Cape Town is renowned for its fish & chips shops, with a number of these emporiums of deep fried deliciousness achieving near-legendary status among locals and visitors alike. Ask anyone in Cape Town and they’ll tell you about their favourite place to grab a mouth-watering bite of fleshy fish and slap chips. While the views from many of these little food shacks are nothing short of spectacular, they all have an unpretentious atmosphere with the focus firmly on the quality of the fish. Here’s a look at some of the city’s renowned fish & chips establishments.
Kalky’s Fish & Chips, Kalk Bay
Arguably the most famous fish & chips shop in the Cape Town area is Kalky’s in Kalk Bay harbour. Serving up a variety of delicious seafood, like hake, snoek, and line fish like yellowtail, caught fresh on the owner’s boat. Kalky’s is always busy, especially during weekends and holidays, with long lines of hungry and eager diners waiting for a taste of the legendary shop’s old-school fish & chips.
Contact: 021 788 1726
Salty Sea Dog, Simon’s Town
Just down the road from Kalky’s is another local legend, Salty Sea Dog. Situated in a former fish market building in the Simon’s Town harbour, the quaint little shop offers both sit-down or takeaways, both similarly priced and great value for money. They offer a delicious variety of seafood options like hake, calamari, and their fish and chip rolls are what legends are made of. The restaurant side of the shop is licensed, which means you can enjoy a glass of wine or a frosty beer with your meal.
Contact: 021 786 1918
Fish and chips with a view from The Salty Sea Dog in Simon’s Town. Picture by Estee de Villiers
Fish on the Rocks, Hout Bay
Situated between the Hout Bay harbour and the West Fort Battery Naval Heritage site, with the famous Chapman’s Peak peak in the background, Fish on the Rocks is a firm fish favourite. Despite being around for more than three decades, this little eatery in the tiny, shoe-box building with its yellow walls and a red tin roof is actually one of the youngest fish & chips shops around, a testament to Cape Town’s long love-affair with fish & chips. Known for their near-perfect prawns, delicious hake, snoek, line-fish, and mouth-watering calamari, Fish on the Rocks is just around the corner from the CBD, and definitely a must-visit.
Contact: 021 790 1153
Fish Hoek Fisheries, Fish Hoek
Tucked away on the northern end of the sleepy town of Fish Hoek’s Main Road, you’ll find Fish Hoek Fisheries. This no-frills fish & chips shop serves large portions of hake or snoek that’s fried to perfection in a light-and-crispy, golden batter, and ‘slap chips’ the classic South African favourite – thick cut potato chips that are both soft and crispy. When it comes to old-school fish & chips shops, these guys are the real deal.
Contact: 021 782 2314
Ooskus Fisheries, Gordon’s Bay
Gordon’s Bay is situated on the eastern side of False Bay, a mere 45-minute drive from Cape Town’s CBD, and is a favourite among holidaymakers. Just down the road from the harbour, situated just off the road that goes to Betty’s Bay is one of the town’s institutions, Ooskus Fisheries. A bustling little seafood shop that serves the most delicious seafood, including calamari, prawns, oysters, and of course, fish and chips. This tiny little shack can get very busy at lunchtimes and weekends, with lines stretching out the door and almost down the road, a wait well worth it.
Contact: (021) 856 1625
Also worth a mention are the number of small, local franchise fish & chips shops, all of which have a long, rich history of serving some of the best seafood on-the-go in the Cape Town area. With only a handful of stores each, they retain the charm about them, so if you spot a Snoekies, Texies, or Lucky Fish, rest assured that you’ll get the same quality as the original shops where it all started.