local and vocal: fish 'n chips

#golo10 with a local staple

#golo10 encourages people to increase their local choices by 10%.  guest writer James Byrne recommends taking advantage of St. John’s vibrant culinary scene as great way to support local.  his golo10 go-to is fee & chee!

having grown up in Harbour Grace, the ocean is closely tied to my identity. many of my earliest memories revolve around water: swimming with friends, watching boats in the harbour, and – of course – fishing. seafood was a staple in my house, and the love I developed for fish dishes stuck with me long since leaving the bay to explore the city of St. John’s.

as much as I'm enjoying town I'm thankful to have grown up in Harbour Grace.

so, in times of nostalgia, I treat myself to seafood to recreate the wholesome, familiar meals of my childhood. St. John’s culinary scene is a unique expression of the local culture, but for young people on a budget, exploring it can prove to be a difficult task. fish and chips is a simple dish available on the less expensive side of the seafood spectrum that is revered by locals and tourists alike. 

I recommend the following local restaurants (in no particular order) that are famous for their excellent fish and chips:

Blue on Water is a restaurant, bar, and hotel located at 319 Water Street.  among their fish & chips dish is beer battered cod, house fries, coleslaw, and tartar sauce. the meal goes down smoothly and has a taste that is reminiscent of home cooking.

it's hard to say no to fi n chi even at brunch.

the Duke of Duckworth, at 325 Duckworth Street has been a staple of the St. John’s social scene for over 25 years.  it's as vital to the city’s culture as the meal for which it is very well-known. the Duke’s Fish & Chips is one of the freshest tasting meals one can buy in the city, and this, combined with a vintage interior and relaxing atmosphere makes this pub a must try for any seafood lover.

just a short walk from The Duke sits The Ship Pub, a mainstay of downtown St. John’s that is well known for its fish and chips. just like my other favourites, The Ship’s fi & chi is a quintessential dish for anybody interested in getting the true local’s experience of downtown St. John’s. the Ship Pub’s platter is pub food at its finest.  for the full Ship experience, keep an eye on the venue’s festivities after the kitchen has closed. after the meal is all done, you just may get the chance to dance the night away.

pre-feed at the ship.

while my life in the City is different from my life in the bay, one thing holds true: the Newfoundland & Labrador narrative - our economy and our society - is still shaped by the Atlantic Cod Fishery’s 1992 collapse. regardless of this and other historical hardships we have faced, our cultural connection to the sea cannot be quashed. with this comes a deep interconnectedness with our culinary tradition, which has been punctuated by seafood in one way or another throughout our history. thankfully, there remain many local restaurants - the ones above as well as many other - which help keep this rich tradition afloat.

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James Byrne

James has a BA in English & a diploma in Stage and Screen Technique from Memorial University. He's currently a Bachelor of Education student. Originally from Harbour Grace, James enjoys the vast variety of seafood among other things town has to offer.