The Best Fish and Chips in London

The Best Fish and Chips in London

The contest is over. Today's combatant blew away the rest of the field. The best overall fish and chips experience in London (by my criteria) is Poppies, an establishment just off of Bricklane. I visited Poppies for lunch today as a study break from writing my paper. Definitely a great decision.

Let's break down the criteria.

1. The Fish: Perfectly fried, brought hot and fresh to the table. Crispy but light breading covers a massive hunk of beautifully white cod. The fish was flaky, and utterly delicious. Also, the homemade tartar sauce was perfect.

2. The Chips: The best traditional chips in London. (Exmouth Arms was a close contender, but Poppies keeps it closer to the traditional steak-cut fry, giving it the edge it needed.) Crisp on the outside, and totally fresh, these fries were a great complement to the fish. They tasted good without vinegar and salt and absolutely phenomenal with the classic two toppers.

3. Mushy peas: Poppies advertised its mushy peas as “homemade.” They certainly taste like it, and it makes a huge difference! The sweet, fresh peas complemented the heaviness of the fried fish and chips nicely. Best mushy peas in London.

4. The atmosphere/overall experience: Poppies is an old-fashioned chippy, and it shows in the best possible way. From the waitstaff wearing 50s era white short sleeve button-ups with a black tie to serving the takeaway fish and chips in newspaper, Poppies captures a lost era. Huge lines and friendly staff, coupled with a cohesively fantastic and classic fish and chips meal, make this one London experience you absolutely cannot miss.

 

It's been an amazing adventure trying the various fish and chips restaurants all around town. Each one had its own twists on the classic meal, so my favorite fish and chips may not be your choice. Either way, with a good batch of fish and chips, everyone's a winner!

 

In any case, even though Poppies won, many restaurants deserve acclaim for a delectable meal as well. I can highly recommend any of the following fish and chips restaurants in London.

1. The Golden Hind

2. The Fryer's Delight

3. Fish!Kitchen

4. Exmouth Arms

 

Check out the winner below:

 

Poppies' Fish and Chips

 

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Terrific Tuesday: London Style

Terrific Tuesday: London Style

Today was an action-packed day! To show Georgia and Natisha the full London experience, we went to the London Eye, looked at Westminster and Westminster Abbey from the outside, took pictures at a classic phone booth, and even ate some awesome fish and chips!

 

We began the morning with a tube ride to Westminster. I chose our exit from the station carefully, so we would emerge directly below Big Ben, an awe-inspiring sight especially after emerging from the Underground. We then made our way over to the London Eye, bought tickets, and headed on up to our car in the massive Ferris wheel. It was amazing to see London stretched out below us for as far as the eye could see. The city looked absolutely beautiful in the morning light. Though it was a bit pricy, the Eye was absolutely worth it!

Next, we walked over to around Westminster and Westminster Abbey to see the exteriors. Both were beautiful as usual, but Westminster Abbey was also surrounded by rows of crosses and paper poppies to commemorate the veteran's sacrifices. It was moving to see the thousands upon thousands of miniature memorials.

On a lighter note, we then swung into a phone booth near the tube station to take another quintessential London tourist photo. After all of our Westminster adventuring, we were extra-hungry, so we ventured to The Golden Hind (currently holding the crown for best fish and chips in London in my book) for lunch of fish and chips with mushy peas, tartar sauce, and vinegar. It was as good as ever, and the massive portions of white, flaky fish and perfectly made sides reminded me why this was a great place for fish and chips.

Finally, I headed to class and the gym, per usual. I then made Mac and cheese for dinner, which we all enjoyed as usual. It was so fun to have an extra-packed house!

 

All in all, another great London day! Pictures below!

 

Walking to the Eye

 

In the Eye

 

Westminster from the Eye

 

Pods over London

On Top of the City

 

Hanging Out above the City

 

Another View of Westminster

 

Westminster, Again…

Hello Ben!

 

Westminster Abbey

 

Remembrance

 

The Classic London Shot

 

Calling Everyone

 

Fish and Chips

 

 

Fish and Chips : detail

 

Fish and Chips at The Fryer’s Delight

Fish and Chips at The Fryer’s Delight

Yet another contender has emerged for the crown for London's best fish and chips!

Today, to celebrate Sara's last day here, we went out to the Fryer's Delight. It's a hole-in-the-wall little restaurant that I pass on the bus every day on the way to school. I've been dying to try it. Something about it just screamed authentic, awesome fish and chips. A little research yielded that this little restaurant is a local favorite and often a contender on best fish and chips lists. Needless to say, I was excited to try it!

 

We arrived right as the Fryer's Delight was opening. As soon as we placed our order, we heard the splash and sizzle that meant our fish and chips were being fried. A few minutes later, a plate of hot-from-the-fryer fish and chips were sitting in front of us. I opted to add some mushy peas on the side, as well as some tartar sauce. After thoroughly dousing the fish with malt vinegar and a slight sprinkling of salt, I dug in!

