Finding a good plate of fish & chips on the Sunshine Coast is relatively easy, but I’m searching for something great and that narrows the options. So how do I define great?
The quality of the cooked fish and fries are obvious, but the ambience of the location, and then the price should be considered when choosing where to satisfy that elusive craving.
Lower Gibsons, originally a fishing settlement, has three places worthy of consideration. Molly’s Reach, the iconic cafe of Beachcomber’s fame, has the show piece location, together with outside tables offering a great view looking over Gibsons Harbour.
$14 gets you a 1-piece halibut and chips with a small side of coleslaw and tartar sauce. They are also licensed, offering a good selection of brews and beverages to accompany your meal.
Smitty’s Oyster House is just down a flight of metal stairs from Molly’s. Outdoor seating is communal on a long wooden plank table that is literally just a few feet from the salty brine, scoring greatness for the location factor.
For $17 you get a definite step up on your plate – tempura battered halibut pieces with a malt vinegar reduction and yam frites… yumm!! They’re also licensed, offering a selection of craft brews and wine. The added bonus is their menu of other seafood dishes and as somebody said to me “why just limit yourself to fish and chips?”
Codfather’s is just around the corner, along a busy little street with several small cafes and gift shops. Fish & chips have been served at this location for 58 years. Codfather’s has a loyal following and are always busy, with seating limited to a few tables set out on the sidewalk.
$14.95 gets you a plate filled with more fries than you can eat and a meaty piece of ling cod. The dish came with a freshly prepared cole slaw and a most interesting tartar aoli.
Locals in the know have long headed to Sharkey’s for their favourite dish. Tucked away in upper Roberts Creek, it can be hard to find. If you’re coming from Gibsons, turn right at the traffic light and watch for this small sign on your left. It’s take-out only so the location factor suffers. However, there are two wondrous waterfront locations within a short five minute drive – Roberts Creek beach and the Davis Bay Seawall. Bring your own beverage of choice, find a big, bleached log to sit on, and enjoy your meal. It’s the most splendid location ever.
Just $6 will get you all this – 4 oz of chipped cod, lightly battered and cooked to perfection, plus the piece de resistance, a side of chips, “twice cooked,” as they were meant to be. The cole slaw is fresh and the tartar sauce, tangy. These are the greatest of the great.
Further down the highway, at Davis Bay, where the road runs along beside the ocean, is the latest entry into the competition. Lighthouse on Location has re-appeared under new management. This location, along the popular seawall is absolutely outstanding, especially at low tide which exposes a large sand bar.
$8 gets you a small plate of fish and chips, strait-up with no cole slaw or tartar. They’ve just opened up so I’d give them a few weeks to work out their menu. They do offer other choices, so if you’re already at the beach, you may want to give them a try.
The Lighthouse Pub in Sechelt gets top location marks for its large outdoor deck and amazing views looking up Sechelt Inlet. You’ll be entertained by the parade of colourful boats and float planes coming and going in the busy little marina.
$13.75 gets you a delectable plate of craft beer battered halibut, galley fries and a generous serving of slaw. It’s a licensed pub so you also get a full choice of beverages, including a few tasty local craft beers.
I live in Sechelt, so the Lighthouse is my #1 choice, especially if I want to have a couple of pints. But if I’m in Gibsons, I’ll choose Smitty’s for their unique presentation. Then again, if I’m on the road and I’m not too fussy about location, then it’s Sharkey’s, hands down!!
I’m sure I’ve left out other favourites so please feel free to add your comments and let’s get a dialogue happening. The whole purpose of this blog is to give visitors and locals a bit of insider information on where to find great fish & chips on the Sunshine Coast.
Follow this link to return to Coracle Cove Waterfront Suite