Top Spots for Christmas Day Prawns and Fresh Seafood Brisbane
Christmas in Brisbane… it’s all about fresh seafood, cold beer & wine and cold salads. At best it’s a barbecue – so where do you get the “shrimp to throw on the barbie”? Here’s our top tips for getting your Christmas Day prawns and other fresh seafood in Brisbane.
Please note – all information was accurate at time of writing. We would advise calling ahead or investigating online to avoid disappointment.
So will there be a shortage of prawns this Christmas?
The short answer is … probably! There always is!
It is probably best to get your orders in now… or consider buying now and freezing it for December 25th.
Tips for getting the best fresh seafood in Brisbane this Christmas
Not all seafood shopping is created equally! Luckily, being in Brisbane we usually have access to amazing fresh, wild caught seafood.
- Take your Esky. You could be in line to pay for a while.
- Order ahead where possible.
- Know exactly what you want and make a bee line for the stuff that sells out first (crabs, oysters kilpatrick etc).
- Take a bottle of water.
- Take cash, often retailers put on a second “cash only line” when things get busy.
- Don’t forget sauces, lemons and dressings.
- If you’re using dry ice to keep seafood chilled, do not place it in your refrigerator as it fills the fridge cavity with carbon dioxide (VERY IMPORTANT ADVICE).
- Avoid taking the kids (if you can, obviously!).
- Don’t forget to lock your car. It’s peak time of year for car break and enters and Christmas Eve, when they know you’re in a queue is a perfect time for criminals to prey on your car.
- Choose fish with clear, raised eyes – as fish gets older, the eyes sink and become cloudy.
- If buying whole fish, be sure to ask them to scale and gut before you leave! It’s a gross job. Most seafood stores do it for you for free.
- Wild caught prawns have “chuckier” digestive tracts (that bit you pull out before you bite in). Farmed seafood is sprayed with ice water while still alive, which causes them to rapidly empty their digestive system. That’s the best way to tell if your seafood is wild caught or farmed!
Fresh seafood on Brisbane’s northside (and Moreton)
Redcliffe Peninsula – Morgans Seafood, Scarborough
Redcliffe is the mecca for fresh seafood in North Brisbane. The time honoured Christmas Eve tradition of lining up with your esky outside Morgan’s still lives on. Morgan’s tends to be at the high end of the list as far as pricing goes (not the highest but definitely not the cheapest) but they do have a wide variety of very fresh seafood – including crabs. You can order online at the Morgans website from December 1 to avoid disappointment.
Order Collection Times: Christmas Eve, 6am – 5:30pm
Ordering Instructions: There is a minimum spend of $120 and a non-refundable $50 deposit is required. Pick up is at Morgan’s Depot, Cnr of Bird of Paradise and Thurecht parades in Scarborough. Don’t forget your esky! Note that they charge a packing fee and your spend will depend on daily market prices (Christmas Eve prices). Again, Morgan’s is NOT the cheap option!
Moreton and Beyond Seafoods
Moreton and Beyond Seafoods are an established family owned retail seafood van operating on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30am. They always have the freshest possible seafood and can get any seafood that your heart desires, even out of the ordinary. They are guaranteeing that they will not hike their prices for Christmas! Located at 605 Old Gympie Rd, Narangba you can call them on 0438 326 123. They are CLOSED Christmas Day but taking orders for Christmas Eve.
Image courtesy of Grain and Crop Images
If you’re native to the Sandgate/Shorncliffe area you’ll have your own Christmas tradition… getting up at 4am on Christmas Eve to watch the trawlers come in with swags of seafood so fresh that it’s practically still swimming. The trawlers are an excellent place to grab yourself some bay prawns, king prawns and bugs for Christmas Day.
With all UBER fresh seafood though, it’s whatever was caught that night, so don’t bank on sandcrabs or mudcrabs. Many of the fishermen do have crab pots out but Bramble Bay is suffering a massive decline in crab numbers so there’s no guarantee.
Open: Dawn Christmas Eve, Sinbad Street Shorncliffe. (The inlet of Cabbage Tree Creek) While some fishermen take EFTPOS, most don’t so it’s a good idea to bring cash.
Ordering Instructions: Most of the trawlers have a mobile number on their wharf. Simply call the mobile number and check with individual fishermen what the ordering deals are.
After the closing of Sandgate Co-op, lots of the trawler owners set up their own Fishos (seafood vans open at specific times and days only). The best fishos on Brisbane’s North side include Matilda Mango Hill, 1977 Anzac Ave Mango Hill. Opening hours depend on seafood available.
Seafood shops North Brisbane
Trawler Fresh Seafoods Virginia
You may know this place for their incredible fish and chips (OMG and their amazing prawn cutlets) but they also do fresh seafood. All their seafood is guaranteed to be sourced from Australia and NZ. They don’t do frozen shellfish so you won’t be guaranteed crabs on Christmas Day but they generally take pre-orders on fresh local prawns and bugs (and you can put some crabs on the wish list).
Open: Traditionally, Christmas Eve from approximately 6am until sold out (usually around 3pm or 4pm) or 6pm if you’re lucky!
Ordering Instructions: Order soon, deposit required. Phone 3266 9193. You can find them on Facebook here.
Samies Seafood Hamilton (there’s also one at Calamvale)
Samies (formerly Sam’s Seafoods) at Hamilton is priced right at the high end of the fresh seafood market in Brisbane. Hold on tight! The store is at 33 Remora Road, Hamilton. Bring your esky!
