It’s not just about the fish. Or the chips. It’s about the tartar, the portion, the coleslaw, the location, the condiments, and the service. From Great Britain to New Zealand, South Africa to Canada and beyond, fish and chips is an institution. How do you like your fish and chips? Thin or thick batter? What about the chips? Thin or chunky, skin on or off? Soda pop or a beer to wash it all down? 

Richmond’s got your fish and chips cravings covered. Pajos Fish and Chips and Dave’s Fish and Chips in Steveston have been the leading contenders for years. However, Sockeye City Grill, Flying Beaver Bar & Grill and Blue Canoe have solid followings these days. I only had room for two on this trip to Steveston, so Pajo’s and Dave’s it was. There’s a ton of incredible food in Richmond, and I also had sushi, dumpling, and spicy beef noodle soup plans.

Pajo’s on the Wharf won for setting (there are four locations now) with its blue and yellow themed floating eatery. You can check out the boats, water, sunshine (maybe) as you tuck into their Oceanwise-certified Pacific wild salmon, cod or Alaskan halibut. Can’t decide? Order a combo to sample all three. Pajo’s has been in operation since 1985. They offer a free birthday meal with the purchase of an equal or greater priced meal—handy to know if you’re planning a festive road trip to the coast. No wonder their tagline is “we’re part of your adventure.” Their batter was thin, so I really tasted the fresh fish.

Photo credit : Tourism Richmond

The fries were on the small side, which I enjoy. The service was warm, efficient and solid. Generally, I am a bit of a halibut purist, but I went for the combo and am really happy that I did. My wing person went with the cheeseburger and would not even share one bite. It was that good, so they said. 

Dave’s Fish and Chips opened in 1978. It’s licensed and offers dine-in and takeout and also takes reservations. You can also take alcoholic drinks to go. We ordered all three fish separately plus lightly breaded oysters. The batter was thick but not bready. We got it to go with a couple of Granville Island IPA’s. I loved Dave’s big fries, and the salmon was perfect. The thick batter “shell” was crunchy-delicious.

Photo credit : Tourism Richmond

Pajo’s won for ambience, bustle, and service, and Dave’s won for old-school simplicity. Pajo’s was a little cheaper, and I did not have quite the heaviness that I experienced from Dave’s with the big fries and the batter — but the crunch of the thick shell was deeply satisfying. I’d have to say, if I wanted to spend time enjoying the day and the people and boat watching, I would return to Pajo’s in a heartbeat, but if I was hanging for a rich solid takeaway bite, or after a long bike ride or run, I’d go back to Dave’s.

Last Updated on June 17, 2022 by Tourism Richmond