Some claim that fish and chips are a summertime indulgence, but we maintain that these delectable, crispy ocean delights are a year-round treat, particularly during the chilly months when we crave comfort food the most.
Recalling the nostalgia of carefree days when we’d dash to the corner store with bare feet to collect our order wrapped in paper, or savouring them beachside on the grass, Australia has a deep-rooted love for fish and chips. We scoured the harbour city to reel in the shops selling the best fish and chips.
Josh Niland is anything but ordinary, so don’t expect his fish and chips to be ordinary. His fish options are always changing, depending on what’s available that day, but the one constant is the flavour and quality. One day, he might have a batter-fried Wollongong pink ling, with chips and yoghurt tartare sauce; the next day, he might have buttermilk fried dory. It’s always a surprise when walking into Fish Butchery. His fish and chips are around $20 and $14 for kids size.
This fish and chip shop is hailed by two former Bennelong chefs, so you know it’s going to be good. Available in snack-sized $10 packs or as a dine-in meal for $15. Expect crunchy, golden flakes of Ling served with hot, starchy chips. Their sustainable mindset has also earned them a loyal fan following, and we bet it will draw you in, too.
Matt Moran knows good food, and his fish and chips at North Bondi Fish are no different. Although it’s a little pricier than most, at $32, diners can expect a large plate of crunchy chips and flaky fish blanketed by a crispy, golden batter served with homemade tartare sauce. Well worth the price tag. The view is also spectacular and brings new meaning to fish and chips by the beach.
Inspired by the charm of suburban chicken shops, Josh Niland extends the joy of a charcoal-chicken dinner to the world of fish. Their star is sustainably farmed Murray cod, chosen for its tender, flavourful, and grill-friendly nature. The menu mirrors the familiarity of charcoal-chicken shops with cod fillets, rolls, and classic fish’n’chips, elevated by a week-long aging process for crispy skin and tender flesh.
While their Ocean trout is a standout and the calamari is to die for, their fish and chips are also a knockout. The best part is that you can order them to go. As for the specifics, well, firstly, the fish is fresh, and the batter is fried to perfection — to the point it blisters and crackles. Then, hiding under the two “sea cows”, are a stack of thin-cut chips served with lemon and tartare sauce. There’s also a tuna cheeseburger that’s proving to be popular.
Located right by Balmoral Beach, Bottom of the Harbour is a fish and chip shop that’s been around for a long time, and they’re still consistently serving some of the crunchiest fish and chips in Sydney. Their fish is all Marine Stewardship Council approved, so have peace of mind that it’s sustainable. Their preference is New Zealand hake, battered to order, with a side of vinegar for that extra hit of flavour.
The Boathouse in Balmoral is on the water and packed with locals hanging out on a Saturday morning or munching on seafood at lunch. While you will find a lot of tasty options on the menu, opt for the fish and chips, either burger style or traditional. The fish is beer-battered and flaky inside, but it’s the chips that shine here. Think thick-cut, crunchy, golden, starchy fingers, soft on the inside and sprinkled with a little seasoning — yum! Pair that with a housemade tartare sauce, and you have a good option for lunch with a view.
Paddington has made a name for itself in the fish and chip world, and Sea Cow is its institution. They serve up the same fish and chips every time because you don’t mess with perfection. Choose from hake, bream, or flathead, and pair it with a few different sauces, from tartare to chilli jam and squid sauce. It’s a little shop, but you can BYO, and they have bottles of vinegar on every table, so there’s no limit.
Fish and chips are synonymous with beach views, and it doesn’t get any better than The Newport. Home to a range of dining and drinking options, diners spend summer afternoons sipping on Aperol spritzes and long work lunches, digging into seafood. If you wander over to The Shack, you will find $29 fish and chips up for grabs. Here, the fish and chips are classic. Simple beer-battered and fried fish served with a mountain of crispy golden chips, a lemon wedge and tartare sauce. If you’re looking for good fish and chips by the water, then this is it.
This fish and chip shop has a French twist. Mostly known for its deep-fried mars bar and chicken sandwiches, Out of The Blue also serves a classic Australian fish and chips that comes with a side of OTB garlic mayo. We suggest getting the mayo because it’s not to be missed. The family-run business is a hit amongst the locals and draws in a line-up of visitors all the time. It’s also right by the beach, so what are you waiting for?
Costi’s fish and chips are a classic. It’s one of those places that you need to try and will fall in love with. Regardless of which location you go to, their fish and chips are always a crowd-pleaser. At a very affordable $8.90, you can get a box of beer-battered New Zealand Hoki with salad and chips or brown rice. They also do crumbed calamari rings that are a great side to your box of fish and chips.
Located in Sydney’s boujee neighbourhood, also known as Vaucluse, is The Nielsen, a waterfront restaurant that’s been serving fish and chips in cones since the days before the celebrities moved in. Although now it comes on a plate, the fish and chips at The Nielsen are a decent serving, made even more desirable by the view. Come for the nostalgia, stay for the food.
Three generations of fish and chip makers have been at Fat Fish, so expect perfection here. After all, they’ve had a long time to get it down to a science. Get it to go, and enjoy your perfect fish and chips in the park, at the nearest beach or in the comfort of your own home.