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The 13 Best Seafood Restaurants in Melbourne

Here's where to find Melbourne's best seafood — across fine diners, local neighbourhood eateries and lavish omakase haunts.
By Andrew Zuccala and Concrete Playground
January 24, 2024
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By Andrew Zuccala and Concrete Playground
January 24, 2024
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THE 13 BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS IN MELBOURNE

Here's where to find Melbourne's best seafood — across fine diners, local neighbourhood eateries and lavish omakase haunts.

On the hunt for the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne? Luckily, our bayside city abounds with options. You, the diner, just need to decide what kind of feast you're after. Is it a hands-on shellfish affair where bibs and wet wipes are handed out upon entry? Keen for some surf and turf in the city? Or are you looking to really treat yourself with an opulent omakase dining experience using the most exceptional fresh seafood available?

Rest assured, our guide to the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne covers all this ground and plenty more. Read on to find where you'll next be pairing champagne and oysters, caviar and vodka or a classic fish and chips with an ice-cold pint of Carlton.

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Recommended reads:
The Best Sushi in Melbourne
The Best Restaurants in Melbourne
The Best Beachside Restaurants in Melbourne
The Best Steaks in Melbourne

  • 13

    Located in Hardware Lane, Claypots Barbarossa brings the wild, party atmosphere of a European market town to Melbourne’s CBD. If you’re looking for somewhere to sip rosé while listening to a two-piece jazz duo and enjoying the last rays of sun as ‘Aperitovo Hour’ sets in, then this is the place to visit. It really works for every occasion, be it a first date where lingering silence isn’t something you need to fear, a long business lunch where loosening the belt a notch or two is a given, or a boisterous night out with your mates.

    Oh, and the food is damn good too. The approach is European fare with a heavy focus on the Spanish tapas tradition and seafood. Get around seafood pasta, garlic-drenched prawns, Moroccan clay pot creations and fillets of whatever fish is fresh that day. It’s one of the very best seafood restaurants in Melbourne.

    Image: Visit Victoria

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  • 12
    Dining room at Pacific House BBQ - one of the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne.

    You’ll notice Richmond’s Pacific House from the street with its array of ducks hanging in the windows and chefs working frantically behind them. The street scene tells you everything you need to know — this is a place that’s serious about food and not much else. There are no bells and whistles here, just deliciously made Cantonese food you know won’t let you down.

    Grab a seat inside and settle in for a big ol’ feast. The duck that you saw in the window is a must-order, but seafood is equally essential. Our favourite? The incredible lobster noodles that have been on the menu for as long as we can remember. That and whatever the waiters tell you is the star in the tanks out back.

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  • 11

    Inspired by the grand old brasseries of New York’s Meat Packing District, The Atlantic, located within Crown, oozes sophistication. With a stylish interior decked out with artistic flourishes, moody lighting and old-world furniture, it’s a destination for special occasions or a power broker’s business lunch when the boss is paying.

    There are over 300 seats and yet it regularly books out. Thankfully, with an 80-seat oyster bar and another cocktail bar downstairs, they’ll always find a way to squeeze you in. Just make sure you wear the right shoes when visiting — otherwise you won’t be allowed into one of the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne.

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  • 10
    Stokehouse - one of the best restaurants in Melbourne.

    We’re calling it: you’ll struggle to find a Melbourne lunch spot with a better view. This relaxed fine-dining institution is set right on St Kilda Beach, with the option to sit inside at the main dining room (and marvel at the view through floor-to-ceiling windows) or in one of the private dining spaces.

    Wherever you sit, locally sourced seafood is the name of the game, showcased in a huge range of creative and contemporary eats thanks to executive chef Jason Staudt (Aria, Bea Restaurant). Note: If you’re in the mood for carbs over seafood, head downstairs to Stokehouse Pasta & Bar for some of the best pasta in Melbourne.

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  • 9

    With a big, bright red lobster at the entrance, it shouldn’t be too hard to work out what makes Unabara Lobster & Oyster Bar one of the standout Japanese seafood joints in Melbourne. The lobsters at Unabara are all caught fresh daily and are served in wild and wonderful iterations.

    Try them in the lobster roll, which features 80 grams of the good stuff; the house-made linguine chock full of lobster tail; and the main event — a grilled half Western Australian rock lobster served with beer-battered fries and your choice of garlic butter and mornay sauce. Make sure you down a dozen or so fresh oysters while you’re here as well. It’d be rude not to.

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  • 8
    Tsukiji Restaurant - home to the best sushi in Melbourne.

    Named for the famous Tsukiji seafood market in Japan, this Melbourne seafood restaurant is unlike your typical sushi and sashimi joint. Instead of just ordering off a menu or choosing from pre-made sushi, here you head to the fridge, select your fish, and watch the chefs carve it up for you fresh in the kitchen.

    You’ll find servings of tuna, salmon, octopus and scallops, among other cuts, which the chefs will prepare for you on a delightful personalised sashimi platter. The place itself is small and it’s basically always busy, which gives off the bustling feeling of the genuine Tsukiji market. It’s hands down the very best place to get sushi in Melbourne.

