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9 spots frying up the best fish and chips in Toronto

Halibut or haddock? Beer-battered and crunchy or light and crispy? No matter how you like it, these are the top spots serving the best fish and chips in Toronto. 

Best fish and chips in Toronto | A plate of fish and chips from Sea Witch

The Good Friday tradition of feasting on fish and chips always reminds us of the classic British dish, but it doesn't have to be reserved for the holiday. A crispy, golden piece of fish and a heaping pile of fries is a welcome weekend indulgence any time of year. The real question is what kind of fish is your go-to: melt-in-your-mouth halibut, light and flaky haddock or firm and mild cod? Then there's the accoutrements. Coleslaw or nah? We'd argue that the whole plate should be doused in vinegar, but ketchup only belongs on chips. But there's no wrong way to dig into the best fish and chips in Toronto.

Between all the neighbourhood pubs, seafood restaurants and shops specializing in the dish, you can find excellent fish and chips in every corner of the city. From Fresco's Fish and Chips in Kensington Market and Oyster Boy on Queen West near the Ossington strip to midtown spots like Sea Witch and Olde Yorke Fish & Chips, there are so many locales and fish and chips options to choose from. Off the Hook even has a vegan option for "fish" and chips. 

Get ready for a hot-from-the-fryer, perfectly salty dish — these are the best restaurants in Toronto serving fish and chips to delight you on Good Friday and beyond. 

Where to find the best fish and chips in Toronto

1. Sea Witch Fish and Chips

636 St Clair Ave. W.

If we were giving out an award for the Goldilocks of battered fish (not too thick, not too thin and perfectly crispy), we would have to give it to Sea Witch, hands-down. The homey St. Clair West shop serves crispy, batter-coated halibut (yes, we pay extra for the halibut every time), haddock, trout and pickerel in one- and two-piece options with skin-on, thick-cut fries piled high on the side. Even the coleslaw strikes the perfect balance between creamy and vinegar. The fish pieces are sometimes on the smaller side, but we go for quality over quantity. 

There are a few other seafood items on the menu, like fish cakes and chowder, but the fish and chips is the real draw. Order a beer or a cider and settle into the relaxed atmosphere. The decor is old-school diner meets crab fishing boat, complete with a painting of an old captain.

2. Olde Yorke Fish & Chips

96 Laird Dr.

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Slide into a leather banquette at this British-style pub for a more traditional fish and chips experience. Quaint and homey inside and out, Olde Yorke is a comfortable spot to sink in and dig in. Cod, haddock and halibut are battered in their family recipe and served alongside hand-cut fries. Seafood is the specialty here, but some other options make it onto the menu, too. The beers on tap represent Toronto, the U.K. and Ireland, plus there are a few wine options.

3. Buster's Sea Cove

93 Front St. E.

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Buster's Sea Cove has been slinging seafood to St. Lawrence Market patrons for over 30 years. If it's too challenging to grab a seat in the market, head across the street to Market Street Catch, a spinoff of Buster's Sea Cove. Both locations have plenty of fried fish and chips options on the menu, plus po'boys, fried fish sandwiches, grilled fish and tacos.

4. Len Duckworth's

2638 Danforth Ave.

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A family-run Toronto institution for almost 100 years, Len Duckworth's is about as classic as they come. Shrimp, calamari and scallops make it onto the menu but you'll definitely want to tuck into their secret "world famous" recipe for fish and chips. Choose between halibut, haddock, sole and blue cod. The lowkey Danforth diner is open Monday to Saturday.

5. Harbord Fish & Chips

147 Harbord St.

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What it lacks in size, Harbord Fish & Chips more than makes up for in flavour. After more than 35 years in business, they're serving some of the best fish and chips in Toronto with their tried and true recipe. The concise menu features halibut, basa, haddock and cod, plus crispy fried shrimps and chips. There's not much in the way of seating except for a couple stools and two picnic tables beside the bright blue and red building.

6. Oyster Boy

872 Queen St. W.

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Oyster Boy is a Toronto seafood veteran that's been slinging freshly shucked shellfish for more than 20 years. They serve a mean platter of fish and chips, too. A six-ounce cod loin is beer-battered and deep-fried to golden-brown, then served with Oyster Boy's signature slaw, a lemon wedge to squeeze and a side of tartar sauce to dip. The thick-cut fries are seasoned to perfection, naturally.

7. Off the Hook Fishbar

749 Broadview Ave.

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Find seafood delights of all kinds at this family-owned spot at Danforth and Broadview. From east coast oysters and seafood chowder to seafood tacos and a cod burrito, there's plenty to choose from if you're tired of fish and chips. Of course, they've got wild cod, wild halibut and haddock and the option to have house batter or gluten-free. Swap your side of fries for cajun fries, "frings," onion rings, poutine, salad or brussels sprouts. They even have a vegan fish and chips option — deep fried banana blossom with fresh-cut fries and vegan tartar anyone?

8. Pearl Diver

100 Adelaide St. E.

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A neighbourhood restaurant in the downtown core, Pear Diver serves a seasonal menu in a down-to-earth atmosphere. Seafood is the specialty here. Slurp back a selection of oysters from the east and west coasts, enjoy chilled lobster and crab legs or ball out on the whole seafood tower. From the kitchen, the menu features a wide range of dishes from vegan dumplings and maple miso cauliflower to Korean-style Atlantic mackerel and P.E.I. mussels. They have fish and chips on the menu, too, served with house tartar and coleslaw. Wash it all down with wine, beer or craft cocktails.

9. Fresco's Fish and Chips

201 Augusta Ave.

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This Kensington spot may not look like much, but Fresco's is home to some of the best fish and chips in the city. They use high-quality oil and lightly batter their fish in the traditional style to maintain the flavour and texture of the fish. Swap out your chips for the gravy-covered, squeaky cheese, Quebec-style poutine — trust us it's worth it. And don't skip the deep-fried pickles either.

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