Where to find the best fish and chips on the Gold Coast
One of the earliest examples of culinary fusion, fish and chips have come a long way to be eaten on our golden shores. The concept of a fish and chip shop originated in Britain thanks to the abundance of seafood along the coast of the Isles.
It makes sense that, with access to some of the best seafood suppliers and trawlers in the state, the Gold Coast would also become an epicentre of fish and chips for south-east Queenslanders. The main areas to cover are north, south, and central Gold Coast, as well as Burleigh Heads, which has such a solid array of fish and chip shops it gets its own category.
No matter where you are in the Gold Coast, quality fish and chips are never far away. Here’s where to find them:
Northern Gold Coast
Charis Seafood, Labrador
On the other side of the Broadwater is Charis Seafood, renowned for offering ocean fresh seafood straight from the trawler.
Serving up the largest supply of fresh seafood on the Gold Coast, the ever-busy Charis is where you’ll find everything from fresh crays, crabs, oysters and prawns to mussels, clams, squid, octopus and even Moreton Bay bugs. And fish, of course. Make your selection and Charis will cook it up for you with a side of chips to enjoy in the park.
Local’s tip: Located on the edge of Harley Park, Charis Seafood is the perfect location for a seafood picnic. If you’re lunching at 1:30pm, you’ll get to see the staff at Charis feed the pelicans.
Peter’s Fish Market, Main Beach
Situated on its own private road, near the trawlers docked on Main Beach, Peter’s Fish Market has been a local staple for going on 14 years. Brimming with fresh local seafood, from snapper fillets to king prawns, Peter’s fish and chips are cooked to order using the best local catches.
Local’s tip: Grab a bag of prawns to compliment your fish and chips before heading to either the Broadwater or a little further down SeaWorld Drive to The Spit to tuck in with water views.
Central Gold Coast
Wild Fish and Chips, Broadbeach
A fresh, healthful approach to fish and chips has swept along the coast in recent years, spearheaded by restaurants like Wild Fish and Chips in Broadbeach. Armed with knowledge passed down from a whopping five generations of fishmongers, these guys are experts in serving nourishing, fuss-free seafood that’s packed with flavour. The days of fish and chips as a guilty pleasure are long gone.
Local’s tip: Play to their strengths and order a lifestyle pack (freshly cooked fish and either chips or brown rice and salad), or some super fresh fish tacos for a neat twist on a classic.
The Fish Emporium, Surfers Paradise (Isle of Capri)
Far from classic takeaway, The Fish Emporium in Surfers Paradise is the definition of a modern seafood restaurant. Just a short way from the main bustle of Broadbeach and Surfers, this addition to Gold Coast dining represents a collaboration between fishmongers and fine dining hospitality. This means they offer a spectrum of fresh seafood, from classic fillets from the daily catch, to freshly shucked oysters and cut-to-order sashimi. Dine-ins can even complement their meal with a bottle of something special after a chat with the sommelier. Of course, if you’re chasing a more casual experience, The Fish Emporium also offers a menu of chippy classics to take away.
Local’s tip: One of the major draws of the dining experience is The Fish Emporium’s location on the waterfront. What you might not know is that they’re so close to the canals at Capri, you can arrive at the restaurant by boat.
Looking out over the water, this palatial beachside bar provides a relaxed, contemporary backdrop to enjoy sundown drinks before waterfront views. This atmosphere is what makes Burleigh Pavilion such a hotspot for locals looking to catch up with mates as the fresh, white umbrellas on their terrace conjure vibes of a European summer.
Though not a designated fish and chippery, the Pavilion’s contribution to the Gold Coast’s fish and chips should not be overlooked. Their beer-battered fish and chips is a simple but perfectly executed classic. Their dine-in menu also includes fresh oysters, prawns, salt and pepper squid, and even a beer-battered fish burger if you wanted to round out the seafood feast.
Local’s tip: Burleigh Pavilion is perfect for group catch-ups, so head to The Tropic bar next door for craft beers and signature cocktails to keep the party going past sundown.
Red Hot Cod
If you chat to Gold Coast locals about the best fish and chips, Red Hot Cod will continually pop up in conversation. The vibe is old-school, but the food is thoroughly modern, with light crispy seafood and vibrant sides. Whether you go for nourishing superfood bowls, wok-fried satay chicken, or a classic fillet with chips, you can’t go wrong at Red Hot Cod.
Local’s tip: Go for the takeaway option and head up to Burleigh Hill, overlooking the beach, and dig into the fresh cooked catch with the Surfers Paradise skyline in the distance.
If a restaurant has been serving the same meal since 1948, there’s a pretty good chance they know what they’re doing. That’s exactly what you get at the Burleigh Heads Fishmongers.
Their specialty is the fresh snapper, lightly crumbed and served with a generous portion of chunky chips. Chuck in a few potato scallops for good measure and you’ve got the perfect post-swim meal.
Local’s tip: The adjoining fruit shop is a Burleigh institution famous for their fresh juices stacked with fresh fruit pieces that just so happen to be the perfect drink to wash down a fisherman’s basket.
Southern Gold Coast
Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club
Better known as simply “Vikings”, the Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club has always been a looker, with an unspoiled vista across the Coral Sea or down the sandy straight of the Gold Coast coastline.
With such an ideal location, the true test is whether they can deliver a menu to complement that view. Naturally, Vikings nails it every time with their overflowing seafood platter that provides a perfect tasting tour of local seafood featuring oysters, prawns, mussels, seasonal crustacea, flathead, crumbed prawns and calamari.
If a platter isn’t what you’re after, they also do a classic beer-battered flathead with chips for the traditionalists.
Local’s tip: come by on Monday or Wednesday nights and get the classic flathead and chips for just $15.
Captain Hook’s Seafood, Tugun
Ask any local in Tugun where to find the best fish and chips on the Gold Coast and they won’t even hesitate before pointing you in the direction of Captain Hook’s.
Located on Golden Four Drive, Hook’s unassuming shopfront masks a mariner’s trove. Expect generous servings (at reasonable prices) of everything from fresh prawns, oysters, and Moreton Bay Bugs, to heartier classics like calamari and crumbed whiting and, of course, perfectly crisp and golden chips.
Local’s tip: Pack a picnic blanket and umbrella and tuck into takeaway on the sands of Tugun Beach nearby.