National Fish & Chip Museum opens in York – and you can bag a meal for 4p!

Dino Papas (left) fries up a treat inside the National Fish & Chip Museum on Parliament Street. Photographs: Richard McDougall
12 Jun 2019 @ 5.58 pm
| Food & drink

A new museum is about to open in York – dedicated to Britain’s greatest dish.

The National Fish & Chip Museum opens on Parliament Street this Friday (14 June) at 11am, accompanied by the reigning British champion town crier.

And one-of-each lovers can bag the food bargain of the century – on opening day you can get fish and chips for 4p all day to reflect the prices in Victorian times.

It’s a museum that is rolling back the clock and the prices!

The Parliament Street restaurant and museum is the brainchild of brothers George and Dino Papas, part of the Papas family firm which runs seven restaurants in Bridlington, Scarborough, Cleethorpes, Hull and now York.

Three generations

The glorious history of one of each
Three generations of the Papas family have run the frying empire, fuelled by their genuine love for one of each.

George told YorkMix:

  • Everyone knows that fish and chips is the nation’s favourite dish.

    We thought it was criminal that there wasn’t a museum dedicated to celebrating it, and also teaching people about it’s colourful and amazing past – and the role it’s played in our country’s great history.

The Parliament Street home of the museum
Home on the range
Collectors’ items – the books in the museum

The museum is completely free and has artefacts from far and wide across the country.

One exhibit is a cookbook published in 1817 which has one of the first mentions of fish and chips called The Cook’s Oracle by Alexis Soyer, who was the celebrity chef of the day and our equivalent of Gordon Ramsay. Another is a traditional hand-pulled chipper.

However, George says that “the star attraction is the living museum part which is downstairs, which is the coal powered frying range – you won’t see anything like that anywhere else”

He goes on to say:

  • We were really lucky to find the range in Yorkshire and put it to good use.

    It’s a Frank Ford frying range so it was built in Yorkshire over a hundred years ago, so for it to be finishing up here we think is quite fitting.

The coal-powered frying range is one of the oldest in the world and it is a magnificent spectacle nestled in the kitchen downstairs.

More than a museum

History by the forkful
However, it’s not just a museum. They are serving fish and chips cooked in the original way, on a range powered by coal.

Inside the Victorian decor and uniform is full of charm. It is both eat-in and takeaway and accommodates up to 50 people, and there is also outdoor seating.

The National Fish and Chip Museum will be open seven days a week from 11am to 6pm.

George says they are hoping for the team to grow to between 15 and 20 people.

The coal-fired frying range

Home on the range

And he said that York was a “natural choice” for the museum because “everyone knows that Yorkshire is the home of fish and chips…

“When you think fish and chips, when you think beef dripping, coal powered in the old fashioned way you think of Yorkshire and York is the capital of Yorkshire.”

Dino jokes about grandmothers complaining “They don’t make fish and chips like they used to!”

Well they do now.