 

The fish was out of this world. The breading was wonderfully crisp and held a deep crunch with a simultaneous light crispness. The fish itself was stark white and flaky. Chips were crisp and seemed extremely fresh, without extra seasoning. Mushy peas were standard, but quite a perfect accompanying dish to the meal.

Overall, the meal was a total delight. The small “hidden-treasure” find was an awesome feeling. The overall fish and chips experience felt perfect and super-local. However, the superb mushy peas and even better fish of the Golden Hind still keep it as the leader of the pack. Stay tuned for more fish and chips adventures!

 

 

 

Stratford-Upon-Avon (Day 1)

Stratford-Upon-Avon (Day 1)

Today, we made the voyage via train to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a weekend of theatre, history, and fun. It was a wonderful day. We saw Shakespeare’s grave and birthplace while exploring Stratford-Upon-Avon and then went to see a production of the Tempest. It was quite magnificent and so impressive to see the play come to life right here in Shakespeare’s hometown. The town is gorgeous, with an idyllic countryside setting a gorgeous backdrop. ¬†It seems almost a city lost in time. ¬†Tomorrow we see two plays and get more time to explore the city!

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Shakespeare’s Burial Church

Shakespeare’s Grave

Michael and Grace

Shakespeare’s Bust in his Birth Home

Fish and Chips

The Tempest Set

The River Thames Festival: A Night of Good Food, Good Fun, & Good Fireworks

The River Thames Festival: A Night of Good Food, Good Fun, & Good Fireworks

Last night, a large group of we Grinnell-In-Londoners adventured down to the banks of the River Thames for the Lord Mayor's River Thames Festival. It was a wonderful atmosphere, taking place from sunset until late at night. We enjoyed some great food, saw an incredible parade, walked around, and watched one of the most impressive fireworks displays I have ever seen.

 

 

 

 

Of the various options available, the fish and chips called out the most strongly to our group, as both Teddy and I are on quests to find London's greatest fish and chips. The fish and chips we had at the festival were freshly fried and hot, slathered in delicious vinegar, and just the perfect food to eat while watching the sun descend over the River Thames. While delicious, the fish and chips did not stand out in any particular way to win the honor of best fish and chips. We did enjoy our feast, and as the pictures below may indicate, we are already major fans of the iconic British dish.

Teddy, Joe, & Greg Enjoying Food & Fun

Next, we headed back to the streets to watch the parade. The crowds were enormous, but we managed to get a great spot streetside to watch the elaborate floats, incredible dancers, and outrageous costumes go by. Check out the crowd and some choice parade pictures below!

 

 

 

 

Post-parade, we persisted in plodding around until we procured some paella. (Awesome alliteration, eh?) In any case, we found a great Spanish stand selling paella, which Teddy and I split. It was intensely flavorful, the result of cooking in that massive pan for so long, and the chicken practically fell off the bone, infused with flavor and so delicious. Claire opted to get an incredible chorizo and chicken wrap from the same stand, an excellent choice which she so graciously let me try. The chorizo was so powerful and scrumptious, its inherent smokiness leaching into the chicken and giving it a spicy touch as well.

 

Teddy Displays Our Choice

 

Quality Assured

My Half Serving of Paella

Chorizo & Chicken

Happiness and Silliness

After our second snack of the night, we had to kill a little time before the fireworks. A few of us decided to go down a slide attached to the outside of a temporary lighthouse. It was presumably intended for little kids, but the majority of slide-riders were our age or older. We felt incredibly mature and dignified… Kind of.

 

Finally, the forays of fireworks flew into the skies, an incredible sight to behold. Some boats in the river were loaded up with fireworks, and they lit the sky beautifully. They made the riverbank, packed with thousands, glow as if it were day, and left our ears ringing and hearts pounding. It was an amazing sight to behold, and seemed a perfect cap to the atmosphere of happiness and celebration. I managed to get some pretty nice shots of the fireworks, so enjoy them below!

 

 

 

 

Fish & Chips at Fish!Kitchen

Fish & Chips at Fish!Kitchen

This morning, after my exploration of Borough market, I was pretty exhausted and overwhelmed, and in dire need of food! I ended up choosing to go with Fish!Kitchen, a nearby takeaway place whose line stretched for ages. I figured it was a good bet that they would have some pretty incredible food, given that they had a huge line outside of one of the best food markets I had seen yet.

Fish!kitchen's fish and chips were simple , efficiently made, and utterly delicious. Fresh from the fryer into a narrow, well-designed box, the fish was golden and the chips were steaming hot. The cooks then asked me if I would like my fish and chips topped with vinegar and salt, which was an obvious yes. I grabbed my box, and went in search of somewhere to sit. The fish and chips exceeded my expectations once I finally sat down in the nearby church's courtyard to enjoy the spoils of my questing. It was a phenomenal batch of food to eat.

