- a blog about food and value

Too much for a fish supper?

Forget the special offers: are fish and chips overpriced? And does it mean that we're DOOMED?

Forget the special offers: are fish and chips overpriced? And does it mean that we're DOOMED?

My aunt and uncle recently visited from Derry. They’d been washed out at the Laytown races and, disappointed with the lack of decent food options on offer, decided to come straight down and pick up a bag of fish and chips.

Although I’ve whined about the cost of of a bag of chips, we do take the price of what my aunt and uncle called a “fish supper”, for granted:  it’ll set you back the guts of €20 for two people.

They were astonished, genuinely surprised, and flabbergasted. They’re both smart people, and my uncle has a firm grasp on economics, having taught it for umpteen years. You could, he rightly pointed out, get a steak for that price. In fairness, he said that the fish was pretty good, but still felt that over €17 for some takeaway fish and chips was too much to pay – and significantly cheaper up north.

It got me thinking. Now, I know that our economic problems and miserable unemployment have far more to do with our terrifyingly inept government shoveling our money to their mates in the bank than our cost base. But is the price of fish and chips a barometer of overcharging in Ireland? Bear in mind that they’ve barely fallen in the past few years, half price promotions aside. A sign that we need to lower our cost base? Or is €17, all things considered, a fair price?


  1. fish IS dear. And people want cod and haddock, not the cheap mackerel (mind you, mackerel in batter doesn’t sound appealing at all!). If you go to Howth, where fish is cheaper, you can still pay over 15 eur per kilo for these.

  2. You could buy steak for two and cook it at home for €17 but you’d never get steak for two in a restaurant for that, would you?

  3. €8.50 each for fish and chips and I would imagine a drink .. I don’t think thats too bad especially if the fish was nice.

  4. Fish should be dear. Its being overfished and stocks are being depleated. If a higher price is charged for it, then it stops it being a thoughtless cheap option, and reduces consumption of it.

  5. After watching the fantastic Skippers on rte, I buy as much Irish fish as possible!

  6. I agree with you Emily. My point is more about how someone from Northern Ireland was astonished by the prices down here – it happened to be fish but could have been anything. I’ve changed this topic from “Bad Value” to “Price Comparisons” instead.