Correction 3/23/22: A previous version of this article stated Barking Crab opened in 1944. The restaurant opened in 1989, not 1944.
From bangers and mash to an English breakfast, the UK has produced a wide variety of delicious dishes. However, there are perhaps none as popular or beloved as that of fish and chips. According to Historic UK, the first official fish and chips restaurant opened in 1863, right outside of Oldham, Lancashire. From the crispy, fried batter to the thick-cut french fries, fish and chips are simple yet decadent.
Thanks to the Industrial Revolution and the expansion of fish distribution, this comforting recipe made its way over to America. Though there is nothing quite as tasty as enjoying a meal in its home territory, the United States has managed to master the art of the fish and chips at several restaurants across the country. From the Pacific Northwest to the coast of Maine, we’ve rounded up the 20 best fish and chips restaurants that you can find in the U.S.!
1. Malibu Seafood – Malibu, California
Located right off of the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu Seafood is a rustic seafood stand that offers prime ocean views and beachside dining. You’ll recognize this legendary spot by the long line that is almost always wrapped around the building, proving just how delicious its fare is. Plus, there is nothing more refreshing than indulging in some local seafood while feeling the ocean breeze across your skin.
The local restaurant’s fish and chips are by far one of the most popular items on the menu. From the crispy batter to the thick-cut fries that are soft on the inside but crunchy on the outside, you can’t go wrong with this classic dish. The pieces of fish are pretty sizable, you’re able to choose between getting one piece, two pieces, or three pieces. In addition to its fish and fries, Malibu Seafood is also known for its fried scallops and shrimp. Balance out the heaviness of the fried food with a side order of the creamy coleslaw.
2. BIG & little’s – Chicago, Illinois
Craving a classic fish and chips recipe that is simple and straightforward? BIG & little’s in Chicago is known for its diverse menu that boasts bold flavor and classic comfort food. That being said, its fish and chips are one the biggest stand-out items on the list. With three locations in River North, Lakeview, and Wicker Park, this renowned restaurant is available to locals all over the city.
BIG & little’s flaky whitefish is beer-battered and fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy piece of fish that melts in your mouth. In addition to the french fries, the fish and chips come with tartar sauce and lemons. When it comes to portion size, this dish is available in a half size for $10 or a full order for $16. If you want to take your meal to the next level, request either truffle or Cajun fries. Depending on what you’re craving, the truffle is very flavorful while the cajun seasoning adds a nice kick.
3. Ye Olde English Fish & Chips – Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Ye Olde English Fish & Chips is a family-run restaurant that keeps things traditional when it comes to fish and chips. Its English-style batter has followed the same recipe for 90 years, and it has remained just as popular as it first was when the restaurant opened in 1922. The fries or "chips" are also made fresh, on-site each day, resulting in a harmonious combo that complements each other. The $1 coleslaw is another great addition that is worth giving a try.
Having been in business for nearly 100 years, it makes sense that this beloved Woonsocket restaurant would be a favorite among locals. Between the heartwarming history and the consistent ingredients, Ye Olde English Fish & Chips is an absolute must-see for fish and chips fans who are visiting the East Coast. If you want to enhance your dish, order the fish and chips with whole belly clams for a wider flavor profile.
4. Ivar’s Seattle – Seattle, Washington
Ivar’s Seattle first began in 1938 when Ivar Haglund began selling fish and chips along the Seattle waterfront. Now, this iconic chain has expanded to five different locations across the Pacific Northwest, proving just how well Ivar’s has mastered the art of fried seafood. While its most iconic and popular dish is definitely the true cod fish n’ chips, Ivar’s also serves a version that is made with Alaskan halibut.
The true cod is dipped in a traditional batter, and the Alaskan halibut is panko-crusted. They are both delicious options, but you can’t come to Ivar’s without trying their original recipe. The clam chowder is another local favorite, which features a creamy texture with some added crunch from crispy bacon bits. If you’re able to make it for happy hour, the restaurant’s famous cod fish n’ chips are available for only $12 as opposed to the regular price of $21.
