A Local’s Guide to Finding the Best Fish and Chips in Edinburgh
Fish and chips are synonymous with British culture, with good reason. The rich history of fish and chips have made this one of the most popular dishes up and down the country. With so many options available to you in the Scottish capital, it can be difficult to know where to find the best fish and chips in Edinburgh.
All that choice brings out the very best in some chippies. But a bad batch of fish and chips is very depressing. To help you avoid a lacklustre meal, we have compiled our list of the best places to get the very best fish and chips in Edinburgh. It was an arduous task to ensure the quality of so many outstanding establishments, but someone had to do it.
Edinburgh is also unique, compared to all other chippies in the UK. Here, they offer “salt and sauce” rather than the standard “salt and vinegar” as the condiment to your meal. The sauce is like brown sauce mixed with vinegar and it is definitely an acquired taste. A taste which we have certainly not acquired despite years of living in Edinburgh. If you’re curious, ask for a little on the side. If you don’t, they will liberally coat your dinner in the sauce. This can either make or break a great meal, depending on your enjoyment of the stuff.
Best Fish and Chips in Edinburgh
For us, the Fishmarket is hands-down the absolute best in the city, in fact, make that anywhere!
The Fishmarket gets the freshest fish from the fishmongers just next door. Then, they cook everything to order. This can mean a bit of a wait during busier times but it’s worth it for the result.
The takeaway menu includes things like Scampi, Fried Chicken, Crispy Monkfish and Scottish Lobster. The quality puts it is at the higher end of the price scale for fish and chips. However, it isn’t much more than a city centre Chippy, but with far superior quality.
Dining in gives you the full bounty of the Scottish seafood scene. Options include fresh Oysters (they do an oyster happy hour if that’s your thing), Langoustines, Lobster and Smoked Salmon and that’s just the starters! Kids options are also available. Although they don’t do the Scottish classics like pizza crunch or king rib, their “Proper Fish and Chips are absolutely the best fish and chips in Edinburgh.
If you spend any time looking at lists of the best fish and chips in Edinburgh, you will consistently find L’Alba D’Oro. No newcomers to this game, they have been serving high-quality fish and chips since 1975. This history has cemented them as a favourite in Edinburgh’s New Town. All the fish is cooked fresh to order and the chips are great too.
Being a classic Scottish Chippy, their menu includes Battered Sausage, Haggis, Steak Pie and Pizza Crunch. It is take away only, like a lot of chippies to be fair, but they are conveniently placed close to the city centre.
L’Alba D’Oro is particularly well known for their breaded Haddock Supper as well as their traditional, battered offering.
The history of Britain’s national dish, fish and chips, is long and rich.
Click here to learn more about the great dish, and the wonderful people who brought it to us.
Want to eat Fish and Chips on the beach? Well, this Portabello institution is the place for you. St. Andrew’s Takeaway is located 5 minutes’ walk from the stunning Portabello beach and serves up some top fish and chips to boot.
This diverse takeaway has quite the collection of menu items. You will find everything from kebabs, to pizzas, to pasta plus the obligatory chippy menu. It is here, in the classic items, that you’ll find us ordering. You’ll find your usual suspects of Pizza Crunch, Haggis, Black and White Pudding, and Pies all available as singles or suppers (with chips). They also offer the deep-fried Mars Bars so you can get some dessert for your beach picnic.
Ask famed Edinburgh author, Ian Rankin, for the best fish and chips in Edinburgh and he will send you straight to the Globetrotter. Here, you will find the most quintessential chippy in the city.
Alongside the standard menu, you’ll find Haggis, Black Pudding and White Pudding suppers (white pudding is a combination of oats, fat, breadcrumbs and pork without the blood). They also have steak and mince pies; no sign of the delicious macaroni pie though. This is also the first on our list which does a “Barbecue King Rib”. This is basically a rib shaped sausage pattie made from pork and sweet seasoning.
Bertie’s is located on one of the busiest tourist streets in Edinburgh. Opened by the Vittoria Group who own multiple Italian restaurants across Edinburgh, you may be wary of the location being a tourist trap. While it certainly is catering to a heavy tourist crowd (they even have a menu in Chinese), they still use high-quality fish. This fish is cooked fresh to order and it is no more expensive than other Chippies in the capital offering sit-in meals.
Being more of a restaurant than an old-fashioned Chippy, they have a slightly more extensive menu. This includes fish tacos and a vegan burger – vegan food is not common at British chip shops.
They also offer the infamous Deep-Fried Mars Bar as a dessert option. We wholeheartedly recommend trying this if you haven’t before. Plus, the hills in Edinburgh give you the perfect opportunity to walk off the sugar hit!
So the City Restaurant is not technically a Chippy, like those above. City Restaurant is more of a “Greasy Spoon” style establishment offering Burgers, Pasta, Pizza and all sorts.
