by Winston Churchill as “good companions” for its wartime rationing, this classic combo remains cherished by the nation to this day.
Beginning as a traditional meal, customers can now order anything from extra fried cod to gluten-free batter. While the presentation and flavor of fish and chips has changed quite a bit (gone are the days when they were wrapped in yesterday’s newspapers), the essence of fish and chips is no different than it was a hundred years ago. What other London fish and chip shops do you think should be included in this list?