Where To Eat London's Best Fish Pies
When the craving for comforting fish pie hits, head to one of these spots.
Objectively one of the most wholesome, nap-inducing dishes to come out of Britain, fish pie is a special thing. Creamy mashed potatoes with a fishy filling, and notorious for causing burn-related mouth injuries. When the craving for fish pie hits, it hits hard. Which is why you should only eat the best ones London has to offer, and conveniently you’ll find them in this guide.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
J Sheekey’s fish pie is a menu stalwart at the classic West End seafood restaurant—for good reason. It arrives with pure unadulterated cheese charisma. The oozing, brown breadcrumb and parmesan crust is one of the most comforting things we’ve eaten since discovering you can successfully dip Bahlsen Choco Leibniz in cups of tea. Inside you’ve got quality cod, generous chunks of salty salmon, a dash of parsley, and a tongue-tingling dose of mustard.
Parsons, the kind of Covent Garden restaurant that you can immediately imagine becoming a bit of a regular in your life, is all about seafood. There are tasteful white tiles with little watercolour lobsters and various other crustaceans, and a menu that includes one of London’s most carby and wholesome fish pies. It’s a potato-heavy number with whichever fish they’ve got in that day, often including smoked haddock or flakes of pink salmon, and a hard-boiled egg in the middle. We’ve burnt our tongue digging into this pie more times than we can count so let it cool down a little. While it may look a tad on the small side for two, it is rich enough to share.
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Set over two floors and packed out with wooden church booths and an assortment of countryside paraphernalia, Maggie Jones’s is an old-school Kensington spot that never fails to provide ultimate comfort. And that extends to their menu of British classics, including the must-order fish pie. Slicing through the mash with your fork is very, very satisfying. Eating it is even better. The mash is fluffy with a lovely crisp skin, and the fish is just the right combination of creamy and salty.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House
You could share Wright Brothers’ fish pie. But sitting solo at one of the high tables on a cold day, breaking through the burnished crust and scooping up creamy mash and cheesy sauce is a luxurious thing. Given this London Bridge spot is known for its seafood-focused menu, it’s unsurprising the fish—generous chunks of meaty cod, sea trout, and haddock—is cooked perfectly, giving up at a little nudge of a fork. Comfort food at its finest.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
The best types of fish pie should be generously spooned (not forked). They should also provide the very real danger of causing first degree burns to the top of your mouth. Sweetings’ pie does just that. There is simply no nibbling at this kind of pie. The oldest of old-school, lunch-only institutions, this seafood restaurant in the City specialises in nostalgic, school dinner servings. The fish pie is a one-person-only affair, topped with a gently forked mash complete with crispy brown potato peaks, that cover a mix of smoked and unsmoked fish inside. It’s a feelgood, familiar plate of homeliness that is, of course, best ordered alongside peas.