5. Flying Fish Bar & Grill – Half Moon Bay, California
The Flying Fish Bar & Grill has called Half Moon Bay home for more than 25 years. In 2017, it was ranked No. 9 in the Daily Meal’s list of America’s best fish and chips, showing just why visitors and locals flock to this coastal restaurant. After driving along the breathtaking cliffs of Half Moon Bay, stop by the Flying Fish Bar & Grill for a pint of beer and some local seafood.
The fish and chips are available in two different sizes, giving you the choice of having two or three pieces of cod. Since it is deep-fried, the crispy batter breaks with ease in each bite, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture. In addition to its fish and chips entrée, the Flying Fish Bar & Grill also serves a fish sandwich that comes with garlic confit and grilled bell peppers. Be sure to order a side of the creamy coleslaw for some extra crunch.
6. Susan’s Fish-N-Chips – Portland, Maine
According to New England Today, Portland, Maine, has made a name for itself as one of the most popular seafood cities in the United States. This coastal town is serene and idyllic, offering some of the freshest seafood in small, family-run restaurants and shacks. Specializing in fried seafood, Susan’s Fish-N-Chips has been treating tourists and locals alike to crispy coastal cuisine since 1989. Though its fish and chips are the No. 1 item on the menu, some other fan favorites include the fried clams and deep-fried lobster tail on a stick.
In addition to being delicious, Susan’s Fish-N-Chips also keeps things very affordable. Since the establishment has been in business so long and formed close relationships with a variety of fishermen, it’s able to save some money and in turn, save its customers some money. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the cooking process through the open kitchen so you can see how the magic happens before digging in.
7. Brophy Bros. – Santa Barbara, California
Brophy Bros. is located right on the wharf in Santa Barbara. Since this quaint coastal town is known for having some of the freshest seafood in California, it makes sense that this beloved seafood restaurant would end up on our list. Snag a seat at the bar and order a beer or craft cocktail as you watch the sunset behind the many sailboats in the marina.
Brophy Bros. also has a large patio where you can take in beautiful views and enjoy an ocean breeze. The fish and chips come beer-battered and are available for $15.25 a plate. If you need something lighter to balance out the heaviness of the fried fish, you can’t go wrong with the shrimp cocktail or ceviche. The restaurant also features freshly shucked oysters that come with a vibrant cucumber lime relish. While the Santa Barbara location is the most popular one, Brophy Bros. also has a spot down south in Ventura.
8. Ye Old King’s Head – Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica, California, is a dynamic city located right on the ocean. Ye Old King’s Head is a traditional British pub that has an authentic aesthetic and transporting menu. That being said, the fish and chips are guaranteed to have elements of the real deal. The recipe features the traditional use of cod and gives guests the choice of beer or original batter. The chips, meanwhile, are very thick and soft, just as they are across the pond.
Sit on the adorable patio as you do some stellar people watching and enjoy a pint under the Santa Monica sun. If you’re feeling extra hungry, order the King size for $25. However, if you’re planning on snacking on other appetizers or sides, the $17 Queen size should definitely suffice. In addition to fish and chips, Ye Old King’s Head also serves classic favorites such as bangers and mash and a savory shepherd’s pie.
9. The Shakespeare – NYC, New York
When it comes to food, New York City has one of the best reputations in the country. The Shakespeare at the William is a very old-school and rustic restaurant that features antique art and paintings on the walls. The scene is set in this transporting restaurant, which makes indulging in its authentic food all the more fun. Though its menu isn’t huge, it features all of the UK favorites. From a Scotch egg to bangers and mash, you can’t go wrong with anything at The Shakespeare.
Its fish and chips feature a piece of cod that is battered and fried to perfection, while the chips are triple-cooked. Dunk both the fish and the chips in tasty tartar sauce and sip on an ale from one of The Shakespeare’s rotating cask selections. If you prefer wine, dine in for happy hour Monday through Friday and enjoy $3 off a glass or $2 off all draught beers.
10. The Barking Crab – Boston, Massachusetts
Located in Boston, The Barking Crab first opened its doors in 1989 and started off as a popular spot for outdoor eating under the summer sun. Nowadays, The Barking Crab is open all year-round thanks to heaters and a wood-burning stove, ensuring that you can enjoy the restaurant’s famous fish and chips no matter what season it is. In order to experience the full scope of the menu, start your meal off with the fresh shellfish tower before diving into the fried goods.
