If you’re looking for the best fish and chips in Sydney, this is a great list to start with. Fish and Chips are a British dish that has become popular in Australia as well. They are traditionally served with salt and vinegar, which gives them their distinctive flavour.
Originating in England, the chippy (fish and chip shop) is the cornerstone of any Sydney neighbourhood. It is a combination that pairs equally as successfully as bread and butter or a pie and sauce, creating a result far greater than the sum of its parts time and time again.
When it comes to the best fish and chips, Sydney has many options to choose from. Some are more upscale, some have menus suited to our vegan/vegetarian friends, and some are understated yet have earned their place on our best-of list.
This Australian combo nails it—deep-fried, grilled, oily, crispy, served on a plate or folded in the paper. We like to think fish and chips are pretty seasonless too.
While they are a summertime staple, paired with long beach days and too much sun, they also work as a hot soul-soother in colder months, best-consumed seaside, rugged up and spotting whales.
So, don’t simply google “best fish and chips near me”, make your experience memorable and find one of the Best Fish and Chip Shops Sydney has to offer. Whether you like your catch fried or crumbed, with a bit of tartar or tomato sauce, or are here for the chips, we’ve got you covered. Our list contains restaurants and shops offering both dine-in and takeaway options.
If you’re visiting Sydney, the chances are that fish and chips are one of the first things on your must-try list. However, with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out which restaurant will give you the best experience. So we’ll go over a few different restaurants in Sydney that offer up the best fish and chips around!
Fish and chips. Name a more iconic duo… We’ll wait. There’s something perfect about the marriage of thick fries with a crispy piece of fresh fish and big globules of tartar sauce. Nothing beats it. Here are ten great places to feast on fish and chips around Sydney. We hope this blog post helps you find what you’re looking for!
1. Sea Cow, Paddington
This little eastern suburb institution has made a name for itself, making good essential fish and chips. Because you don’t mess with perfection, the menu at Sea Cow rarely changes. They’ve got bottles of vinegar on the tables, and it’s BYO—what more could you want!
Yes, this tiny restaurant is tucked away on the street in Paddington that doesn’t get much love, and no, they don’t take reservations or credit cards, so make sure you’ve stocked up on cash before you go.
But the seafood here is as fresh as they come, fried to perfection and served with a zingy side salad. If you’re bold enough to turn down a classic fish and chips, try some of their alternatives, like the crispy salt and pepper squid served with a sweet soy dressing or golden salmon cakes with fat chunks of fish and potato.
110e Boundary Street, Paddington
2. Bottom of the Harbour, Mosman
Fish and chips by the seashore at Balmoral are as close as it gets to dining inside a postcard specifically designed to irk friends in the grips of a Northern Hemisphere winter.
Silver shimmering yachts glide about in the sheltered blue harbour while cute kids splash about, their well-heeled grandparents looking on with white wine in hand.
A fixture of this idyllic scene since 1989, Bottom of the Harbour is our go-to for seaside seafood. This corner fish and chipper get people lining up down the street each day for an early bird special to catch the last of the summer rays with their meal.
Two things denote an excellent fish and chip shop. Firstly, the proximity to the ocean. (The closer, the better). Secondly, how long the queue is at any given moment of the day.
Local favourite Bottom of the Harbour, with excellent views of Balmoral Beach, passes both tests with flying colours. The wait might be excruciating, especially with all the burning smells coming from the kitchen, but we promise it’s worth it.
At its core, the menu is simple: battered New Zealand hake with chips, some fancier, market-fresh fish with chips (on our visit, it is snapper, ocean perch and barramundi), or creatures of the sea and land on a bun. Of course, you’ll pay almost half as much for the imported hake but if you prefer your fish local, then order off the market specials board.
On our visit, we stick with the classics and order the standard fish and chips. The white fish would fall apart were it not for the crisp batter case that allows you to eat it like a fish cookie, and though the tartare sauce is an extra charge, it’s worth it.
Fair warning – they don’t salt their chips here. So if you’re taking your meal out onto the sand, remember to pocket some sachets and perhaps an extra lemon before shuffling off.
We also think it’s worth upgrading from the humble calamari ring to the golden, crumbed tendrils of salt and pepper squid with garlic aioli. Not in the market for fried potatoes? Redirect your attention to the fish burger with spinach, tomato and tartar instead.
There are ready-made salads for sides, but all the good bits sit on top, and the rest is just lettuce. Order the seaweed salad instead – seaweed, dressing, sesame seeds. Simple.
