There are certain foods that are distinctively summery, and fish and chips isn't necessarily one of them. Gazpacho, sure. Watermelon, of course. But a flaky, fried plate of fish and fries--well that sounds more like a winter dish. Strangely enough, though, fish and chips have found their footing as a summer meal, served on sunny patios with cold glasses of beer. Hey, some things are just unexplainable. You know, like crop circles or spontaneous human combustion. Check out these great places to get your summer fish and chips fix.

Rose & Thistle
2314 NE Broadway, 287-8582

This sleepy Scottish-themed bar has one of the nicest outdoor patios in Portland, managing to be both sunny and shady. Head here for a late lunch in the sun with an Imperial pint of one of their many beers. The Rose & Thistle serves a tasty version of cod or halibut with chips in a portion that, truth be told, could be larger. Then again, fried food is usually better in small doses, unless you're Lindsay Lohan. Plus, less food means more room for beer. KS

Nob Hill Bar & Grill
937 NW 23rd, 274-9616

Suppose you happen to be on your bi-annual shopping crawl down NW 23rd. Suppose you don't want to drop a bunch of dough for lunch at Papa Hayden or Sammy's. Check out the Nob Hill Bar & Grill. A favorite old school spot (as in not froofy, trendy, or expensive) on this commerce-heavy street, the Nob Hill is a dim, drinky, lovable neighborhood pub to grab some hearty bar food. Try the airy fish and chips or fish burger--both great--or if you're not feeling nautical, their burgers are tasty as all hell and come in something like 13 different incarnations. KS

Original Halibuts
2525 NE Alberta, 808-9600

Halibut's knows how to do fish. Cooked to absolute perfection and served with golden fries made from real potatoes, Halibuts' namesake is as good as any I've sampled this far from salt water. Besides halibut, other options include tiger prawns, salmon, Southern catfish, and most affordably, true cod. Fried fish, in fact, is the Alpha and Omega here; they offer little else, save the hearty, creamy delight of their traditional New England chowder. And what chowder it is! Served up with a pat of golden butter and loaded with huge chunks of delicious clams, it's easily the best I've had in Portland. Vegetarian caveat: it also contains bits of savory bacon, which I did my best to ignore, shamefully succumbing to the chowder's irresistible siren song. If you can ignore the Oregon Duck decor, and the fact that you can't get an icy, cloudy pint of IPA (coming soon, I'm told), you'll be hard pressed to find a better basket of fish in Portland. LC

Corbett Fish House
5901 SW Corbett, 246-4434

Midwesterners looking for an authentic Wisconsin-style fish fry should head to the Corbett. Beyond the typical Northwest batter-fried halibut, this cozy, friendly spot offers Walleye and perch, fried in a light corn-meal coating. It's great, and will remind you of all those Friday night fish fries you went to with your pseudo-Catholic parents. KS

Moon & Sixpence
2014 NE 42nd, 288-7802

Sure, the front room has all the "charm" of an English pub--nearly impenetrable darkness, bad music, and patrons hew-hawing over darts. But snake through to the back door and you'll find a (concrete) secret garden and one of the eastside's best pub patios: Picnic tables, loads of elbow room, friendly and cute staff, low key clientele and, of course, generous servings of fish and chips. PB

Horse Brass
4534 SE Belmont, 232-2202

True, it's way the hell out in Southeast, but if you're looking for a good plate o' fried goodness, I'd argue you can't go wrong with the Horse Brass. I'm one of those fair-weather vegetarians, and on a lark decided to get a full order of the fish and chips--and just so you know, THEY WILL KICK YOUR ASS. The portions are huge, and the food's dense--I felt like I'd eaten a goddamn cinderblock after finishing them (albeit a very tasty cinderblock). And just as the Horse Brass doesn't bandy about when it comes to fish and chips, they're not lightweights with beer either--their beer menu's huge, thorough, and eccentric. EH