If you’re in Melbourne and you love seafood, you’ll want to know all the best places you can go to get your fishy fix. Seafood is fabulously varied and covers a range of budgets. From simple fish and chips to the extravagance of a full-blown seafood platter.
Picking a specific cuisine for your dinner doesn’t mean limiting your food choices. Whether you fancy Japanese sashimi, Singaporean-style chilli crab or that American classic- a clam chowder – it’s all on offer. Seafood encompasses a vast array of spectacular dishes, from melt-in-your-mouth salmon to luxurious lobster and seductive oysters.
There can be something for everyone in a seafood restaurant, which is one of the reasons why it is such popular dining fare.
Melbourne is a big place, so you can be sure it caters to a wide range of tastes and budgets. But how can you be sure you’re making the right decision when there are so many options to choose from?
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best seafood restaurants in Melbourne, to save you from option paralysis. This way, you can enjoy your seafood meal to the fullest.
What Makes A Great Seafood Restaurant?
The restaurants selected in this guide are all highly reviewed and have specific selling points that set them apart from the crowd. Before we dive into the list, let’s discuss a number of factors to consider when finding your perfect seafood spot.
Many of the best seafood restaurants offer freshly-caught fish and crustaceans, which makes a noticeable difference to the taste. Melbourne is situated on the coast of Australia, meaning there are plenty of such restaurants around, clamouring for customers.
Safety is paramount when serving food, but this is especially a concern with seafood, as it can cause all sorts of nasty health issues if not prepared correctly. Restaurants must have high food hygiene ratings to ensure they prioritise customer safety.
Like any restaurant, the ambience is important to a customer’s overall experience. If they love the food but feel out of place or that the service is lacking, that will put a dampener on their meal. Look for reviews that mention decor, staff hospitality, music and lighting.
Why not knock out a quick fish dinner yourself? Our Salmon Fish Cakes are easy to make and taste great.
Location: 79 Hardware Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9670 5255
See also: Claypots St Kilda (Claypots Seafood Bar) Location: 213-215 Barkly St, St Kilda, VIC 3182 Ph: (03) 9534 1282 & Claypots South Melbourne (Claypots Evening Star) Location: 101 South, Cecil St, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 Ph: (03) 9645 5779 which is reviewed below.
Opening our take on the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne is Claypots Barbarossa.
Claypots serves a delightful menu of Mediterranean seafood dishes at reasonable prices. The main focus of the restaurant is hospitality, and guests feel at home among stocked bookshelves and a cosy atmosphere.
A jazz band provides live entertainment in the evenings to add to the lively ambience, but this is an equally great place to come for a quick bite at lunchtime.
The menu changes from month to month to allow the chefs to work their creative magic and keep things fresh. Highlights have included stingray in sambal sauce, clam spaghetti with squid ink, and greenlip abalone.
We love to come here with friends and order a selection of dishes form the Small Plates section of the menu. After all, seafood tapas is a great way to dine.
If dipping into a number of dishes appeals to you, see our piece on Middle Eastern Food in Melbourne.
Location: 66 Hardware Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9642 2267
Our next entry amongst the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne is within throwing distance of Claypots Barbarossa.
This vibrant restaurant on Hardware Lane is a favoured spot for tourists and locals alike. Seating is available indoors and outdoors, and there are also function rooms ready to cater for your special occasion.
The food here has an Italian influence, though it also draws on Modern Australian and a number of other cuisines.
Outstanding service is the order of the day Grill Steak Seafood., with a plethora of reviews singing the praises of the waiting staff and owners. Previous guests particularly recommend the seafood paella and the barramundi fillet, which can be difficult to find in other places.
Can’t get enough antipasti and tiramisu? Check out our Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne
Location: 50 River Esplanade, Docklands, VIC 3008 Ph: (03) 9043 4221
Positioned with views of the ‘River this is another Italo-centric eatery. As well as seafood, Hooks at the Yarra’s varied menu includes pizza, pasta and steaks so there is something for everyone.
However, this restaurant is most known for its seafood offerings, with tantalising dishes from ginger prawn dumplings to Atlantic salmon.
Happy hours here are every Thursday-Friday from 5pm-7pm, so grab your favourite drinks to enjoy with your meal.
There are some great spots to grab a drink in the Victorian capital. Our guide to the Best Bars in Melbourne will get you started.
Location: 175 Domain Rd, South Yarra, VIC 3141 Ph: (03) 9866 3566
If you’re looking for fine dining, Bacash in South Yarra is the place to go. This lavish restaurant has been awarded Chef’s Hats in the Australian Good Food Guide from 2005-2018, so you know it the kitchen here know their stuff.
