The secret is out - South Australia has the best hot chips in the land.
Chicken Chef, in Blair Athol, north of Adelaide's CBD in South Australia, has been declared the best hot chips in Australia via the Uniquely Aussie Awards announced by leading travel site Wotif.com.
In second place nationally, and the best chips in NSW, come from the state's South Coast.
Pelican Rocks Seafood Restaurant and Café at Greenwell Point was named NSW's best hot chips.
The honour is one of a number of Uniquely Aussie Awards, which make up part of the annual guide to Australia's best local secrets, as nominated by Aussies.
Booderee National Park at Jervis Bay took out the best national park award for the ACT.
Pelican Rock's victory continues its run of success in the awards after winning the 2019 award for best potato scallop.
Pelican Rocks owner Sam Cardow said they were "proud" to win another award.
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"We are so happy and proud to have won another award for our food, Wotif 2021 best hot chips," he said.
"The last two years have been really challenging with COVID affecting not only our cafe, but business overall.
"We've had to close our café twice over the last two years, as well as not having tourists allowed to travel to the South Coast from Sydney and all around the world, it has really affected our little piece of paradise in Greenwell Point.
"Back in the day we used to make our own chips, but due to costing and time, we had to find a new way to keep up with demand.
"Like all of our other food, the chips had to be top quality!
"We tried lots of chips and the best ones we found are Edgells beer battered chips. They have plenty of potato in them which makes them so delicious.
"But that alone doesn't make them the best, you need the perfect combination of clean oil, cooking temperature and seasoning."
He said he was grateful Wotif has run the competition and were "so proud that people from all over NSW and Australia had voted for us."
The awards celebrate quintessential Aussie travel experiences across six categories, and highlight the unique joys synonymous with local travel - hot chips on the beach, regional bakeries serving up nostalgic baked goods, country pubs full of colourful characters, and stunning hotel pools in iconic Aussie settings.
This year's awards also set out to profile the many local legends, businesses and attractions that make communities tick and represent what travelling in Australia is all about.
Now in its fourth year, the awards encourage Aussies to explore their own backyard and support their favourite businesses - more relevant than ever following the continued challenges faced by the tourism and hospitality industries over the past 18 months.
For the nearly four in 10 Aussies (38 per cent) who feel that they have only touched the surface when it comes to Australian travel, the promise of eased travel restrictions this summer means that, whether you're looking to taste test the country's best hot chips, or relax in a cabana beside a hotel pool, it's a great time to get out and explore the underrated gems that Australia does best.
The awards raked in thousands of nominations from all over the country, it's clear the little things in life often stir the greatest debate.
Whether you prefer chicken salt or gravy on your chips, call it a snot block over a vanilla slice, or demand a savoury rather than sweet jaffle, this year's awards continue to uncover some of Australia's best kept local secrets.
Of course Pelican Rocks is also in the running for the 2021 Great Australian Fish and Chip Awards, organised by Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), have been launched, marking
the start of the search for the country's best fish and chip businesses.
Voting in the MasterFoodsTM People's Choice Award has opened and will run through to December 12.
The state and territory winners announced at a virtual event on December 14.
National winners were:
- Best Jaffle: Miss Jaffles, Cronulla, NSW.
- Best Vanilla Slice: Bridgewater Bakehouse, Bridgewater and Bendigo, VIC.
- Best Country Pub: Beechwood Hotel, Beechwood, NSW.
- Best Hot Chips: Chicken Chef, Blair Athol, SA.
- Best Hotel Pool: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa, Gold Coast, QLD.
- Best National Park: Kakadu National Park, Jabiru, NT.
The NSW WOTIF award winners were:
- Best Jaffle: Miss Jaffles, Cronulla.
- Best Vanilla Slice: Gumnut Patisserie, Mittagong, Bowral and Berrima.
- Best Country Pub: Beechwood Hotel, Beechwood.
- Best Hot Chips: Pelican Rocks Seafood Restaurant and Café, Greenwell Point .
- Best Hotel Pool: Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, Sydney .
- Best National Park: Royal National Park.