After three months of mystery dining chippies and fish and chip takeaways across the UK, Fry Magazine finally announced the winners of their oily 2020 Fry Awards.
With the awards for the 50 Best Takeaways now in their eighth year, a place on their lists is highly sought after.
Chips @ No.8 in Prestwich, Sykes in Salford, The Little Chippy in Tyldesley, and The Fish At Goose Green in Wigan have been voted among the best in the UK – and it’s the first year any chippies in Greater Manchester have made the list.
Sykes said in a Facebook post: “With thousands of entries Sykes is proud to be named one of the UK’s top 50 fish and chip takeaways. This is a prestigious award and the competition was high.
“Following an unannounced visit, we (were) marked on over 40 aspects of the business from food quality, customer service and shop atmosphere in which we received 98%
“We would like to thank all our loyal and supportive customers and those who have queued on our busy teas as well as the wonderful team we have working with us
“Really great to see other amazing Manchester fish and chip shops making the list!!!!”
So what does it take to be voted in the top 50 fish and chip shops in the UK?
Following unannounced visits to each chippy, operators were secretly assessed on over 40 aspects of their businesses from the quality of fish and chips and staff presentation to front-of-house hygiene and customer service.
Shops were awarded extra marks for focusing on areas such as the provenance of their products, for example communicating where their fish, potatoes and frying medium are sourced, offering card payment facilities and having a five star food hygiene rating.
Once again, the food remained the main focus, with all outlets assessed on the flakiness of the fish, the crispness of the chips and the crunch of the batter, alongside value for money.
The pass rate was set very high this year with takeaways needing to hit 96% to qualify, restaurants 94% and mobiles 89%.
Fry Magazine’s annual top 50 list is open to all to enter, but the selection process is “in-depth”, according to Reece Head, Fry’s events director. Every shop that enters is visited by a mystery diner, “and assessed on first impressions, staff, service, handling of the payment and food quality, of course, as there are individual scoring sections on the batter, chips and fish – finishing with the overall experience.” Head explains that the entrants, of which he had several thousand, “did particularly well this year under the working circumstances of the pandemic. With safety for staff and customers paramount, many introduced click and collect ordering through apps and technology, for example.”
Over the three-page reviews, detailed assessments are required on everything from the crispness of the batter to the legibility of the menu boards.
The top 50 fish and chip shops in the UK, according to Fry Magazine
- Auckley Friery, Auckley, South Yorkshire
- Callaways Fish & Chips, Dorchester, Dorset
- Carlo’s, Alnwick, Northumberland
- Castiglio’s Fried Fish & Chips, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire
- Chippy Chippy, Holyhead, Anglesey
- Chips @ No.8, Prestwich, Manchester
- Chish & Fips, Norwich, Norfolk
- Cox’s At The Lighthouse, St Neots, Cambridgeshire
- Croft Street Fisheries, Farsley, Leeds
- Davenport’s Fish & Chips, Louth, Lincolnshire
- David’s Fish And Chips, Brixham, Devon
- Dhillons Fish Inn, Throckley, Newcastle
- Dunkeld Fish Bar, Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross
- East Coast, Musselburgh, East Lothian
- Every Fish Bar, Harrow, London
- Farnhams Fish And Chips, Boverton, Llantwit Major
- Fiddlers Elbow Fish and Chips, Leintwardine, Herefordshire
- Finn’s Traditional Fish and Chips, Reading, Berkshire
- Fintans Fish & Chip Co, Llanishen, Cardiff
- Fish ‘n’ Fritz, Weymouth, Dorset
- Fisherman’s Bay, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear
- Fochabers Fish Bar, Fochabers, Moray
- Fraser’s Fish and Chips, Penzance, Cornwall
- Frydays of Kendal, Kendal, Cumbria
- George’s Fish And Chips, Hanham, Bristol
- Harlees Fish & Chips, Westbury, Wiltshire
- Henley’s of Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe, Essex
- Hiks, Brynhyfryd, Swansea, Glamorgan
- Hooked On The Heath, Knutsford, Cheshire
- Jason’s Fish And Chips, Rackheath, Norwich, Norfolk
- Land & Sea, Sowerby, York, North Yorkshire
- Linfords Traditional Fish and Chip Shop, Market Deeping, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
- Market Hill Fisheries, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire
- McLeod’s Fish and Chips, Inverness
- My Plaice Fish and Chips, Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk
- Newington Fish Bar, Ramsgate, Kent
- Priory Plaice Fish and Chips, Ulverston, Cumbria
- Sea Salt + Sole, Dyce, Aberdeen
- Seasmiths Fish + Chips, Porthtowan, Truro, Cornwall
- Shap Chippy, Penrith, Cumbria
- Shaw’s Fish And Chips, Dodworth, Barnsley, South Yorkshire
- Smith’s Chippy, South Shields, Tyne & Wear
- Sykes, Pendlebury, Salford, Greater Manchester
- The Cafe Royal, Annan, Dumfriesshire
- The Cottage by Haddocks, Rawtenstall, Rossendale, Lancashire
- The Crescent Fish & Chip Shop, Flint, Flintshire
- The Esk Cafe, Carlisle, Cumbria
- The Fish At Goose Green, Wigan, Greater Manchester
- The Fish Bar, Crewe, Cheshire
- The Fish Works, Largs, North Ayrshire
- The Friary, Carrickfergus, County Antrim
- The Golden Fry, Benllech, Isle of Anglesey
- The Horseshoe Fish Bar, Pontnewynydd, Torfaen
- The Little Chippy Tyldesley, Greater Manchester
- The Plaice to Be, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire
- The Shire Fryer, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
- Tony’s, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire
- Towngate Fisheries, Idle, Bradford, West Yorkshire
- Valerio’s Fish And Chips, Lanark, South Lanarkshire
- Yan’s Fish Bar, Cardiff