If you’re not a fan of fish, don’t eat at Bacash. It’s really that simple.
The current menu is filled with divine creations such as Slow Roasted Ocean Trout, Cauliflower Cream, Mussels, Prawns, Scallops & Calamari, Parsley Sauce. There is a lone Cape Grim Eye Fillet for those wanting meat. Clearly, seafood and fish is the focus here and it’s this devotion that keeps customers coming back, time after time.
The varied seafood menu is complemented with a high-quality wine menu, which is presented to guests on arrival.
Want to try your hand are cooking your own dinner? Try our Easy Seafood Recipes.
Location: 192 Station St, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207 Ph: (03) 9646 2746
Everything served here is selected daily from the fish markets, then prepared in the onsite kitchen by skilled chefs. And we love that a range of fresh seafood platters is available for takeaway, allowing diners to experience the finest seafood from the comfort of their own home.
If you want to book for a private function, staff offer an exclusive function room with menus tailored to your event. What better way to ensure your experience is unforgettable?
Rubira’s is famous for its chilli tiger prawns, so you could give these a try alongside one of the premium fish of the day options.
Talking of takeaway, here’s our recommendations for the Best Cake Delivery and Takeaway Cakes in Melbourne
Location: 16/18N Concourse, Beaumaris, VIC 3193 Ph: (03) 9589 6329
To say that the Lobster Cave is an institution is an under-statement. Since the kitchen served its first tiger prawn back in 1987, this has been one of the finest seafood restaurants in Melbourne.
Over the years, the Lobster Cave has built a reputation for superb service and quality seafood – treated with respect. It might not be the most hipster joint in town, but that’s not what you book at table here for.
Instead, customers return time and gain for the salt & pepper squid and the whole grilled Morton Bay bugs. For many, the go to dish is the ‘Ferg Burger’. This much-loved creation features a whole Southern Rock Lobster – half mornay/half garlic butter – and a juicy hunk of Aberdeen Angus, paired with Pommes Boulangere, onion rings, bone marrow, horseradish, and more. It’s a genuine seafood feast for both the eyes and the stomach.
With food like this on the menu, we reckon the Lobster Cave will remain a favourite seafood restaurant for many years to come.
If you love funky Asian-inspired food in a groovy space, see our review of Chin Chin Melbourne
Location: In South Melbourne Market, Shop 101, 116 Cecil St, Market, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 Ph: (03) 9645 5779
Another Claypots venue, Evening Star is situated in Cecil Street, South Melbourne, and is part of the bustling South Melbourne Market.
The ethos here is that food should be enjoyed for its own sake. All dishes served at Claypots Evening Star are presented at face value, with no hidden meanings or forced symbolism.
Particular highlights on the menu here include the grilled king prawns and the Singapore shellfish stir fry.
Make sure you turn up 15 minutes before you want to be seated, as they do not take bookings for groups smaller than 10 people and this place gets busy!
What could be nicer on a hot day than to sit outside with a drink? Our list of the Best Beer Gardens in Melbourne gives you the options.
Location: 437 Church St, Richmond, VIC 3121 Ph: (03) 9428 5121
What began in 1959 as a simple oyster and fish store, founded by two local brothers, is now a thriving seafood establishment that impresses its guests every day.
They have a comprehensive menu serving quality seafood, but will endeavour to source anything else you wish to eat. The emphasis here is on local produce.
As well as tasty restaurant fare, Richmond Oysters also offers outside catering options. So why not make your next party an event to remember by booking an oyster shucking station or ice sculpture prawn bar?
Location: In Southgate, Southgate Precinct, 20/3 Southgate Ave, Southbank, VIC 3006 Ph: (03) 9686 9766
Visit this iconic family restaurant to enjoy stunning views of the Yarra river while you eat. These are combined with attentive staff and exquisitely presented dishes for the perfect dining experience.
The à la carte menu offers a wide range of quality seafood, including a vibrant Western Australian Whole Snapper Red Curry. This is also a great spot for Japanese seafood, including sushi and sashimi platters.
So pull up a chair, order some succulent Hervey Bay scallops and part-take in some serious people-watching.
Whilst we are on the subject of Hervey Bay, here are our top Restaurants in the seaside mecca.
Location: 5 Rae St, Fitzroy North, VIC 3068 Ph: (03) 9489 1974
This restaurant serves high-quality seafood in a friendly environment, with an ever-evolving menu that keeps customers coming back for more.
