I visited TikTok’s favourite chip shop: Binley Mega Chippy
Didn’t think a Coventry chip shop would be the highlight of my journalism career but here we are
If your TikTok For You Page is anything like mine, then you’ve likely been bombarded with videos and songs in honour of Coventry’s new tourist hotspot: Binley Mega Chippy.
This phenomenon started in late April, after @craigs.kebab.house posted a TikTok dedicated to Britain’s eclectic array of takeaway establishments. Binley Mega Chippy was the first to feature in the TikTok, and quickly enough virality ensued: with the hashtag “binleymegachippy” racking up over 100 million views in the following weeks. The Mega Chippy is located just a stones throw from Warwick University, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity for me (as an esteemed Tab journalist) to make a pilgrimage to the beating heart of the West Midlands: Coventry.
After a short bus journey, we disembarked to see swarms of excited patrons queuing down the street. The atmosphere was equal parts bizarre and electric: cars passing by blasted the Binley Mega Chippy jingle, “real” journalists with cameras came to photograph the crowds and the bewildered owner even came outside to introduce himself to the swarms of customers. The air of surreal excitement was infectious. Once a humble local chip shop, the Binley Mega Chippy had now been transformed into a beloved internet sensation with all the dedicated groupies to prove it.
The extensive menu offers a plethora of British delicacies: including “faggots and chips”, which in this context I’m told is a kind of meatball – not a homophobic slur. The vegetarian menu was the most puzzling, with its crown jewel being a salmon burger. Battered fish was not included on the vegetarian menu, so one can only conclude that this is because salmon is a more vegetarian friendly fish than haddock. I salute Binley Mega Chippy for this unique and subversive perspective of vegetarianism.
I bought the chips, as is customary when in a chip shop. They were were exactly what you’d expect: greasy and dense and swaddled in paper like a starchy deep fried infant. I respect BMC’s adherence to the chip shop tradition of cooking chips in enough grease to oil an articulated lorry, and showed my respect to this culinary practice by enjoying the chips crouched at a bus stop. I then promptly hurried home to scrub the top layer of my skin off to try and remove the grease: a rite of passage for any chip shop pilgrimage.
I’d definitely recommend visiting Binley Mega Chippy, to witness the absurd influence of TikTok if nothing else.