First, the fish. The beer-batter encrusted haddock was a substantial piece of fish, and fried perfectly. I would say this was the best batter I have encountered so far, perfectly delicate and light, yet crisp and flavorful. The fish tied The Golden Hind for freshness and flavor. It was cooked perfectly, pure white, and incredibly flakey. The vinegar and salt soaked in nicely, adding a nice aftertaste to the meal.

The chips were the best I have encountered thus far in this quest of mine, just edging out The Golden Hind's offering. They were nicely crisped, fresh, and the ideal amount of vinegar and salt made them simply pop with flavor. Paired with the fish, it was an incredible side. Sadly, it was the only side I got this time, as adding mushy peas was a relatively costly endeavor, and I didn't want to waste money if the food was not high quality. A return trip will see me getting them to fill out the experience.

Overall, Fish!Kitchen offers a great fish and chips. An incredible beer batter and quality chips help it stand out. However, the overall fish and chips crown (which I decide based on food quality, service, atmosphere, experience, cost, batter, sides, appearance, etc.) still belongs to The Golden Hind.

 

Fish!Kitchen

 

The Fish and Chips

Flakey & Delicious Fish

A Charmingly Yummy Chip

The View As I Ate

 

 

Fish and Chips at The Golden Hind

Fish and Chips at The Golden Hind

Ed Senn and I were hungry and looking for a good meal. I pulled out my phone, opened the Yelp application, and ran a search on restaurants. The nearest of them with a good rating was The Golden Hind. We thought we were on track, albeit with a slightly off name, when we walked into The Golden Eagle. We asked the bartender for a good fish and chips place nearby, and without hesitation, she recommended The Golden Hind.

We walked in doors adorned with stickers from the various food rating services (Zagat, Yelp, etc) and found ourselves in a fairly crowded restaurant. We were seated almost immediately and service continued to be prompt and efficient throughout the meal. Although the tables were crammed close enough that an errant fork could gain you a bit of a neighboring table's meal, it made people-watching all the better. Ed and I noticed the crowd was very local-heavy, a good sign that the food is authentic and delicious. As we saw the food being delivered to tables around us, I began almost salivating at the sight of such delicious fried fish. We each ordered a fried fish (cod) with the traditional sides of mashed peas and chips for a very proper fish and chips meal. Ed ordered a Greek salad for us to share as well.

The food, arriving quickly and fresh from the fryer, was as fantastic as expected. The fish, being the center of attention, was quite incredible, definitely the best fried fish I have had in London. It was perfectly white and delicate, with each stroke of my fork flaking off beautiful pieces of hot, fresh fish. The breading was also quite unusual. It was substantial and deeply flavorful, yet light and not oily at all. It added a perfect crunch to the fish and chips, with the peppery breading infusing into the fish and soaking up the malt vinegar I was adding. The generous portion of fish was a good-sized amount, but with flavor like that, I could have easily eaten another few pieces!

 

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Ed and His Fish

The sides were also incredible, with the Greek Salad really standing out. It was perfectly proportioned, with a generous topping of feta. Its vegetables were all very crisp and fresh; the tomato was absurdly delicious and a deep red to its core. It was a refreshing option to cleanse the palate between the fish and chips and mashed peas. Speaking of those classic sides, they were scrumptious. Both had a perfect texture and consistency, the fries with their crisp outside skins and the peas with their firm-yielding-into-soft texture. Combined with the fish, the triumvirate of fish, mashed peas, and chips is quite unbeatable.

 

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The Greek Salad

 

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The Fabled Fish and Chips

 

Overall, The Golden Hind has provided a worthy benchmark for my quest to find the Best Fish and Chips in London. It was so kind and generous of Ed to treat me to such a fantastic meal. The combination of a perfectly crusty fish with the well-executed sides make it the fish and chips to beat!

 

Lunchkins at Munchkins

Lunchkins at Munchkins

Midway through our orientation day, we were set loose for lunch in the local neighborhood. We set out and found a fairly touristy, but reasonable place called Munchkins. We sat down, ordered a few plates of Fish and Chips, and waited!

 

 

It was a decently eloquent affair for lunch. The fish was fried in a thick crust that I soaked with some malt vinegar and broke into. The fish was warm, hot, and delicious, if a bit overcrusted. It was kind of a good thing that Munchkins was so touristy, as it somewhat intensified that this was my FIRST English fish and chips! I was struck with a new mission: to find the greatest fish and chips in London. Stay tuned for that adventure in upcoming posts. The fish was accompanied by chips (or fries as we Yanks/Americans call them) and a kind of mashed peas dish. The chips were quite tasty, especially with a bit of vinegar and ketchup.

We then rushed back to the school building and had a long walk around the area for orientation. That post comes next!