Friday nights will always bring back memories of fish and chips and Maggie's Garden Show with the family. Nothing beats reliving those cosy memories; trading in Friday knock-offs with your work mates for salty treats with your closest mates. With a chip shop on every corner, it's becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish truly great fish and chips from alright fish and chips. Luckily, I've put my eating pants on and done some serious investigative taste-testing around the city for you.
My adventures told me that the best chips are often found in the most unassuming haunts, and the neon lights of Te Aro Fish Supply don't do the fried goods justice. In this Aro Valley cottage you will find melt-in-your-mouth hand-cut chips so fresh you can piece together a whole potato. They've got battered fish so crispy it could have been sunbathing on the beach. There's every fritter under the sun and any flavoured salt your heart could desire. Boy oh boy, there's burgers.
If you're not feeling too fishy this evening, give one a go. They're no Wellington on a Plate winner, but the Aro Valley locals know that at an appetising price point of $3.50, they make one of the best burgers in town. The newsprint package is best served with a Garage Project Rigger from the Cellar Door across the street, and eaten at home in your slightly damp but character-filled Aro Valley abode.
A classic for a reason, it's impossible to compile a list without including this Wellington institution. Ticking all of our boxes; fresh local fish cooked to your desire, a wide selection of chips, gourmet burger alternatives and great packaging, The Chippery offers a Friday night combo not to be missed. These salty setups offer all the bells and whistles with gluten-free batter and salad for the healthy pals. The menu is designed to be a step-by-step guide involving you, the eater, in every delicious decision to be made.
You can enjoy your fish and chips in store but may I suggest the full Welly experience. Although you're currently at the base of the beautiful Mount Victoria, walk a block down the road and enjoy your dinner on the roofs of the iconic Oriental Bay Boatsheds. The Chippery's Thorndon outpost at the other end of your waterfront walk also deserves a humble mention, offering up many similar delights in an intimate atmosphere.
You know them for their famous brunch and classic shakes, but they've done it again. Our friends down at Fidel's Cafe have cottoned on to the time honoured Friday night tradition, and bring you happy hour fish and chips.
As part of their weekly deals, between 5pm and 7pm on Fridays you can pick up a board of fresh fish, their famous fries with aioli and a cold Asahi for a cool $10. Park up in everyone's favourite courtyard and enjoy a hassle-free evening.
Located right next door and a personal favourite of mine for late-nights at the uni library, Wellington Seamarket is everything you need in a Friday night fish and chip-athon. Home to the tastiest fish in the city and the most generous servings of chips, this one's an underrated favourite. The humble storefront is attached to Wellington Trawling Company, offering some of the finest fish of the day.
The store couldn't be described as atmospheric, but its whereabouts on upper Cuba has the world at its doorstep. Grab your chips and park up on the picnic tables outside for some professional people watching. The communal tables also make for the perfect location to pop back in to grab some fresh fish for the weekend.
Epitomising a destination fish and chip shop, Huckle & Co's Seatoun location makes for the perfect Friday night adventure. The seaside suburb's answer to The Chippery provides consistently high quality meals. They won't break your bank but will have you bursting at the seams. Bring your eating pants.
Just as all good fish and chip shops should, there is a killer burger menu to boot. The halloumi comes highly recommended, coupled with a deep fried Moro bar for dessert.
Pro tip: take your fish for a walk to be at one with the ocean one last time. There's plenty of beautiful spots along the Seatoun beach or you can head out to the end of the wharf to enjoy an overwater dining experience on a budget.