Britain has a reputation as a country where you’re likely to be served some pretty uninspiring food, but I’m not sure that’s fair. The UK draws inspiration from the cuisine of many other countries so it’s actually pretty diverse. In any typical British town you can enjoy food from any number of continents – and Britain also has its classics which are loved all over the world.
Number one on the list of classic British dishes has to be fish and chips.
There isn’t a high street in the land where you can’t get a juicy chunk of cod, battered, deep fried and served with thick cut chips and lashings of salt and vinegar.
But not all fish and chip shops are created equal and if there’s one thing I’ve learned on my travels it’s that the best fish and chips are usually to be had near the coast. And in my experience, the best coastal fish and chips can be found in the South Western tip of England – in Cornwall.
So I thought I’d take a look at five of the places I think you can find the best fish and chips in Britain.
The fish comes straight from the blue Atlantic waters that surround Cornwall, making it the freshest fish you can possibly eat, making for the tastiest battered fish you will ever come across!
Truscotts Fish and Chips, Newquay
Truscotts serves up fish fresh from the Atlantic Ocean it overlooks, and has been doing so since 1969. It’s family run and has proven to be popular not just with travelers, but locals too.
And if your travels have left you feeling particularly hungry, the shop also serves the famous Cornish delicacy – homemade pasties.
Welcome Stranger Fish and Chip Restaurant, Lanivet
Welcome Stranger in Lanivet is so popular you’ll likely have to queue before it’s even open, as it’s so good hungry customers like to descend upon the shop ten minutes before opening time.
The chippie serves delicious fresh cod, haddock and plaice as you’d expect, but also caters for coeliacs, so if you’re travelling with dietary requirements, it’s a chippie to head to.
It’s also a venue to visit for anyone travelling with children, as any children dining in get to create some artwork during dinner, which the restaurant then displays on its walls.
If fresh fish is your thing then Lewis’s in Newlyn is the place to make a beeline for.
The village is famous for its harbor, which is home to Cornwall’s largest trawler fleet – which has been landing fish and there and selling it across the county and country for more than 500 years.
The fish served at Lewis’s is often so fresh that if you turn up before opening time you’ll see it being carried from the harbor to the restaurant, and filleted by the chefs.
It’s also a top venue for the more adventurous fish and chip aficionado, as it offers fish like John Dory, hake and monkfish as well as the usual cod and plaice.
Rick Stein’s Fish and Chips, Falmouth
One name you’re unlikely to travel around Cornwall without hearing is Rick Stein. The celebrity chef has a string of restaurants in seaside towns, with many concentrated in Padstow.
While Rick’s restaurants would probably break the bank for most backpackers, his chip shop in Padstow is a cheaper way to experience his delicious cooking (although it is still more expensive than the others on this list).
Beck’s Fish and Chips, St Ives
Are you an ethical traveler? If so, then Beck’s may be the chippie for you.
It focusses on the environment and ethical fishing and the owners don’t just serve chips, they’re also making an effort to teach customers about sustainable eating – something they do by serving delicious, local and lesser known species of fish.
One of their best dishes is beer battered mackerel and chips, which you can wash down with a crisp Cornish cider.
If you’re heading to Cornwall, why not stop at The Valley, for a spot of luxury living on your travels.