The Best Fish & Chips in Vancouver

The restaurants for the best fish & chips in Vancouver are the ones that have been making this dish for quite some time. There are so many variables that come into play with fish & chips around the city and I have done my best to outline those for you. Some will wrap your take-out in eco containers or newspaper, others will serve it to you on a plate and presentation does count too. Most serve salmon, halibut and cod, some serve coleslaw as an accompaniment with the dish, most serve tartar and all of them will tell you they have the best chips in the city.

So where and how do I begin, over the past 4 weeks I have ate my way through a multitude of dishes all over  Vancouver, Richmond and West Vancouver to the places that either were faved by readers alike or were on my must visit list. I didn’t just taste the dish I ate the whole dish, if I didn’t finish the dish (there were a couple) it meant that I didn’t care for the dish.

You can’t just judge the fish or fries alone, there is a reason the dish is called Fish & Chips. On this quest I focussed on the Traditional British style although some have a bit of a Westcoast influence, since this is British Columbia after-all. I found battered fish that was made with either beer or soda in the batter, some of the fish was panko breaded, some were greasy, some of the places had the most delicious fries and some had no flavour, I had thick cut and regular sized and round, salted and unsalted, hand-cut and machine cut .

Note:  The prices indicated exclude tax.

In ranking order, these are my favourite Fish & Chips in and around Vancouver.

Note: The following first four places tied at 1st place as they were equally the Best.

 

(1) Fish Cafe (4 way tied for 1st place)

Fish Cafe

One the Plate: Fish & Chips – 2 large pieces of halibut, fries, tartar sauce and ketchup with lemon wedges.

The halibut was very good, the battered coating was golden in appearance and tasted really good.  The fries were perfectly done and tasted great, Tartar sauce was good and chunky. In the batter well it is a secret I am told.

Presentation: served on a newspaper type of paper on a frying pan

Ocean Wise: Yes

Served with: White and Malt Vinegar

$ 18.95 Halibut Fish & Chips

$ 14.95 Salmon Fish & Chips

Fish Café is located at 2053 West 41st Avenue in Vancouver.

 

(2) Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House (4 way tied for 1st place)

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House

On the Plate: Halibut & Chips : 1 piece of halibut, fries, tartar sauce and ketchup with lemon wedges.

The halibut was delicious, the battered coating was made with soda water, golden in appearance on the outside, crispy and tasted really good.  The fries were thickly cut, perfectly done and tasted great, the coleslaw was nice and light, tartar sauce was a tad too smooth for my liking though tasted good.

$24.95 Halibut & Chips

Presentation: served on a newspaper type of paper on a plate.

Served with: Malt Vinegar

Ocean Wise: Yes

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House is at 777 Thurlow Street in Vancouver.

 

(3) Coast Restaurant (4 way tied for 1st place)

Coast Restaurant

On the Plate: Fish & Chips – 1 piece of salmon, halibut and cod along with fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce and ketchup with a wrapped lemon to squeeze.

My favourite was the Salmon which was moist and flavourful, the battered coating was lightly salted, golden in appearance and tasted really good. Second favourite was the Halibut which was perfectly cooked and flavourful and lastly was the cod. The fries were perfectly done and tasted great, the coleslaw was also very good. Tartar sauce was good and chunky. Their batter is made with lager from Hells Gate and they also use a mix of all purpose and a light rice flour as the base for it.

$ 19.95     Halibut Fish & Chips

$ 18.95     Salmon Fish & Chips

$ 17.95     Cod Fish & Chips

Presentation: served on black and white checkered paper on a plate

Ocean Wise: Yes

Served with: White and Malt Vinegar

Coast Restaurant  is located 1054 Alberni Street in Vancouver

 

(4) Go Fish (4 way tied for 1st place)

Go Fish

On the Plate: 1 piece of halibut, fries, pacific rim coleslaw, tarragon tartar sauce and lemon wedge

I tried all of the fish options and my favourite was the Salmon which was moist and full of flavour on the inside, then the Halibut and lastly the cod. The battered coating is made with Red Truck Lager to give it a clean and delicious taste, golden brown in appearance, the coleslaw was the best that I have had anywhere and the tarragon tartar sauce was wonderous.

$13 Halibut Fish & Chips

$10 Salmon fish & chips

$9 Cod Fish & Chips

Presentation: served on a plate

Ocean Wise: Yes

Served with:  Malt Vinegar on request

Go Fish is located at 1521 West Broadway, in Vancouver.

 

(5) Raincity Grill   (2nd place)

Raincity Grill

In the Takeout Container: Halibut Fish & Chips – 2 pieces of halibut + 1 extra piece with fries and greens.

The halibut with a the battered coating which was made with Lighthouse Lager was lightly sea salted, golden in appearance and tasted really good. Served with fries that were a bit too salty (also with sea salt) and greens with eco wooden utensils.

$10  Halibut Fish & Chips

Presentation: Fully bio degradable containers and cutlery

Ocean Wise: Yes

Served with:  White & Malt Vinegar packages to go

Raincity Grill is located at 1193 Denman Street in Vancouver

 

(6) Dundarave Fish Market (3rd place)

Dundarave Fish Market

On the Plate: 1 piece of halibut, fries, sassy sesame coleslaw, round sand dollar fries, tartar sauce, baja sauce and lemon wedge

The halibut was moist on the inside with a really good battered coating that is made with soda and a secret recipe, golden brown in appearance, the sand dollar fries were thin and not greasy, lightly seasoned, the sassy sesame coleslaw was very good, the two sauces worked well from the classic tartar sauce to the baja sauce.

$14.95 Halibut Fish & Chips

Presentation: served on a large oval plate

Ocean Wise: n/a

Served with:  White & Malt Vinegar

Dundarave Fish Market is located at 2423 Marine Drive in West Vancouver.

 

(7) Dockside Restaurant (4th place)

Dockside Restaurant

Fish & Chips – 2 large pieces of halibut, fries, sweet and sour tartar sauce, and ketchup

The halibut was very good, the battered coating was golden in appearance and tasted really good.  The fish was a bit too greasy. The fries were perfectly done and tasted great, Tartar sauce was good and chunky.

$16 Pilsner Battered Halibut Fish & Chips

Presentation: fish and condiments served on a plate, fries served in a bowl

Ocean Wise: Yes

Served with:  Malt Vinegar on the table

Dockside is located at 1253 Johnston Street (Granville Island) in Vancouver.

 

(8) Pajo’s Fish & Chips (5th place)

Pajos Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips – 1 piece of salmon, halibut and cod along with fries.

tartar sauce and ketchup

Favourite was the Halibut which was moist and flavourful, the battered coating golden in appearance and tasted really good. Second favourite was the Salmon which was perfectly cooked and lastly was the cod. The handcut  fries looked ok but had no flavour, made with no salt.

$14.99     Fish & Chips with 1 piece of Halibut, Salmon and Cod

$1.59         Coleslaw – chopped up served as a side dish

Presentation: served in a paper cone.

Ocean Wise: No

Served with:  White & Malt Vinegar on the table

Pajo’s at the Wharf, Steveston 604-272-1588

Pajo’s at Garry Point, Steveston 604-204-0767

Pajo’s at Rocky Point, Port Moody 604-469-2289

Pajo’s at Gates Park, Port Coquitlam 604-461-5527

 

(9) Fresh Local Wild (6th place)

Fresh Local Wild

Fish & Chips – 2 large pieces of salmon, fries, tartar sauce

The salmon was very good, the light tempura  coating was very light in appearance and tasted really good.  The fries were awesome and tasted great, Tartar sauce was good

$12 for Salmon Fish & Chips

Presentation: fish and fries served in plastic basket with tartar sauce dolloped on top.

Ocean Wise: Yes

Fresh Local Wild is a Food Truck located at the corner of Hastings and Burrard most of the time. Follow them on Twitter @freshlocalwild for hours.

 

(10) The Fish House   (7th place)

Fish House

Fish & Chips – 2  pieces of Haddock, fries, tartar sauce

The haddock was not too my liking, the batter coating was crispy and made with the Red Truck Ale, was golden in appearance and tasted really good.  The fries weren’t all that tasty, Tartar sauce with Old Bay was good.

$17.95 for Fresh Haddock Fish and Chips

Presentation: fish and condiments served on a plate, fries served in a bowl

Ocean Wise: Yes

The Fish House is located at 8901 Stanley Park Drive in Vancouver.

 

Note: I know there are more restaurants around the Vancouver area that have Fish & Chips and I was unable to get to all of them on this quest.

Which Fish & Chips are your favourite from a restaurant around Vancouver or in the suburbs?

Feel free to add your comment here and name the place and their location, the cost of each excluding tax and why you think they are the best!

By: Richard Wolak

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  • http://themaggiescene.com Maggie

    I still consider Pajo’s the top in my books! But I’ll definitely need to check out some of the ones on your list that I’ve missed!

  • http://twitter.com/ABeautifulLife Liv

    a 4 way tie for 1st, really?? 

    i used to love Fish Cafe but a few years ago I had some bad experiences – maybe i’ll give it another try again given your review.

    I quite like the fish and chips at Finest at Sea at 33rd and Arbutus.

  • Anonymous

    As a lover of fish, and having eaten at most of the restaurants named, there is no doubt that The Fish Cafe is tops for taste and value.
    Mig

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RVAMCB54Y4SW6WSFXGIGYWQAZE Jake Soroka

    Very interesting, thanks for the info.  I would hope that you’d disclose if any of the above restaurants have paid you in the past (not tied to this review, of course, but a disclaimer in case any of them have paid for “PR services” in the past would be morally correct).  

  • Anonymous

    Go back to Fish Cafe and give them another chance,  I feel the same way as you as I had a similar experience, the owner/chef Marcus is now back cooking again and he is amazing!

  • Anonymous

    Great point Jake, none of these restaurants have paid me for PR services.

  • http://twitter.com/Phanyxx ♔ Nick Routley

    It’s great to see so many places serving Ocean Wise fish. Go Fish has been one of my favourite spots for years, so I’ll take the liberty of breaking that 4-way tie! haha

  • http://twitter.com/FinestAtSeaVan Finest at Sea Van

    Thanks for the word up Liv!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAFXR5CUMGRTFVYBJW3LQRR7LU Tsk tsk

    Hmm. I think the reviewer was high on crack by the time h/she finished this rating.

    4 way ties?  C’mon. Who’s influencing who here? Noticed how the highest priced plates are ranked #1?

    Fish Cafe #1? No way. Just from looking at the pics, the fish batter is fried too much. Fries look good though. Recent reviews tell a different story than the ranker portrays

    Joe Fortes Seafood? Not a chance. The fish looks dry (no mention of it being moist in the review). Fries starting too look overdone, similar to White Spot fries.

    Go Fish? Gross looking. The fish looks more like an apple fritter than fish. Fries look greasy.

    Coast Restaurant. This does not look like traditional fish & chips. It’s something you would expect to see in a Japanese restaurant serving deep fried tempura.

    Raincity Grill . Fries look fried just write. Fish doesn’t appear to be greasy but it looks like it’s more baked than fried. Reminds me of processed frozen fish and chips you get at Safeway

    Dundarave Fish Market. Just awful looking. is that fish and chips, really?  round potato chips, baked.  Is that potato pancake masquerading as fish?

    Dockside Restaurant. I agree with the cracker on this one with the exception of the fries. I like my fries less brown looking….more gold in color.

    Fresh Local Wild.  Disgusting. The fries are overfried fish battery is just horrible looking. Not appetizing at all. This place should not be on the list at all, especially since missing is Cockney Kings and Dave’s Fish & Chips, just to name a few.

    Pajo’s Fish & Chips. That’s a specially made order. Typically, that’s not how the fish and chips look like. The fish and chips tends to be very greasy 99% of the time I tried them.  Pajos is very very over-rated.

    Fish House. Clearly bias review on this one. Look at the chips: golden brown, crispy but moist inside. Fish portion just the right size and batter done almost perfect.  This one should be #1 in this ranking. Obviously, there was no donation given to the ranker for the review hence the last place ;)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAFXR5CUMGRTFVYBJW3LQRR7LU Tsk tsk

    I’m a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to fish and chips. i have to disagree with you based on appearance. IMO, if the fish wasn’t as fried (brown) in color as the pic portrays and the fries more golden brown, I could see it in the top 10.

    However, I know there are MANY other F&C places that are better in town (based on appearance alone). If the F&C doesn’t look good to eat, then chances are it’s not going to taste good or it’ll sit in your stomach for days waiting for the grease et all to pass.

  • Jon Wong

    Mr. Pickwicks on Granville and w.70th isn’t too shabby. The fish are a bit greasy, and the fish seems a bit small with lotsa batter, but taste-wise it’s good. It’s a small joint tho, no room for sitting, but rather take-outs in “newpaper” wrap.

  • ryan_walker15

    You should try Montgomery’s Fish and Chips. Lonsdale Quay food market :)  Just try to avoid the weekends at lunch time, it’s always really busy from 12-2.

  • Alison Charlotte

    Try rogue’s
    halibut and chips

  • Trevor B

    Pajo’s is now only serving Ocean Wise, for an outdoor fishing village experience you should drop by their Steveston location on the docks, great meal and value!!

  • Elaine Chen

    Have you ever tried C-lovers in north vancouver??

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