News / Halifax

Dartmouth fish and chips eatery reels in best in Canada accolade

For the owner of popular Dartmouth eatery John’s Lunch, the secret to success doesn’t lie in the perfect fish and chip batter.

John’s Lunch was named the best fish and chip place in the country by readers of Canadian Living magazine, but co-owner Fotis Fatouros said his customers and employees are responsible for the recognition.

That, and pure love.

“I love my customers. I love my employees. That’s my family,” said co-owner Fotis Fatouros during the lunch rush Wednesday, his hands moving emphatically up and down as he spoke.

“I feel like I’m 25-years-old when I come here. The people who eat here, they turn and smile to me. It’s good feelings,” said Fatouros, a 68-year-old man who moved from Greece 1973 with his wife.

The small, homey diner has been serving up great food since 1969, but it was the legendary haddock fish and chips which drove Canadian Living readers to vote John’s Lunch the best in the country through a Facebook poll.

“It is big deal, but my head no go like this,” Fatouros joked, his hands moving outwards to illustrate a big ego.

The food comes from the fish market and Sambro Fisheries, and the batter hasn’t changed since 1988 when Fatouros began working there.

“If it’s something I can’t take home to cook for my kids, I can’t cook it for you,” Fatouros said.

He said he still works 15 hour days, and comes in every morning to make the fish for the afternoon rush, when lines of people wait to get a seat at the counter or handful of booths.

But Fatouros says he isn’t slowing down yet.

“If you get up in the morning and you feel excited to go to work, you’ll never be tired,” Fatouros said.

“Hard work, honesty, and care about the people around you.”

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