Up and down the country, purveyors of one of the nation’s favourite dishes have been standing at their chip fryers with ‘baited’ breath awaiting the results.
Now, the UK’s top 10 fish and chip shops have been revealed as part of the annual National Fish & Chip Awards – regarded as the ‘Oscars‘ of the industry.
To net the top award, the shops have had their frying skills put to the test as well as being assessed on sustainable sourcing policies, menu innovation, customer service and catering for special dietary requirements.
There were also other awards this for categories including healthy eating, staff development and best mobile fish van.
This year’s winners, Krispies Fish & Chips from Exmouth, Devon, is owned and operated by husband and wife team Kelly and Tim Barnes.
They could be in for a bumper year, after the previous champions doubled their turnover in the 12 months after winning.
Captain’s Fish & Chips, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire scooped second place, with Low’s Traditional Fish and Chips from Aberdeen taking third.
Here are the top 10, with the winner, second place and third place and the rest in random order.
This year’s winners, Krispies Fish & Chips from Exmouth, Devon, is owned and operated by husband and wife team Kelly and Tim Barnes. They are pictured here celebrating with presenter Phil Vickery (left) after winning the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year award, during a ceremony at the Royal Lancaster hotel in London
Kelly and Tim could be in for a bumper year, after the previous champions doubled their turnover in the 12 months after winning
WINNER – Krispies Fish & Chips, Exmouth, Devon
Krispies is a family owned fish and chip takeaway in the beautiful seaside town of Exmouth. They are famous for their unique Krispies battered chips which are lightly coated with batter made from a secret recipe. Owner Tim Barnes said: ‘Krispies has come so far since we opened 20 years ago and we can honestly say it is a dream come true to win this award’
The local Exmouth institution, run by husband and wife duo Kelly and Tim Barnes, battered their way to victory this year, seeing off rivals from across the UK to come first plaice.
A large cod and chips will set diners back £9.60 – with the option of a traditional fried chip or chips cooked in batter.
A pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar is all the Barnes’ (otherwise known as Mr and Mrs Krispie) recommend to taste their fayre at its best – but they do offer a range of extras such as their homemade tartar sauce or mushy peas to give their customers variety.
Additional monthly specials such as smoked haddock and spring onion fishcakes also showed the judges that Krispies is more than just a one trick pony.
The pair have been frying for more than 20 years. After Tim left catering college they bought their first business in Dawlish which they owned until they bought Krispies in 2000. They then set about making Krispies into the best fish and chip shop in the UK – a goal they admit they are overwhelmed to have finally achieved.
Tim said: ‘What a journey this has been and what an incredible way to top it off by being crowned UK’s Fish & Chip Shop of the Year!
‘Krispies has come so far since we opened 20 years ago and we can honestly say it is a dream come true to win this award.
‘But we didn’t do this alone, we are so proud of our team and what they have achieved. We want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their hard work and faith in us.’
SECOND PLACE – Captain’s Fish and Chips, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire
Captain Cod has been a catch for the town in Hoddesdon for 18 years, with customers lining outside its doors and the food ‘the stuff of local legend.’ It is still run by the same owners, Tony Forgione and his brothers Luigi and Libby, who opened it back in 1998. Tony and his brothers are the third generation of their family to have been in the fish and chip business
Captain Cod has been a catch for the town in Hoddesdon for 18 years, with customers lining outside its doors and the food ‘the stuff of local legend.’
It is still run by the same owners, Tony Forgione and his brothers Luigi and Libby, who opened it back in 1998.
Tony and his brothers are the third generation of their family to have been in the fish and chip business, so they say they ‘know how to cook Britain’s traditional national takeaway dish to perfection’.
The family bought and sold several Papa John’s pizza franchises and currently own Huckleberry Chicken franchises as well as Nazeing Fish and Chips (formerly known as Wilsons).
Their fish is from sustainable resources and chips are double cooked in a state of the art new fryer. They have homemade tartare sauce (to a secret family recipe) and all takeaway boxes are biodegradable and recyclable.
Offering a wide variety of fish including some rarer options such as skate – a flat fish with a flaky texture – and rock – a more robust fish with a meatier texture – Captain Cod, impressed judges not only for the quality of their frying but for the sustainability underpinning their menu.
