I must confess, I’m not much of a chippy fan. Mostly because I don’t eat fish, but also because if I ever find myself thinking “Phwoar, I could murder a big old box of battered and deep fried mystery meat” it invariably means I’ve done some horrendously embarrassing things I can’t quite remember the night before. Thankfully I’m a boring grown up now, so this is rare. Also, I’m yet to find a chippy with what I consider to be really good chips. And yah OK, maybe I’m being a chip snob, but seriously, what’s with the potatoes that chippies use in the UK? They’re kind of floury and all shrivelled up, like even they’re embarrassed by it all.
But not everyone’s like me. Some people like to frequent chip shops a lot. So it’s the least I can do to share with you where the best ones in Edinburgh are, because it’s bad enough that you’re eating crap food, without having to eat crappy crap food.
The Gorgie Fish Bar
This is a family run, super friendly chippery that used to be my local. The three times in two years I embarrassed myself in public and then found myself at the Gorgie Fish Bar the next day, their service was brilliant. They have a huge selection of all the usual chip shop menu items, plus pizza, pasta, burgers and kebabs. It’s located very close to Tynecastle Stadium, be prepared for it to be packed on game days.
136-138 Gorgie Rd, EH11 2NS
Can a chippie be sophisticated? It seems yes. I mean look, it even has two apostrophes in the one name. L’Alba D’Oro is home to the often lauded bread-crumbed fillet of fish and has been frying in Edinburgh since 1975. It is also consistently voted number one in Edinburgh on lists like this from people who like to put things in number order.
7 Henderson Row, EH3 5DH
OK, so it’s not a traditional chippy like the two places above – the City Restaurant is more like a bigger, slicker greasy spoon – but they have a large take away menu and their fish and chips are a favourite of many locals and hordes of festival visitors each August.
35 Nicolson St, EH8 9BE
The Tailend used to be owned by Colin Cromar, a legendary fish and chippie-er in Scotland and winner of many “best in Scotland” awards. He also used to own the famous Anstruther Fish Bar in Fife too. See – legend. And ummm sorry, telling you that one of the best chippie-ers in the whle country is no longer actually running The Tailend is not very helpful is it? The Tailend Restaurant and Fish Bar in its current guise is still very well thought of in Edinburgh though, and if you eat in, you can skip the ubiquitous haddock and cod and try whitebait, fish cakes or Lobster and Langoustine Tail. Classy.
14-15 Albert Pl, EH7 5HN
Legend has it that someone from the Royal Family once sent out for a bit of a fish supper from this very establishment. But really, I mean, come on, even if it is located so far down The Royal Mile it would be the logical chippy of choice for any Royal who’s accidentally had a few too many bevvies at yet another bloody boring function, why on earth would any of them go to a fish and chip shop? Don’t you think they’d have some super swanky chef on call 24/7 at the Palace to whip them up a plate of something greasy? Well, it’s a good story, believe it if you will, but that aside, Bene’s is lauded for having fresh fish, big portions, quality chips, home made pizzas and great service. Who needs the Royal stamp of approval if you’ve got all that?
162 Canongate, EH8 8DD
Stuff to Know
In writing this I realised I have no idea if the proper spelling is chippy or chippie, and seemingly neither does the internet. If you’re the observant type, you’ll see I’ve decided to us them both, so at least I’ll be right half the time.
Please note, this post is about Edinburgh’s best chippy/chippie. It is not a list of where to get Edinburgh’s best fish and chips. That’s a whoooole other list… that I haven’t written yet.