The 5 Best Places to Eat Seafood on the Gold Coast
Queensland’s stretch of coast is home to some of the best quality seafood in the world. From Mooloolaba king prawns to Moreton Bay bugs, our waters are teeming with incredible produce, and it’s no secret that the best food is always sourced locally. This is what makes the Gold Coast such a foodie paradise.
From restaurants, trawlers, takeaway joints and seafood shacks, roll up your sleeves and join us for a taste of some of the freshest seafood you’re ever likely to eat. All sourced locally, and prepared with love on the Gold Coast:
Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads
The pan-Asian menu at Rick Shores is known to capitalise on seasonal availability, which means ultra-fresh, locally sourced produce and something different every time. If you’ve heard of Rick’s it’s probably thanks to their famous Moreton Bay Bug roll: Lightly battered bug served on a soft brioche-style bun with gem lettuce and sriracha hot sauce.
This is the signature dish that put Rick’s on the map, and as a seafood speciality restaurant, the location couldn’t be more perfect. Rick’s overlooks the wide stretch of white sand and rolling waves at the beautiful Burleigh Beach.
Head chef James Brady builds his menu around the finest and freshest seafood including king prawns, West Australian octopus, and freshly shucked oysters. If you look carefully you’ll also spot some choice ingredients that Brady himself has foraged. Wild garlic, wood sorrel, nasturtium leaves and sea purslane have all featured on the menu.
But the most important thing about Rick’s is that everything is designed to share. From the smallest appetiser to the coal-roasted meats, every dish is a shared experience with the rest of your table.
The Tropic, Burleigh Pavilion
The Tropic is yet another asset to the Gold Coast’s dining scene. Sitting right on the water at the northern end of Burleigh Pavilion, guests at the Tropic face a sweeping ocean view and are treated to a fully immersive audio-visual oceanic experience. The open plan kitchen merges the front and back of house, inviting diners behind the scenes and into the arena of head chef Guillaume Zika.
Showcasing the best and freshest seafood, Zika’s menu reads like a love letter to the sea. Starting with kingfish tartare, it’s just a quick jump to the white anchovies served simply with extra virgin and lemon. Move a little sideways for the salmon caviar on toast, and then it’s all out with local mud crab pasta and King prawns before you get to the most remarkable whole rainbow trout.
Theirs is a light touch, leaving the purest flavour of the catch speak for itself. It’s rare to see more than three extra ingredients alongside even this restaurant’s land proteins.
We couldn’t take you all around all the best places to eat on the Gold Coast in the name of quality seafood without stopping by Kiyomi.
With an expansive sushi bar that will awaken your palate, this izakaya is a portal to the tradition and modernity of dining in downtown Tokyo, served in the subtropics.
Fresh seafood is a pivotal component of authentic Japanese cuisine, so Kiyomi’s Broadbeach location is perfect for access to the local catch. Their oysters and sashimi are enhanced with the barest accompaniments to let the true flavour of the seafood shine through. Oysters can be served with chilli ponzu, tosazu (Japanese vinegar) or a citric yuzu granita, which is perfect for hot days in the subtropics. As for sashimi, Kiyomi offers kingfish, scampi and tuna tataki, but the slightly seared Hokkaido scallops with spanner crab, aomomo and sharp sudachi are a must order.
More substantial menu items include the lightly batttered tempura Moreton Bay bug with grapefruit salad, or the king crab with pink peppercorns when you want to dial up the heat. All you need are a few fresh cocktails from their bar to take the edge off.
Peter’s Fishmarket, Main Beach
From the outside, Peter’s Fish Market has the relaxed attitude of an old-school fishmonger and chippery. It’s a humble operation, but mighty all the same, earning it a reputation for offering some of the freshest seafood, and best fish and chips, on the Gold Coast.
Locals know to order a fresh catch, cooked perfectly, and served with a generous side of chips. Peter’s range of fresh seafood is truly expansive, giving diners the choice of snapper, octopus, coral trout, mud crab, ocean perch, king prawns, scallops, oysters, and lobsters to name a few.
Seascape, Surfers Paradise
With a stretching view of Surfers Paradise Beach, Seascape is the kind of place where time stands still.
The dining room is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass windows, making way for vast and sweeping ocean views, and the decor is warm and fresh with stone floors and natural wood panelling to enhance a polished earthen feel.
The overarching credo that drives Seascape is the pursuit of the freshest and most seasonal catches. No fewer than six fresh fish species are on offer daily, all sourced from Australian and New Zealand waters, as well as a menu of inventive dishes that will change the way you think about seafood.
Previous seasonal offerings have included lobster and swimmer crab lasagne, maple cured black kingfish, and a Moreton Bay bug bouillabaisse, while the beautifully flavourful Queensland prawns with Moreton Bay bugs is a regular on the main menu.
Get started with a drink at downstairs bar before heading upstairs to settle in for dinner.