THIRD PLACE – Low’s Traditional Fish & Chips, Westhill, Aberdeenshire
Lows is located in the Westhill shopping centre in Aberdeenshire and has won numerous awards for food quality and hygiene. It was established 30 years ago by Clifford Low who has spent his entire life in the fish industry. Lows measures the calorie count of every item on the menu and serves MSC fish from sustainable sources
Angel Lane Chippie, Penrith, Cumbria
Angel Lane Chippie, in Penrith, Cumbria. It turned 90 this June and has been owned by father and son Dave and Dan Harding since 2007 who strive to provide Penrith’s best fish & chips with a friendly service. The deeds for the property date back to 1817 and the records show that the building was a dwelling house and a bake house with associated premises. The property has changed hands several times and people from all over the county have had interests in it, including a tinsmith and a fell monger – someone who deals in sheepskins, and someone who separates the wool from the pelts. According to the records the premises became a Fish and Chip Shop in June 1928, and Dave and Dan believe it is Penrith’s longest established Fish and Chip Shop
Dolphin Takeaway, Dungannon, County Tyrone
For the past three years this shop has been crowned Northern Ireland’s No.1 Fish & Chip Shop. Their extensive menu includes a full-gluten free option served daily and lighter bites options that are under 350 calories. The Dolphin in Dungannon has held the title of Northern Ireland’s No.1 Fish & Chip Shop for the past three years. MSC Certified, it serves ‘responsibly and sustainably sourced Cod to protect our oceans’. It offers a gluten-free menu and healthy eating options and lighter bites
Harbour Lights, Falmouth, Cornwall
Family-run Harbour Lights’ best sellers are cod and haddock. The cur cod is MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified while its chips, are cooked in a combination of rape seed and palm oil, and ‘made from the finest Cornish potatoes’ which come from farms within a 20 miles radius of the shop
Mister C’s, Selby, North Yorkshire
Mister C’s first opened in 1981 on Barlby road before moving to their current location on Micklegate in 1986. It is a family-run business that offers £5 gift vouchers for friends and family to enjoy the fish and chips in the restaurant or takeaway. Its Icelandic fish is fresh frozen, having been frozen within four hours of being caught. The shop uses the ‘finest potatoes Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have to offer’
Olley’s Fish Experience, Herne Hill, London
The small business takes its inspiration from Charles Dickens who referred to fish and chips in Oliver Twist– hence the name ‘Olley’s’. On their website the owners write: ‘We have recreated an Olde World atmosphere in this shop with the design to give a sense of the mid 1800’s’. The misspelling became an established title for the shop so remained unchanged for its registration
Papa’s Fish and Chips, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire
Papa’s Fish and Chips offers phenomenal views and unrivaled access to Cleethorpe’s promenade and pier which is one of the most iconic venues in Lincolshire. It opened its doors in 1966 and in 1973 Papa ‘finally perfected his secret recipe batter recipe’
The Crispy Cod, Tonyrefail, Rhondda Cynon Taf (Wales)
The Crispy Cod was founded by Mathew Williams in 2008. It was created with the concept of ‘providing the freshest and finest food in the Rhondda Valleys’. Its curries, sauces, chickens and pies are all homemade
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive Officer at organisers Seafish, said: ‘The National Fish & Chip Awards have been raising the bar in the industry for 31 years and we know how much it means to operators to win what is a notoriously tough competition.
‘Securing the title of best fish and chip shop in the UK will transform Krispies’ business and we hope that they are incredibly excited for what’s in store for them when they take the title back to Devon. Congratulations again, thoroughly deserved.’
A map showing the locations of the top ten best fish and chip shops in Britain, according to the 2019 rankings
Who were the winners in the other categories?
Best Newcomer Award: Fish & Chips @ Weston Grove, Upton, Chester
NFFF Quality Award ‘Champion’ Award: Blacks Finest Fish & Chips, Halton, Lancashire
From Field to Frier Award: Papa’s Fish & Chips, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire
Good Catch Award: Frasers Fish & Chips, Penzance, Cornwall
Fish & Chips @ Weston Grove in Upton, Chester, won the best newcomer award
Staff Training and Development Award: Krispies, Exmouth, Devon
Marketing Innovation Award: Nana Jan’s Buckshaw Village, Chorley
Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award: Trenchers Restaurant, Whitby, North Yorkshire
Top Foodservice Operator Serving Fish and Chips: The Little Brown Jug, Tonbridge, Kent
Best Seafood Week Campaign: Quayside Restaurant & Fish Bar, Gourdon, Aberdeenshire
Healthy Eating ‘Fish and Chips’ Award: Harbourside Fish & Chips, Plymouth, Devon
Best Mobile Fish and Chip Operator Award: Dodson’s Fresh Catch, Morley, Leeds
Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Competition: Lauren Kellaway, Kellaway’s Fish and Chips, Truro, Cornwall