LDNGuide

The Best Chips In London

Crispy, thin, hand-cut, vinegar-sodden, salt and pepper, crinkly, curly, and some curry sauce too.
The chips at The Devonshire in Soho.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Everyone loves chips. And if you don’t, then no bother. More chips for us. The UK is good for chips. In a pool of ketchup, a blob of mayo, a steaming cup of curry sauce, or right at the bottom of the bag, all vinegar-sodden but crunchy—chips are a unifier. They’re as vital a part of late nights, as they are la-dee-da meals, or lazy oven dinners. So it’s no wonder that London has all manner of them: fat, thin, crispy, crisp-shaped. These are the best ones in London.

THE CHIPS

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Pub

Soho

$$$$Perfect For:Impressing Out of TownersDrinking Good BeerSpecial OccasionsDate Night

A perfect afternoon in Soho looks like duck fat chips and a pint of Guinness at The Devonshire. The British pub and restaurant has plenty of snug spots to hole up, and its ferocious wood-fired oven and chips will sort you out on a mizzly day. These come with irregular, craggy edges which have optimum-levels of crispiness and various shades of pleasing brown. There’s a generous scattering of flaky sea salt on top too. No notes.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The chips at Bouchon Racine are non-negotiable. Not skinny fries, nor big fat chips, but the perfect hybrid. They’re good enough to be eaten with just a grind of salt but the sauces on offer at this peerless Farringdon bistro elevate the chips into a demi-god status. One can be smeared with pungent Saint Marcellin sauce (a thick yellow steak sauce woofing with cheesiness), while another can be used to clean up the remains of your rabbit-flecked mustard sauce. A pot of béarnaise seducing with butter and singing with vinegar is always welcome too.

Pie and chips can be done many ways and at Bistro Freddie, it’s done the French way. The pie is pleasant but the chips stand on their own. Svelte sticks with the occasional jagged edge (and a pleasing amount of scraps below the pile) are the kind of chips that are best classified as dangerous. You can quite easily find yourself lounging in this Shoreditch dining room, dunking chip after chip into wholegrain-laced mayonnaise, pausing for a martini break, before returning back to your little shiny tray of chips.

If you love Greek food but usually find yourself hiding under a parasol and doing your best vampire impression while on holiday, you’ll love Evi’s. Lit solely by flickering candlelight and the glint in people’s eyes when they catch sight of these chips, it’s a laid-back neighbourhood spot in East Dulwich with a den-like feel. The flavourful, hand-cut fries here have a herby seasoning that’s heavy on the oregano. Pair them with pork skewers and a glass of white wine if you want to fully live out your Mykonos fantasies.

Dionysus’ chips make every other interpretation of ‘hand cut’ look and taste like they’ve been made by a pug using a slotted spoon. These babies, these are angular. Sharp and crispy on the ends, but straight, fluffy and, remarkably, full of potato-tasting potato down the middle. In a world of glaring tattie imperfections, the freshly made creations from this legendary Greek kebab shop shine bright. A special mention goes to the Southgate spot’s unapologetically tingly aioli as well.

Kaleidoscopic in looks and in flavour, Nandine’s beharat chips are definitely FAVS. You know, Fries As Vehicles. They’re golden, they’re crisp-ish, but it’s all about the stuff on top. Beharat spices, pink yoghurt, tamarind glaze, mint, and pomegranate seeds hit all the marks. They’re smoky, warm in spice, and sweet. And like most FAVS, the chips at this Kurdish spot in Camberwell are best shovelled.

If you think that ordering chips in a restaurant that specialises in Chongqing noodles feels a little uncouth, then that’s fine. You’d be wrong of course, but it just means more lang-ya tu dou for the rest of us. Put it this way, outside of Mr. Potato Head solving the climate crisis, you won’t find a more impressive spud in London than these crinkle-cut potatoes. They’re part crunchy, part soggy, but always deep-fried, then wok-fried in Sichuan chilli oil. Find them at this excellently named spot in Spitalfields.

We have a lot of time for Fish Central—an old-school seafood restaurant with great chips. Drop by whenever you’re in Clerkenwell and you’re guaranteed fat, floury, and filling chips—whether drenched with vinegar in a bag for the road, or next to some matzo meal fried fish on a plate that’s been made to look Sylvanian-sized.

There are two things you should be doing around Maltby Street. One is having a glass of wine at 40 Maltby Street and another is eating steak and chips from The Beefsteaks. These veterans of the London food market scene know their stuff, and the combination of perfectly pink hanger steak on a bed of not-too-thin but not-too-thick, freshly made chips is always a winner. Especially with a load of béarnaise.

You can’t just be a restaurant with a ’mood’. Because having a ’mood’ is indefinable and unattainable, unless you’ve, like, just got it. Quo Vadis has, and always will have it. We have never left this legendary Soho restaurant less than merry thanks to a martini or a negroni or three, and a meal that has never not involved their pomme frites. Thin ones, fat ones, with two pots of ketchup and mayo, and a nap on the bus home. This British spot is as good as everyone says.

Every story needs conflict. And in the story of this guide, the conflict comes in the form of British restaurant Cora Pearl. Or specifically, in the shape of a confit potato chip. And, more specifically, whether debating the intricacies of a deep-fried carbohydrate actually matters in the grand scheme of things. Clearly not. While this Covent Garden spot’s chips look like an intricate reconstruction job, the resolution is undeniable: complete and crunchy satisfaction.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

When we think of the chipped potatoes from Syrian spot The Best Broasted, we find ourselves getting tangled up in all kinds of riddles and debates. What is a chip? When does a potato become one?  Whatever the answer, one thing for sure is that the crispy chips at the Willesden Green restaurant are amazing. Get them with a whole broasted chicken like we do, or get them alone. Whatever you do, make sure to dip each one in a creamy pot of toum.

The first time we went to Micky’s we arrived from the pub across the road 10 minutes too late. The fryers were gleaming, the little saveloy windows were empty, and there wasn’t a Pukka Pie in sight. But on top of the counter was a plump leftovers package. Compliments of the chippy. Haddock, fried chicken, and chips: some fat, some crispy, some soggy. All perfect. The fresh batch we came back for the next day was even better. The moral? You can’t put a price on a local chip shop as good as Micky’s in Dalston.

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