You think you know your Fish & Chips? Well, think again. Ireland is surrounded on all sides by water, its soil is uniquely fertile, and its method of making what critics call the best fish and chips in Europe are unmatched.
Fish come fresh off the boat, the hometown spuds are floury soft and crisp, and the cooking oils are used to enhance the flavors rather than ruin them.
Seriously, after your first visit to Ireland, you will think the local tourist offices should probably dream up some new name to describe what a plate of fish and chips can actually become in Irish hands.
Here’s our unscientific but heartfelt top eight Irish fish and chips shops. Visit them all and see if you agree.
And if you're not planning a trip to Ireland any time soon, you can make your own with this delicious fish and chips recipe.
8. Harry’s Shack
Set on the dramatic Antrim coastline, Harry’s Shack is a multiple award-winning restaurant that serves up outstanding fish and chips. Accompanied with homemade Marie Rose sauce and mushy peas with a slice of lemon, you’ll be in heaven from the first bite.
Portstewart’s oldest established takeaway, they are zen masters of the perfect fry up. For non-purists, you can try their curry chips and local specialty - mushy pea fritters. You heard that right. Everything tastes better when it's fried.
6. Beshoff Brothers, Howth
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Featuring a fried fish batter that will win praise from the hardest to please gourmet and chips that redefine the meaning of the word, it’s worth a trip out to this gorgeous seaside restaurant in a picturesque suburb of Dublin to have a meal in this place.
5. Donkey Fords Fish & Chips
If you visit Limerick you have to stop here. The jewel in the city’s chipper crown, the locals won’t keep the secret unless you ask. Irish people know from fish and chips and Limerick people are among the hardest to please in the nation. So go and tell us if you think it’s worth all the fuss.
4. Luigi’s, Limerick
Another praise-worthy Limerick chipper. Real chips, fried to perfection, served with batter-cooked fish. People will drive from miles around for a meal here.
3. McDonagh’s, Galway
McDonagh’s is a Galway name and this may be the best chipper on the west coast to hear the locals tell it. A family-run restaurant for four generations, they were serving outstanding fish and chips before it was cool. Thought by many to be one of the best in Ireland and indeed the world.
Kerry makes its play for the fish and chips crown with Whartons in Kenmare. Serving massive portions and all fried to perfection, they’ll be the best you have at an affordable price.
1 Leo Burdock’s
This is it. The end of the chipper rainbow. Leo Burdock's has been serving the Dublin public since 1913 and what they can do with a humble potato is nothing less than symphonic. Marcel Proust would love this humble shop because it tells a delicious story of Dublin that is as timeless as the city itself. Get in line, it will be worth the wait.
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* Originally published in 2017. Updated in 2021.