Early risers can get their hands on breakfast snacks from the little café around the side, but the fryers don’t turn on until 9 am. So you’ll have to wait until the school bell rings to get your hands on the fruits of the sea.
Get the market-fresh crumbed fish and chips for sure, but leave some room for their signature grilled prawn skewers, dripping with chilli sauce and incredibly tasty.
After more than 20 years, Bottom of the Harbour knows their way around a battered fillet better than most. So if dinner is to be deep-fried, this is the place to get it. It’s also the best excuse for an early dinner without looking like a nana.
3. Ocean Foods, Drummoyne
The folks at Ocean Foods have an impressive feather in their cap. For over 100 years, the Nittis family, spanning three generations, have served Fish and Chips to generations of adoring customers.
The family first opened in 1915 on Oxford St, Sydney. Nowadays, The Ocean Foods Fish and Chip shop located in Drummoyne has been serving up the goods since 1984 and continuing their proud traditions in unparalleled style.
The Fish and Chips are a must-try but keep a watchful eye on the calamari rings. They are something to behold; that much is certain. A place that’s been around for over 30 years must be doing something right. Ocean Foods is an Inner West institution selling fresh and cooked seafood.
“The best fish and chips in the universe!” a sign outside Ocean Foods in Drummoyne proclaims, and they’ve got the awards — named outstanding seafood purveyor 15 years in a row — and the lines snaking around the block to prove it.
This corner shop is such a favourite because of the consistency: Perfect chips, perfect potato scallops, perfect seafood sticks, tiny chilli-infused squid, perfect fish.
The fish used in the fish and chips changes daily depending on the suppliers and is battered using a family recipe passed down through the generations. The result is a light, crisp coating that doesn’t dominate the flavour of the fish.
Of course, we’re still going to add a little chicken salt to the chips and calamari. The extensive menu here covers old classics like battered savs and seafood sticks (long may they live!) and is as cheap as chips. So do as the locals do, grab a box, sit out on the balcony, and watch the world go by.
The recipe for the exact battering blend is a family secret, passed down from chef to chef through the generations and served up, crispy without being too greasy, to you.
154 Lyons Road, Drummoyne
4. Fish & Co, Forest Lodge
Sustainable seafood purveyors Fish & Co have moved from Annandale into their new home in Harold Park’s Tramsheds, where they’re as popular as ever. These guys are deeply concerned with the provenance of their products and ensuring that there’s still plenty of fish left in the sea for future generations.
You can feel good about dining out at Fish & Co inside Forest Lodge’s Tramsheds development. That’s because it’s one of Australia’s first ocean-to-table restaurants, a business that prides itself on sustainable chains of supply and sourcing its produce direct from fishers.
Strips of New Zealand hoki come coated in a golden beer batter that’s a little on the thick side but still has a nice snap. You can jazz things up by substituting regular fries for sweet potato chips. The calamari also comes from the waters of New Zealand, and like all of the seafood here, is treated with the utmost respect.
Those wanting a break from tradition can choose from options like mackerel fish cakes and panko crumbed tiger prawns. Eat-in if you’re feeling fancy, or for a cheaper option, grab a takeaway and find a spot outside in the sun.
It’s fresh fish only at Fish & Co — nothing from a farm — which means the salmon comes from Alaska and served maple-glazed and sticky or grilled in a taco, the prawns from Queensland (you’ll have them in a bucket with seafood sauce) and the hake from New Zealand.
Tramsheds, 1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge
5. Out of the Blue, Clovelly
OTB is a family business founded by Jean-Marc and Sophie Gubian. From day one, they’ve had the support of the locals, and over the years, their popularity has grown as each summer, more and more people seem to discover the delicious burgers.
Home of the famous deep-fried Mars Bar, this Sydney icon is fresh, family-run, and a little bit French. When Jean-Marc and Sophie Gubian arrived in Sydney from France in 1986, they fell in love with the Aussie way of life and the Aussie classic: fish and chips.
Continued by their son Julien and his girlfriend Matiou, Out of the Blue (or OTB—if you know, you know) lives on.
For locals, these guys do one of the best chicken burgers in Sydney, but if you’re here for a fish feed (and you should be), you’ll want to hit the New Zealand Hoki, served with chips and add on their absolute classic garlic mayo.
Fresh daily baked bread and quality sourced ingredients mean amazing burgers are not far away.
There’s always a crowd of people waiting to get their fix at this Clovelly corner spot. She’s not very big, but she packs them in – then out the door and onto the footpath.
