There’s nothing better than eating a platter of fish and chips al fresco, with the scent of the sea in the air. At East Pier, you pick up your supper in the harbour and tuck in by the water, or take it out to the Dunmore East Cliff Walk just three minutes away. Their fish and chips (“scrumptious” is the general verdict) are the big draw, but they also serve fresh and fried oysters as well as crab claws and giant prawns.
Originally opened in 1940, Kiely’s was a Cork institution until they closed their doors in 2007. But in January 2022, it was brought back to life by Blue Haven, who offer a modern take on the classics. On the menu you’ll see togarashi mayonnaise, tempura haddock and even a fancy chip butty. Their catch of the day is served up with tomato relish and homemade aioli, for an unusual twist.
You simply can’t beat proper, handmade chips. At the Fish Box in Dingle, they pride themselves on their hand-cut chips made from local spuds. They’re thick, fluffy and cooked until perfectly golden and served up alongside a hefty portion of fresh battered fish, which can also be made with gluten free batter. They even have their own take on the spice bag, with shredded catch of the day, chips and sliced peppers all shaken in their own spice mix. “The best mushy peas I’ve ever had,” someone commented, “and I normally don’t like them!”
McDonagh’s Seafood House has been a family-run business for four generations, with a legion of loyal fans in Galway coming back to the Fish and Chip Bar time and time again. They peel and chop the spuds into chips each morning, and there’s a great variety of fish on the menu, from the classic cod and hake to mackerel, salmon and whiting. You can even kick things off with a few Kelly’s oysters while your fish sizzles in the fryer.
Sometimes you just want a slap up feed from a proper chipper. That’s exactly what you’ll get in Sofia’s in Mullingar Town, where the portions of fresh cod are massive and are served with piles of hand cut chips and loads of different sauces on the side. They also do a fillet of smoked cod if that’s your preference. Plus, they’re open until midnight, so they can satisfy any late night hunger pangs.
Set on the old pier in Killybegs, this seafood shack doles out locally sourced fish, whether you want it battered, breaded or in the form of scampi. When the fish is this good (so good, according to one of you, that “people travel from all four corners of the island” to try it), the menu can be kept simple, with just a few options to choose from. Each dish comes with a hefty portion of dip on the side, with garlic mayo and pink sauce on offer if you’re not a fan of tartare.
If you want to eat the freshest fish around, your best bet is to head to a place that’s run by fishermen. At Fishermans Catch they have their own boat, so the fish that comes in that day is delivered straight from the harbour into the shop and their fish ‘n’ chip trailer. What you get depends on that day’s haul, but you can be sure it’s as fresh as can be – and you get to “enjoy the freshest, tastiest fish and chips” with “breathtaking views over the Mourne Mountains.” We’re sold.
With a name like Tram Chowder, how can you not love this food truck? From their location in Howth Market, they serve up fish and chips, served up with a lemon wedge and a little pot of tartare sauce ready for you to take down to the harbour and enjoy by the sea. But it’s not just chipper fare. They also make fresh chowder, calamari and prawns, as well as Brazilian brigadeiros, if you fancy something sweet afterwards.
Leo Burdock is Dublin’s best-known and oldest chipper, on the go since they opened their Christchurch shop in 1913. While they may now have eight other branches in Dublin and Kildare, this original shop is still going strong. Many famous folk have popped in over the years, most recently Patrick Dempsey, who declared it was “bleeding deadly!!” on his Instagram feed. If you want a classic ‘one and one’ with lashings of vinegar, then this place is just the ticket.
If all this talk of fish and chips has whetted your appetite, why not check out more of our summer food experiences?