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Best Fish & Chips in the metro Boston area

r
rachmel Jul 13, 2007 05:18 PM

I'm looking to take my husband out for his birthday this week and he loves fish & chips. Any recommendations for the best in the metro-Boston area? Nothing too greasy with extra heavy batter. Just looking for fresh fish with a nice crust and good flavor. Thanks in advance!

  1. j
    jackal Jul 13, 2007 05:44 PM

    a few months ago i had the fish n chips at publick house. they were quite good....interesting horseradish tartar sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jackal
      litchick Jul 13, 2007 08:55 PM

      totally, the publick house is my fave in boston. yum.

    2. Harp00n Jul 13, 2007 09:32 PM

      There's a fair amount of places around Greater Boston that do a more than decent job on fish & chips so I'll just add two of my favorites;
      Stone's Public House http://www.stonespublichouse.com/
      Matt Murphy's Pub http://www.mattmurphyspub.com/

      .....and since it's summer and The Stone has great Paddy-O dining I'd have to tilt towards their substantial offering that has an unbelievable light batter. Fwiw, I order it there with curry chips.

      -----
      Matt Murphy's
      14 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02445

      Stone's Public House
      179 Main St, Ashland, MA 01721

      1. RoseWethersfield Jul 14, 2007 03:46 AM

        It's been a while, but I used to really love the Blarney Stone's. And, at this time of the year you can eat outside on their patio -- you would never know you are chow-ing on Dot Ave!

        1. a
          aventinus Jul 14, 2007 04:37 AM

          They're very good at the Druid in Inman Square.

          1. MeffaBabe Jul 15, 2007 03:15 PM

            Don;t forget Moultons Seafood Medford. Check prior posts for more information

            1 Reply
            1. re: MeffaBabe
              b
              buffet king Jul 16, 2007 03:29 AM

              I have to agree with Meffababe, Moultons Seafood on Winthrop Street in Medford is excellent. I have been there several times to eat in and once for takeout. They make an excellent homemade clam chowder. I like their fisherman's platter with haddock, clams, shrimp, scallops and fries. Moulton's uses trans fat free oil.

            2. b
              Blumie Jul 16, 2007 10:42 AM

              The best fish and chips I've had in Boston, and perhaps anywhere, were offered as a special at B&G Oysters. I've never seen it there again, but I was told recently that on a slow night they might be willing to make it for me again.

              The fried fish o' the day at East Coast Grill usually is awesome. (They seem to use bluefish a lot, but I also have seen shrimp and scallops, so it's obviously not always fish.)

              1. h
                hargau Jul 16, 2007 11:03 AM

                Legal seafood used to make a fish & chips with a spicy batter that was great. Not sure if they still have it or not. Never had it like that anywhere else. It was like they mixed tobasco into the batter or something.

                6 Replies
                1. re: hargau
                  b
                  Blumie Jul 16, 2007 11:36 AM

                  You don't really need Legal's for that: I always request a bottle of tabasco when I order fish and chips. It's a nice combination.

                  1. re: Blumie
                    h
                    hargau Jul 16, 2007 12:24 PM

                    I guess you misunderstood. It isnt on top its integral to the batter, tastes much nicer then just splashing it on top.

                    1. re: hargau
                      b
                      Blumie Jul 16, 2007 09:40 PM

                      No, I understood completely. I've had Legal's, and I am unable to taste the difference between the regular and the spicy (I am sure some can taste the difference; my burnt out taste buds can not). So when I add my own tabasco, I don't just splash it on top, I use enough that I make it "integral to the batter." YMMV.

                    2. re: Blumie
                      Harp00n Jul 16, 2007 05:55 PM

                      Hot pepper sauce is frequently the condiment of choice in the Deep South and in Soul Food kitchens. It is a nice change-up from the malt vinegar every now & then for me. Btw, Blumie did they run you out of Vermont yet?

                      1. re: Harp00n
                        b
                        Blumie Jul 16, 2007 09:41 PM

                        Yup, back in Boston and NY for now, but I'm gonna sneak back across the boarder again next month. As I posted in the NE forum, the cooking class at NECI was great!

