9 spots to eat fresh seafood on the Sunshine Coast
The Sunshine Coast is synonymous with long, lazy days relaxing by beautiful beaches, but a visit isn’t complete without sampling the local seafood.
With delectable offerings like fresh-off-the-trawler Mooloolaba prawns and local reef fish, plus coastal views that are as exquisite as the food, the Sunshine Coast has dining experiences to delight the fussiest foodies.
Here’s nine of the best places to feast on fresh fish on the Sunshine Coast.
1. Bistro C
At Bistro C, you can literally step off the sand into the relaxed space overlooking Laguna Bay, so it’s an ideal spot for amping up your Insta-envy factor.
Chef Dayle Merlo’s award-winning cuisine is crafted from local produce, highlighting fish, oysters, and melt-in-your-mouth calamari.
On the lunch menu is prawn and spanner crab tostada, or grilled barramundi fillet in scallop and king prawn bouillabaisse. For dinner, how about crab and scallop dumplings and a pan of fresh local seafood spaghetti?
Wash it down with Australian wine, or spirits from destinations as far-flung as Scotland and Barbados.
Where: 49 Hastings St, Noosa. Open 7 days. A kids’ menu is available.
2. Noosa Boathouse
Heading upstream, this three-level bistro and bar hovers over the Noosa River, so 180-degree water views are a given.
The modern Australian menu emphasises fresh local seafood, and it’s hard to beat their seafood experience for two. A three-tiered platter includes Mooloolaba prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, oysters, Fraser Island spanner crab and local fish.
Don’t miss a drink at the top-deck Sunset Bar. Sip a wine or cocktail with salt and pepper calamari while admiring the sunset over Mount Tinbeerwah. Sundays feature live music from 4.30.
Hint: you can order fish and chips from the takeaway counter and eat them at a riverside picnic table.
Where: 194 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville.
3. Periwinkle Restaurant
A short drive away at Peregian Beach, Periwinkle serves seafood French Mediterranean style.
Situated in the delightful village square, you can feast on treats like Mooloolaba tuna salad, spanner crab linguine or daily fish market specials while the kids play on the green.
Where: 2/216 David Low Way, Peregian Beach. Open 7 days.
4. The Spirit House
This legendary restaurant is spoken about with awestruck tones. The Thai menu is designed for sharing, so it’s perfect for savouring flavours with friends.
Order individual courses – like Moreton Bay bug on betel leaf or whole crispy fish with chilli tamarind sauce – or from one of three banquet menus. For a perfectly-paired experience, their sommelier can recommend wines to complement each course.
The restaurant is set within tropical gardens around a pond, which is home to water dragons and native water rats, making it the only restaurant where you shouldn’t be alarmed to see a rodent.
Tip: bookings are essential.
Where: 20 Ninderry Rd, Yandina. Open every day for lunch. Dinner Wednesday to Saturday.
5. The Tamarind
Situated in Spicers Tamarind Retreat at Maleny, this restaurant proves you don’t have to be right on the coast to serve great seafood.
Awarded a Chef Hat in 2018, the menu from French-trained executive chef Dan Jarrett offers Asian cuisine highlighting local produce. Think whole crispy fried fish with chilli, tamarind and finger ginger, or southern style curry with Mooloolaba swordfish.
Where: 88 Obi Lane South, Maleny. Open to the public for lunch Friday to Sunday and dinner Wednesday to Sunday.
6. Pier 33
Formerly the yacht club, the tired building was reborn as a seafood restaurant In Hampton’s-meets-nautical style.
Situated beside the marina on the Mooloolah River, feel the stirrings of your inner mariner while noshing on seafood fresh off the trawlers.
The sharing menu features fresh oysters, scallops and fish, but it’s hard to go past the prawn and bug tagliatelle with Noosa Red tomato, chilli and garlic.
Where: 33-45 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba. Open Tuesday to Sunday.
7. Tides Waterfront
At the bottom of the coast, Tides Waterfront has 180-degree views from the ocean to the spectacular Glass House Mountains. The multi-award-winning restaurant (Tides won Caloundra’s first chef’s hat in 2015 and has held a 1-glass rating for its wine list for the past five years) has a menu accentuating local seafood.
For a home-grown flavour, there’s Mooloolaba snapper fillet or swordfish, or the selection plate of fresh local and Australian seafood.
Tip: Tides has oodles of gluten-free options.
Where: Corner Minchinton Street and Esplanade, Bulcock Beach, Caloundra. Open 7 days.
And if you’ve brought the family chef along to cook your seafood, try…
8. Seafood Market @ Caloundra
Head here for a range of fresh, local whole fish, fillets, oysters, prawns and crustaceans, including mouth-watering Moreton Bay bugs. They can make up a seafood platter on request, or have them cook up your selection and stroll to a waterside table at Bulcock Beach.
Where: 144 Bulcock Street, Caloundra. Open 7 days.
9. Mooloolaba Fish Market
The Sunny Coast’s largest seafood retailer, they offer local, wild caught seafood that would be leaping if it were any fresher. Get it cooked and eat it on the deck watching the boats on the Mooloolah River, or take it home.
Where: Lot 201 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba. Open 7 days.
If you need your seafood fix fast and fresh, check out this post on the Sunshine Coast’s best fish and chip shops.