Fish ‘n’ chips. They’re pretty much our national tucker. Now, we’re sure this list will be hotly contested—we all have a local, and we all seem to be fiercely loyal to that beloved local. However, people are slowly opening up to battling traffic and driving across town for the promise of the best fillet available. And that’s not the only thing changing. These fish and chipperies are jumping on the health buzz, creating goodish-for-you sides, ditching the deep fryer, and even introducing exotic seafood.
Here are our picks of best fish and chips shops in Auckland.
The Ancient Mariner
Not the most famous chippie in the village, but The Ancient Mariner can do no wrong in our eyes. They’ve got a quirky pirate theme going on, which is all too amusing after a couple of rosés. Barrel tables and menu puns aside, these guys serve up traditional style fish and chips with a Mt Eden edge (grilled snapper please). As if you needed another reason to visit, these bad boys offer deep-fried Mars Bars for dessert. Need we say more?
After having your ear chewed off by the world’s chattiest (and friendliest) guy at the counter, you can quickly tell that this is fish ‘n’ chips Herne Bay style. Fish tacos, whitebait fritters, quinoa salad, and soft shell crab burgers; FishSmith is the crème de la crème of fish and chips. With no deep-fried balls of shark in sight, FishSmith offers a healthy version of our favourite ‘greasy’ takeaway. You can pick up fresh fillets to cook at home or get them to do it for a couple of extra dollars—worth it.
Mt Eden Village Fish Shop
So while we’ve established that The Ancient Mariner is a great spot for some fish and chips in Mt Eden, of course, the Mt Eden Village Fish Shop deserves a mention. This place has a serious following… you’re lucky if you can squeeze through the door at dinnertime. The Mt Eden Fish Shop is exactly what the same says, fish first, chips second. This place functions as a fully-fledged fishmonger with a wide range of fish and seafood available to take home. Everything in the window can be crumbed or grilled to order, but their beer batter is so damn good we’d recommend sticking with that.
Previously known as Ponsonby Fish & Chips Shop have had a major revamp and decided to change half of their store to a bakery. All the bread and pastries at Hook are made onsite for those days you’re craving buttery croissants instead of deep-fried fish. That’s not to say that their fish and chips are to be missed out on. Frying up the freshest catches of the day, Hook has not forgotten their roots of being the go-to Ponsonby local fish and chippery.
Yeah, that burger place. Yes, the burgers are bigger than your face, but the fish 'n' chips at Big J’s are also deserving of a mention. Choose from hoki, snapper or tarakihi, and pick your choice of salt to go on your chips—go for the chicken salt if you’re a closet Maggi noodle fan. Just don’t expect any of that grilling action at Big J’s—this is a straight up deep-fried situation, and unashamedly so. Go the grease.
If you’re in Waiheke and want a perfect partner for your rosé to enjoy on the beach, head to The Local. It also has a great list of beer and wine and you can dine in if you prefer your fish and chips without a generous side of sand. Fish and chips aside, the wild boar sausage is the game changer for The Local. The premium quality sausage is battered in its natural casing and provides a crispy yet juicy experience that only The Local can offer.
The Fish & Chip Shop
Sandringham, Westmere and Epsom
Props for the pan-fried panko as opposed to the usual deep-fried action we’re used to. The Fish & Chip Shop is a midway point between greasy and glam, and have some of the best fish and chips in Auckland. Get amongst their homemade fritters which include good old corn fritters the Kiwi classic, mussel fritters. You can’t go past their Thai fish cakes either.
Craft beer and fish and chips go hand in hand and you'll find them both at The Brewers Co-operative in the CBD. Perfect for city workers taking a break, Brewers serve their fish and chips in newspaper. Choose from the fish on offer and have it battered with tartare and lemon, just the way we like it. For something a little different, choose the fish burger, fish curry or fish tacos.
Greenwoods Fresh Catch
No list of Auckland’s best fish and chips would be complete without mentioning the iconic Greenwoods Fresh Catch. It seems to be everyone’s favourite local neighbourhood joint, serving the nostalgic parcels of greasy goodness we all know and love. The owner is a veteran who actually goes and buys the fish from the market every day and can often be spotted wearing a sailor’s hat in the kitchen.
Auckland Fish Market (Wynyard Quarter), Albany, Botany, Henderson, Mt Wellington & Silverdale
With a prime position at the Auckland Fish Market, you know Oceanz knows a thing or two about fish. While there’s a wide range of seafood available, it’s their fish and chips that have us coming back again and again. The other locations serve similar menus for some good grease in the burbs.
Here's where to find the best cafes and restaurants in Auckland's CBD.
Image Credit: Emma Bryant