It may be a true British staple, but it can still be a minefield: how to you know where to find the best fish and chips in Harrogate?
Fear not! We are here to help, and to do the very difficult job of trying out fish and chip shops to help you make the right choice. We bring you The Locals’ Guide to the Best Fish and Chips in Harrogate!
2 Coronation Avenue, Harrogate
Walking into Coronation Fisheries we were greeted with a friendly welcome and the question, “fish today?” So, you can be assured your fish will be cooked fresh to order at this local chippy. Regulars chat to each other and there’s lots of good-hearted banter. Looking around, you can see old footie programmes and signed Leeds Rhino rugby shirts on the walls.
The trawler that brought in your fish is even named on the blackboard. In our case, it was haddock from the Nordkap. All these touches make Coronation Fisheries a long-standing favourite with the Oatlands locals. The menu includes traditional fish and chips of course, and the usual items you’d expect to find, but also calamari, battered black pudding and battered pineapple ring. And there’s three kinds of curry sauce to choose from: Chip Shop (sweet), Chinese (spicy) and Irish (tomato with a slight chilli kick).
The fish and chips we enjoyed were up to their usual high standard: crispy batter, delicious fish, non-greasy chips and tasty mushy peas. It’s a top-quality fish & chip shop… a real winner for us.
Batter 5/5 – Crispy and very moreish. Fish cooked fresh to order.
Chips 5/5 – Hot and not greasy, just as you’d want them.
Service 5/5 – Friendly, welcoming, lots of good-hearted banter.
Overall 5/5 – Great quality. You’ll want to go back for more.
66 King Edward’s Drive, Harrogate
Visit Dougies at any time during its opening hours and you’re pretty certain to find a queue of people winding out of the door.
For nearly 20 years, Dougies has been serving up top-class fish and chips, rightfully earning a reputation as one of the best in Harrogate. It was the first chippie in town to hold the Seafish Quality Award (now The National Federation of Fish Friers Quality Award), which it has retained every year. It is currently the only fish and chip shop in Harrogate to hold the accolade.
Dougies was founded in 1998 by Doug Truscott, who ran it with his wife Mary until they decided to hang up their aprons last month in favour of a well-earned retirement. Despite the change in ownership, it’s business as usual and we’re pleased to report that the high quality of the food has not been affected.
Lovely meaty haddock is freshly cooked to perfection inside crisp and tasty batter. The homemade chips are crisp on the outside and fluffy inside, not at all greasy and never overcooked. Along with the usual accompaniments such as mushy peas and bread butties, the menu also includes a Children’s Box, ‘Light Bites’ fish and chips, and an extra-large haddock.
Batter 5/5 – Meaty fish is perfectly cooked in crisp, light and non-greasy batter
Chips 4.5/5 – Perfect chips, but dropped half a point because we’ve found chip portions can vary in size from one visit to the next, although on this occasion there were too many to fit on the plate for the photograph!
Service 5/5 – Doug and Mary always gave their customers a warm welcome, and their staff were just as friendly. That ethos of service with a smile continues under the new owners.
Overall 4.5/5 – Despite the pressure of an almost constant queue of hungry customers, food is freshly cooked, service is friendly and efficient, and quality is never in doubt.
8-12 Cheltenham Parade, Harrogate
Graveley’s on Cheltenham Parade is a well-known Harrogate fish and chip shop, often identifiable by its huge displays of flowers in the summer months. In the neighbouring restaurant, the menu includes lobster, seafood, fisherman’s pie and much more – but we’re here to talk good, old-fashioned fish and chips, so we went straight to the take-away counter.
Even here, the choice was wider than in many places, but we stuck to the brief and ordered haddock and chips (cod is also available). We couldn’t resist a portion of the home-made tartar sauce to go with it. Service was fairly quick, but didn’t seem quite as focused as usual – although as a fellow hospitality business, we understand it’s hard to get it right every single time, especially on a busy Friday night.
When it came to eating, the results were generally pretty good. The chips were great: well-cooked, light and not greasy, served as a generous portion without going overboard. The edge of the fish and the batter were slightly over-done, becoming fairly chewy in parts. However, the rest of it was well-cooked and the batter light and crispy – and we’ve visited Graveley’s in the past without a problem, so this was probably an unusual slip-up. The tartar sauce was a lovely added touch and had a subtle flavour that complemented the fish really well.
Batter 4/5 – Crisp, light, but the fish was slightly over-cooked around the edges.
Chips 5/5 – Couldn’t fault the chips, which were well-cooked and steered well away from greasiness.
Service 4/5 –Service was fairly quick, but not quite as good as usual.
Overall 4/5 – It’s definitely worth giving this long-standing favourite a try.
34 Cold Bath Road, Harrogate
Oliver’s on Cold Bath Road is a good old fashioned chippie with a sit-in fish restaurant and a bustling takeaway, both of which thrive on a solid local reputation going back years. That’s not to say Oliver’s hasn’t moved with the times – they now have regular gluten free frying days and serve up calamari and plaice alongside their famous crispy battered cod and homemade fishcakes.
We brought our fish and chips home to eat and we’re pleased to say there were no soggy chips when we unwrapped them and no greasy residue on the paper. The chips were soft and fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, the fish was moist and fresh with slightly dark in colour, but light and crispy in texture batter and the mushy peas on the side were soft and smooth.
It’s easy to see why Oliver’s is still a firm favourite in the town and we loved everything about it, from the friendly service to the very last chip.
Batter 5/5 – nice even colour, crisp texture and rich flavour.
Chips 5/5 – soft on the inside and golden brown on the outside with not a hint of grease.
Service 4/5 – Oliver’s have been doing this for years and it shows.
Overall 4.5/5 – Old fashioned quality and taste always goes down well.
Now we all know that tea, in particular Yorkshire Tea, is one of the most popular drinks to pair with your fish and chips, but we thought we’d ask Laurence at The Champagne Concept what he would pair with one of our national dishes. He chose Cuvée: Roger Manceaux Brut Nature: “A Champagne Concept Customer favourite! A pleasure to taste with crisp fruit flavours and a palate cleansing mineralogy. This Champagne does not compromise on taste despite the lower sugar levels. A great option for wine lovers who are sugar or calorie conscious as it has approximately only 60 calories per glass.” If you’d like to buy a bottle to go with your fish and chips this weekend, or at any time you can visit The Champagne Concept website, or pop into their shop located just next to us!
Of course, there are more fish and chip shops to choose from (unfortunately we couldn’t get round them all!) so if you have a favourite and you want to let us know about it, just get in touch: post your comment below or send us an email.
***Disclaimer*** We found it very hard to choose which was our favourite out of these fish and chip shops and it didn’t make it any easier that there was more than one of us testing it!