- a blog about food and value

Leo Burdock’s, Ireland’s Original Chipper

burdocksEveryone says that they know the best chipper in Ireland. But unless they tell you that it’s Leo Burdock’s, they’re talking a load of potato waffle.

Ireland’s oldest chipper was here long before the likes of Borza and Macari. It’s gloriously unhealthy and a really consistently reliable treat.

I really don’t see the point of chippers cooking their food in vegetable oil under the silly pretence that this is better for us. Burdock’s have no such pretense. Their fish and chips are cooked in animal fat. Always have been, always will be. They’re served and wrapped in big thick sheets of paper rather than those utterly pointless little bags – the ones that they always put in a bigger brown bag and fill with a measly few more chips.

The Food

  • Burdock’s fish is always properly fresh, having been picked up from the market earlier that day. If you go there late in the evening, you may find that the fish is all gone – they don’t keep any in the freezer. When the fresh fish is gone, it’s gone. The lemon sole goujons at Burdock’s may the most wonderful fish you will ever eat.
  • None of their food leaves that awful coating of the roof of your mouth. Their batter is always light and crispy, never stodgy like in most chippers.
  • It’s just in a different league to every other fish and chip shop in Ireland. This was an occasional treat when we were kids and I still love going back. In the Celtic Tiger years, they bowed to the inevitable and added such nonsense as chicken and burgers to their menu. Forget it. It’s all about the fish and chips.

The Prices

It’s a bit pricier than other chippers.

  • A bag of chips is €2.95 at their original (and best) Christchurch branch but €3.25 at the Epicurean Food Hall, where you can eat in.
  • Cod, ray or lemon sole goujons will cost €5.95.  The meal deals are different in Christchurch than at the other branches.
  • It’s worth every cent, because it’s a million billion trillion zillion times tastier, much more satisfying, and of infinitely superior quality than any other chipper. There’s other branches in Rathmines and Phibsboro (eat-in or take out), or they will deliver to certain areas.

Burdock’s is delicious, filthy and wrong. In all the best ways. They never disappoint, always satisfying at a decent cheap price. There’s a reason they’ve been around since 1913.


  1. sorry but lennoxs on barrack street in cork is the best chipper in the world.
    no comparison 😉

  2. I would second that – best cheese and onion pie and curry chips EVER!

  3. Peter,

    What’s the difference between oil and fat? I thought they were synonyms.

    Are you saying Burdocks cook their chips in animal fat (lard; strong meaty taste and less healthy)?

  4. I think what Peter the Great means is that the people that serve you in Burdocks are fat. So when he said, ‘Their fish and chips are cooked in fat,’ he meant, ‘Their fish and chips are cooked by fat.’

  5. You can’t bate Leo’s. I might have to go there tonight now.

  6. Yep, they’re cooked in animal fat. That’s what I meant when I said gloriously unhealthy. The day Burdock’s switches to vegetable oil will be the day they die to me.

    Surprisingly, their fish and chips don’t have a strong meaty taste, and very few people ever notice the cooking oil. Just make sure that Burdock’s is only a VERY occasional treat.

    Sorry, should have made that clearer: I’ve changed the article to reflect this. Oh, that I could make alterations post-publication to printed articles that I write!

  7. Clearly Peter hasn’t made it down to Galway where McDonagh’s on Quay Street serve the best fish & chips in the country. In fact McDonagh’s won the “Best bag of chips Award 2007” as judged by Brenda Donoghue on the RTE Mooney show. Game over!

  8. Fiona .. McDonaghs are a close second to Lennoxs indeed .. they kept me alive during many a Galway races weeks ..

    Trade Winds in Arklow would be my number 3 … oooh lord I am hungry now ..

  9. chips should be cooked in beef dripping. adds enourmously to the flavour much like using goose or duck fat does for roast potatoes. i have yet to eat in a chipper that still uses it though… anybody know of such a place?

  10. may be impossible, but I need a simple battered cod recipe ala burdocks…or any irish cod mix.Would love to have it here in the us.restaurants here make so much bank trying but never really make the’s such a rip off.and I wanna make it at home.Any sugesstions people?

  11. im here in los angeles bty.far removed from christ church or pearse street for that matter.or howth(think there may be a burdocks there0After being here for 24 years I really wanna have a go at it myself at home….though I’m sure it’ll suck the first few times.Please e-mail me with any info…

  12. I’ve been in Dublin for 2.5 years now and I miss Cork chips. Bartie’s in Ballyphehane was my favourite, closely followed by Lennox’s on Bandon Road and KC’s in Douglas. Dublin chips just aren’t the same (and I don’t know why). But Burdock’s are the closest and best that I’ve found in the capital.

  13. Why are people looking at this as a competition between chip shops when that is not what is being discussed at all. I mean I love McDonagh’s in Galway as much as Burdocks but commenting that “McDonagh’s won the “Best bag of chips Award 2007″ as judged by Brenda Donoghue on the RTE Mooney show” simply switched me off it completely!

  14. I think Peter threw down the gauntlet when he opened his review by saying that anyone who questions the greatness of Burdocks is talking waffle. He’s a notorious troublemaker.

    I’d imagine the quoting of Brenda Donoghue was tongue-in-cheek. Although maybe the commenter is a big fan of that particular style of broadcasting: your Mammy’s annoying friend who never shuts up.


  16. i have never tasted leos fish and chips but iam a big fan of fish and chips

  17. Mc Donaghs in galway is over rated. they seem to be resting on their laurels. The kettle of fish on cross street is a much better chipper

  18. I don’t think Leo Burdock’s is quality at all (well, maybe comparatively!). Since coming back here from London I have tried in vain to find a quality gourmet fish and chip shop in Dublin. In the UK the really great take away ones (such as the Sea Shell in London or our local Masters Superfish or Ollie’s) would only ever cook in groundnut oil and use the best quality cuts of fish, not just the freshest – the result is a world apart from the sad offerings we have to put up with in Dublin. I actually think Beshoff’s is better than Leo Burdock’s (they cook in ground nut oil) – their fish is reasonably fresh tasting too – really the closest to quality in Dublin. If we were in Kinsale we would have the joys of Fishy Fishy, deserved winners of the Michelin cheap eats award – although in fairness they are not strictly a chippy.

  19. Mitch, you’ll be thrilled to hear that fishy fish have a chipper too.

  20. ‘Burdock’s fish is always properly fresh, having been picked up from the market earlier that day. If you go there late in the evening, you may find that the fish is all gone – they don’t keep any in the freezer. When the fresh fish is gone, it’s gone.The lemon sole goujons at Burdock’s may the most wonderful fish you will ever eat.’

    This is rubbish. While it may have been the case in a bygone era the fish is frozen and the lemon sole is caught in North Vietnam