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Two cornmeal-crusted catfish filets sit on a pile of fries at 42nd Ave. Fish and Chips
Catfish and chips at 42nd Ave
Kara Stokes / EPDX

Where to Find Knockout Fish and Chips in Portland

From cornmeal-encrusted catfish to beer-battered halibut

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Catfish and chips at 42nd Ave
| Kara Stokes / EPDX

There’s nothing like eating a basket full of fish and chips with a view of the Pacific Ocean, right? Too bad we’re approaching the end of 2020, which has made running off to the coast more... complicated. Sure, some people feel ready to buckle up, hit Cannon Beach, and snag a few baskets of halibut and chips. However, others are feeling far from ready to leave the county, let alone sit down in a restaurant on the coast. Plus, there’s the whole “Do I feel ready to stay in a hotel?” thing, which adds a whole other layer of stress to what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend. Nothing is easy anymore; life just keeps introducing new risk evaluations whenever anyone suggests a potential activity or outing.

Anyway, Portland has some fish and chips shops, too. Some of them even serve Oregon-caught seafood. Seafood markets and restaurants have created takeout windows, restaurateurs have opened new fish-and-chips shops or pop-ups, and longstanding fish carts have been frying away through the year. Those desperate enough can order a fish-and-chips basket for takeout and listen to this recording of the waves at Cannon Beach. It’s not perfect, sure, but it’s good enough. Those ready to hit the beach can check out this list of Oregon Coast fish-and-chips shops. Per usual, this map is not ranked; rather, it’s organized geographically.

A number of Portland restaurants have resumed outdoor dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Arlo's Fish & Chips

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North Portlanders are deeply loyal to this tiny food cart, which serves only fried cod and chips. That cod is wild-caught, and the chips are hand-cut; the pieces of fish tend to be massive slabs, lightly fried until it reaches a hay-golden shade. The fries are soft in the right way, the sign of a fresh (not frozen) potato. The cart is open for takeout.

Fish Fusion

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Fish Fusion stands out for its “fish on a stick,” which is essentially a crispy, well-seasoned catfish filet, fried and served on a skewer. The shop does have the obligatory crinkle-cut fries, but swapping them out for okra is not a bad choice. Order in-house delivery or takeout.

42nd Ave Fish and Chips

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The real move at 42nd Ave. Fish and Chips is to get the catfish or the basa, nice and light and coated in a crunchy cornmeal crust. There’s usually something special hiding in the pastry case, as well. 42nd Ave takes call-ahead orders by phone and appears on a number of delivery apps.

Rock Paper Fish

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The new fish-and-chips shop from restaurateur Micah Camden and NFL player Ndamukong Suh serves nice pieces of Pacific halibut brined, dipped in a cider batter, and fried crispy. They come paired with some double-fried chips tossed in Old Bay, served out of a cheery takeout window on Burnside. Rock Paper Fish is also available for delivery.

Flying Fish Company LLC

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This Burnside fish market specifically looks out for sustainable seafood sources, including several fishers who catch petrale sole, black cod, and rockfish off the Oregon coast. Its kitchen delicately fries wild Alaskan true cod for fish and chips, serving it with house-made tartar sauce, citrus-kale slaw, and jojos. The light, flaky crust gets its texture from a combination of rice, potato, and tempura flour, which doesn’t overpower the fish. The shop serves its fish-and-chips for takeout or outdoor dining, with kid-friendly sizes and a gluten-free version.

Horse Brass Pub

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The one and only, Horse Brass is still serving its classic beer-battered fish-and-chips, which have developed a cult following in the pub’s years open. Customers can order the fish and chips to-go, best paired with a some takeout beer, as well.

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Feeling Fishy?

A post shared by horsebrasspub (@horsebrasspub) on

Tall Boy Fish & Chips

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This Hawthorne Asylum cart is an under-the-radar hard-hitter, serving things like wild Alaskan cod, Oregon Albacore, and Alaskan halibut with thin fries tossed in a lively spice blend. The fish Tall Boy serves is sustainably caught and sticks to the Northern Pacific, only sailing as far north as Alaska. Call ahead to place an order or simply walk up.

Year of the Fish

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This Foster-Powell fish-and-chips cart often sources its fish from nearby waters, whether it’s Columbia River Steelhead or Oregon wild snapper. But even beyond the fish, part of the cart’s fun has to do with its massive fried chips, cut from Russets, with insides the texture of mashed potatoes. The cart is open for walk-ups from noon to 8 p.m., Wednesday to Saturday, and also shows up on a number of delivery apps.

View this post on Instagram

Year of the Fish - Coho Salmon and Chips (large)

A post shared by Jonathan Grubb (@jonathan.grubb) on

The Frying Scotsman

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This Beaverton food cart is thoroughly Scottish in style, serving its blonde-fried cod, haddock, and halibut next to some thick-cut chips and a can of Irn Bru. These hulking chunks of fried fish have been a favorite since its early days in Portland city limits. Frying Scotsman appears on delivery apps and also takes walk-up orders.

Portland Fish Market

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This Southeast Portland seafood market is a neighborhood haunt for its fish-and-chips window, which offers an array of super-fresh, golden fried seafood. Portland Fish Market has some of the best selection around, with everything from oysters to salmon to sturgeon — purists, don’t freak out, the shop sells cod and halibut, as well. Order online for pickup.

