Good Friday is traditionally a time to eat fish – we take a look at why this Easter custom exists and five of the best places to enjoy fish and chips in Manchester any time of year!
Cod or haddock? Pea puree or sauce? Big chunks or leftovers?
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 place for fish and chips since the culinary concept first arrived in Britain – the city’s first known chippy was run by John Lees in 1863 from a stall and is believed to have he was one of the first in the country.
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 carry on the tradition.
Why do we eat fish on Good Friday then?
It’s a long-standing tradition 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 that our sins could be forgiven.
According to the rule established by the Vatican, Christians began centuries ago to avoid eating meat on Good Friday and the practice has become more widely adopted by parts of the general public. Some Christians, mostly Catholics, follow the practice every Friday.
The fish has also been used as a symbol of Christianity for centuries. Some of Jesus’ followers – Andrew, Peter, James and John – were fishermen, and early Christians used a fish symbol as a secret code to avoid persecution. The story of feeding the 5,000 with two fish and five loaves is also one of Jesus’ best known miracles in the New Testament.
Five of the best places for fish and chips in Manchester
If you want to follow the tradition, why not treat yourself to a chip tea? Here are five of our favorite places to eat fish and chips in Manchester, any day of the week!
44 Blossom Street, Ancoats
We’ve been fans of Hip Chip Shop since it started life as a food van, driving around Salford Quays and the like. It now has more permanent premises in Ancoats, but you can also order take-out and they deliver to some areas.
The fish is awesome but there’s also a huge variety of vegetarian and vegan options, breaded halloumi pies (heavenly) – and kid’s portions too. They also sell a good range of local beers.
Try the mint peas – they’ll convert you if you’ve never liked them before!
This traditional chippy is centrally located, so perfect for grabbing a quick bite in the city center, but it also offers takeout and delivery. You can usually expect freshly cooked fish, generous portions and friendly service – simple but winning. They also do a smaller portion if you prefer and the sauce fans among us highly value theirs.
This little chippy is tucked away down a side street and has only been going there for a few years, but has a legion of fans. Now the secret is out as they recently won Fry Magazine’s Best Chippy Award for their efforts.
A friendly team provides service with a smile and everything is cooked fresh to order, with lovely crispy fries. And if you’re really brave this Easter, you can even try whipped cream eggs! And there are vegan options, including pastries on the menu.
A popular with football fans on their way to the Etihad, but other loyal customers have been known to travel miles around to visit Tony’s. It has a traditional atmosphere and you can sit in or take away. Expect piping hot fish in crispy batter, a nice portion of fries and reasonable prices.
The Chippy on Burton Road
Burton Road, West Didsbury
A smart little chippy with outdoor seating, if you’re lucky with the weather and fancy alfresco dining (not quite seaside fries but not a bad alternative!) .
They also do delivery and takeout, and the fish and chips are delicious and not greasy at all. There are also vegetarian pies and sausages – and they offer eco-friendly cardboard packaging.