10 of the Best British Fishmongers
Gone are the days when every UK town or village would have a fishmonger standing at the heart of the community, but when they do appear, they’re always a cause for celebration.
Every day in the small hours, before the earliest of alarm clocks has rung, fishmongers are welcoming the first catch of the day as deliveries come in from boats, farms and other producers.
Here we go on a grand tour of some of the UK’s finest fish shops, some of which have been open in their communities for over a century, others offering a more modern approach. With friendly, knowledgeable staff and a dedication to sourcing the freshest sustainable fish and seafood, these fishmongers are well worth tracking down.
A fixture in Scotland’s largest city for close to five decades, The Fish Plaice still has the air of a traditional city market and operates from beneath a railway bridge near Glasgow’s historic Tollcross and Barras. You can feel the buzz and hear the Glasgow ‘patter’, with knowledgeable staff who do their own filleting, steaking, skinning and butchery. There is a second Fish Plaice outlet on Byres Road in Glasgow’s leafy west end, and after just one visit, you’ll understand exactly why they have become a Glasgow institution.
Buy: In-store and online at fishplaice.com
Location: The Fish Plaice, 1 St Andrews Street, Glasgow, G1 5PB and 186 Byres Road, Glasgow, G12 8SN
Located in The Fair City and set amid the rolling Perthshire hills and countryside that is known as ‘Scotland’s Larder’, George Campbell and Sons has a reputation for providing some of the finest fish and shellfish in the country. Restaurants from all over Scotland source their seafood from Campbells with the family enjoying long-standing links with the best markets, fishing vessels and fishermen. First opened in 1872 and now run by four generations of the same family, Campbells are unrivalled in their expertise and knowledge.
Location: George Campbell & Sons, 8 Whitefriars Street, Perth, PH1 1PP
Another institution with an extraordinary history. Ashtons has only had three owners since first opening its doors in 1800 and this shop has proudly stood in the same spot in Cardiff’s Central Market since 1890. Today Ashtons is run by fifth generation fishmongers, the Adams family, who source their fish and shellfish from every fishing port in the UK and beyond.
Location: E. Ashton (Fishmongers) Ltd, Central Market, Cardiff, CF10 2AU
Belfast’s oldest fishmonger has been voted among the best fishmongers in the UK on several occasions and has been a fixture in the Shankill Road area since 1911. The Ewing name is a hallmark of quality when it comes to fish in Ireland and is family run business involving dad, Walter, and sons, Crawford and Warren. The place to to find some of Ireland’s best fish and shellfish.
Location: 6 Kendal Street, Belfast, BT13 2JR
Billed as ‘Fishmongers Extraordinaire’, Out Of The Blue’s striking shop front and signage always catches the eye on a stroll down Wilbraham Road. So too does their dazzling array of fish and shellfish. This is a shop that lives up to its reputation, taking pride in delivering unsurpassed service and local, sustainable fish. Owner Dave Yarwood and his team specialise in seasonal products, buying “on moral and ethical grounds” from British inshore fishing vessels.
Location: 484 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 9AS
This thriving business has quickly earned a reputation as one of the finest fishmongers in Surrey. As the name suggests the shop is the great passion of owner Sue, who spent a lifetime in the seafood industry before taking the plunge and opening her own shop aged 50 – spurred on by her persistent daughters! In store and online the family provide an exhaustive range of recipe suggestions, ready to cook and ready to eat seafood options and even gift ideas.
Buy: In-store and online at passionateaboutfish.co.uk
Location: 110a Frimley Road, Camberley, GU15 2QN
Situated in the picturesque seafront town of Deal, where the North Sea and the English Channel meet, Jenkins & Son have, for four generations, been perfectly positioned to harvest the fruits of the south-east coastline. The Jenkins rely on small fishing boats who are out and back within a day, guaranteeing the freshest catch. The family has also poured their passion and expertise into home cooked specialities and you can tuck into a range of pies, curries and bisques.
Buy: In-store and online at jenkinsandsonfishandgame.co.uk
Location: 118 High Street, Deal, Kent, CT14 6BB
Osborne’s is an eye-catching location and features a café housed in a building which once stood as an 18th century stable mews, They have built an exceptional reputation in the fishing town of Old Leigh and a wide range of fresh specialities. They also offer an ‘Osborne’s At Home’ range where you can purchase restaurant-standard, ready-made meals. Regular award-winners, Osbornes also has a large selection of recipes and seafood advice and tips available online at osbornebros.co.uk.
Buy: In-store and online via Facebook
Location: No. 8 The Cocklesheds, High Street, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 2ER
Situated on the east end of Shoreham Harbour, you really are getting your dinner ‘fresh from the sea’ at Brighton & Newhaven Fish Sales. Part of a traditional fish market, the team here opened a shop in 1989 and quickly built a reputation for excellent service and an unrivalled selection of fresh fish and shellfish caught by local boats. They also have a novel way of cutting down plastic packaging. Bring your own bags or Tupperware to get a stamp and rewards on your loyalty card.
Buy: In-store and online at fishathome.co.uk
Location: Basin Road South, Portslade, Brighton, BN41 1WF
A proud Cornish fishmonger, who specialise in award-winning local food, Quayside Fish run a bustling shop in Porthleven and a stall at the weekly farmers market in St Ives. Their reputation extends across the UK delivering nationwide. Quayside simply love local Cornish produce and also stock high-quality meats, wines, ciders, ales, sauces, chutneys, preserves and much more, all sourced within their area.
Buy: In-store, every Thursday 09:30 – 13:00 at the weekly farmers market in St Ives and online at quaysidefish.co.uk
Location: Fore Street, Porthleven, Cornwall, TR13 9HJ
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