Cod or haddock? Mushy peas or gravy? Chunky chips or scraps?
However you like your fish and chips, there are plenty of places to choose from in Manchester, whether you want to eat in or take away.
Manchester has long been a notable spot for fish and chips since the culinary concept first arrived in Britain - the earliest known chippy in the city was run by John Lees in 1863 from a stall and is thought to have been one of the country’s first.
But why do so many people eat fish on Good Friday then? We take a look at the Easter tradition and its origins - and recommend some of the best places in Manchester to keep up the tradition.
Why do we eat fish on Good Friday then?
It is a tradition long rooted in the Easter calendar but why do some people do it?
Christians believe that when Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, he sacrificed his flesh so our sins can be forgiven.
In rule set out by the Vatican, Christians began centuries ago avoided eating meat on Good Friday and the practice has become more widely adopted among parts of the general public. Some Christians, mainly Catholics, follow the practice every Friday.
Fish have also been used as a symbol of Christianity for centuries. Some of Jesus’ disciples - Andrew, Peter, James and John - were fisherman, and early Christians used a fish symbol as a secret code to avoid persecution. The story of the feeding the 5,000 with two fish and five loaves is also one of the best known of Jesus’ miracles in the New Testament.
Five of the best places for fish and chips in Manchester
If you want to keep up with the tradition then, why not treat yourself to a chippy tea? Here are five of our favourite places to get fish and chips in Manchester, any day of the week!
Hip Hop Chip Shop
44 Blossom Street, Ancoats
We’ve been a fan of Hip Chip Shop since it started life as a catering van, doing the rounds at Salford Quays and the like. It’s got more permanent premises now in Ancoats, but you can also order takeaway and they do delivery to some areas.
The fish is awesome but there is also a great range of vegetarian and vegan options, from pies to battered halloumi (divine) - and kids’ portions too. They also sell a good range of local beers.
Try the minted mushy peas - they will convert you if you’ve never liked them before!
Wrights chip shop
Cross Street, Manchester
This traditional chippy is in a central location so perfect for grabbing a quick bite in the city centre but it also does takeaway and delivery. You can usually expect freshly cooked fish, generous portions and friendly service - simple but a winner. They also do a smaller portion if you prefer and the gravy fans among us rate theirs highly.
Chips @ No8 Prestwich
Clifton Road, Prestwich
This little chippy is tucked away on a side street and has only been going for a few years, but has a legion of fans. The secret is out now as they recently won a Fry Magazine best chippy award for their efforts.
A friendly team provide service with a smile and everything is cooked freshly to order, with lovely cripsy chips. And if you are really brave this Easter, you can even try the battered Creme Eggs! And there are vegan options including pasties on the menu.
Piercy Street, Ancoats
A popular one with football fans on the way to the Etihad, but other loyal customers have been known to travel for miles around to visit Tony’s. It’s got a traditional feel and you can sit in or takeaway. Expect piping hot fish in crispy batter, a handsome portion of chips and reasonable prices.
The Chippy on Burton Road
Burton Road, West Didsbury
A smart little chippy with outdoor seating, should you get lucky with the weather and fancy your food al fresco (not quite chips by the seaside but not a bad alternative!).
They do delivery and takeaway as well, plus the fish and chips are delicious and not greasy at all. There are also pies and veggie sausages - and they offer eco-friendly cardboard packaging.