‘From Belfast’s bomb battered streets to battered sausages’ – A review by Mike McBride
“A hidden gem” nestled in the heart of Belfast, John Long’s fish and chip shop has been serving Northern Irish punters since 1914. Situated in Athol Street just past Belfast’s historic Grand Opera House, sits a disheveled bricked walled building complete with barricaded windows. The war torn ‘Troubles’ aesthetic that the building lived through certainly adds to the charm of Belfast’s longest established fish and chip shop.
Describing itself as the “best kept secret in Belfast” it appears that word is finally out on the eatery. Many famous faces from Brendan Fraser, Sean Bean and even boy band (now man band) Take That have graced their door and came for their tea at John Longs. Our very own Eamon Holmes has even been quoted as saying: “If I only had a couple of days to live, I would end up at John Longs for my last meal” – high praise indeed. Belfast becoming more and more of a holiday destination with a booming tourism trade has seen the premises frequented by merry travelers from across the globe enjoying some ‘Norn Iron grub’.
Ashamedly having lived a mere 20 minutes outside the city centre for the best part of 25 years I had never experienced the “celebrated chipper” for myself, until quite recently. Claiming to have the best fish suppers in Northern Ireland there was only one item on the menu I had my heart set on. At a hefty price of £7 the famous fishy does not come cheap. However, in fairness, the portions are ginormous and more importantly, it is delicious. The batter is cooked to perfection complete with an abundance of crispy chips, which was all washed down with an ice cold can of coke.
I would recommend Longs to any would be visitor to these shores or even any Belfastians who like me, have been living under a rock and are looking to get a real taste of Belfast. The food, the local friendly staff and the 70s style interior all adds to this unique, nostalgic dining experience. They certainly do put the ‘craic’ in a cracking’ chippy.
“ A must when you visit Belfast” – Trip Advisor
” What Belfast is all about” – Belfast Telegraph
“ You can’t beat it with a big stick” – ‘In your Pocket’