The friendliest fish and chip shop in Cardiff


Upon visiting my local fish and chip shop this week, I feel compelled to write about the outstanding quality of both the food and the customer service.

Perched on the end of Clifton Street nearest to Broadway, McGinley’s Fish and Chips appears somewhat small and dull in comparison to the many other fast-food outlets on this busy shopping street. Framed in black with an over-head sign reading, “World Famous Fish and Chips”, the shop really does have some sort of air above the neighbouring greasy kebab shops and burger bars. That said, I’ve done my research into this chippy and I can’t find anything to back-up the “world famous” bit.

The interior is small but cosy and warm, with a tiled waiting area overlooking the kitchen so you can watch your food being prepared. One of the first things I notice is how clean the place is – spotless, in fact. It’s not surprising the shop scores an impressive 4 out of 5 in the new ‘scores-on-the-doors’, Welsh food hygiene ratings.

A quick glance at the menu reveals all the traditional favourites common to a fish and chip shop – from cod in batter, mushy peas and potato fritters right through to battered sausages, chicken curry and, last but not least, chips. Also unlike some other traditional fish and chip shops, the prices are fairly reasonable too.

As my boyfriend Olly and I wonder what to order, the counter assistant makes friendly conversation with another customer, asking him how his day has been and so on. Behind the hot glass food cabinet, a man tends to the cooking. The lady behind the counter has a strong English accent, and I wonder if the shop may be family-owned, as I know it was taken over by new owners earlier this year.

Turning to me with a smile, she politely takes our order and advises me that it will take a few minutes to cook my burger from fresh. She piles the chips onto a sheet of paper and wraps them up, giving me the choice of having them wrapped up in the same bag as the rest of my order, or separately. 

Scooping up three potato fritters from the stainless steel food cabinet and placing them onto the paper, she notices my confused expression – I only ordered two of these. She quickly explains that she’s given me one extra for free because the night’s getting on and they’ll only get thrown out otherwise. It’s so refreshing to see service like this in a fish and chip shop. When I leave, I have to fight to stop myself from looking like a huge fatty by telling the lady behind the counter just how happy she has just made me feel!

Back at home, I can’t wait to tuck into the warm, salty goodness that lays waiting inside layers of paper. I have a cheeseburger with chips, and Olly has a battered jumbo sausage with mushy peas and chips. It’s difficult to hold myself back as I take these photos with this post in mind.

Now that’s what I call a burger.
Try not to drool

The chips are crisp and soft, just how they should be, and the potato fritters are just the same. My burger has a real meaty bite to it, stacked with plenty of lettuce, salad and cheese in a fresh, white bap. Olly is equally as pleased with his choice. Unlike your average sausage in batter, this one doesn’t ooze grease when you bite into it, and the batter is firm and golden, lacking the soggy trademark of most chip shop batters. Mushy peas are mushy peas – what more can be said? They’re nice and warm, with a smooth texture, and the portion is generous enough to split between two plates.

I haven’t enjoyed food from a chip and shop this much in a long time, and I can definitely say that McGinley’s Fish & Chips really deserves all the recognition it gets for offering fantastic food and the friendliest service you’ll find in a Cardiff chippy. The Rare Welsh Bit now has a favourite fish and chip shop!
McGinley’s Fish and Chips
6 Clifton Street
CF24 1PW
02920 464 835

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