    Image: Tran Nguyen

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  • 7
    Richmond Oysters - Seafood Restaurant in melbourne.

    Richmond Oysters started its life way back in 1959 when brothers Nick and Tony Anassis opened a small shopfront next to the rail line on Church Street. The story goes that one of the brothers stayed in the store shucking oysters and selling them to the locals, while the other brother drove around town, sprucing their wares to local bars, pubs and restaurants.

    From their early successes, the business grew into a family-run retail store, wholesaler, takeaway fish and chip joint and excellent fine dining restaurant. However you like your seafood, Richmond oysters nails it. Sustainably caught seafood is also a huge part of the business’ ethos, so you’ll likely be told exactly who caught the fish you’re eating that day and where it came from.

    Image: Tran Nguyen

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  • 6
    Minamishima - one of the best omakase in Melbourne. And best seafood restaurants in Melbourne.

    When Minamishima first opened in 2016, it didn’t take long for people to notice. After 15 years at the CBD’s Kenzan, sushi master Koichi Minamishima decided to go out on his own, and he almost immediately started making waves in the world of sushi.

    Let’s be clear — this is an exceptional dining experience at which you get what you pay for. The two dining options cost $295 each, with matching sake or wine for another bump of cash. But it is sushi as you rarely experience it outside Japan. At Minamishima, standards are high and perfection is desired — it is Melbourne’s greatest showcase of Japanese cuisine and one of the very best seafood restaurants in Melbourne.

    Image: Eve Wilson

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  • 5
    Kisume - one of the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne.

    The simplest way to describe Kisumé may be this: three storeys of considered grandeur. Its design is impressive — a Chablis bar, a Kisumé Winewall, avant-garde art — and the attention to detail travels throughout this CBD restaurant, from the menu down to the nifty coin-sized refreshment towels that entertainingly expand when you open them.

    Seafood is championed here, be it on the a la carte menu, up at the bar or in the ten-seat omakase room. Expect to pay handsomely for your night out at Kisumé but, rest assured, it’s well and truly worth it. You’ll be dining on some of the very best seafood in Melbourne.

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  • 4
    RST Seafood Restaurant in Fitzroy - one of the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne.

    Previously named the Richmond Seafood Restaurant, this Melbourne stalwart (now in Fitzroy) won’t give you long lists of ingredients or a heavy-handed use of spice and gastronomic fuss. Everything at RST is kept simple because the team focuses on sourcing only the best produce, and when you have seafood this good, you don’t need to do much to it.

    Start off with a round of bloody mary oysters, some lobster sliders and a couple of whitebait fritters before tucking into bigger dishes like the grilled scallops, Moreton Bay bugs and mixed seafood linguine. And with most of the fish options, you can choose how you want it cooked — grilled, fried, battered, egg-washed or panko crumbed. However you like your seafood prepared, these guys will make sure you get it.

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  • 3
    Krabby's Crab Boil - home to some of the best seafood in Melbourne

    Look, we get that this isn’t exactly on par with the rest of this list. However, it’s always good to have a cheap and cheerful option to consider and Krabby’s Crab Boil is more about fun than finesse. There’s no dress code here, no need to book ahead and we’d strongly advise against it as a first dates venue — unless, of course, your love language is making an absolute mess of yourself.

    At Krabby’s it’s all paper bibs, plastic gloves and glistening grins. The idea comes from the American South, where everything is tossed in a pot together and slathered in sauce. It’s old-school communal dining done with no more than a hefty pair of shell-crushing scissors and ten fingers.

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  • 2
    Yugen Dining - one of the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne.

    Yugen Dining is a multi-faceted drinking and dining destination with a dramatic aesthetic and an impressive commitment to detail. Downstairs is home to a lofty, open restaurant space and adjacent bar area with soaring ceilings and a majestic chandelier by artist Jennifer Conroy Smith cascading from one corner.

    Either come here for cocktails at the bar, an omakase experience upstairs on the mezzanine or a build-your-own-feast from the a la carte menu. However you choose to experience this place, you’ll be dining in one of the most glamorous spaces in Melbourne, likely biting into some of the city’s best seafood dishes that are plated up with Japanese craft and precision.

    Image: Sam Davis

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  • 1
    Windsor's Neptune - one of the best seafood restaurants in Melbourne.

    Named after the god of the sea, it’s no surprise to see Neptune champion all things seafood on its short yet solid menu. But the Windsor restaurant, run by hospo stalwarts Nic Coulter (Young Hearts) and Michael Parker (San Telmo, Pastuso), didn’t always have this seafood focus. A more general mix of Mediterranean eats was served up here until 2023, when Neptune had a little revamp.

    Now, you’ll struggle to find a dish on the menu that wasn’t plucked from the sea or a river. Things kick off with a selection of shelled creatures — think oysters, scallops, mussels and pipis — and a few cold and raw options. You’ve then got fish from the grill and a handful of mains. But our very favourite dish has got to be the rich crab-filled spaghetti. It has been on the menu for many years, and we are glad to see it survived the menu makover.

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Top images: Stokehouse

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