The starter options are especially varied, so you can split several between your group if you can’t decide. That said, we find it hard to go past the Whitebait Fritters or the Fish Croquettes.
RST holds a number of events throughout the year, including Christmas Lunch and New Year celebrations. So why not pop along to one of these to enjoy the festivities in style?
Do you have a passion for Chinese food? These are our fav Chinese Restaurants in Melbourne.
Location: In Kingston Central Plaza, Shop 8A, Kingston Central Plaza, 288 Centre Dandenong Rd, Moorabbin Airport, VIC 3194 Ph: (03) 8518 8955
Over in Moorabbin there’s a bit of a hidden culinary gem.
A local fish and chip restaurant with a twist, The Fish House Australia Sea Company serves up tasty seafood dishes for dining in or taking away. They have a great selection of fish, as well as exotic and gourmet options such as octopus legs and blue swimmer crabs.
Get cracking with the Hiware Seafood Tools Set. This 19-piece set has Crab Crackers, Lobsters and more!
Try the fish of the day, which is always selected daily according to supply and weather conditions to ensure premium quality. Choose from fillet fish or whole fish; these can be served either on their own or as a combo with fries and salad.
Try our Seafood Pasta Recipe for a simple weeknight dinner.
Location: 189 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9663 0411
Next on our rundown fo the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne we have a great spot to book for a pre-theatre dinner or lunch.
Situated in the Central Business District of Melbourne, Box Seafood Restaurant serves an exciting menu of fresh local produce. The oyster options are especially varied and can be ordered either natural or cooked, catering to every oyster connoisseur.
If you can’t choose, why not try the tasty hot platter? This includes an indulgent selection of seafood bites you and your guests can enjoy together.
Dining at a teppanyaki restaurant offers entertain as well as a great meal. Check out our guide to the Best Places for Teppanyaki in Melbourne.
Location: 252 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, VIC Ph: (03) 9696 4025 See Website for further locations.
From a simple fish and chipper, Hunky Dory has grown into a small empire, with franchises strewn across Melbourne.
If you want simple, casual seafood, Hunky Dory represents excellent value for money in a welcoming atmosphere. Customers marvel at the large portions presented, which allow them to stuff their faces with delicious seafood.
The founder, Greg, has fishing in his blood – he grew up on the water and was taught the ropes by his attentive father and grandfather. He now applies his knowledge and skills in his very own restaurant, pouring his heart and soul into every dish.
Looking for something different in the mornings? See our recommendations for the Best Breakfasts in Melbourne.
Location: 325 Smith St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Ph: 0466 406 214
Opened in 2013 by chef Katie Marron, Miss Katie’s Crab Shack is a relatively recent addition to the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne. As the name and decor suggest, this is the place to go if you want American-inspired fare – with a focus on Southern-style cooking.
This is more of a casual diner than a fine dining establishment, offering a range of tasty “Shackatisers” and “Shack Snacks” to tempt you. The Crab Boil is a customer favourite, and you can add extras like corn on the cob . It’s definitely a must for any crab lover.
Japan is synonymous with its love of seafood. Here are our top Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne.
Location: In Midcity Centre Level 1/200 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: 0420 783 719
You can’t really talk about the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne and not mention the pink splendour of Pinchy’s.
Champagne makes an excellent accompaniment to fine seafood, as the proprietors of this champagne bar and seafood restaurant know well. The luxurious fare is coupled with a casual atmosphere to create an indulgent yet accessible experience.
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The decor might be kitsch, but the food is seriously good.
Dishes are served in small bites to eat with your fingers or with a special Pinchy’s fork, so you can really savour every mouthful. The Pinchy’s lobster roll is regarded especially highly by patrons, who come back to enjoy it time and time again.
Fancy a bit of excitement with your dinner? Then why not book at table at on of our Best Korean BBQ Restaurants in Melbourne?
Location: 650 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds, VIC 3039 Ph: (03) 9370 1101
Last, but not least, on our zip through the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne is Moonee Ponds favourite, Escagrill.
Escagrill serves an elegant blend of Italian fare and seafood, resulting in an exquisite dining experience. Entrees such as spicy baby calamari whet your appetite, before tucking into main courses of grilled flounder or battered King George whiting.
Finish off with one of their sumptuous desserts – with plenty of Italian-inspired choices, there is something to satisfy every sweet tooth.
Do you find lactose an issue? See our Dairy-Free Dessert Recipes for some respite.