Catfish Lane

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Perched in a bright-orange food cart at the Cartlandia pod, Catfish Lane owner Doris Harris serves Cajun essentials like jambalaya out of a bright orange cart. But it’s in the name: Catfish Lane is about its catfish, cornmeal-encrusted, juicy, and not at all greasy. A half-and-half platter with shrimp is also a winner, especially with a side of cornbread. Call (971) 864-7818 to place a takeout order, or just stop by.

Batterfish

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The fun of this Happy Valley food cart’s fish and chips comes in the batter: Dublin expat Jason Killalee dips catfish, cod, shrimp, and salmon in batters with distinct flavors, from curry to lemon basil. The real highlight is the super-moist catfish, enveloped in a batter perked up with sambal olek. Batterfish is open for takeout and outdoor dining at Happy Valley Station.

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Arlo's Fish & Chips

North Portlanders are deeply loyal to this tiny food cart, which serves only fried cod and chips. That cod is wild-caught, and the chips are hand-cut; the pieces of fish tend to be massive slabs, lightly fried until it reaches a hay-golden shade. The fries are soft in the right way, the sign of a fresh (not frozen) potato. The cart is open for takeout.

Fish Fusion

Fish Fusion stands out for its “fish on a stick,” which is essentially a crispy, well-seasoned catfish filet, fried and served on a skewer. The shop does have the obligatory crinkle-cut fries, but swapping them out for okra is not a bad choice. Order in-house delivery or takeout.

42nd Ave Fish and Chips

The real move at 42nd Ave. Fish and Chips is to get the catfish or the basa, nice and light and coated in a crunchy cornmeal crust. There’s usually something special hiding in the pastry case, as well. 42nd Ave takes call-ahead orders by phone and appears on a number of delivery apps.

Rock Paper Fish

The new fish-and-chips shop from restaurateur Micah Camden and NFL player Ndamukong Suh serves nice pieces of Pacific halibut brined, dipped in a cider batter, and fried crispy. They come paired with some double-fried chips tossed in Old Bay, served out of a cheery takeout window on Burnside. Rock Paper Fish is also available for delivery.

Flying Fish Company LLC

This Burnside fish market specifically looks out for sustainable seafood sources, including several fishers who catch petrale sole, black cod, and rockfish off the Oregon coast. Its kitchen delicately fries wild Alaskan true cod for fish and chips, serving it with house-made tartar sauce, citrus-kale slaw, and jojos. The light, flaky crust gets its texture from a combination of rice, potato, and tempura flour, which doesn’t overpower the fish. The shop serves its fish-and-chips for takeout or outdoor dining, with kid-friendly sizes and a gluten-free version.

Horse Brass Pub

The one and only, Horse Brass is still serving its classic beer-battered fish-and-chips, which have developed a cult following in the pub’s years open. Customers can order the fish and chips to-go, best paired with a some takeout beer, as well.

View this post on Instagram

Feeling Fishy?

A post shared by horsebrasspub (@horsebrasspub) on

Tall Boy Fish & Chips

This Hawthorne Asylum cart is an under-the-radar hard-hitter, serving things like wild Alaskan cod, Oregon Albacore, and Alaskan halibut with thin fries tossed in a lively spice blend. The fish Tall Boy serves is sustainably caught and sticks to the Northern Pacific, only sailing as far north as Alaska. Call ahead to place an order or simply walk up.

Year of the Fish

This Foster-Powell fish-and-chips cart often sources its fish from nearby waters, whether it’s Columbia River Steelhead or Oregon wild snapper. But even beyond the fish, part of the cart’s fun has to do with its massive fried chips, cut from Russets, with insides the texture of mashed potatoes. The cart is open for walk-ups from noon to 8 p.m., Wednesday to Saturday, and also shows up on a number of delivery apps.

View this post on Instagram

Year of the Fish - Coho Salmon and Chips (large)

A post shared by Jonathan Grubb (@jonathan.grubb) on

The Frying Scotsman

This Beaverton food cart is thoroughly Scottish in style, serving its blonde-fried cod, haddock, and halibut next to some thick-cut chips and a can of Irn Bru. These hulking chunks of fried fish have been a favorite since its early days in Portland city limits. Frying Scotsman appears on delivery apps and also takes walk-up orders.

Portland Fish Market

This Southeast Portland seafood market is a neighborhood haunt for its fish-and-chips window, which offers an array of super-fresh, golden fried seafood. Portland Fish Market has some of the best selection around, with everything from oysters to salmon to sturgeon — purists, don’t freak out, the shop sells cod and halibut, as well. Order online for pickup.

Catfish Lane

Perched in a bright-orange food cart at the Cartlandia pod, Catfish Lane owner Doris Harris serves Cajun essentials like jambalaya out of a bright orange cart. But it’s in the name: Catfish Lane is about its catfish, cornmeal-encrusted, juicy, and not at all greasy. A half-and-half platter with shrimp is also a winner, especially with a side of cornbread. Call (971) 864-7818 to place a takeout order, or just stop by.

Batterfish

The fun of this Happy Valley food cart’s fish and chips comes in the batter: Dublin expat Jason Killalee dips catfish, cod, shrimp, and salmon in batters with distinct flavors, from curry to lemon basil. The real highlight is the super-moist catfish, enveloped in a batter perked up with sambal olek. Batterfish is open for takeout and outdoor dining at Happy Valley Station.

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