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Bolton’s Olympus: the salt-of-the-earth fish and chip restaurant with mythical portions

Olympus is a family-run fish and chip restaurant in Bolton famous for its giant cod, piano and coach tours across the British isles

Bolton might well be better known for its pasties and Peter Kay but this award-winning restaurant is surely putting Bolton on the map for its fish and chips.

Olympus is a huge fish and chip restaurant and takeaway in Bolton town centre featuring distinctive art deco-style arched windows which flood the titanic open plan dining room with natural light, plus a beautiful orangery and a little ‘secret garden’ to the rear.

A professional pianist sets the tone and helps create a charming atmosphere.

Olympus Fish & Chip Shop

Awarded ‘Best Fish and Chips in Bolton’ by Top Three Rated, this family-run takeaway and restaurant on the corner of Great Moor Street in Bolton has received both glowing reviews from locals and is attracting visitors from far and wide – often with queues out the door.

England’s Business Awards 2024 nomination

They have also been nominated in England’s Business Awards 2024 as the Best Fish and Chip Shop.

But they need your help.

They need for you to vote for them so they come out top dogs and take home another huge award.

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What is the food at Olympus Fish & Chip Shop like?

What you see is what you get. Think Harry Ramsden’s but with independent charm and finesse.

And bigger portions, too. This humble restaurant doesn’t boast a critically acclaimed chef or have any ambitions for a Michelin Star or rosette. It’s comfortable in its golden skin.

Sure, you can get fish and chips to take home from their takeaway – and save a few quid – but you’d be missing out on the salt-of-the-earth charm of the restaurant and the ambience of the piano music.

Olympus Fish & Chip Shop

Once you’ve got a seat, you forget you’re in the middle of Bolton and feel like you could be in Whitby Bay or by the seaside.

Owner of Olympus, Tasos

Celebrating an impressive 35th anniversary that very few establishments can boast these days, proprietor Tasos opened the chippy in 1988 and has ambitiously extended into multiple neighbouring units to create a 200-cover restaurant space.

We sat down with Tasos to talk about his time at Olympus.

He said: “I’ve been here for 35 years now, since March 1988.

“The takeaway started as one small shop unit, but over the years, I bought and rebuilt 14 units.

“We’ve grown from a takeaway into a restaurant, and we’ve also expanded into tourism. We offer deliveries, often to churches or housing associations as we like to be part of the community.

“I think what makes the experience special are our incredible in-house pianists, they really create a special dining experience.

“And if you’re looking for something a bit different, we also offer dancing and entertainment, which have been very popular.”

Named after the mythical mountain in Greece, Olympus is inspired by his Greek parents who worked in hospitality and had their own grill down the road. His mother and father, Michael and Olga, retired about 20 years ago but still chip in from time to time.

Olympus Fish & Chip Shop

Fish and chips are the cornerstone of a traditional British diet and for some people it is a religion.

Carol Jones from Swinton comes to Olympus religiously every Saturday for a proper sit-down fish and chips. It would take a global pandemic to stop Carol from driving up the M61 in her little car to get her weekly Pensioners’ Special – cod and chips served with white or brown bread and a pot of tea or cup of coffee.

“I just love it here,” says Carol. “The food is great, the atmosphere is terrific and the staff are lovely. I’m on first-name terms with all the staff and sometimes they come to sit down with me for a chat to keep me company. Alan, the pianist, is brilliant too.”

Fish and chips are the star of the show here but Olympus has an extensive menu serving plenty of other typical chippy tea dishes – such as pies, pudding, and sausage – as well as pastries, burgers and sourdough pizzas. Even Moussaka is on the menu as a nod to Tasos’ Greek heritage.

For those with the appetite of a Greek God, they boast Titan portions of cod including a large 8oz, 12oz, and a whopping 16oz – yes a full pound of battered fish – all accompanied with peas, bread and a brew. Zeus himself would struggle to finish it all. The fish is so impressive that when it arrives in front of you, you feel compelled to have a photo taken with it like a prize fisherman.

Olympus Fish & Chip Shop

The Bolton restaurant caters for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and funerals, as well as being popular for pre-theatre meals before going to a show at Bolton Little Theatre or The Octagon.

Tasos Tours from Olympus

Tasos has recently expanded his hospitality venture into travel and tourism, offering customers coach trips to must-visit places across the country under the name ‘Tasos Tours’.

The tours start and finish from the restaurant, with a coffee and toasted teacake on arrival in the morning before you board a ‘luxury coach’ with a familiar tour guide to visit places across the British isles – such as York, Llandudno for a ‘Victorian Extravaganza’, Skipton, Harrogate, Whitby, Bakewell on market day, Chester for shopping, Lytham ‘Wartime Weekend’, and the Lake District – before leaving the place in the afternoon around 4pm to return to Olympus for some fish and chips. Book in person at the restaurant.

You can visit their website here.

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