In search of Norfolk & Suffolk's top fish and chip shops

Deep-fried cod with mushy peas and chips

Mouthwatering cod, chips and mushy peas. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

For a taste of the British seaside, there is nothing that can beat fish and chips. Hot crispy batter containing white flaky fish, and a pile of perfectly cooked chips. Add some mushy peas and a good dollop of tartare sauce, plus a generous sprinkling of salt and vinegar, and you've got a plate or tray of food heaven right there.

Match that with a glorious view of the coast, the smell of the sea air and the sun shining down, and you've hit the jackpot. We love our fish and chips! Did you know we eat 382 million meals from fish and chip shops every year in Britain.

With our wonderful long coastline, Norfolk and Suffolk has such a variety of places to enjoy being by the sea, and so many of them have great fish and chip shops too. So how do you choose which to try?

A good place to start is with The Guide To Quality Fish And Chip Shops, from the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF)  in collaboration with Sarson's vinegar. It is updated each year and the current guide includes fish and chip shops that are part of the NFFF Quality Accreditation Scheme.

In our area there are a fantastic five:

French's, Wells' fish and chip shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

French's at Wells. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

French’s Fish Shop, The Quay, Wells, Norfolk NR23 1AH

French's has just celebrated 100 years of frying fish and chips in Wells and is now in its fourth generation of family ownership. William French started the business in 1921, after serving in the First World war. The shop is positioned on the quayside 20 metres from the sea, and has picturesque views of the harbour and the marshes.


 

My Plaice Fish and Chips in Gorleston.

My Plaice Fish and Chips in Gorleston. - Credit: Google Maps


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My Plaice Fish & Chips, Baker Street, Gorleston, Norfolk NR31 6QT

This establishment prides itself on offering some of the tastiest fish and chips in the UK, made with freshly prepared ingredients and all fish cooked to order.


Lucy's Fish and Chip Shop Norwich market

Lucy's Fish and Chip Shop on Norwich market - Credit: Archant


Lucy's Fish & Chips, Norwich Market, Norfolk NR2 1ND

Traditional fish and chips - plus much more, including vegan variations with a separate kitchen area - are on offer at this super stall in Norwich's award-winning market. Run by twin brothers Barclay and Kingston Gray, Lucy's is on Row B for seating and Row C for food and is open from 10.30am to 4pm.


Platten's Fish & Chips at Wells.

Platten's Fish & Chips at Wells. - Credit: Matthew Usher


Plattens Fish and Chips, The Quay, Wells, Norfolk NR23 1AH

Also making the most of the lovely Wells Quay location is Plattens which has been producing quality fish and chips capturing the essence of the area's spectacular coastal scenery since 1966.


Ozzie Bozdag, owner of CodFellas in Ipswich.

Ozzie Bozdag, owner of CodFellas at Ipswich. - Credit: Archant


Ipswich CodFellas, Greenfinch Avenue, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 6SQ

Owner Ozzie Bozdag has 17 years of experience in the food trade and his Chantry business was named the fish and chip shop of the year for Suffolk at the London and South East Prestige Awards in 2021, as well as the gold seal from the 2021 Good Food Awards.


Now that's good food!

Eric’s Fish and Chips in Norfolk has just become the first chippy to be included in the Good Food Guide, which has been produced in the UK for 70 years! 

Eric Snaith inside Eric's Fish and Chips in Thornham which has been reviewed by Giles Coren Picture:

Eric Snaith inside Eric's Fish and Chips in Thornham. - Credit: Eric's Fish and Chips

The guide’s inspector at Thornham wrote: "A sparklingly fresh plate-filling plaice, in local ale batter and fried to crisp perfection in beef dripping, was the star at a recent meal, ably accompanied by thick-cut chips and mushy peas (soaked and cooked in-house). Praise too for the halloumi and spinach arancini and the lollipop pudding of deep-fried cookie doughball, encasing melted chocolate... In all, a laudable updating of the British seaside café." 

Eric’s Fish and Chips has also been given the seal of approval from renowned critic Giles Coren and has recently been awarded a place in the top 10 best restaurants by Fry Magazine.

Eric Snaith is chef owner of Titchwell Manor Hotel in north Norfolk, and in 2015 he expanded his portfolio to open Eric’s Fish & Chips restaurant and take-away in the nearby village, Thornham. Eric’s celebrates the great British classics with a few modern twists and it's proved so popular that in 2019 two further Eric’s Fish and Chip restaurants were launched - at Holt in north Norfolk, and in St Ives, Cambridgeshire. Eric's Fish & Chips also has a range of bottled homemade sauces for sale.   

Eric says: "As the home of Eric’s, we are delighted to see an entry into the Good Food Guide as another point of recognition for our team and their continued efforts to produce the highest quality fish and chips, alongside our friendly and relaxed service."


It's in his blood!

If you've ever been to the Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich, you will know why it receives rave reviews for both its food and its 'vibe', one of the city's long-standing chip shops that was given clever refurbishment into a funky fish and chip 'grotto' run by owners Duane Dibartolomeo and Christian Motta, with a menu that includes mackerel, tuna, squid and rock salmon as well as more traditional fare.

Christian Motta with fish and chips from his Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich.

Christian Motta with fish and chips from Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich. - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

So what's their secret to great fish and chips? 

Christian says: "I always believe that you should buy the best quality and not worry about the price. I know times are tough right now, but I do not want to sacrifice quality over price - the quality of the fish and potatoes especially.

"I don't believe in soaking the potatoes overnight and preservatives etc, but I do feel that one of the most important things is to change your oil pans every other day.

"I also feel that cooking to order makes a difference, When fish wasn't so expensive, people would cook up batches, but now everyone is saying they are cooking fish to order, and although the customers might have to wait six or seven minutes longer they know that their fish is freshly cooked for them."

So after a day at Grosvenor Fish Bar, can Christian face a plate of fish and chips himself? You bet!

"I can't help it," he says. "I was born above a chip shop in Stafford Street so it's in my blood and I've never been able to wean myself off chips and it's always got to be a nice chunky cod for me."


A bit of better batter

Have you tried some of these great fish and chip shops around Norfolk and Suffolk's coastline?

Fish and chips by the seaside,

Can you resist fish and chips by the seaside? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fishers, Greevegate, Hunstanton - named one of the country's top 10 fish and chip shops for 2022 by The Sunday Times

Mary Jane's Fish Bar, Garden Street, Cromer - the queues that regularly line the pavement outside are testament to its popularity.

No.1 Cromer, New Street, Cromer - By chef Galton Blackiston, who also owns the Michelin star-awarded Morston Hall. 

Grelly's Fish and Chips, Marine Parade, Gt Yarmouth - good sized portions cooked just yards from the beach.

Sole Bay Fish Company, Southwold - There's the original harbourside restaurant, fishmonger and takeaway, and its sister company in Southwold town, The Little Fish and Chip Shop.


Which is your favourite?

It's over to you to tell us your favourite fish and chip shop - we can't wait to hear your recommendations and try them out for ourselves! Email letstalk@archant.co.uk

Fish and Chips close up with a lemon slice with beach in the background

Where's your favourite spot for fish and chips? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto