Fish and chip shop

A fish and chip shop is a form of a fast food restaurant that specialises in selling fish and chips. Usually, fish and chip shops provide takeaway service, although some have seating facilities. Variations on the name include fish bar, fisheries in Yorkshire, fish shop and chip shop. In the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland, they are colloquially known as a chippy or fishy, while in the rest of Ireland they are known as chippers. Fish and chip shops may also sell other foods, including variations on their core offering such as battered sausage and burgers, to regional cuisine such as Indian or Chinese food.

A fish and chip shop in Broadstairs, United Kingdom
Such shops like this one in London often sell other forms of fast food such as kebabs, burgers etc.
A mobile street vendor selling fish and chips in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oldham - first chip shop in UK


A blue plaque at Oldham's Tommyfield Market in England marks the 1860s origin of the fish and chip shop and fast food industries.[citation needed] In 1928, Harry Ramsden's fast food restaurant chain opened in the UK. On a single day in 1952, his fish and chip shop in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, served 10,000 portions of fish and chips, earning itself a place in the Guinness Book Of Records.[citation needed]


The word "chip-shop" is first recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary in 1953.[1] "Chippy" or "chippie" was first recorded in 1961.[2] Occasionally the type of fish will be specified, as in 'Cod-n-Chips'.


Many British villages, suburbs, towns and cities have fish and chip shops, especially near coastal regions.

Fish and chip outlets sell roughly 30% of all the white fish consumed in the United Kingdom, and use 10% of the UK potato crop.[3]

An Irish-Italian takeaway in Celbridge.

In Ireland, many "chippers" are operated by Italian immigrant families, all native to the Province of Frosinone in Lazio.[4] The Italian chip shop tradition began with Giuseppe Cervi, who took a boat to America in the 1880s but instead disembarked at Cobh, County Cork and walked to Dublin, establishing a takeaway at 22 Great Brunswick Street (modern Pearse Street).[5][6][7]

Regional differencesEdit

In Scotland, the fish tends to be haddock, where in England it tends to be cod. This is because both fish tend to be sourced from Scottish waters in the North Sea, and then shipped around the UK. Haddock was thought to taste better than cod when fresh, while cod tasted better a few days later. In the days before refrigerated haulage this meant that haddock would taste bad by the time it made it out of Scotland, while the cod would still taste good if it took a few days to reach its destination.[8] Hake, pollock, whiting, and plaice are also seen at many chip shops.[9] In Scotland, 'special fish' is a variant where the haddock is breadcrumbed instead of battered.

A number of fish and chip shop condiments exist, including salt and vinegar (very often actually non-brewed condiment) across the UK, mushy peas and curry sauce in various parts of the UK, chip spice in Hull,[10] chippy sauce in Edinburgh,[11] gravy in Derby, mushy pea and mint sauce in Nottingham, and gravy and cheese in Yorkshire. There are also variations with the oil used to cook the fish and chips. Traditional frying uses beef dripping or lard, and are still used in the Midlands and the North; however, vegetable oils, such as palm oil, rapeseed or peanut oil (used because of its relatively high smoke point) now predominate, particularly in the South.

There are also a number of other offerings at fish and chip shops that do not involve fish, such as the battered sausage.

There are also regional variations across the UK including:

There are also variations in the fish and chip shops of former British colonies:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ [1](subscription required)
  2. ^ [2](subscription required)
  3. ^ "As British as Fish And Chips".
  4. ^ "The History of ITICA — ITICA".
  5. ^ "A postcard, Giuseppe Cervi and the story of the Dublin chipper". 14 March 2017.
  6. ^ "How fish and chips enriched a nation". The Irish Times.
  7. ^ "6 interesting facts from the unique history of Irish-Italian chippers".
  8. ^ Sherwood, Harriet (18 August 2019). "Where did all the cod go? Fishing crisis in the North Sea". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  9. ^ Meikle, James (3 April 2013). "Cod and chips could be a load of pollock". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  10. ^ Habergham, Harriet (15 September 2017). "Hull's famous Chip Spice is taking over Yorkshire". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  11. ^ Rudden, Liam (21 February 2019). "Shocking secret of Edinburgh's chippy sauce revealed". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Orange chips still flavour of the month in the Black Country". Halesowen News. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  13. ^ a b Varley, Ciaran (15 May 2017). "Some of the amazing things you can get in chip shops around the UK and Ireland". BBC Three. Retrieved 9 November 2019.

External linksEdit