Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Best fish and chips in the U.S.

Shakespeare’s vs. everyone

Simple fish and chips for the win
Simple fish and chips for the win
Place

Shakespeare Pub & Grille

3701 India Street, San Diego

I got a press release the other day notifying me that Shakespeare’s Pub had won a contest held among 160 British-style pubs to determine who makes the best fish and chips in the U.S. My last fish and chips experience left me believing cod is dead, and I have since sought redemption.

Shakespeare’s has been dishing out the Queen’s English at the base of Mission Hills for more than a quarter century, and I don’t think I’ve been there in ten years. Visiting the wood-trimmed space is probably a habit I fell out of about the time I decided to get serious about my craft-beer snobbery.

Shakespeare’s Pub has stood on this corner since 1990, when the fish and chips cost $5.95.

The pub’s beer selection remains true to its UK heritage, featuring English ales with terribly British sounding names such as Boddington’s and Smithwick’s (of the silent W). You may also find a pint of Old Speckled Hen, a malty, copper colored ale that was reportedly not named after fowl but rather for a car, specifically a 1927 MG wood-framed roadster.

A red vintage phone booth outside the front door screams “London.”

I mention that because the company responsible for Old Speckled Hen sponsored the contest, which whittled 160 pubs down to five finalists. Should you think San Diego an unlikely place for authentic British fried fish and potatoes, note that Shakespeare’s prevailed in the final round over pubs in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Las Vegas.

Shakespeare’s sits above the street corner across from El Indio, and if the name doesn’t sound anglophile enough, climbing the short set of stairs to find a red vintage phone booth outside the front door screams “London.”

Inside, a friendly staff sporting Commonwealth accents contributes to an atmosphere ranging from mirth to excitability (when there’s footy on the telly). Visiting with a dog in tow, I bypassed the dining room to sit on the patio, which pulls in plenty of light on a nice day. Actually, the same is true for the well-lit and ventilated interior. If you’re looking for a dank pub experience, this ain’t it.

I ran into a couple of friends, as folks tend to do at a pub, and promptly ordered an old Speckled Hen to accompany the fried cod, french fries, and palaver. The head on my beer had hardly had a chance to dissipate before the fish and chips appeared. The lunch-sized portion served on weekdays prior to 4 p.m. goes for 11 bucks instead of $15.

I have to give it up for ol’ Shakespeare’s. The battered exterior hit that sweet spot between crunchy and crisp, the fish inside remained flaky without being dry, and the cod proved just fishy enough to give some depth of flavor. Diced pickles in the house tartar sauce didn’t hurt a bit.

The fries were also part of the contest judging, of course, and these finger-size fries performed just as well in the measure of crispy outside, soft in the middle. It was almost a shame to soggy them up with a heavy dousing of vinegar, but that’s how I roll. The vinegar also contrasted nicely with the caramel sweetness of the ale, which drinks pleasantly enough on its own but will never contend with my favorite local IPAs.

All in attendance at Shakespeare’s on April 24 at 8 p.m. may witness the official presentation of the Best Fish and Chips in America award.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Lorena Gonzalez still feeding from Disneyland trough

Del Mar Fair already booking for 2021
Next Article

Will a $46,000 federally funded COVID-19 drone fly in El Cajon?

Justice Department money for aerial spy cams rejected in South Carolina
Comments
1

I recommend a trip to Lemon Grove for Chef John's Fish & Chips. Light batter, not greasy and good sized servings for the money.

April 5, 2017

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Simple fish and chips for the win
Simple fish and chips for the win
Place

Shakespeare Pub & Grille

3701 India Street, San Diego

I got a press release the other day notifying me that Shakespeare’s Pub had won a contest held among 160 British-style pubs to determine who makes the best fish and chips in the U.S. My last fish and chips experience left me believing cod is dead, and I have since sought redemption.

Shakespeare’s has been dishing out the Queen’s English at the base of Mission Hills for more than a quarter century, and I don’t think I’ve been there in ten years. Visiting the wood-trimmed space is probably a habit I fell out of about the time I decided to get serious about my craft-beer snobbery.

Shakespeare’s Pub has stood on this corner since 1990, when the fish and chips cost $5.95.

The pub’s beer selection remains true to its UK heritage, featuring English ales with terribly British sounding names such as Boddington’s and Smithwick’s (of the silent W). You may also find a pint of Old Speckled Hen, a malty, copper colored ale that was reportedly not named after fowl but rather for a car, specifically a 1927 MG wood-framed roadster.

A red vintage phone booth outside the front door screams “London.”

I mention that because the company responsible for Old Speckled Hen sponsored the contest, which whittled 160 pubs down to five finalists. Should you think San Diego an unlikely place for authentic British fried fish and potatoes, note that Shakespeare’s prevailed in the final round over pubs in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Las Vegas.

Shakespeare’s sits above the street corner across from El Indio, and if the name doesn’t sound anglophile enough, climbing the short set of stairs to find a red vintage phone booth outside the front door screams “London.”

Inside, a friendly staff sporting Commonwealth accents contributes to an atmosphere ranging from mirth to excitability (when there’s footy on the telly). Visiting with a dog in tow, I bypassed the dining room to sit on the patio, which pulls in plenty of light on a nice day. Actually, the same is true for the well-lit and ventilated interior. If you’re looking for a dank pub experience, this ain’t it.

I ran into a couple of friends, as folks tend to do at a pub, and promptly ordered an old Speckled Hen to accompany the fried cod, french fries, and palaver. The head on my beer had hardly had a chance to dissipate before the fish and chips appeared. The lunch-sized portion served on weekdays prior to 4 p.m. goes for 11 bucks instead of $15.

I have to give it up for ol’ Shakespeare’s. The battered exterior hit that sweet spot between crunchy and crisp, the fish inside remained flaky without being dry, and the cod proved just fishy enough to give some depth of flavor. Diced pickles in the house tartar sauce didn’t hurt a bit.

The fries were also part of the contest judging, of course, and these finger-size fries performed just as well in the measure of crispy outside, soft in the middle. It was almost a shame to soggy them up with a heavy dousing of vinegar, but that’s how I roll. The vinegar also contrasted nicely with the caramel sweetness of the ale, which drinks pleasantly enough on its own but will never contend with my favorite local IPAs.

All in attendance at Shakespeare’s on April 24 at 8 p.m. may witness the official presentation of the Best Fish and Chips in America award.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Will Carlsbad's State Street go pedestrian-only?

Restaurants hope yes, retail hopes no
Next Article

Lorena Gonzalez still feeding from Disneyland trough

Del Mar Fair already booking for 2021
Comments
1

I recommend a trip to Lemon Grove for Chef John's Fish & Chips. Light batter, not greasy and good sized servings for the money.

April 5, 2017

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close