When you take a stroll on the Steveston Village boardwalk the aroma of freshly fried fish and chips hovers tantalizingly in the air. With a breeze off the Fraser River and the sunshine on your shoulders, it’s hard to resist adding a meal to your excursion. Wondering where to go? We explored Richmond’s fish ‘n chips destinations and came up with our top picks (with most locations right on the water).
Pajo’s wharf location in Steveston is rarely this quiet! We came in the morning for our fish and chips, happy that our portion contained two pieces and that our fries were bottomless. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
With a newly revamped menu that includes kids’ servings of any fish and chips for $7.99, as well as free refills on soda and fries, Pajo’s is so popular you may be required to line up for a while just to place your order.
All of its seafood (cod $10-$14, salmon $11-$15 and halibut $14-$20) follows the Vancouver Aquarium’s OceanWise program. A regular size serving of halibut contained two pieces, more than enough food for one. A long-time favourite of locals, Pajo’s is a reliable destination for fish and chips—great quality and ample quantity, too.
Locations: Pajo’s original location: Floats on a wharf at the corner of Bayview Street and Third Ave., Steveston, 604-272-1588. Garry Point Park: 12771 Seventh Ave., Steveston (you can follow Chatham Street into Garry Point Park and you’ll find Pajo’s in a large grey building at the South East corner), 604-204-0767.
Pat’s Galley offered to fry one piece of halibut and grill the other. The grilled version was light, tasty and buttery on the tongue, while the fried was oily, but decadent. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
2. Pat’s Galley
In business for the past 25 years—eight of them in its new location beside Blenz, Pat’s Galley was one of the few restaurants that gladly grilled our halibut instead of frying. For taste comparisons we ordered a serving each of fried and grilled and were thrilled to discover the grilled—with far fewer calories than the deep fried—was really good. It arrived lightly breaded, topped with sprinkles of green onion and not in the least bit oily. My kids preferred the fried version hands-down, but I was happier with the grilled. Prices at Pat’s range from $7-$16 for halibut, $6-$13 for cod and $6-$15 for salmon. There’s also the option of substituting potato, onion rings or tossed salad if you’re not in the mood for fries.
Location: 3900 Bayview St., Steveston, 604-277-1812.
Shady Island’s was a bit slow, but its portion of fish and chips was the best of the bunch: crispy, soft, flavourful and utterly divine. We loved their tartar sauce, too. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
3. Shady Island
Shady Island opened its doors on the waterfront in 1995 and offers four species as options in its fish and chips menu: halibut ($14-$19), cod ($11-$14), salmon ($10-$13) and pollock ($6-$9). The restaurant advertises that it cooks with zero trans fats, so we ordered our halibut fried. The order took around 25 minutes to come through, but despite the long wait, we had to admit it was well worth it as this halibut was the best of the bunch: crunchy, soft, flavourful and pretty much everything you could want in a piece of good, fried fish.
Location: 3800 Bayview St., Steveston, 604-275-6587.
Sockeye City Grill’s fried halibut was a close second to Shady Island, with both fast service and great tasting fish. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
The fried halibut at Sockeye City was almost as good as at Shady Island, and Sockeye City offers cod (10-$15), halibut ($12-$18), salmon ($11-$16) as well as prawns and oysters on its takeout menu. The take-out station takes cash only though, so don’t stand in line if you’re planning to pay with plastic!
Location: 108-3800 Bayview St., Steveston, 604-275-6790.
Dave’s Fish & Chips isn’t right on the water like some of the other seafood spots, but it’s a popular favourite with locals nonetheless. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
Dave’s Fish & Chips on Moncton Street is among the top two fish and chips destinations in Steveston, with a take-out window and a full-service restaurant. In business for 37 years, it has a long-standing, well earned reputation. Our halibut and chips, a substantial serving that was reliably tasty, was fried in trans-fat-free oil and came with tartar sauce. Take-out prices range from $9-$13 for cod, $11-$17 for halibut and $10-$15 for salmon.
Location: 3460 Moncton St., Steveston, 604-271-7555.
6. Top Shanghai
If you’re looking for a different take on fried fish, head to Top Shanghai (renowned for its tasty Shanghaiese dim sum) on Ackroyd Street. Order item 80 on the tome-like menu which contains 501 different dishes, no kidding! Number 80 is yellow croaker wrapped in dried sea moss and deep fried. For $15.99 you receive a basketful of basa (our waitress informed us this was basa, not yellow croaker) easily sufficient to feed three. Thanks to the green colour of the sea moss the fish comes out tinged green, earning it the nickname ‘green fish.’ It’s every bit as delicious as regular fried fish, and highly recommended. Given the serving size, it’s also great value for the money spent.
Location: 8100 Ackroyd Rd., Richmond (in the PriceSmart parking lot), 604-278-8798.