The fish and chips entrée at The Barking Crab is made from fried haddock and includes a side of tartar sauce and coleslaw for extra flavor. If you’re feeling extra hungry, you can order the fisherman’s platter and indulge in the fried haddock and chips along with fried shrimp, clam strips, and scallops. The lobster mac and cheese is another fan favorite that can be shared as a side or appetizer.
11. Alki Spud Fish & Chips – Seattle, Washington
Alki Spud Fish & Chips has been one of Seattle’s most beloved fish and chips spots since 1935. As one of the oldest seafood destinations in the city, Alki Spud Fish & Chips has made a reputation among locals for having award-winning cuisine in the heart of Seattle. One of the best parts of dining at this historic seafood joint is the fact that you are able to take in views of Downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay as you eat your meal. If you visit during the colder season, be sure to snag a cup of the New England-style clam chowder.
Soak up the panoramic views while taking a bite out of the fried Alaskan cod. Dip your chips in everything from BBQ sauce to cocktail sauce and choose between three different sizing options. Though Alki Spud Fish & Chips is definitely most known for its fish and chips (as the name suggests), it also serves various entrées that range from halibut to scallops to prawns.
12. A Salt & Battery – NYC, New York
Between the classic thick-cut chips and the light-battered fish, the fish and chips at A Salt & Battery in New York City are straight out of a dream. Choose between cod and haddock or enjoy a tasty combo and dip them in some tangy malt vinegar, just as they do in the UK. Though the haddock and cod are the most popular options, you can also order fried sole or whiting and expand your palate.
While the chips are a must have, complete your meal with a side of mushy peas and indulge in a true taste of British cuisine. Some more unique additions on the menu are the potato dabs, fried beets, and curry sauce. Enjoy all of these authentic fixings from the middle of the concrete jungle before a busy day of exploring New York City. With both outdoor and indoor seating available, A Salt & Battery is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
13. Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips – Las Vegas, Nevada
If it’s Gordon Ramsay-approved, then you know it must be good. Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips is a Las Vegas staple for those who are a fan of seafood or the celebrity chef. Located within the LINQ Promenade, Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips sits right in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Being that Chef Gordon Ramsay is known to strive for perfection, you should expect nothing less when it comes to trying his famous fish and chips.
The meals are served in convenient boxes that make them easy to transport or take to-go. The fish combo is the most traditional option, and it features three sizable pieces of fried cod; savory, thick-cut chips; and your choice of two sauces on the side. While each meal is very filling, you have the option to up the ante by adding an extra order of fried fish, shrimp, lobster, sausage, or chicken to your combo.
14. Boston Sail Loft – Boston, Massachusetts
From the stunning harbor views to the refreshing cocktails, Boston Sail Loft is a prime spot for enjoying seafood in a serene setting. Since the fish and chips are literally called "Boston’s Best Fish and Chips" on the menu, they are definitely worth checking out. They’re made using cod and come in a pretty large portion, making it a great dish to share for $18.95. The fried fish sandwich that is topped with melted cheese is another solid option that can be shared.
That being said, you’ll definitely want to complete your meal with some other tasty treats. For an appetizer, start off with a cup of clam chowder to get a true taste of Boston. Whether you’re craving a craft beer or cocktail, Boston Sail Loft’s fully stocked bar is sure to keep the good times rolling. Also, save some room for dessert at the end of your meal and indulge in the restaurant’s decadent Boston cream pie.
15. Collins Fish Market – Los Angeles, California
Collins Fish Market is located in the heart of Los Angeles and has been around since 1976. It’s considered to be somewhat of a hidden gem and is best known to locals in the area who know it sells some of the freshest fish in the city. Since a large "Fish & Chips" decal can be seen on the front window, it’s safe to assume that Collins Fish Market serves up a delicious dish.
One of the coolest things about eating fish and chips at this local market is the fact that there is a huge variety to choose from. From sole to salmon to snapper, Collins Fish Market makes sure that you have options. Of course, the traditional recipe for fish and chips calls for cod, but the fried orange roughy offers a unique and tasty twist. If you’re a fan of shellfish, you can also do a combo and try the jumbo-fried shrimp.
