Eating fish and chips in Dublin can be approached in two ways – one is to simply get it from the nearest outlet. The other is to head for any of the “chippers” who rank amongst your favorites for the best fish and chips in the area, maybe in town. A pilgrimage to purchase a greasy pound of potatoes and pollock. cod, or haddock. Maybe not a culinary revelation, definitely not fine dining, but a quintessential experience of Irish life. Though your fish supper might be served with a definitely Italian slant.
Making a list of the best fish and chips in Dublin is thus fraught with danger, inviting heated discussions, and might rub some people the wrong way. Making a choice is difficult, and will always be personal, subjective. Even though for this article fish and chips aficionados of many shades were consulted, even in Trinity College, you may disagree. One thing, though, is sure – the chippies listed below will not fail you, and almost certainly their offerings will delight you.
By the way... – some words on chipper etiquette: when ordering your fish and chips, you’ll often be given a choice of fish, fresh cod usually is the best option (often also the slightly more expensive one). Chips (that’ll be fries to US guests, or pommes frites to visitors from the Continent) come in one option only … chunky. Both are deep fried in oil or fat. When finally liberated from the bubbling cauldron, they will be presented to you with the question whether you want salt and vinegar on them. Tradition demands both, though it is an acquired taste. Your portion is then wrapped in paper, and more than likely you are expected 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, while being eyed by humungous seagulls circling nearer and nearer. Never, ever feed them, or you’ll never hear the end of it.
01 of 09
They call themselves “#1 for Fresh Fish and Chips”, and for many people they are the bee’s knees indeed. With an interesting story: in 1905, founder Ivan Beshoff sailed on the Imperial Russian Potemkin of rebellion (and movie), eight years later he arrived in Dublin, building a thriving family business. 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
02 of 09
Another Dublin institution, since 1913 the fryers have been busy, starting with Bella Burdock and husband Patrick opened the first Leo Burdocks in Christchurch, near the Liberties. Leo was their son, by the way. Their shops also have a “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 nostalgia reasons … five more shops are 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).
03 of 09
The Italian family name of Macari was, 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 (nowhere near the cemetery, just to be clear) does a busy local trade, and comes recommended.
Address: 79 Glasnevin Avenue, Glasnevin, County Dublin
04 of 09
Located near Trinity College, this shop sees many a starving student as well as longing lecturer, both in search of 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 with cheese and sauce are a decent meal all on their own.
Address: 135a Pearse Street, Dublin 2
Phone: 01-6707963Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Another Italian name, and since 1959 a well-known destination for the hungry Irish – expanding over the last few years and present in the Dublin area (11 shops), bjut also in Maynooth and Slane. One favorite is the shop in Blanchardstown Village, which still operates (slightly confusing) under the old Macari name (with a Romayo’s a few doors down). Like many Romayo’s, they also do a mean pizza there!
Address: Macari’s, 22 Main Street, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
06 of 09
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 rest your feet at the same time. Unpretentious on the outside, the shop has a sizeable dining area, often missed by the more hectic passers-by.
Address: 6 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1
07 of 09
Another Italian chipper of renown, 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 less than a fiver if you are not that hungry, great value.
Address: 46 South Richmond Street, Portobello, Dublin 2
08 of 09
Dublin 4 generally has made its name as a very posh area, or as the home of very pretentious people – there is nothing pretentious about Borza, and the food may not be posh, but good nosh. Fish and chips is a staple, with the burgers being customer favorites too, both due to size and taste. Can get very busy on weekends.
Address: 4 Donnybrook Road, Dublin 4
Phone: 01-2693975Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
The Golden Chip
If you are visiting the Mater Hospital, Mountjoy Prison, or simply Bohemians FC in Dalymount Park, the Golden Chip is local. 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
A final thought … 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.