Fish and chips, all wrapped up, taken away and eaten by the sea - what other eating activity sings more of a Kiwi summer? For your end-of-year getaway we've rounded up the best fish and chips around the country, led by the rankings of random taste-testers and lab-based experts in the most recent best fish and chips competition by the Chip Group.
1. Oceanz Seafood
About 45 minutes' drive north of Central Auckland in Silverdale sits the original Oceanz Seafood. This place has been formally crowned the best chippie in the country over the years - rated on dishing the best fish and chips with a low fat content - ideal when you are spending more time lazing on the beach and less pumping iron. Owners Daniel and Richard Billington have chip frying in their blood - the brothers worked in their parents' fish and chip shop growing up. There are five outlets around Auckland, including at the fish market if that's an easier way to sample this fresh fare.
• Corner Hibiscus Coast Highway and East Coast Rd, Silverdale. Ph (09) 427 0740
2. Queen Vic Chippy
It's not near the water's edge but this Cambridge chippie was named the best in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay region. The family-run team have a combined 55 years in the hospo industry and have two qualified chefs at the helm so they promise the best take-away experience in town. On top of their massive offering of hot food, these guys also offer gluten-free options if that's your preference.
• 85c Victoria St, Cambridge, Waikato
3. Greenwoods Fresh Catch
This place took out the title of Auckland-wide regional winner in the awards. Owners Thomas and Lilian Sug aren't rookies - their previous Papakura takeout joint was also award-winning. Former hotel chef Thomas keeps things simple with a short and sweet menu, featuring fish fresh from Seamart and hot chips they pride themselves on - packed in cardboard boxes to keep them crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle.
• 1 Pah Rd, Greenwoods Corner, Epsom, Auckland
4. Oppies Takeaways, Rotorua
Oppies deserves a mention mostly because of the award-winning man behind the frier - Michael Huang. Crowned the Chip Champion by The NZ Chip Group, Michael was recognised for his determination to cut the rubbish from fish and chips by changing the frying methods. The takeout joint was also named the Grand National Winner in the competition in previous years so it's worth a visit if you're in this neck of the woods.
• Corner Fenton St and Malfory Rd, Rotorua
5. Jimmy the Fish
If you're stuck in Central Auckland you can still have a taste of summer with the fresh fish served at this Ponsonby Central location. A family operation, and one of the newest kids on the hot chip block, Jimmy the Fish sources the best seafood from around the country and delivers the best prices possible. Pick from the Lion Red-battered fish on the blackboard then add some hand-cut fries, salad or cockles. You can also order on your iPhone and pay online so there's no waiting around.
• Shop 8, 136 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland