Fish and chips is Britain’s national dish with a history going back more than 150 years.

But if you don't fancy a take away, here's our pick of some of the best places for fish and chips where you can sit in.

If fancy a drive out, there are many more too, including Merchants of Bewdley.

Over in Stratford-upon-Avon there’s Barnaby’s on Sheep Street – or The Kingfisher on Ely Street.

So make every day a happy, good fry-day.

National Federation of Fish Friers’ vice president Andrew Crook says: "A chip shop can only sustain quality if it is busy," he says.

"And a good shop should try to cook fish to order as it only takes four to five minutes."

Zach Ioannou owner of Oldswinford Fish & Chips in Stourbridge
Zach Ioannou owner of Oldswinford Fish & Chips in Stourbridge

The 2017 champion chippy for the Midlands was the family-run Oldswinford Fish & Chips shop which represented the region in the UK's top ten at the National Fish & Chip Awards in London back in January last year.

The UK winner of the Chip Shop of the Year award will be announced in London on Thursday, January 25 when the industry will also be celebrating the 30th year of the Oscars of the fish and chip world.

The Midlands' contender for the 2018 UK title is The Golden Carp in Redditch - Oldswinford Fish & Chips was Midlands' runner-up this time having pipped the Golden Carp to the finishing post in the 2017 awards.

The Golden Carp owner Theo Ellinas with his staff
The Golden Carp owner Theo Ellinas with his staff

Neither of these chippies has anywhere to sit in, though, so below is our guide to some of the best places where you can.

Here's our pick of the best plus a snapshot of what customers are saying about them on TripAdvisor

Dad's Lane Fish Bar

Dad's Lane Fish Bar on Dads Lane in Birmingham.
Dad's Lane Fish Bar on Dads Lane in Birmingham.

To illustrate how chips can vary, I tried two portions from one of Brum’s very best chippies

Just after opening at 5pm, my first tray weighed more than 500g on my-in car scales and the chips hit 80C on the chipometer.

Returning an hour later to the 5-star hygiene rated shop where the menu includes swordfish, portion No 2 weighed 400g and hit 75C, admittedly after the temperature test was delayed.

Yet the second batch was even tastier – Maris Piper potato perfection from family owners Pedro and Yiola Petrou.

The couple are currently expanding the adjacent restaurant to create an extra floor.

Pedro said: “We want to be the biggest chip shop in Birmingham – and the best."

TripAdvisor reviewer Jon W recently said...

"Not many fish and chip shops know how to do things right. Dads Lane fish and chips are some of the best we have tasted in the UK

"Eat in if you can , it makes the experience even better. Good price and excellent quality."

1 Dad's Lane, Birmingham B13 8PG. Tel 0121 472 0017

4-star hygiene rating (Aug 23, 2017 - currently under appeal to try to return to 5)

Pisces

Pisces Fish Bar
Pisces Fish Bar

My horoscope always predicts that The Pisces serves chips so good you’ll see stars before your eyes.

There are tables indoors with 22 seats giving you a fine view of the art gallery style collection of my reviews on the wall.

During my last visit, I tried to catch them out by arriving before 4pm when trade was quiet.

So it’s a mark of how good this shop is that after hitting just 58C on my chipometer, the crispy yet moist chips from Pisces still had me smacking my lips.

TripAdvisor reviewer Maureen P said...

"Love this fish shop! The counter staff are always welcoming and your order is freshly cooked a lovely lunchtime treat..."

2146A Coventry Road, Sheldon B26 3JB. Tel 0121 742 5802

5-star hygiene rating (Nov 24, 2015)

Bedders

Bedders chip shop on the Coventry Road in Small Heath.
Bedders chip shop on the Coventry Road in Small Heath.

Opened in 1946, Bedders is still going strong after a faithful but stylish restaurant refurbishment in 2014.

The house speciality is a stainless steel bowl full of chopped onions swimming in vinegar.

They end up looking like Strictly Come Dancing sequins when applied to the chips.

Bedders only opens at lunchtimes and Friday teatime to maintain the old fashioned feel for quality.

Husband an wife John and Maria Carrelli and their son Michael Carrelli, all joint owners of Bedders chip shop on the Coventry Road in Small Heath.
Husband an wife John and Maria Carrelli and their son Michael Carrelli, all joint owners of Bedders chip shop on the Coventry Road in Small Heath.

TripAdvisor reviewer Ramzi M said...

"Been here a few times now and it is consistently excellent and great value."

898 Coventry Road, Small Heath, Birmingham B10 0UA. Tel: 0121 772 1532

5-star hygiene rating (Oct 16, 2015)

Simply Fish and Chips

The beach hut look inside the Simply Fish & Chips shop which Narinder Sidhu totally revamped in 2012
The beach hut look inside the Simply Fish & Chips shop which Narinder Sidhu totally revamped in 2012

Even if you have the beach in mind, you don’t have to go to the seaside to enjoy a fish and chips treat at Simply

Come here instead and sit at one of the handful of tables next to... beach huts.

