Eastside fish ‘n chips

My wife had fish ‘n chips last week. She told me we would. Three days later I got an inexplicable craving for them. Took me a moment to realize why. Then we had to have some. This was a Friday night after a long week, and after putting our little girl to bed. And it was cold outside.

When distance and good weather are no constraint we’ve favoured Gord Martin’s Go Fish down near Granville Island, but not too long ago Andrea and I checked out Finest at Sea’s little bistro located on the left third of their incredible little fish shop on Arbutus. Needless to say, the halibut fish ‘n chips served with a side of slaw has supplanted all others when it comes to this guilty and infrequent gastronmoic pleasure.

But, what to do for decent take out fish within a one or two kilometer radius of our place on Commercial Street? Take out was the only option since Lila was asleep. And it had to be close because by the time you get decent crispy fried take out home over any kind of distance it’s soggy and not all that appealing. This applies doubly to fish ‘n chips for some reason.

A quick googling turned up one option called Seahouse Fish & Chips on Kinsway near Rupert. Seemed okay, but a bit too far to take a chance on. Then there’s Windjammer on Main Street near 16th (conveniently located next to a gelateria). Again, not really that far, but out of the running that night. Neither we had any intelligence on and the dodgey single glowing review on both listings was somewhat suspicious. So instead we left the craving unsatisfied.

So, I’m putting it out there: where on the east side can one get a decent fish ‘n chips experience? Anyone been to the Seahouse or Windjammer? Hurry, I can only hold out for a week or so before I just cave and drag the family to Finest at Sea, but we need a good back up.

Photo: gieshaboy500


20 Responses to “Eastside fish ‘n chips”

  1. Posted on February 3rd, 2009

    Never been to Windjammer but the best fish ‘n chips I’ve found in Vancouver is at the Crab Shop on the Dollarton Highway, just off the Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge, towards Deep Cove. It’s like FAS but smaller and less Kitsilano / Kerrisdale.

    The menu is as simple as can be: halibut, cod or salmon, number of pieces, and chips.

    Their new location has lost some of the cinder-block-bunker charm of the old location but the fare remains top notch. We often stop in on the way to the picnic areas of Cates Park.

  2. Posted on February 3rd, 2009

    I am from Yorkshire in the UK where every village has at least 3 pubs and one chippy (fish and chip shop). Also they cook their food in lard not oil, this adds to the flavour and makes them even worse for your health (which strangely seems to make them taste better).

    Vancouver, fish and chips, ermmmmmmmmm. As a f&c snob I would have to politely disagree with the previous comment. I have eaten several times at the crab shop and the chips are thin and overcooked and the fish is heavily flavoured with herbs. That being said, I find taste is very personal, what I like you may not and visa-versa. I do agree with James about the new location of the Crab Shop not being as good as the old one.

    In short, I have not had any fish and chips in Vancouver that I would consider good. This is based on my youth where I would go to the chippy and get a special and scraps in a bap cooked in cow fat – ermmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    (NOTE: a Special is a extra large fish, when you enter the chippy you shout out aloud ‘SPECIAL’ and they add the extra large fish into the batter and into the fryer. By the time you reach the cash out it is cooked – it costs more but is freshly cooked. Scraps are the bits of batter that fall off the fish when it’s frying. They are scooped from the bottom of the fryer – basically deep fried oily batter. A bap is a bread bun with a good helping of butter. In summery: butter, fried batter bits, deep fried fish and healthy white bread – wow, I’m now hungry).

  3. Posted on February 3rd, 2009

    Matt, that sounds amazing. Ben, I saw that they are now serving fish and chips at Belgian Fries, but I can’t vouch for the quality. I really only eat f&c a couple of times a summer, out in Steveston, but I have been to Windjammer’s a long time ago and I remember it being ok.

