Summer. Is. Here. Thank whatever weather god-type thing that gave us this glorious home that is girt by sea. Whatever that means. Being a big-ass island thing gives us access to a very scientific shit tonne of epic seafood, and summer is the best time to enjoy it. Beer in one hand, prawn in the other… Does life get better? Yeah, nah mate.
Here are ten of the best places in Sydney to get your seafood fix. From towering seafood platters to $1 oysters, mud crabs and that city-defining snapper pie, it’s all here for the eating. Bibs at the ready…
Martinis, champagne, harbour views, delicious seafood that looks like a work of art on a plate… It’s all happening at Pyrmont’s Flying Fish. Long lunching is the way to do it here, so kick back with a cocktail and be sure to get a bit of everything. Whether you keep it light with their melt-in-your-mouth sashimi selection or indulge in crunchy AF soft shell crab hand rolls to start, you’re well on your way to a good time here. Pro tip: Book early to nab the best view in the house, and definitely try to pop by Little Fish Bar, their more relaxed cocktail and small plate hangout.
A top spot for escaping the grind of Sydney’s CBD and enjoying some seriously good food, The Morrison won us over with their refreshing, moreish crab and lettuce cups, but keeps us on our toes with their oyster library. Yup, you heard that correctly. There is a huge list of oysters to choose between, whether you’re into the sweeter rock types, or the brinier pacific variety. Freshly shucked to order, of course. Huge fiend? Don’t miss $1 oyster hour from 6-7pm on Wednesdays.
The Boathouse On Blackwattle Bay
Seriously, if you haven’t done yourself a favour and stuck your entire face in that flaky, smoky snapper pie, please make it your top priority. Of course, you’re really going to want to get all bibbed up and stuck into a rock lobster or mud crab as well, so save some stomach room or divide and conquer with a big group so everything on that wonderful menu has the privilege of passing your lips.
North Bondi Fish
What’s better than a day spent frolicking in the waves, followed by lots of wine and seafood with a view? Not much, friends. North Bondi Fish has it all— the views, the food, the cocktails, the beautiful people that seem to be everywhere in Bondi (seriously, do they put something in the water there?). Bug meat linguine is where it’s at, and the char grilled baby octopus is an absolute must. Wine in hand, sun in the sky; this is where you need to be.
Sydney Fish Market
I mean… The name says it all. It’s literally a market for fish and seafood in all of its various forms and shells. There are a few ways to tackle this wonderful establishment. You can get some delicious sashimi or crispy-crunchy fish and chips, pick up a fresh AF crab and get all saucy and noodly with the best of them, or you can head upstairs and have some of the best yum cha of your damn life at Fisherman’s Wharf. Of course, you’re going to want to grab yourself some seafood to cook for dinner, yeah?
Another one of these places that is perfect for bringing out-of-towners and showing them who’s really winning at life. Yep, Rose Bay restaurant Catalina brings it all together with a little bit of magic and a whole lot of amazing seafood. You’ve got to trust a Sydney restaurant that has been pleasing Sydneysiders since 1994, and trust them you will once you get a taste of the Glacier 51 toothfish, so perfectly cooked and plated. If you want to see them show off, go for the assiette of seafood and be that guy that sends their compliments to the chef.
If you’ve ever entered Double Bay on a weekend (hell, even on a weekday— does anyone actually work around there?), you’ll no doubt have noticed the cacophony that is Indigo Cafe. Loved by locals and general food enthusiasts, Indigo has been putting smiles on the frozen faces of Double Bay locals for years upon years. And have you tried the seared tuna salad? Game changer. Pairing fresh ruby tuna with paprika haloumi and that heavenly dressing… It’s nothing short of genius.
If you have out-of-town friends or relatives come to visit Sydney, and you don’t take them to Opera Bar, does their visit even count? A far cry from the touristy haunts that tend to fill such heavily populated areas, Opera Bar knows their way around a cocktail and will absolutely help you out if you want to indulge in their decadent, towering seafood platter. And you do, believe me.
Guys. Shellfish boil. Need I say more? Probably not, but I’m going to anyway. A big ol’ treasure trove of shellfish with young potatoes, wakame, aioli and citrus spice salt is waiting to be demolished. It’s a nod to Louisiana cuisine with a distinctively Coogee Pavilion twist, and you better believe you can smell it coming (and get envy eyes) from neighbouring tables. It’s all part of the fun. Big group or find yourself still hungry? Go for the mini lobster roll, or splash out on a sashimi platter.
Sydney Seafood School
Sydney Fish Market, Pyrmont
The best thing about cooking is being able to eat your BAMF of a dish afterwards, right. That, and our absolutely favourite, the one-for-you-one-for-me wine glugs. Sydney Seafood School is there to hold your hand through the cooking Everest that is making a crab. Yep, the holy grail of seafood cooking. They have a few classes a month that will teach you to cook a damn tasty Singapore chilli crab and black pepper crab, then eat it because you deserve it. These classes book out well in advance, so get your spot quick smart.
If you love fish you need to eat your way through Sydney's Best Fish And Chips.
Image credit: Federica Portentoso, North Bondi Fish