Must-try fish and chips in Vancouver

Fish and chips, one of the world’s most ingenious food pairings, may be historically recognized as a British dish (Winston Churchill famously referred to them as “the good companions”), but they are a staple of any coastal city’s food scene. Vancouver is no different. Variations of the classic meal – fingers of fried haddock or cod accompanied by mouth-watering crispy potatoes – can be found in almost every neighbourhood. 

The Fish Counter

3825 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P1

This Mount Pleasant hole in the wall makes seafood mobile, serving mostly take-out dishes like clam chowder, halibut cakes, fish tacos, and – you guessed it – some of the best fish and chips this city has to offer. Think fresh, flaky halibut fried in a gluten-free batter, accompanied by thin, crispy fries and a tart kale-cabbage slaw. The tartar sauce deserves appreciation in its own right – tangy with a hint of lemon, and shockingly, lactose-free. The portions are enormous too, but – trust me – you won’t want to share.

Pajo's Fish & Chips

12351 3 Ave, Richmond, BC V7E 2Z1

Pajo’s is a must-try if you’re visiting the docks at Steveston. Served in traditional newspaper cones, the fish isn’t fancy, but it’s fresh; it doesn’t even make it off the docks before it’s in the fryer. Plus, the newspaper cones make it easy to walk around with your food. Bottomless chips are an added bonus, as well as the wide variety of sauces.

C-Lovers Fish & Chips

6640 Royal Ave, West Vancouver, BC V7W 2B9

If you find yourself in Horseshoe Bay with a few minutes to kill before you board the ferry, look no further for authentic, casual fish and chips than C-Lovers. A favourite spot for locals in the area, C-Lovers offers quick take-out options as well as sit-down service, depending on how much time you have. They’re known for their AYCE fish and chips dish, which features pollock instead of halibut, but other kinds of fish are available as well. If you’re really hungry, try the all-you-can-eat option – it even comes with a beer!

Go Fish Ocean Emporium

1505 1st Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6J 1E8

This False Creek favourite has been making killer fish and chips for years and has an international reputation, even among the visiting British tourists. While coleslaw is usually the least important part of a fish-and-chips plate, Go Fish’s purple cabbage slaw is a highlight. Both cod and halibut options are available. Sit and munch on your meal right on the docks of False Creek for a true seaside experience.

The Kaboom Box (Food Truck)

777 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2C9

The Kaboom Box is a food truck that can most often be found downtown around lunchtime; if you’re lucky enough to come across it, be sure to try the two-piece fish and chips. There’s nothing too fancy about this take-away meal, but the wild cod dipped in a light tempura batter accompanied by house-made slaw will satisfy the strongest of greasy seafood cravings.

Fish Cafe

2053 41st Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6M 1Y7

The cozy Fish Café is a favourite spot for residents of Kerrisdale and, though serving a variety of seafood for lunch and dinner, the snapper fish and chips is one of the most popular menu picks. If you don’t care too much for tartar sauce, the garlic butter sauce is a nice replacement and has received rave reviews from customers all over the city.

Rodney's Oyster House

405-1228 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 6L2

Rodney’s may be known for its oysters, but the potato-encrusted halibut is a lesser-known, mouth-watering dinner choice that turns into an upscale version of fish and chips when paired with an order of fries. And if you’ve ever been to Rodney’s, you know that it feels like you’re eating right off the docks, even though you’re in Yaletown.

The Acorn Restaurant

3995 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P3

For a vegetarian take on fish and chips, look no further than the dinner menu at The Acorn, located in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Their beer-battered halloumi cheese on a potato pancake, accompanied by homemade mint lemon yogurt, is the closest you’ll get to fish and chips if you don’t eat anything with a face. Even for those who do eat seafood, this culinary creation is so delicious it might even blow regular fish and chips out of the water.

Sometimes you just need a bite of something delicious to get you from point A to point B, without the hassle of sitting down to dine on a full meal. The next time you happen to find yourself strapped for cash or time or both, let’s hope you’re near East Vancouver’s Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood – a veritable paradise of snacks and tasty munchies for under $5.
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