A crisp, golden batter enclosing fresh, flaky, white fish, thick-cut chips doused in salt and vinegar, a good dollop of tartare sauce or is it red sauce all the way? What makes the ultimate fish and chips?
These fish and chip shops, from towns and cities across the UK, are all award-winning and they also support the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) so every piece of fish served comes from a wild-catch fishery and is fully traceable to a sustainable source.
Kingfisher Fish & Chips, Plymouth
Rumoured to be on the radar of the Michelin inspectors earlier this year, Kingfisher Fish & Chips offers more than 12 species of MSC certified fish and has been said to be the “world’s most sustainable fish & chip shop”.
Awards: ‘UK’s No 1 Fish & Chip Shop’ at the National Fish & Chip Awards 2017 and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Fish & Chip Quality Award’.
Rockfish, Brixham, Dartmouth, Exmouth, Torquay and Plymouth
Owned by chef, author and seafood authority Mitch Tonks, Rockfish has five restaurants across Devon and offers gluten-free and coeliac fish & chip options.
Awards: more than 12 awards including ‘Good Catch Sustainability Award’ and ‘Best Multiple Operator Award’ at the National Fish & Chip Awards 2017.
Serving MSC-certified cod and haddock, Simpsons is known for ‘pushing the boundaries’. Owners James and Bonny Ritchie hold a gluten-free frying day once a month and have also launched their own children’s book to increase awareness of sourcing and fish species.
Awards: ‘UK’s No 1 Fish and Chip Shop’ in 2016 and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Fish & Chip Quality Award’.
Stargazy Fish Bar, Tetbury
Stargazy is the first fish & chip shop for Tanya Kelly and family, whose team prides itself on serving MSC-certified cod and haddock as well as homemade products such as batter, fish cakes, curry sauce and minted mushy peas.
Awards: named one of the top three newcomers in the National Fish and Chip Awards 2017 and holds a National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Fish & Chip Quality Award’.
Towngate Fisheries, Bradford
Towngate Fisheries’ MSC-certified ‘Lite Bite’ and ‘Lighter Options’ have all been nutritionally tested and developed to contain fewer calories, so they can proudly claim to serve the healthiest fish & chips in the UK.
Awards: More than six awards including ‘Healthy Fish & Chips Award’ 2016 and 2017 and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Fish & Chip Quality Award’.
Millers Fish & Chips, Haxby, York
Fish & chips have been in owners David and Nick Miller’s family for more than 75 years. Even so, Millers Fish & Chips continues to move with the times, offering 6 species of MSC fish, a halal and gluten-free menu as well as running its popular Bistro nights on a Thursday.
Awards: ‘Best Fish & Chip Shop in the North East’ 2017 and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Fish & Chip Quality Award’.
Burton Road Chippy, Lincoln
Burton Road Chippy serves MSC-certified haddock and cod and runs a gluten-free Tuesday every month. The team also speaks at local schools about the importance of sustainable fishing, as part of the MSC’s Fish & Kids Educational Programme.
Awards: ‘UK’s 2nd Best Fish & Chip Shop’ 2017 and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Fish & Chip Quality Award’.
The Cod’s Scallops, Nottingham
The Cod’s Scallops’ two Nottingham branches serve MSC-certified cod and haddock (both boasting a ‘secret recipe’ batter) as well as seasonal specials including ‘posh fish pie’. They also have an in-house fishmonger selling wet fish and seafood.
Awards: shortlisted as one of the top 60 ‘Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shops of the Year’ 2017 and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Fish & Chip Quality Award’.
As the owner of Godfrey’s, the first takeaway and restaurant in Hertfordshire to be MSC-certified, Luke Godfrey flies the flag for promoting fish sustainability, often giving talks at local schools.
Awards: ‘Best Fish & Chip Shop in Central and Southern England’ at the National Fish & Chip Awards 2017.
Henley’s owners David and Lisa Henley are committed to sustainability and serve MSC-certified cod, hake, haddock and plaice. The shop also offers a gluten free menu and features a wet fish counter.
Awards: regional winner of the ‘Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year’ 2017 (Wivenhoe branch) and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Fish & Chip Quality Award’.
Olley’s Fish Experience, Herne Hill
Owned by Harry Niazi, Olley’s is known as one of the most sustainable fish & chip shops in the country. As well as serving MSC-certified cod, haddock and plaice, Olley’s became the first fish & chip shop in the world to serve MSC certified golden redfish earlier this year.
Awards: Fry magazine’s ’50 Best Fish & Chip Shops’ 2016.
Brockley’s Rock, Brockley
Brockley’s Rock prides itself on sustainability and serves MSC-certified cod, plaice, hake and haddock. The extensive menu also includes grilled sea bass and salmon, calamari, prawns and a weekly gluten-free offering.
Awards: National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Quality Award’.
Fochabers Fish Bar, Moray
Fish & chips are a family affair for Fochabers Fish Bar’s owners Darren and Ruth Boothroyd, whose daughter Elise was voted Scotland’s Young Fish Frier of the year 2017, the youngest finalist in the history of the competition.
Awards: more than 10 awards including Scotland’s ‘No 1 Fish & Chip Takeaway’ 2017 and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Quality Award’.
The Bay, Stonehaven
The Bay, which serves MSC-certified haddock, is owned by industry expert and passionate advocate of sustainability, Calum Richardson. Calum also works as a National Federation of Fish Friers assessor and is involved in the School of Frying Excellence.
Awards: National Federation of Fish Friers Quality Award.
Hennighan’s, which serves a selection of MSC-certified fish, has been a family-run fish & chip shop since 1982 and now sees a third generation working in the shop.
Awards: Wales ‘No 1 Fish & Chip Shop’ 2017 and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Quality Award’.
Family-run fish & chip shop, Shillingfords, have two shops in Neath, both serving MSC-certified cod and chips made from locally grown potatoes.
Awards: runners-up in the National Federation of Fish Friers Fish and Chip Quality Award ‘Champion’ Award 2017 and National Federation of Fish Friers ‘Quality Award’.
This is just a selection of award-winning favourites but there are a total of 90 fish & chip shops, in the UK, serving MSC-certified fish. Find out if your local chippie is flying the flag for responsible, sustainable fishing.