Stop what you’re doing and head to the nearest chippy immediately, it’s National Fish and Chip Day and it’s a Fry-day (you see what we did there?)! Following on from the success of last year’s National Fish and Chip Day, it returns again today to celebrate the nation’s favourite and arguably most famous dish.

This year’s event is set to be even bigger than last year as it brings together everyone that offers fish and chips on their menu, as well as the fisherman and farmers that provide the ingredients! As it is National Fish and Chip Day and to encourage you to go out and get your own portion, we thought we’d tell you the best places in the UK to grab some.

First though, let’s take a little trip through history to find out exactly where this iconic meal came from.

Are you sitting down? Because that incredibly British institution of Fish and Chips? Totally didn’t originate in England.
Britain has had fried fish in some form or another since the 16th century, it was introduced into society by Sephardic Jews. Enter Charles Dickens in the 1800s who regularly wrote about life in Victorian Britain mentioning fried fish warehouses and back then a slice of fish in butter with hot potatoes cost a ha’penny. The hot potatoes didn’t become chips though until a little later. We’ll leave the French and the Belgian fight it out over who actually invented the chip, but chips came from that region and by 1859 it was so popular in Paris, it was no wonder that it had made its way across the sea to become a staple food of the working classes.
So, Britain’s national dish is a mix of cultures, which seems kind of perfect when you consider what a diverse multi-cultural country the UK is.

Now we know a little about the origins, we’ll get to the important stuff, the best places in the UK to get fish and chips.

London’s east end is supposedly the birth place of fish and chips, it is true that many European immigrants settled there at the docklands and would have brought with them a penchant for fried fish and potatoes. The first documented fish and chip shop is a roaming one, a teenage immigrant living in Bow began to sell fried fish and potatoes from a tray that he carried around the streets of London before opening his own shop in Bow. These days you’ll find fish and chip restaurants all over the capital, but the best place to go is the east end where the OG is from.

It’s no surprise that the south coast appears on this list, with ample fresh fish coming into ports like Brixham and Plymouth being the UK’s Ocean City you’ll find loads of freshly caught fish and chips being offered in restaurants all over the county. One of the shops in Plymouth was crowned the best in the UK by the Fish and Chip Awards so you know it’s true!

Again, it’s near the cost so the fish will be so fresh it was likely caught that morning. Whitby is also the home of another winner of the accolade of Best Fish and Chip Shop, the town in the north of England has several amazing fish and chip restaurants and take aways to choose from. Plus, in the object of faireness, we should also mention that northerners also stake a claim in inventing fish and chips, there is in fact a shop in Manchester that claims to be the oldest fish and chip shop that is dated the same year as the one set up in London.

For much the same reasons as getting fish and chips in Devon, grabbing a portion in Cornwall will also blow your mind for freshness, plus there are a number of restaurants that are putting their own spin on the classic to be found on the Cornish Coast.

Gower Coast
The Gower Coast is well worth a visit anyway because it’s a beautiful place to go but what could be better than breaking up your sight seeing and beach hopping with a bag of chips. The local fish is also usually coated with batter made with locally brewed beer batter. Trust us, give it a try.

The Scottish Isles
It was a shop on the Shetland Isles that won the first ever Fish and Chip Award and many of the newer establishments have exciting menus offering fresh takes on the traditional.

Gluten free? Vegan?
You guys can join in the celebrations too, there are options for you in a vast array of fish and chip shops all around the country. So, get yourselves to your nearest chippy now and celebrate Britain’s most iconic meal.


Sea Shanty Fish and Chip Trip aboard The Matthew
Sea Shanty Fish and Chip Trip aboard The Matthew

Enjoy fresh fish and chips on a relaxing cruise around Bristol's historic harbour with live musical accompaniment.