There are plenty of places to find fish and chips in Dublin but for a truly iconic meal, it is best to seek out the “chippers” who the locals rank as the best in town. Get ready to make a pilgrimage to purchase a greasy pound of potatoes and pollock. cod, or haddock for the kind of fried food that is perfect on a night out. Dublin fish and chips might not be a culinary revelation, and definitely don't count as fine dining, but they remain a quintessential piece of Irish life. But, as iconic as the Irish fish supper might be, it is well known that the Italians make the tastiest versions in the city.
Making a list of the best fish and chips in Dublin is fraught with danger, inviting heated discussions, and might spark an argument or two. Making a choice is difficult, and will always be subjective, so be prepared to taste test several of the recommended shops. While it is hard to declare one chipper supreme, all of the chippies listed below rank as must-try stops for true fish and chip aficionados.
Finally, before we get to the best Dublin fish and chips – some words on chipper etiquette: when ordering your fish and chips, you’ll often be given a choice of fish. Fresh cod is usually the best option (often also the slightly more expensive one). Chips (which are french fries rather than crispy potato chips) only come served one way: chunky. Both the chips and the fish are deep fried in oil or fat. When finally liberated from the bubbling cauldron, they will be presented to you with the question of whether you want salt and vinegar on them. Tradition demands both, though it might be an acquired taste. Once dressed, your portion is then wrapped in paper, and you are more than likely expected to take it away to eat it al fresco, which can be a very fresh experience indeed, the Irish weather and all that. One might say, however, that you have not lived until you have eaten your fish and chips in a slight drizzle in a park.
They call themselves “#1 for Fresh Fish and Chips”, and for many people, they are very true to their word. The Dublin chipper comes with an interesting story: in 1905, founder Ivan Beshoff sailed on the Imperial Russian battleship Potemkin. Eight years later he arrived in Dublin, to build a thriving family business away from the high seas. Still family-owned, Beshoff Bros now run five shops in the Dublin area. The best (and maybe busiest) of them being the small takeaway right at the seafront in Howth.
Address: 12 Harbour Road, Howth, County Dublin
Another Dublin institution, fryers have been busy at this chipper since 1913. The first Leo Burdocks outpost was opened by Bella Burdock and husband Patrick in Christchurch, near the Liberties. They named the shop "Leo" after their son. Their shops also have a photo wall known as the “Hall of Fame”, documenting famous customers from local boy Colin Farrell, to “Boss” Bruce Springsteen, and actress Hilary Swank. Leo Burdock in Christchurch is the place to go, for nostalgic reasons, but five more shops can also be found in the Dublin area.
Address: 2 Werburgh Street, Christchurch, Dublin 8
(Note that the website still features the Leo Burdock's in Phibsborough, this has closed in late 2016).
The Italian family name of Macari was, and maybe still is, synonymous with your neighborhood chipper, and a good bet if you need sustenance on the run. Shops are found in several locations on Dublin’s Northside. The Glasnevin shop, in particular, does a busy local trade in fish and chips and comes recommended by locals.
Address: 79 Glasnevin Avenue, Glasnevin, County Dublin
Located near Trinity College, this shop serves many a starving student and a distinguished lecturer, who walk through the door in search of Irish comfort food at its best. It is rumored that some of the best chips in Dublin can be had here. If you had enough fish already, the Taco Mince Chips that are topped with spicy beef, cheese, and sauce are a decent meal all on their own. Trust us.
Address: 135a Pearse Street, Dublin 2
Another chipper with Italian heritage, Romayo's has been a well-known destination for the hungry Irish since 1959. In the past several years, the trusty chain of Dublin fish and chip shops has expanded and there are now 11 in the Dublin area, as well as outposts in Maynooth and Slane. One favorite is the shop in Blanchardstown Village, which still operates (slightly confusing) under the old Macari name. Like many Romayo’s, they also do a great pizza there!
Address: Macari’s, 22 Main Street, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
Not a mistake – this centrally located restaurant also takes its name from Ivan Beshoff, but is not part of Beshoff Bros (see above). Nonetheless it is a good bet if you want to get your fish and chips on the Northside, and want to rest your feet at the same time. Unpretentious on the outside, the shop has a sizeable dining area that is often missed by people who pass by in too much of a hurry.
Address: 6 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1
Another Italian chipper that is well loved by Dubs, this shop is just outside the busy city center in the Portobello area. Pizza, kebabs, chicken breasts, and of course fish and chips. Try the “Fish Box” for a great value meal that rings up at just €5.
Address: 46 South Richmond Street, Portobello, Dublin 2
Dublin 4 generally is typically known as a wealthy area full of very people who like the finer things in life, but there is nothing pretentious about Borza. The food may not be posh, but it makes for a cheap, comforting and delicious dinner. Fish and chips is a staple, with the burgers being customer favorites thanks to their to size and flavor. Be ready to wait because the chipper can get very busy on weekends.
Address: 4 Donnybrook Road, Dublin 4
The Golden Chip
If you are visiting the Mater Hospital, Mountjoy Prison, or simply Bohemians FC in Dalymount Park, the Golden Chip is a local favorite for fish and chips on this side of Dublin. If you are not, the detour to the Golden Chip, just a bit outside the city center, is worth it. Fish and chips start at six Euros, or you might opt for the Tex-Mex Quaterpounder for that extra bit of yeeee-haw!
Address: 108 Phibsborough Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
And the "Big Chains"?
You can also get fish and chips at Harry Ramsden’s, a UK chain with a presence in some Dublin shopping centers (Tallaght and Liffey Valley at the time of writing). While they do a good portion of mushy peas, overall they are a bit soul-less, being part of a franchise operation. Similar caveats go for the ubiquitous Irish chain Supermac’s, also offering cod and chips. Having said that, both are not bad, and definitely better than going famished.