There is no denying that Brits love their fish and chips – there’s even a national day for it on Friday 4th September. Visiting the seaside is quintessentially British, but the national habit of indulging in a cod and chips dinner by the sea is environmentally destructive.
Our oceans are essential to human and non-human survival, providing more than half of the world’s oxygen, and in turn, absorbing 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere.
(1) We are currently facing a crisis of overfishing which is depleting the health of our oceans, in addition to a global marine plastic problem – nearly half of which is down to abandoned fishing gear. (2)
But being vegan and protecting our planet doesn’t mean missing out on British traditions, as ‘fish’ can be recreated from plant sources such as tofu, banana blossom, and even jackfruit.
Here are our top 5 places to get delicious vegan fish and chips in the UK:
Sutton and Sons, London
Award-winning Sutton and Sons changed the face of traditional fish and chips by opening a fully vegan chip shop in Hackney and adding an extensive vegan menu to their Stoke Newington and Islington branches.
Their famous vegan menu not only offers deliciously golden battered banana blossom ‘fish’ but also features a ‘prawn’ cocktail, battered sausage, ‘scampi’, and even vegan ‘calamari’ strips.
Edinburgh’s Harmonium is finally back open in their new location on East London Street after closing in March due to Covid-19. The popular vibrant bar and kitchen serves an array of vegan delights, however, their ‘fishy’ offerings are the real stars of the show. From exotic Thai ‘crab’ cakes and pan-seared king oyster mushroom scallops to beer-battered banana blossom and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce and even a smoked tofu ‘fish’ burger, you won’t be disappointed on National Fish and Chips day.
Unity Diner, London
The fantastic not-for-profit vegan restaurant opened by activist Ed Winters has a range of vegan fishy delights, meaning you can indulge in some amazing food whilst simultaneously supporting animal activism.
The menu features crispy tempura ‘prawns’, salt and pepper ‘calamari’, their signature beer-battered tofish and chips, and the pièce de résistance – ‘the tofish stack’ consisting of a tofish fillet, chunky tartare sauce, and their calamari rings and tempura prawns, all stacked in an activated charcoal bun.
Lucy’s Chip Stall, Norwich
Norwich has been hailed as a vegan hotspot, with a wide variety of vegan options and dedicated restaurants throughout the city.
Nestled in the bustling Norwich market, Lucy’s Fish Stall provides vegans with her traditional ‘vish and chips’ made from marinated banana blossom, battered tofu sausage, battered tofu burger, and even battered vegan halloumi! What’s not to love?
JJ’S Vish&Chips, Leeds
JJ’s in Leeds is a completely vegetarian and vegan chippy, with a huge range of sea-themed dishes. From standard banana blossom or tofu fish and chips, to more adventurous vegan battered ‘squid’ and ‘prawns’, JJ’s have got you covered.
Don’t fancy anything savoury? Forget deep-fried Mars bars, JJ’s serve up battered Oreos with chocolate sauce – irresistible!