Narinder Sidhu treasures the Birmingham Mail's five-star Cheap As Chips review of his chips, from October 2012
Narinder Sidhu treasures the Birmingham Mail's five-star Cheap As Chips review of his chips, from October 2012

Owner and local hero Narinder Sidhu wanted something different when he decided to redesign the shop with an architect and he has really delivered.

It’s far too small to consider this as a restaurant.

But the sight of the beach huts inside a smart chippy on the Oldbury side of Hagley Road West, is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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Simply Fish and Chips, 546 Hagley Rd W, Oldbury B68 0BZ. Tel: 0121 572 1559

5-star hygiene rating (Nov 7, 2017)

Gabriels

Beautifully tiled
Beautifully tiled

If you to pretend you are in the Lake District, then the tiled walls of the new Gabriels shop in Harborne will go a long way to convincing you that you are on holiday.

Whether you sit in or visit the takeaway you are likely to hear customers asking if they don't mind waiting for the fish.

That's how they make sure it arrives as white as snow on your plate.

Non-meat eaters can order meals like chargrilled veg and chips or mixed olives and feta.

Flakes of white fish inside Gabriels' crunchy batter
Flakes of white fish inside Gabriels' crunchy batter

“Made with love,” said an athletic-looking chef who looked very much at home on his range.

They also sell sausages and saveloy, pies, pasties, chicken, kebabs and burgers, cheese cake, chocolate cake and Haagen Dazs ice cream

The grill menu includes lamb fillet served with salad and chips – pitta bread extra.

Vegetarian options include spring rolls each, grilled halloumi with side salad and chips and salad in pitta.

TripAdvisor reviewer Jack B from Birmingham recently said...

"The shop is new, slick and clean. The manager works extremely hard behind the counter, is very friendly and helpful. Fish and chips are absolutely fantastic, served in a nice box, and at a modest price."

10-12 Albert Road | Harborne, Birmingham B17 0AR. Tel 021 426 2555. Visit the website here

5-star hygiene rating (Oct 28, 2016).

Atlantis Fish Bar

Atlantis Fish Bar, Wylde Green
Atlantis Fish Bar, Wylde Green

My last visit here was timed to coincide with the run up to the inaugural National Fish & Chips Day.

Some chippies were struggling with the quality of their potatoes then, but the Atlantis was clearly working hard to buck the trend with chips that were well seasoned and greasy in a very nice way.

TripAdvisor reviewer PDPachus from Sutton Coldfield recently said...

"Can't be beaten for quality of food and/or service. The queues at the weekend tell their own story. Fresh fish is tasty and not overly battered like some other chippies serve up. Service is always friendly and efficient."

Atlantis Fish & Chips, 408 Birmingham Rd, Wylde Green B72 1YJ. Tel: 0121 382 1272

5-star hygiene rating (Jul 22, 2015)

City Fryer

White Dee in the City Fryer, Winson Green
White Dee in the City Fryer, Winson Green

This clean-looking, friendly chippy opened around five years ago in an unfashionable part of town and has several tables inside the bright, airy shop.

When I reviewed it in late 2015 I enjoyed a White Dee Christmas when the Benefits Street star breezed into the City Fryer on the corner of Heath St and was swamped by customers wanting selfies as presents.

After talking chips over a lovely lunch of fish and chips at one of the sit-in tables, we retreated outside to my chipmobile to do the business for my latest online chippysode.

The City Fryer, Winson Green
The City Fryer, Winson Green

First, we discovered that a cone-sized portion of cracking chips weighed 320g on my in-car scales.

Then, as she carefully pushed the sensitive prong of the chipometer deep into the hot flesh of the tasty potatoes, the needle shot up to 72C.

The chips were so tasty they again hit the Dee spot.

“It’s my chippy and the only place to be for hot chips,” cackled Dee before I whisked her back home.

City Fryer, 145 Dudley Road, Birmingham B18 7QY. Tel: 0121 455 0390

Three-star hygiene rating (Nov 22, 2017)

Further afield

The Finest Catch

The Finest Catch
The Finest Catch

This small group’s original American-style diner in Henley-in-Arden was last reviewed in December 2012

The most disappointing part was the sound of dreary old records coming out of the ceiling speaker above us.

Music aside, though, it felt like it was trying to be a very good fish and chip eatery.

Unfortunately a sister chippy in Tipton closed in 2016 and their other Finest Catch diner at Stratford Road, Shirley was disappointing when we last visited.

The standard price for fish and chips at the start of 2018 is £9.99 (smaller portions £7.99).

The Henley and Shirley restaurants are currently advertising half price main courses and lighter meals all day every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (restaurant only, excludes bank holidays).