Ordering Instructions: There are some pre-made box sets or you can head into the store to make your own selection but get in quick. The shop shuts 6pm Christmas Eve.
Rufus King Seafoods
Located at 243 Waterworks Road Ashgrove, they offer king prawns (cooked and green headless), bugs, sand crabs, mud crabs, shell oysters, bottled oysters, sea mullet, summer whiting, tailor, school and Spanish mackerel, bream, snapper and flathead. They specialise in quality local North Stradbroke Island seafood, however they do also source market products such as fish, squid, mussels and scallops.
Open: They have their Ashgrove store, and their Amity Point (near Straddie) Store open on Christmas Eve from early until sold out. They also have mobile vans. Follow them on Facebook to get the details as soon as they are released.
Ordering Instructions: They take pre-orders so get in quick to save queuing! Orders will be taken up to the 21st of December and home deliveries cease on the 13th of December. The shop is open on Christmas Eve but closed on Christmas Day. Check here for more information.
Aussie Seafood House Lawnton
Affordable fresh seafood – this is the go to place for Christmas prawns and seafood for a lot of northsiders. The crazy morning queues are all about crabs and specialised seafood. Keep them in the coldest part of your fridge and they’ll be beautiful and fresh for Christmas lunch. Call ahead as early as you can to confirm what they will have in stock this year. 690 Gympie Road, Lawnton.
Open: Christmas Eve 6am – 6pm (they advise that the best times to come are after 2pm or after 4pm), EFTPOS available. Check here for more information.
Ordering Instructions: They do not take pre-orders as they have a very large supply of seafood.
Where to get fresh seafood on Brisbane’s southside (and Redlands)
Fish Factory Morningside
This is the go to place for fresh seafood on the southside of Brisbane. Located at 355 Lytton Rd Morningside, previously they’ve claimed to be the only Brisbane fresh seafood store NOT to run out of sandcrabs on Christmas Eve!
Opening Hours: Check the website for information. The market is open from midnight on the 23rd until 4pm on the 24th. Our advice? Get your booking in EARLY.
Aussie Seafood House Capalaba & Durack
Image courtesy of SMH.com.au
Like its northside counterpart, Aussie Seafood House at 3230 Old Cleveland Road in Capalaba & Aussie Seafood House Drack at 4A Inala Ave, Durack are favourites for affordable fresh seafood. Plenty of fresh prawns, plenty of oysters, plenty of everything this Christmas. They recommend coming in a few days before Christmas if you specifically want crabs for Christmas Day. Keep them in the coldest part of your fridge and they’ll be beautiful and fresh for Christmas lunch.
Open: Christmas Eve 6am – 6pm, EFTPOS available. More information can be found here.
Ordering Instructions: They do not take pre-orders as they have a very large supply of seafood.
Marine World Seafood Cafe
Located at 19/1029 Manly Road Tingalpa, this is at the affordable end of the spectrum of fresh seafood near Brisbane. They offer prawns, oysters, barramundi, parrot fish, snapper and much more. If you have something specific, they suggest calling ahead to ensure they will have it.
Open Hours: They encourage early morning Christmas Eve shopping. There will not be huge lines but it’s a big day. They close once seafood has run out or at closing time. Whatever happens first so arrive early if you can! Marine World Seafood Cafe are open on Christmas Even from 6:30am – 8:00pm.
Ordering Instructions: Pre-orders are available but not explicitly encouraged. For “very” local people who can leave a deposit, pre-ordering and delivery will be on a “case by case” basis.
Where to get fresh Christmas seafood west of Brisbane (and Ipswich)
Downs Street Fresh Seafood
Located at 86 Downs Street in North Ipswich and offering 138 varieties of seafood, you’ll likely be able to get yourself crabs and whatever else you fancy this Christmas. You can also get your hams and other meat there. Keep in mind this is the biggest seafood supplier in the area so you’ll likely have to queue. In the past they’ve had security guards to manage traffic and parking.
It’s a family business with affordable seafood and is a bit of a legendary place for locals. These guys pre-book with fresh seafood suppliers six months in advance to make sure that they’ve got plenty of stock and also do seafood salads and side orders too. They’ll order in specifically if you’ve got something in mind. They also specialise in kina and other NZ favourites if you’ve got a kiwi at the table this year.
Open: Christmas Eve they will be open until 5pm. You can phone them on 3281 4423.
Pre-order: Check with the store for further details. Big orders require a deposit.
Rocklea Fresh Seafood
Located at 385 Sherwood rd, this is a smaller seafood outlet promising a good range of fresh basics for families this Christmas.
Opening Hours: You can phone ahead to check on 3379 8470.
Pre-orders: Christmas Eve pre-orders are open soon and they are taking orders for both sand crabs and mud crabs.
Brisbane Produce Markets
There’s nothing better than buying seafood at a fish market! While Brisbane’s fresh seafood markets can’t rival the mega markets seen in Asia, Brisbane Produce Markets are still a popular choice for lots of Brisbane and Ipswich residents. The famed Brisbane Produce Markets at Sherwood Road, Rocklea will of course have tonnes of Christmas seafood and everything else.
Brisbane Fresh Markets are open 6am to midday Saturdays so if you’d like to pre-order from a vendor there, it’s best to head down and make arrangements with individual sellers. You’ll be spoiled for choice! Saturday is all about fresh food, Sunday it’s the hub on the west side for gifts and lovely bits and bobs for Christmas!