At family-run Sutton & Sons the star of the show is, quite rightly, the fish. Offering traditional as well as more unusual varieties (the monkfish is delectable) at its Stoke Newington and Shoreditch restaurants, the sustainably sourced and exceptionally fresh fish is supplied by the family’s own fishmonger. This is a restaurant that has got everything right; the atmosphere is laid back, the staff are friendly, and the food is cooked to perfection. As well as fish and chips, diners can also have grilled fish, and there are numerous more sophisticated choices on offer, such as juicy lobster subs and grilled oysters. Optional sides include mushy peas and home-made pickles, and it’s essential to save room for Mrs Sutton’s home-made sticky toffee pudding or a cheeky deep-fried Mars Bar to finish things off.
Sutton & Sons, 90 Stoke Newington High Street, London, UK, +44 207 249 6444
With a vintage diner feel, complete with juke box and vinyls lining the walls, visiting Poppies is as much about the experience as the food. Recent customers have included Freddie Flintoff and Russell Brand, and it was voted London’s best fish and Chippie by the National Fish and Chip Awards last year. Poppies serves up a range of fish suppers, as well as regular live music events at the Camden branch with ‘Fish ‘n’ Gigs’.
Poppies Camden, 30 Hawley Crescent, London, UK, +44 207 267 0440
Baileys has earned a stellar reputation since it was founded by four appropriately named siblings – Alan, Gary, Alison, and Beverley Fisher – in summer 2011. The reasonably priced menu covers all the usual fried fish, with steamed alternatives for a lighter meal, plus tasty burgers. The tangy home-made coleslaw and sweet pineapple fritters are also not to be missed. The decor is traditionally casual, with a ‘does what it says on the tin’ vibe, and helpful, cheerful staff.
Baileys, 115 Dawes Rd, London, UK, +44 207 385 2021
Launched in the late 60s, Toffs has been a North London institution for almost 50 years. Often with a long queue outside, Toffs attracts a regular local clientele, as well as a more international crowd. The menu is varied, offering all the fish and chipp classics, as well as the likes of Dover sole, sea bass, and salmon. While family-run Toffs is more expensive than most, the food is top-notch, with succulent fish, light, golden, and crispy batter, and chips that are just the right side of greasy. And with a fervent dedication to sustainably sourced fish, they can be forgiven a few extra quid.
Toffs, 38 Muswell Hill Broadway, London, UK, +44 208 883 8656
Kerbisher & Malt
With four West London restaurants, and a fifth take-away shop just opened in Clerkenwell, Kerbisher & Malt is already well established on the London dining scene, despite only launching in May 2011. Run by classically trained chef, Saul Reuben, and entrepreneur Nick Crossley, Kerbisher & Malt is billed as a ‘modern fish and chip shop’ and has made a conscious break away from neon lights and white-tiled walls. While the fish and chip options are mostly traditional, they are all done well, and the menu also encompasses fish fingers, butties, and fish burgers.
Kerbisher & Malt, 50 Abbeville Rd, London SW4 9NF , + 44 20 3417 4350