Fish and chips is the national dish of the United Kingdom, so much so that on February 23, 2010, the British Parliament marked the “150th anniversary of the marriage between fish and chips.” The origin of fish and chips in the City of Brotherly Love is not recorded. But regardless of when or where Philadelphians first savored the flavorful, batter-dipped fish and salted chips, it remains a favorite staple on the menu of many city pubs and restaurants.


Dark Horse Pub
421 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 928-9307

The Dark Horse Pub opened its doors as the Old Plough Tavern, located in Head House Square. For more than 250 years, the Dark Horse has retained its historic but casual atmosphere, being a place for good food, good drink and good companionship. Topping its Pub Grub menu is Guinness fish and chips, featuring battered cod and tartar sauce, for $13. With Guinness as a component in the beer battering, you can expect a unique twist on this typical fare. Also featured on the menu are shepherd’s pie, an Irish breakfast, bangers and mash, chicken pie and Cornish pastie, demonstrating that this is a hub for European classics. Its affiliated restaurants of St. Stephen’s Green and The Black Sheep Irish Pub & Restaurantoffer similar options.

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Eulogy Belgian Tavern
136 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 413-1918

Beer Heaven, as the Eulogy Belgian Tavern has been called, is a three-block walk from Independence Hall. Covering two floors of an historic row-house-style building, it boasts one of the largest beer selections in the city – with more than “300 international and domestic craft-brewed bottled beers and 21 draught beers.” Famous for Belgian cuisine selections such as North Sea-style mussels and Beneluxx Belgian frietjes and dipping sauce, it is also well-known for its Beneluxx Napoleon burger. However, one of the main standouts is the Belgian fish and chips that feature Hoegaarden beer-battered cod with frietjes (fries), malt vinegar and remoulade for $16.

(credit: Flat Rock Saloon/Facebook)

Flat Rock Saloon
4301 Main St
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 483-3722

One of the oldest taverns in Manayunk, the Flat Rock Saloon has been open since the early 1900s. A family-owned business, it prides itself on making all of its menu items from scratch using seasonal local ingredients. With a great beer selection, its atmosphere harks back to earlier and less hectic times. Its menu features salads, sandwiches, burgers, chicken and seafood. The fish and chips is made with potato-crusted flounder with malt vinegar mayonnaise and house-cut fries for $10. By using flounder, Flat Rock provides a light and flaky bite each time.

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(credit: Plough and the Stars/Facebook)

Plough & the Stars
123 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 733-0300

Located 50 feet from the corner of 2nd and Chestnut Streets, the Plough & the Stars entrance is easily identifiable by its outdoor seating under yellow umbrellas. Well-known for its traditional Irish music sessions every Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., it also hosts charities and other special events. For about $12, its beer-battered tilapia is served with fries and homemade tartar sauce. Plough’s homemade sauce is a perfect component to the fish but almost more so to the chips. Dip each fry in this English mayonnaise to bring a truly delicious meal full circle. 

(credit: National Mechanics/Facebook)

National Mechanics Bar & Restaurant
22 S 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 701-4883

Built in 1837 by the famed architect William Strickland, the National Mechanics Building has been home to banks, churches, clubs and bars, and has survived a number of fires. A gothic-style building with an Old World ambiance, the building is named for its first function as the Mechanics National Bank. However, one of the best functions for this multi-purpose building is the food it’s bringing to Philadelphians. Its fish and chips are made from classic beer-battered cod fillets, served with a side of fries, cole slaw and tartar sauce. Although listed as a starter on the menu, this dish could easily satisfy a diner with a big appetite. However, you might want to order another side of cole slaw because it is one of the plate’s best features. 

Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on