                    3. re: hargau
                      nfo Jul 16, 2007 01:00 PM

                      Yeah, they still have it, and it's better than adding Tabasco. When I eat at Legal I usually get this (or something very straightforward like the grilled scallops or fish).

                    4. musteat Jul 16, 2007 12:20 PM

                      Eastern Standard has excellent fish and chips. May be only at lunch, however, so check before going.

                      1. p
                        P. Punko Jul 18, 2007 11:22 PM

                        Linwood Grill makes great fish and chips- crunchy yet light batter, and they have the fresh cut style fries.

                        -----
                        Linwood Grill & BBQ Restaurant
                        69 Kilmarnock St, Boston, MA 02215

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: P. Punko
                          Joanie Jul 19, 2007 05:13 AM

                          The Linwood is no longer.

                        2. 9
                          9lives Jul 19, 2007 05:27 AM

                          I've been a fan of Matt Murphy's but haven't had it in enough other places to compare.

                          I'll throw out another idea. I had a nice lunch yesterday at Daily Catch on Hanover..fried calamari and linguine with white clam..good as always . Another table ordered the fish and chips (something I've never considered ordering there). The chef took a beautiful fresh cod fillet..nicely trimmed it, freshly breaded and fried to a nice golden brown...looked real good.

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: 9lives
                            Harp00n Jul 19, 2007 07:45 AM

                            I'd wager that the Daily Catch sells a goodly amount of fish & chips and does it well. Cod is good and more commonly served but, given my 'ruthers, make mine Haddock. Speaking of goodly, I wonder how well the North End.s Irish pub,Goody Glover's, does with it. http://www.goodyglovers.com/

                            -----
                            Goody Glovers
                            48 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

                            1. re: Harp00n
                              p
                              psc109 Jul 19, 2007 11:45 AM

                              I might be wrong on this but I think Daily Catch does not serve anyting fried

                              1. re: psc109
                                itaunas Jul 19, 2007 11:53 AM

                                The Daily Catch started off selling fried calamari at events around the state. Fried food (unless you were joking) has always been a large part of their thing. In fact, when I describe eating at the Hanover St location I warn visitors that you will walk out feeling like you were sauted with oil and garlic, then tossed in the deep fryer. Whether you eat the fried options or not, the Hanover location is a fried experience.

                                One of the things the original poster didn't state is whether they wanted English style battered fish and chips (eaten with vinegar), or the more common breaded type (usually eaten with tarter sauce). I think the former is a lot rarer around here, especially with the right chips, so I usually make my own. Irish and brewery places often do the former, but miss with the chips. Pretty certain Daily Catch, Legals, etc is the breaded type (Courthouse seafood is also good for this style, but fries are a miss). But you should definately choose recomendations based on what style you are looking for.

                                1. re: itaunas
                                  Harp00n Jul 19, 2007 12:08 PM

                                  On reflection, it's a good distinction to make, itaunas. When I say and think of fish & chips, it's always batter fried. A fried seafood plate be it; clams, shrimp, scallops or fish fillets is always breaded, or at least in my Mick of a mind.

                                  P.S. The only exception, to me, is that very Maine-centric practice of batter frying clams. Most places don't offer it that way anymore because it scares the tourists :-))

                                  1. re: itaunas
                                    t
                                    twentyoystahs Jul 20, 2007 06:36 AM

                                    I agree; huge difference between English style and the "breaded" type you usually find around here. I don't get it, with all the Boston history you'd think we would be the one city who would have couple of really authentic British fish and chip shop places, but no luck.
                                    Though people rave about it, I am underwhelmed by Matt Murphy's fish and chips. They aren't british style, at least not what I remember. The closest I've ever had to authentic British style fish and chips was at the Banshee, an Irish pub on Dorchester Ave. Plus they had some great beer on tap. It was a good night.

                                    1. re: twentyoystahs
                                      wittlejosh Jul 20, 2007 06:58 AM

                                      No, the Matt Murphy's fish and chips are more the breaded style. But pretty good all the same...

                                      1. re: wittlejosh
                                        Chris VR Jul 20, 2007 07:17 AM

                                        It's been a long while since I've been there, and this is disappointing to hear, because Matt Murphy's used to be battered, not breaded.

