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The Best Fish and Chips in Minnesota: Mac’s Fish and Chips, St. Paul

It seemed from the outside like an extremely unlikely place for good fish and chips.  It wasn’t so much the building itself that gave off this impression, but the fact that it seemed like a strange place for fish and chips, in a slightly dingy neighborhood in St. Paul.

Macs Fish and Chips St Paul Minnesota 1

Mac’s Fish and Chips, built into an old gas station, screamed “hole in the wall” (not that I have anything against hole in the wall restaurants…some of the best food that I have ever eaten has come from places like this.)

Inside, the decor was simple.  A few no frills booths and tables, and a counter to order at.

The menu was simple, yet it included an impressive number of different choices of fish for your greasy indulgence.  I ordered the Halibut, and sat down while the fish and chips were fried up.

One of the basics of good fish and chips is the batter.  The batter here was golden brown, crispy, but unfortunately a little on the bland side.  It didn’t really add much to the flavor of the fish.

Macs Fish and Chips St Paul Minnesota 2

Unfortuntely, the experience didn’t really improve with the chips.  Call me a purist, but after having eaten fish and chips all over England, Scotland and Ireland, I think I am entitled to an opinion about what makes a good chip.  These were not it.

Tiny and pencil thin, they came out unevenly fried (some very brown, some kind of mushy and not cooked enough.)  They were definitely not the thick, sink your teeth in chips that I had become accustomed to as “traditional”.

One high point of the meal-each order comes with a piece of salt water taffy made on site (you can take home a whole bag for $3!).  It was sweet with a distinctly salty finish.

Macs Fish and Chips St Paul Minnesota 3

This place has been given many accolades for its great, traditional fish and chips.  Maybe I just came on a bad day?  Unfortunately, it isn’t going to make it to the top of my list of the best fish and chips in Minnesota.


Interested in other recollections of fish and chips from around the world? Check out these high quality fish pieces!

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