  4. Posted on February 3rd, 2009

    I’m not a Brit, but I have a Kiwi wife, so I’ve had plenty of fish & chips in my life. While nothing in Vancouver can compare to a nice feast of Tarakihi with Paua fritters and chips, I’m quite happy with the Crab Shop in North Van and Go Fish in Kits. Beyond those two, everything else I’ve had has been mediocre at best.

  5. Posted on February 3rd, 2009

    Ben, I can’t say much for the Eastside… but Matt, if you want to eat at a chippy with substance, look no further than Pajo’s in Richmond. It’s right on the water in the most southern point of Steveston and it has some of the freshest, most heart-stoppingly delicious fish & chips around. You’re better off making it a trip on the weekend, because it’s pretty far out.

  6. Posted on February 5th, 2009

    Nothing comes close to Finest at Sea. Maybe we should start a petition so they open a location on the Eastside somewhere?

  7. Posted on February 6th, 2009

    The Windjammer’s okay, but not amazing.

    If you want to go east, go way east into Burnaby and hit Penny Farthing Fish & Chips (5212 Kingsway). Bear in mind that I haven’t been there in a while, but it was amazing. It’s dirty and greasy inside, with great fish and chips. And mushy peas!

  8. Posted on February 9th, 2009

    I have eaten at the Crab shop many times for fish and chips, and, they are heavily seasoned with lemon pepper. If you try to do the take-out, they are soggy too soon.

  9. Posted on February 9th, 2009

    Okay, so out of sheer convenience, tried Windjammer on Main Street on the weekend. Definitely, absolutely out. Got the halibut. It was tasteless. The batter had a too-light, smooth, uniform appearance and was also rather flavourless, and somewhat chewy. The fries were sodden and lifeless and the coleslaw quite likely from the barrel of a food service giant. We’re on a quest now!

  10. Posted on March 4th, 2009

    Wyndjammer used to be excellent when it was located at 16th & Oak. It moved to the current Main @ 15th location about 10 years ago and has gone downhill since changing owners, twice I believe. The current orders are much smaller – that goes fro both the fish and the chips. The halibut is half as thick as it used to be. I think they have taken on the practice of slicing the fillets. The coleslaw used to be delicious and “home-made”. Now its out of a plastic pale. Yuck. The price has also nearly doubled in the past 10 yrs. Though this could be blamed on the economy. Its really too bad. We used to take our kids there at least twice per month and it was favorite for visiting relatives. But no more.

  11. Posted on March 10th, 2009

    Pajo’s is quite good and comparable to anything you can get in the UK. A visit to the one in Port Moody’s beautiful Rocky Point Park is a real treat.

  12. Posted on April 16th, 2009

    Shame you have the Britsih flag up side down.

  13. Posted on April 16th, 2009

    Thanks Jean, indeed it is. We’ll fix that, but considering we’re talking about fish n’ chips in the new world, maybe it’s appropriate!

  14. Posted on June 1st, 2009

    I like go fish. Fish cafe on 42nd and arbutus is really good too.. I too live on commercial street and know better than to eat out on the east side.

  15. Posted on March 2nd, 2010

    The Union Jack is upside down on this page!!!!!! – Thats equivalent of the Taliban burning the Stars and Stripes!

  16. Posted on March 20th, 2010

    Yah LU, The Windjammer was awesome back in the day! Hopefully they’l get their s together soon

  17. Posted on May 28th, 2010

    hey,Fantastic blog dude! i am just Fed up with using RSS feeds and do you use twitter?so i can follow you there:D.
    PS:Have you thought about putting video to this web site to keep the people more enjoyed?I think it works.Best wishes, Evan Westergaard

  18. Posted on June 29th, 2010

    The Windjammer changed there menu and added some new ingredients, much better now!

  19. Posted on October 28th, 2010

    Flag is fixed! Thanks for the keen eye.

  20. Posted on November 25th, 2011

    grado di districarsi. Stampato likely to incrostato prua, carino, pieno di femminilità. Esposti orlo minus fodera colore, stratificazione ricco. Pieghe

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