The best fish and chips in Glasgow
We've researched the options and present a guide to the best places in Glasgow for a fish supper
Fish and chips: a staple of high streets, back streets, villages and cities, a combo served at football grounds and five-star hotels, something loved by young and old, on high days and holidays, on Friday nights religiously, or on the way back from the pub.
But is it a match made in heaven, or the highway to heart-attack hell? Something to be revered as the British national dish, and a street food to call our own, or low-grade fast food that’s become more about gloopy sauce than brilliant batter?
We share the results of our local quest for plain, good old seafood with a side-order of chopped potatoes. We tried to ignore the distractions of saucing and vinegaring, and of cod-awful puns, as well as the reality that too much deep-fried food too often ain’t going to win you Commonwealth gold. We set out to sample and rate the best we could find by way of deep-fried fish, batter and chips around the streets of Glasgow, visiting 20 different venues and, along the way, finding out a bit more about the essential elements that make up a great supper.
The Best Fish and Chip shops in Glasgow
159 Milngavie Road, Bearsden
Owned by fishmonger MacCallum’s, this is the Glasgow version of Wee Hurrie on Troon’s harbour. A wet-fish counter greets customers, with an open kitchen behind rather than a chip-shop range. Large-sized portions include beefier chips than average, with a golden hue and lightly crisp exterior. Skinless, boneless, super-fresh haddock is satisfyingly thick, perfectly cooked, with a fine golden batter. Packaged in a biodegradable box with a lemon wedge and homemade tartare sauce, the suppers are among the priciest, but up there with the best.
Fish supper: £7
Gandolfi Fish to Go
84–86 Albion Street, Merchant City
The little takeaway at the side of their fish restaurant, all gleaming white tiles, is a typically classy offering from Gandolfi. The bustling shared kitchen, theatrically revealed through the large ordering hatch, is responsible for the cooked-to-order carryouts. Smartly packaged with a lemon wedge and homemade tartare sauce, haddock comes with a deep brown, crispy beer batter and equally crisp chips. Other seasonal fish include pollock, plaice and mackerel, joined on an upscale menu by Cullen skink, oysters and even whole lobsters.
Fish supper: £6.50
155 High Street, Merchant City
Busy with local residents and nearby workers, this traditional Merchant City shop serves up a great-value haddock supper, freshly cooked to order, with butterflied fillets coming in a good, crisp batter using a family recipe honed over a century. Other fish, such as pollock, hake and sea bass, which arrive daily from Anstruther and Aberdeen, are more conventionally priced. Biodegradable boxes, good mushy peas, plenty of choice including fresh pasta dishes and lively, friendly service all add to the allure.
Fish supper: £3.70
1126 Argyll Street, Finnieston
This impressive newcomer, slotting in comfortably near a batch of stylish bars and trendy restaurants, offers a traditional take on the chippy with a cool café full of hip Victoriana and literary leanings. Freshly cooked haddock is a generous, slender fillet, well cooked with a thin, golden, crispy batter. Chips, cut thinner than in many shops, are satisfying, mixing crispy edges with fluffy interiors. Prices are at the higher end, but a pound supplement for sitting in means the attractive, arty interior soon fills up.
Fish supper: £6.95
3 Fenwick Road, Southside
A Giffnock favourite for ages now, Mario’s remains popular in an area with an abundance of takeaway options (and Whole Foods just up the road, too). The typical chip-shop interior is clean and modern. The recyclable (and very big) box is filled with chips that are chunky, properly drained and ever-so-slightly floury, and then large double fillets of flaky and fresh-tasting haddock in batter that’s crisp, with a satisfying ‘chew’ at the end.
Fish supper: £6.50
Wee Fry – Sourced by master fishmonger MacCallum’s of Troon, the seafood is second to none.
Philadelphia Fish & Chicken Bar (445 Great Western Road, West End, Glasgow) – Large-sized pieces of haddock benefit from having the skin on and the bones in – fiddly but flavoursome.
Old Salty’s – Generously sized pieces produce a fresh and flaky favourite at this Finnieston newcomer.
Wee Fry – A surprisingly tasty, crisp batter that holds on to its crunch.
Gandolfi Fish to Go – A well-fired, super-crispy shell that benefits, as anything does, from the addition of beer.
Kings Café (71 Elmbank Street, City Centre, Glasgow) – This venerable chippy, under new management in 2013, offers a light batter, golden and crisp.
Gandolfi Fish to Go – Crispier than your average chippy chip, those from Gandolfi’s wee takeaway are a cut above.
Mario’s – Chunky chips with a floury interior that go easy on the oil.
Wee Fry – Evenly cut, somewhat beefy, with a crispy edge and good flavour.
Merchant Chippie – When price matters, this Merchant City favourite offers a quality haddock supper at almost half the cost of the top-enders.
Gandolfi Fish to Go – Each supper includes a lemon wedge and creamy tartare sauce that’s an ocean away from the competitors’ saucy offerings.
Old Salty's – This newcomer has breathed new life into the traditional chippy, with a good-looking café in trendy Finnieston.