Five Greater Manchester fish and chip shops have been named among the top 50 at the annual Fry Magazine Fry Awards 2023.
The publication pulls together a list of 50 takeaways and 10 eat-in restaurants each year which have the tastiest fresh fish and the most moreish chips, along with good service. Judges visit hundreds of chippies unnannounced to assess the quality of the food, the cleanliness of the premises, staff knowledge, value for money, ease of ordering and its social media presence, to help choose the winners. Shops have to gain 95% or more in their ratings to make the list. It is the 11th year the awards have been held and each year the judging criteria reflects the changing nature of the business - for example, marks were given to shops that have introduced an ordering app.
And there are some familiar local takeaway locations from the 2022 awards popping up again. Chips @ No.8 in Prestwich features once again, along with the Fish at Goose Green in Wigan. Other new entrants from the city-region are Off The Hook Fish And Chips, Sale; Pennington Plaice, Leigh and Sykes Fish and Chips in Pendlebury. The latter is currently closed for a refurb until 3 April.
None of the eat-in restaurants were in Greater Manchester in this year’s selection. You can see the full list of results here.
Reece Head, competition organiser, said: “Once again we’ve had another year where it’s simply got harder to operate a fish and chip business, with rising energy, labour and ingredient costs taking a heavy toll. It’s not easy but operators are working harder and smarter, staying ahead of changing tastes and behaviours and adapting accordingly.
“Although the profits might not be in fish and chips like they have in years gone by, the passion certainly is. And our awards are a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment these operators put into running successful businesses. We’re seeing shops introduce vegan and gluten free options to appeal to a wider customer base, instal self-serve kiosks and develop online ordering apps to make serving easier, invest in new frying equipment to produce better quality fish and chips, and embrace social media to engage with and reach more customers.
“The businesses that make up our 50 Best Fish & Chip Takeaways and 10 Best Fish & Chip Restaurants represent the best in the industry. They are pushing forwards while not losing sight of what makes the chippy so engrained in British culture - high quality, value for money food with great customer service and inviting surroundings.”