16. The Codmother – San Francisco, California
San Francisco is known as one of the culinary capitals of the United States (if not the world). This dynamic city is home to a variety of cuisines and cultures, but there is no denying the fact that their seafood is top-notch. The Codmother is located at the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf, which boasts some of the best seafood in the state. Grab your fish and chips to-go before heading off to explore the legendary area as you walk along the bay.
This casual food truck can be recognized by its blue exterior and a lengthy line of people that tends to swarm around it. From the clam chowder in a bread bowl to the crispy calamari, everything at The Codmother is high-quality and in high demand. That being said, its fish and chips take the cake for being the most popular item on the menu. The dish comes with two large pieces of fried cod and is served on top of medium-thick fries with a side of malt vinegar and tartar sauce.
17. Fish & Fizz – Dallas, Texas
Fish & Fizz in Dallas proves that everything really is bigger in Texas. This eco-friendly restaurant places an emphasis on sustainability and being environmentally responsible, ensuring that you can feel good about the food you’re eating. Being that it operates on a first-come, first-served basis, it can get pretty crowded. However, if you can brave the line, ordering at the counter is easy and fast.
Though it has a couple of innovative appetizers such as sesame panko-fried shrimp and a hot crab dip with bread, Fish & Fizz set out to revolutionize the classic dish of fish and chips. From a cod burger with chips to the standard fish and chips plate, all of the cod at Fish & Fizz is sustainably sourced from the Atlantic, resulting in a fresh taste and premium quality. The thick french fries are cooked to perfection alongside some authentic sides of mushy peas, pickled eggs, and malt vinegar.
18. The Wee Chippy – Venice, California
Venice is an area of Los Angeles that is known for its laid-back culture and vibrant boardwalk. The Wee Chippy is a seafood stand that is located right in the heart of the boardwalk, making it easy to grab an order of fish and chips before setting up a beach picnic in the sand and watching the sunset. After opening in 2013, The Wee Chippy took the city by storm, and the rest is history.
Its award-winning fish and chips use Atlantic cod to create a mouthwatering take on the beloved recipe. The unique seasonings used blend the flavors of the fish and the batter beautifully, and the use of local ingredients results in a dish that will have you coming back for more. When it comes to the chips, the potatoes are fried with the skin on, giving the fries a delicate crunch. The Wee Chippy also believes in using as little food waste as possible, and even recycles its cooking oil for biofuel.
19. Oliver’s Fish & Chips – Graham, Washington
Graham, Washington, is a small town in the Pacific Northwest that is about an hour outside of Seattle. After starting their business in Alaska, the owners of Oliver’s Fish & Chips decided to move to this quaint and charming area and opened up one of the best and most popular seafood spots in town. All of the fish is cut by hand, and the batter’s secret and savory recipe has tons of flavor. It’s also fired at the ideal level of crispiness, yielding a flaky and delicate texture.
Though the house-made tartar sauce is virtually unbeatable, the pineapple slaw truly is one-of-a-kind. The refreshing and fruity flavor complements the fish in a unique way. While the most popular fish option is Alaskan cod, the restaurant also fries up some amazing halibut and salmon. You also can’t stop by Oliver’s without trying a cup of its delectable and creamy clam chowder, which is made in-house every day from scratch.
20. The Lost Gull Fish N’ Chips – Oxford, Maine
Open year-round in Oxford, Maine, The Lost Gull specializes in fish and chips and lobster rolls. This family-owned restaurant keeps things simple by placing its focus on the ingredients used as opposed to the actual recipes themselves. The quality of the seafood shines through and is not covered up by bold flavors or heavy sauces. Simply order inside and snag a picnic table on the patio or take it to-go and enjoy it back home.
The basic fish and chips are served with a soft roll and coleslaw, though you have several other sides to choose from if you want to enhance your meal. From sweet potato fries to onion rings, you’re sure to make the right choice with any of The Lost Gull’s extra fixings. The restaurant also serves a fried haddock box that is ready to go and easy to travel with. While you can’t go wrong with clam chowder, branch out and try the tasty lobster stew instead.