Many a weary beachgoer has stumbled down Clovelly Road on the way to the ocean and was waylaid by this takeaway spot.
The fried hake is lip-smackingly good and at $12.50 with a side of chips a complete bargain, but it’s the grilled fish that steals the spotlight here.
The battered Pacific cod comes with a bubbly crust that snaps under your fingers. We’ll skip the calamari next time and order a generous side of chips with chicken salt. If you’d rather eat from the land than the sea, the burgers here have reached near cult status for a good reason.
Give your gut a real workout and finish things off with a deep-fried Mars Bar. The fish and chips come wrapped in paper, proper old-school like, so you can cart them down the hill to the beach.
Choose between two marinades — herb or soy and sweet chilli — and don’t forget to add one of the six homemade dipping sauces, too. We recommend the yellow currynaise, perfect for dipping a chip, but the classic tartare can’t be beaten either.
2/277 Clovelly Road, Clovelly
6. Bondi’s Best, Bondi
Chefs Joel Best and Ross Wilson have been trained by the best. Their résumé boasts time in the kitchens of Sydney’s best fish-focussed restaurants: Pier, Fish Face, the Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay and Flying Fish.
When they set their sites on North Bondi, they went a bit smaller, opting to offer wares out of a room the size of a broom closet.
No surprise, Bondi’s Best definitely makes the cut when it comes to smashing down crispy and juicy fish and chips.
As expected after working at Fish Face, they fry an excellent piece of beer-battered flathead. The chips, little hand-cut nubbins, are OK, but the potato scallops are perfect – nice and thin, not too wide and beautifully flaky. Surprisingly though, the baked hapuka is a little over-cooked and under-seasoned. Nevertheless, even on a Monday evening, the tiny place is pumping.
It’s not precisely clear whether you can take a seat or whether you have to wait to be seated, so we do what everyone else does and pile in.
There are a couple of tables outside – capture them if you can. Otherwise, it’s about squashing into the little room, with its busy open kitchen and fresh fish on display, as people order take away around you. The joy is in the chaos at this bustling little diner. Get amongst it.
Everything here is sustainably sourced and served twice the average size so expect long slabs of fried fish and chunky slices of sweet potato fries (sure, you can order up a side of greens for good measure).
7. Saint Peter, Paddington
There is some serious innovation going on in the award-winning kitchen at chef Josh Niland’s Saint Peter. We’re not talking just about his fish butchery, where you can buy prime slabs of sustainably caught Shoalhaven red gurnard and Wollongong pink ling and one particularly phenomenal potato scallop ($3 each, worth it for the crunch alone), but rather about the way fish. Yes, chips too are served at this restaurant.
‘Our whole menu is full of questions,’ says Saint Peter chef and co-owner Josh Niland. And he’s not wrong. When you sit down at the beautiful marble-topped counter that runs the length of the new-look Paddington eatery, it’s not a simple matter of ‘what do you want to eat?’, but rather, ‘what can you not afford to miss?’ at the restaurant that has transformed expectations of seafood dining in Sydney.
‘Where is the sweet spot?’, is one of the most pressing questions that Niland is constantly asking himself when it comes to the sustainable fish he is using in the kitchen, both here in the restaurant, as well as in the Fish Butchery a few doors up Oxford Street.
Niland has made a name for himself by dry-aging his fish, in the same manner, you would beef, all in search of a moment when the fish tastes better, ‘it might be on day two, or it might be on day 22,” he says.
The new open format of the restaurant means that the myriad other questions you have can quickly be answered by the chefs prepping in front of you.
You will want to know what fish pate, bacon and pastrami tastes like. You’ll want guidance on the different oyster regions. And you’ll want to know how they make the ocean trout salami, which is shockingly delicious and places you in an uncanny culinary valley as your brain tries to process that, yes, this is fish, but not as you know it.
First, the trout are aged for 10 to 12 days to firm up the flesh. Then it’s minced, cut through with Murray cod fat and flavoured with paprika and garlic before being left to cure for up to six weeks.
Snapper sausage, puppies in XO sauce with shavings of bacon, yabbies so sweet and juicy you’ll be thinking about them long after you leave.
Whole calamari, chargrilled just to the point of losing translucence and cut into ribbons to emulate rice noodles, is ready to be mixed through a feisty, funky marlin ‘nduja, made as closely as possible to the Calabrian tradition for spreadable salami. The result is a kind of aquatic Bolognaise that is rich, slippery, and spicy. Your only remaining questions will be, ‘is there more?’.