Recent TripAdvisor reviews for Henley have been mixed if still mostly positive.

The Finest Catch, Birmingham Road, Henley-in-Arden B95 5QR. Tel 01564 793783

Website here

Five-star hygiene rating (Jul 12, 2017)

Simpsons Fish & Chips

Simpsons Fish & Chips, Cheltenham
Simpsons Fish & Chips, Cheltenham

In January 2016, family business Simpsons Fish and Chips from Cheltenham was named the best chippy in the 2016 National Fish and Chip awards after coming second twice in previous years.

Naturally, we’d already been to review it ourselves – in September, 2014.

Judging by the minute you walk into this theatre of potato chip dreams, you can tell it’s staff are still treating each day as a fresh challenge to fry high.

The welcome you get, even as strangers, is as warm as you could possible hope for.

Plaice and chips at Simpsons Fish & Chips, Cheltenham
Plaice and chips at Simpsons Fish & Chips, Cheltenham

In just the right amount of time, our meals arrived at our table like golden lottery tickets.

You could tell immediately they were winners.

The chips were perfect.

Light not heavy, crisp and fluffy, full of flavour and deliciously moist.

The fish tasted as if it had just leapt from the sea, though in the equivalent of a tastebud photo-finish I preferred my youngest’s cod to my own plaice and my wife’s haddock.

TripAdvisor reviewer EnglandHolts recently said...

"The Fish and Chips here are outstanding, so tasty and the batter was very crispy. These are definitely the best Fish and Chips that we have had, they are expensive but worth every penny."

Simpsons Fish & Chips, 73-75 Priors Road, Cheltenham GL52 5AL. Tel 01242 521964.

Website here

Five-star hygiene rating (May 17, 2017)

Colmans, South Shields

Richard Colman Jr, a fifth generation frier at Colmans
Richard Colman Jr, a fifth generation frier at Colmans

Despite poor weather on the day, the shop with the longest queue in the country on Good Friday 2016 was said to be Colmans of South Shields.

It is run by Richard and Richard Colman, the father-and-son fourth and fifth generation of fish and chip maestros.

Their 12-page brochure is packed with meal and drink options as well as historical photographs to illustrate the pride in this family business.

It says: “We believe quality is not expensive, it’s priceless."

Fit for a king - Colmans Fish & Chips
Fit for a king - Colmans Fish & Chips

All of the ingredients were best in class.

Such is the attention to detail, the restaurant’s information board even tells you which local boat the fish came home on. Now that's class.

Colmans is at 176-186 Ocean Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE33 2JQ. Tel 0191 456 1202.

Five-star hygiene (January 15, 2016).

A new branch has opened even closer to the seafront called Colmans Seafood Temple at Sea Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear NE33 2LD.

Five-star hygiene (July 10, 2017)

Both restaurants are remarkably easy to get to from Birmingham via train to Newcastle and Metro to South Shields.

TripAdvisor reviewer Thunderbirdsport recently said...

"By far the best fish and chips i have tasted in a long time and where else can you be told what boat your fish was landed from other than Colmans from South Shields? Love it!"

Website here

Hadleys, Whitby

Hadley's Fish Restaurant in Whitby
Hadley's Fish Restaurant in Whitby

Hadley's Fish & Chips is an old school ‘fish restaurant’ established 80 years ago in 1937.

Within ten minutes we were tucking into a veritable seaside feast as per the promise of Hadley’s website: “We always source the finest ingredients – British potatoes, MSC certified fish, home-cooked mushy peas and homemade tartare sauce. And we also cook the traditional way – in beef dripping.”

Our meals were great value, too, just £8.45 for a not too ‘small’ cod served inclusively with tartare sauce, lemon, chips, tea and bread and butter – the one weak point since it was a white slice of standard bread.

Founder Alan Hadley’s grandson Chris runs the business with sister Nicola and, most impressively, he wasn’t too proud to be helping out with the washing up while we dined.

Wonderful: fish, cihips, peas and slice of lemon at Hadley's
Wonderful: fish, cihips, peas and slice of lemon at Hadley's

Five-star hygiene rating (Mar 2, 2016)

11 Bridge St, Whitby YO22 4BG. Tel 01947 604153

Website here

TripAdvisor reviewer Amy Beth W recently said...

"Still sitting in the restaurant wishing I had enough room in for a second serving! Absolutely beautiful fish and chips which we thought were really well priced. Lovely and attentive staff and prompt but polite service."

And finally...

A reminder that two of the Midlands' best chippies have closed down in recent years.

Following the 2011 demise of the Great British Eatery in Francis Road, Edgbaston, we have also had to remove the multi award-winning Chamberlains in Oldbury after it was taken over and replaced by a branch of Harry Ramsden's

The national chain was battered by our readers in February 2017 after achieving the remarkable feat of managing to shut down the popular site before it had even completed its first year of ownership.