Before you dismiss it off-hand, the fish and chips are high quality. So, they are well deserving of their recommendation as best fish and chips in Edinburgh. It is a favourite during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as the location is close to lots of venues.
City Restaurant is also excellent value considering the location and the level of passing tourist trade they get. This is maybe a good option for bigger groups where not everyone wants the same thing. Outside of the classics, we can’t speak to the quality of the other offerings as we haven’t tried them.
This local favourite is a family-run affair that ticks almost all the late-night takeaway boxes. Located just around the corner from Tynecastle Stadium in the West of the city, The Gorgie Fish Bar is ideally situated for those who are heading home and looking for some refreshments.
You’ll find all the usual suspects on the menu here. This includes your battered pizzas, various colours of pudding and pies.
They also offer very good value for money compared to some others on the list. This is mostly down to its location as it is still one of the best fish and chips in Edinburgh.
Where to Eat Deep-Fried Mars Bar in Edinburgh
So you’ve no doubt heard of the Scottish delicacy, the Deep-Fried Mars Bar. Created in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire in the early 1990s, it has achieved cult status across the UK. Its fame is slowly spreading globally, so you are not alone in seeking out the deep-fried mars bar in Edinburgh.
Now this may sound like the kind of thing that will result in early death. However, as a wee treat, it’s quite delicious and worth trying. Not everywhere will make them though – you need to use different oil just for frying Mars Bars. Oddly, it does seem to be more of an East Coast of Scotland thing – they are very hard to find in the West.
We’ve picked a few places in Edinburgh where you can give this a try. As the ingredients are so simple and made fresh to order, they are all pretty similar in terms of quality. Remember to get salt – but not vinegar or sauce on it. Mmmmm sweet, crispy, salty and gooey. It really does hit all the good bits of food.
Located at the the top of Broughton Street, Cafe Piccante is very convenient for grabbing a late night snack. They have a tendency to pre-cook a lot of their stuff ready for the rush which is why it doesn’t make the list for the best fish and chips in Edinburgh. Having the fish sitting in the hot box means it overcooks and the batter goes chewy.
However, they do cook their Mars Bars to order so are a great spot to grab one to try.
Cafe Piccante also have a scheme where you can pay for food in advance for the homeless. They then keep the tickets aside and any homeless person can come in and get some food. This puts them way up in our estimation. So, if you can afford to, please buy some chips or something for the less fortunate while you’re there.
The Deep-Fried Mars Bar at Bertie’s comes as a full dessert with vanilla ice-cream and raspberry sauce – just in case you needed more sugar. Personally, we are purists and prefer the Mars Bar on it’s own. But ice cream is great and combining raspberry and chocolate always works, so we can see the appeal.
This is certainly not the cheapest way to experience your gooey delight, but you are sat in a restaurant so that is to be expected. However, the quality here is undeniable.
Do take note that they only do the Deep-Fried Mars Bars on their sit in menu. They aren’t available for takeaway so put your feet up and enjoy.
Ice cream on the beach is so overdone and in the brisk winds of Scottish beaches, sometimes not ideal. The solution to your desire for sweet things whilst walking along the coast? A deep-fried mars bar from St. Andrews Takeaway.
As previously mentioned, they are a high quality Fish and Chip Shop. However, they are also a purveyor of fine Scottish desserts. There is something warm and comforting about a deep-fried mars bar on your wander through the wonderful Scottish Summer on the beach.
This fish and chips shop is just off the Royal Mile, Edinburgh. Clamshell is a tourist hotspot due to its convenient location. They are also another chip shop that tends to batch cook its produce then keep it warm for serving. But, again, they will cook a deep-fried mars bar for you to order.
They offer good value for money too considering the location in the heart of the most touristy area of Edinburgh.
Want to sample the delights of the Deep-Fried Mars bar but don’t want to frequent a Chippy to do so? Then Royal Mile Tavern is the place for you. It is conveniently located down the road from Edinburgh Castle and serves Deep-Fried Mars Bars which you can enjoy with your Scottish beer or whisky. You’ll pay slightly more for them on account of location, but it’s hardly bank breaking stuff.
Rumour has it that a member of the British Royal family once sent for some fried goodness from Bene’s. This was after a function where they had ingested several more beverages than would be deemed sensible. Now, we have no idea if this is actually true. But Bene’s is conveniently located near the Palace of Holyrood so it makes sense, at least geographically.
Grab your deep-fried mars bar from here for some much needed energy on the climb to Edinburgh Castle. There are also whisperings that if you ask nicely enough you can have other chocolate goodies battered and deep fried for your enjoyment.
Scotland is abundant in beautiful landscapes, perfect for creating a diverse and exciting food scene.
Click here to read about all the Scottish foods and drinks to try on your next trip.
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The Plate Unknown is an educational food blog. Here we share information about world food culture, the origin of dishes from around the world, and tips for taking a food-focused trip.