As I’m sure you’re all well aware, this week (18-24th February 2013) is National Chip Week. I must say I for one am pretty excited about the prospect for indulging in some good fish and chips. On the plus side, Scotland is renowned for its high quality seafood. But on the other hand, its many fish and chip shops undoubtedly contribute to its population having one of the worst diets in Europe. (But hey, you only live once, right ?)
In January 2013 the UK National Fish and Chip Awards were announced and included a number of Scottish chippies, including the overall winner, the Bay Fish and Chips in Stonehaven.
There must be literally hundreds of fish and chip shops in Scotland. Everyone will have their personal favourites, either their local chippie or one they’ve enjoyed while on holiday, perhaps perched on the harbour wall after a day on the beach.
I don’t claim this to be the definitive Top 10, but it does include most of Scotland’s recent award-winners … but if you know of a chippy that should have been mentioned please let me know …
The West End Café and Chip Shop is a two-time winner of the UK Best Fish and Chip Shop Award and a worthy destination for the hungry traveller. It only serves haddock, but the freshest you are likely to find.
Located right next to what’s left of the Eyemouth fish market, Giacopazzi’s has been serving superb fish and chips since 1900. They also boast award-winning ice cream, made on site.
Provides sustainable produce and quality fish and chips, and Winner of the National Fish and Chip Awards 2009-10.
Mhor is a family-run business operated by chef Tom Lewis and his family. They operate a restaurant (Monachyle Mhor) on Loch Voil, a fish shop and takeaway in the centre of Callander (Mhor Fish), a bakery and cafe also in Callander (Mhor Bread) and a farm supplying fresh produce. Mhor Fish is a cut above most chippies. I’ve been there several times on the way home from family days out and climbing nearby hills.
According to the review: “If you live in Inverness…. jump in the car and get a chippie here! It’s worth the small drive. everyone knows that this place is good“. I couldn’t agree more. It also just so happens to be owned by my brother in law.
Usually always a queue, Valente’s popularity is derived from the quality of the food it serves. Although a slight detour from the centre of town, it’s well worth the trip. Unfortunately it doesn’t open on Saturday lunchtimes … as I found out this weekend.
Although of Valente’s in Auchtermuchty (owned by the same family ?), this video gives a great feel for an authentic chippy. You’ll hear people asking for a “haggis supper” (ie deep fried haggis with chips). There’s a wonderful exchange between a customer and server: “You don’t do deep fried mars bars, do you ?” … “No, I think you’ll find that’s Aberdeen” !!. You couldn’t script it.
Often frequented by walkers and tourists en route to and from the Highlands, the Real Food Cafe provides good quality, locally-sourced food. In addition to the fish, its burgers are made from local beef and the ice creams come from Mackie’s in Aberdeenshire. Well worth a stop next time you’re passing through Tyndrum.
Frankie’s Fish and Chips is Britain’s most northerly fish and chip cafe and takeaway, located in the village of Brae overlooking Busta Voe in the Shetland Isles. It won four categories in the National Fish & Chip awards.
The long queues at the Anstruther during evenings and weekends prove this chip shop’s popularity is not gained through idle boasting alone. Winner of Best in Scotland awards 2001 and 2002, 2006, 2007 and the National Fish and Chip Awards 2008-09.
The Bay were the overall UK winner of the 2013 Fish and Chip Awards, the latest in a long line of awards. Judging by the queues outside the food is clearly outstanding. But equally impressive is their commitment to sourcing ingredients from local suppliers, their sustainability practices (all used fat is converted into biofuel, all food waste composted) and their fund raising and other support for the local community.