                                        These days I get great fish and chips at Turner Fisheries in Melrose.

                                        1. re: Chris VR
                                          Chris VR Jul 20, 2007 07:18 AM

                                          Link:

                                          -----
                                          Turner's Seafood Grill & Mrkt
                                          506 Main St, Melrose, MA 02176

                                        2. re: wittlejosh
                                          Harp00n Jul 20, 2007 08:17 AM

                                          Matt Murphy's F&C are absolutely BATTERED, not breaded, period! Sorry if I sound a bit strident but that's the facts :-))

                                          1. re: Harp00n
                                            b
                                            bakerboyz Jul 20, 2007 09:30 AM

                                            I just had the fish and chips at the Biltmore and they were also battered not breaded.

                                            1. re: Harp00n
                                              t
                                              twentyoystahs Jul 20, 2007 11:12 AM

                                              Well...they may indeed be battered...but they still are not truly British-style fish and chips. When I think of British style it's almost a tempura style batter --light yet a crispy battered shell surrounding the fish. Yes, they serve the fish all wrapped up in newspaper and yeah, there's malt vinegar, but still..the final product is NOT like the fish and chips you get in the small shops in England & Ireland.

                                              1. re: twentyoystahs
                                                Harp00n Jul 20, 2007 11:53 AM

                                                I've had F&C all over Ireland in the course of twenty plus years and Matt's are most definitely Irish battered-style F&C. Is there variation from chip shop to chip shop? You bet there is. Having spent a great deal of time in England in general and Kent, most specifically, it's also represenative of what I've had there as well. Matt Murphy who used to own MM's with his EX, Siobhan, now owns & runs Stone's Public House of Ashland. His style there, I think, is more in keeping with what you've stated as an ideal. I find them both to be excellent, just slightly different. Obtw, just to stir-the-pot a wee bit more, in my experience and on average, Ireland has superior chippers to the Brits.

                                                1. re: Harp00n
                                                  wittlejosh Jul 20, 2007 12:18 PM

                                                  The cooks at Matt Murphy's admitted as much that they were not truly English/Irish-style.There's simply not enough lift to the batter. Maybe not as much beer or other leavener??

                                                  That's the facts.

                                                  Also: Matt, a personal friend of mine, moved down to Philly last year. So he's no longer running Stone's either.

                                                  1. re: wittlejosh
                                                    Harp00n Jul 20, 2007 01:29 PM

                                                    As I replied to wittlejosh, there is no cast-in-stone "correct" way, in my experience, in either Ireland or the U.K. All I can say, regards Matt himself, is that I only had a nodding aquaintanceship with him. LOL, that's probably why I haven't seen him in the numerous times, this past year, I've been to The Stone!

                                                    It begs the question; do you know if he's opened or planning on opening a place in Philly?

                                    2. re: Harp00n
                                      p
                                      phatchris Jul 19, 2007 02:19 PM

                                      Not very well, although most other items are solid at Goody's.

                                  2. MC Slim JB Jul 20, 2007 01:45 AM

                                    I haven't tried the fish and chips there yet, but J.J. Foley's in the South End just opened its restaurant side. That seems like the sort of thing this kitchen would do well, as they have a number of what I'd call English specialties on the menu, like curry chips (French fries in a brown curry gravy) and a shepherd's pie made with chunks of lamb and beef.

                                    1. Chrispy75 Jul 20, 2007 11:30 AM

                                      I've been bummed about Matt Murphy's lately. The last time that I had the fish and chips was a couple of weeks ago and all that I got was two very small pieces of fish. My friend also got the same portion size. I had to order the beef stew as well just to get somewhat close to feeling full. The beef stew was solid and I give them thumbs up for that. I used to go there quite a lot. Two years ago I would have said that they had some of the best fish n' chips around, but since the renovations, I have been going less and less. It seems that the consistency just isn't there.

                                      I do give them big props for doing live music over there. In a town that has virtually no music venues, it a welcomed thing.

                                      1. Boatrocker Jul 20, 2007 11:38 AM

                                        Moulton's in Medford gets my vote. Last time there I think we ordered fisherman's platters for the whole table and everyone was happy with the food as well as the service. Important to go early if you don't like waiting.

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