Whether your idea of a good meal includes tablecloths and attentive service at a fine dining restaurant, or a take-away package wrapped in newspaper from the local fish and chips shop, the star of the show is the same: Australia’s fresh and flavourful seafood. Our island nation has a well-deserved global reputation for fronting up some of the biggest, juiciest and tastiest seafood on the planet, with hundreds of native species to choose from at any given time of the year. As a result, many restaurants can literally supply the ‘catch of the day’ – fish caught in local waters only hours earlier – much to the delight of local and visiting ‘seafoodies’ alike!
Sometimes, the best place to get your seafood fix is from a fish and chips shop. If it’s bustling with business from locals, you know it’s well regarded, and the best places will cook your fish to order, so expect a small wait. Some of the most popular places to pull up a pew and enjoy seafood straight off a boat include:
Mongers, a gourmet fish and chips shop with locations in Bondi Beach, Manly Beach and Byron Bay. Voted by The Sydney Morning Herald as Sydney’s No1 chip shop, and with sensational seafood to match, Mongers uses rice flour in their tempura batter mix to make it lighter.
With locations scattered throughout Perth, Sweetlips is known for its freshness; it was voted Australia’s Best Fish & Chips 2013 by the National Seafood Industry. The modern shop sources everything from the ocean, not the freezer, and they process all their fish themselves – so if you find a bone in your fresh fish fillet, they’re refund your money.
Star of Greece
At Star of Greece at Port Wilunga, a 40-minute drive from Adelaide in South Australia, the kiosk offers a rotating selection of seasonal fish including King George Whiting, Garfish and Tommy Ruff, alongside salt and pepper squid sourced from nearby Kangaroo Island.
Tommyfield Fish and Chip Bar offers a Calamari Cone you can eat on the go.
Fish Frenzy is a favourite of the locals, famous for its hot seafood chowder. Located on the Elizabeth Street Pier on Hobart’s waterfront, it is around five minutes walk from the city center.
Gold Coast, QLD
A little further north, Peter’s Fish Market on the Gold Coast has been satisfying locals with prawns, lobster mornay, oysters, fish and Morton Bay bugs for over a decade.
All the way up in the top end, Barra Bar Seafood Café supports local, wild-caught seafood, with salmon, flake and, of course, barramundi on the menu. The café is also renowned for its selection of hot chips, including taco chips, curry chips, gravy chips and garlic chips with cheese.