Cod, flounder and mahi mahi are the three kings of the mains menu on our visit, and not one comes with a wedge of lemon. Instead, it might be a classic Italian veal accompaniment, gremolata, made with lovage, or a demi-glace infused with fig leaves for a coconutty flavour.
Or, in the case of the mahi-mahi, a reworked beurre blanc based on swordfish bacon with verjus, cream, stock and butter. At Saint Peter, Niland is on a mission to build a new repertoire of sauces beyond tartare and lemon. In classic French cooking, he wants specific fish and their flavours to have their own sauces, like chicken, veal, and lamb.
In all honesty, the best approach is to lock and load the entire run of snacks and embrace the spirit of investigation. In recent years snack plates have become the canvas for the city’s most creative cooking, be it the opening dishes at LuMi, or Sixpenny, or Poly’s whole menu of new-age wine bar dining.
It’s where you can access some of the most singular dining experiences because there’s certainly nowhere else in the country you can sit down to a plate of house-made kingfish mortadella and chase it with a fluffy, savoury, two-bite crumpet topped with white uni.
Come on Friday, Saturday or Sunday lunchtime, and you’ll have the chance to try Niland’s famous fish and chips, traditional without being staid. That’s the kind of devotion it takes to be at the top of the game in Sydney’s famously volatile dining scene. And they have it in spades at Saint Peter.
362 Oxford Street, Paddington
8. Fishmongers, Manly
This is fish and chips, but not as you know it. Sure, there’s plenty of old-favourites to satisfy traditionalists on the menu, but take a cue from chef Ryan Mansell’s suggestions and veer a little outside your comfort zone and you’ll be greatly rewarded.
There are more options for fish and chips in Manly than you can throw a thong at, but Fishmongers stand out from the crowd.
Hoki is dunked in a light tempura batter that enhances rather than competes with the flavour of the fish. To the side are excellent hand-cut chips that are streets ahead of the usual fare. Deep-fried strips of sweet potato on top add some extra crunch.
These guys also try to do the right thing for our ocean friends by selling MSC certified seafood. So get your order to go and head over the road to the beach because everything tastes better looking out over the big blue.
Crunchy sweet potato chips, tempura-fried vegetables, hand-crumbed calamari and one showstopping lemongrass marinated barbequed octopus will be enough to convert you from your usual fried fish and chips forever.
Shop 4, 11-27 Wentworth Street, Manly
9. Love Fish, Barangaroo
After opening back in 2010, the love, fish of Barangaroo aims to celebrate Australian seafood and make it simple and accessible. This Sydney seafood restaurant’s ethos serves fresh, quality Australian seafood in a casual atmosphere at an affordable price.
As the name suggests, the team behind Love Fish are passionate about seafood, incredibly sustainable, locally sourced seafood.
Order fish and chips here, and you’ll get beer-battered NSW tiger flathead to go alongside twice-cooked chips. The fish is cooked to perfection, and the batter to fillet ratio is spot on. The chips suffer a little from their second dunk but are still a tasty accompaniment, as is the house-made tartare, which has a solid horseradish kick.
The fresh, panko-crumbed calamari hits the spot too – tender, not chewy. Ethical eating here goes beyond the food; all of the packaging used is either biodegradable or compostable. Eat-in or takeaway at the Rozelle location, or look out over the harbour at their new Barangaroo digs.
All of this and focus heavily on the provision that all of the produce sold at their restaurants is sustainably sourced from Australian fisheries. If fish and chips aren’t enough, we suggest you go for the Oysters; they’re out of this world.
7/23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW 2000
10. Doyles on the Beach, Watsons Bay
The Doyle Family have been serving fresh local seafood for over five generations and built their name on the produce of local fishers.
Still using old fashioned methods, their fish are caught mainly through hand lines and iced on the boat. So if you’re looking for fresh and delicious fish and chips, you know where to find them.
Five generations of the Doyles family have cooked and served seafood from this prime location right at the easternmost point of Sydney, so much so that it has become a bit of a tourist tradition (and celebrity hotspot) over the years. (They also have an outpost at the Pyrmont fish market).
The dine-in restaurant is all starch tabletops and stellar service, but if you’re looking for a more casual but no less delicious fish and chip experience, get in line at the neighbouring Doyles on the Wharf takeaway spot.
After you’ve paid for your meal — we suggest the combo pack for a bit of everything, with a side of oysters Kilpatrick — take your winnings over to nearby Camp Cove or Kutti beach and eat your fish and chips as nature intended it: With your toes dipped in the water.