932 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Monday through Saturday 11am to 11pm
Sunday 1pm to 11pm
Last tried: March 2006
Update: Piccadilly Fish & Chips on Polk Street has reopened after remodeling.
My favorite hole in the wall fish & chips joint, Piccadilly Fish & Chips, recently closed due to a fire. Fortunately I discovered that its sister restaurant, Old Chelsea, although smaller and in an even sketchier neighborhood, serves almost the same satisfyingly flaky white fish and thick-cut fries, both wrapped in newspaper. Although the two grandmotherly ladies who made the fish & chips at Piccadilly did them a little better, the batter coating on the fish is similarly crispy and golden brown, and the inside of the hot fries are fluffy when you bite through the crispy outside (unwrap them as soon as you get them home, otherwise they will steam from the heat and get soggy). For best results, buy some malt vinegar to sprinkle when you are ready to eat, as opposed to having them put the vinegar on the fish & chips before wrapping. Definitely do not forget to get a couple of containers of their homemade tartar sauce.
Note that Old Chelsea is strictly a take-out place. While there are a couple of worn out formica tables and vinyl chairs next to the counter, you probably would not want to sit and eat there, even if you could ignore the odd mix of people wandering in and out talking to themselves. But for really good, satisfyingly greasy-- in a good way-- fish & chips, this is the place.
Take home a large order of fish & chips, less than $15 for five generously large pieces of fish plus a giant sack of fries, pop open a bottle of your favorite beer, and indulge. It's perfect for lunch or dinner when you're not in the mood to cook, especially after an all nighter at work with nothing to eat except vending machine candy...