If you’re looking for the Sydney fish and chip juggernauts to relive your youngin’ days of running into your local seafood shack to grab a greasy and delicious paper parcel, you’re going to want to keep reading.
This Australian combo nails it—deep-fried, grilled, oily, crispy, served on a plate or folded in paper. We like to think fish and chips are pretty seasonless too. While they are a summertime staple, paired with long beach days and too much sun, they also work as a hot soul-soother in colder months, best-consumed seaside, rugged up and spotting whales.
Here are the best fish and chips to swim your way through in Sydney.
FICH Sustainable Fish And Chips
You know you're in for something good when two former Bennelong chefs open an Inner West fish and chip shop. Jose Silva and Manny Paraiso wanted to draw on the nostalgia of after school snacks (like potato scallops and hot chips), and give it a little more polish without forgoing the casual essence of fish and chips. And, since opening in 2018, FICH has earned itself a rep for dishing out some of the crunchiest, freshest fish and chips in Sydney. We love that FICH has a sustainable mindset and their snack-sized $10 snack packs are perfect if you are in the mood for some battered goodness but don't want the food coma.
As its name might suggest, FISH SHOP is a "fine-casual" riff on the classic fish and chip shop, with the same sea breeze vibe but slightly more polished offerings on the menu. Led by head chef Joel Bennett, who you'll know from Peppe's, Bistrode, and Three Blue Ducks, the fish is sustainable and the menu is seasonal, healthier than your typical beer-battered flathead wrapped in newspaper, and with a Mediterranean mood.
Old Fashioned Fish And Chips
This nostalgic little shopfront has been going hard for a solid few and sports a classic, no-frills menu bound to amp you for post-beach-day feeds. All your favourites are here, from the classic beer-battered fish and chips to potato scallops, calamari, and more. It may not be by the seaside, but Old Fashioned Fish and Chips is a favourite for a reason.
The team at Saint Peter knows their fish. Like, really knows their fish. Don’t be fooled, there may also be a bunch of (delicious) fancy wines and infused oysters on offer, but these guys have a takeaway joint just up the road called Fish Butchery. This gem serves up fish and chips just the way we love them—with a big battered piece of deep-sea bream alongside thickly cut chips, pickled gherkins, malt onions, and yoghurt tartare sauce. The coolest part? Saint Peter head chef Josh Niland is a pioneer of sustainable fish, so you can enjoy your battered treat with a clear conscience.
This little eastern suburb institution has made a name for themselves making good basic fish and chips. Because you don’t mess with perfection, the menu at Sea Cow rarely changes. They’ve got bottles of vinegar on the tables and it’s BYO—what more could you want!
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that seafood tastes better with a sea view and nowhere is the sea view better than at The Newport. This Merivale hot spot has a to-die-for panoramic view and their outdoor seating and sprawling beer garden is perfect for making the most of this sunny weather. As you’d expect for a seaside restaurant, The Newport is not messing around when it comes to their fish and chips. The servings are generous, the batter is light and not too greasy and the fish is fresh-as-hell.
If you grew up in the East, there’s every chance that Friday afternoon meant a trip straight from primary school with all your mates to Nielsen Park for an evening dip and a cone of fish and chips. We might have gotten a bit older and The Nielson might have gotten a little bougee, but there’s still nothing like downing fish and chips on the sand. When it comes to views and ocean access they’re tough to beat, and if you’re looking for a good quality serving of fish and chips with a side of nostalgia and an iconic Sydney view, then The Nielson is free and clear the winner.
Out of the Blue
Home of the famous deep-fried Mars Bar, this Sydney icon is fresh, family-run, and a little bit French. When Jean-Marc and Sophie Gubian arrived in Sydney from France in 1986 they fell in love with the Aussie way of life and the Aussie classic: fish and chips. Continued by their son Julien and his girlfriend Matiou the legend of Out of the Blue (or OTB—if you know, you know) lives on. For locals, it goes without saying that these guys do one of the best chicken burgers in Sydney but if you’re here for a fish feed (and you should be), you’ll want to hit the New Zealand Hoki, served with chips and add on their absolute classic garlic mayo.
Costi’s is a local fave and known for its fresh fish and affordable prices (a box of battered fish and chips from Costi’s will only set you back $8.90). They also have a whole heap of grilled fish options for those trying to keep things healthy. With locations all around Sydney—you’re likely not too far away from a Costi’s and a killer serving of fish and chips.
Seafood lovers gather round, the delish serving of sea goods here is definitely worth sinking your teeth into. Located on an unlikely stoop in Surry Hills, the fish and chip fare at Mohr Fish is lightly fried and fleshy, and with a team having churned out the good stuff for more than a few decades—our heart will always take us back to this gem.
Kiwi Style Fish And Chips
Looking for your childhood chip shop reincarnated? Look no further. The fish and chips at Kiwi Style Fish and Chips are wrapped in paper to take away (though there are a few tables and chairs) plus you can choose between potato chips straight from NZ, or freshly cut Kumara chips if you’re a bit of a sweet potato lover. It’s proof that across the ditch, they’re actually pretty good at fish and chips too.
Everybody knows that if you’re looking for a quality take on ye ol’ fish and chips, Fishmongers has this staple Aussie combo down pat. Order up battered or grilled Hoki with hand-cut chips and tartare sauce, or go all out and dig into an epic mongers box filled with all the battered goods.
No surprise, Bondi’s Best definitely makes the cut when it comes to smashing down crispy and juicy fish and chips. Everything here is sustainably sourced and served twice the normal size so expect long slabs of fried fish and chunky slices of sweet potato fries (and sure, you can order up a side of greens for good measure).
What happens when three generations of a family make fish and chips for over thirty years? Fat Fish happens, that’s what. In other words, you get the fried and crispy seafood combo you’ve always wanted. And then you start visiting on a weekly basis. And then on the daily. And before you know it, you’re a fiend for Fat Fish.
Coming Soon: Charcoal Fish
Another entry on the list from award-winning chef and pioneer of sustainable seafood, Josh Niland. Charcoal Fish is a totally new idea for Sydney: a fish and chip shop concept that pairs the nostalgia and simplicity of a charcoal chicken shop with his new school approach to seafood. Basically, the idea is to plate up accessible, restaurant-quality chargrilled fish that’s both friendly but equally as impressive as we’ve come to expect from the renowned chef and his team.
Slated to open in July 2021, Charcoal Fish will serve just one fish—Aquna Murray Cod from Griffith in NSW. The heads, frames, and fins of the fish will make gravy, which will become the sauce for a gravy roll filled with picked rotisserie cod fillet. Fish collars will be grilled over charcoal and served with a fermented tamarind hot sauce, like chicken wings, but fishier. And, perhaps the pièce de résistance and most innovative trick of all—the fat from the cod will be rendered and used in Murray cod fat caramel ice cream. Incredible.
Now, work your way through this list of Sydney's best takeaway pies.
Image credit: Getty