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 2023?
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 25.
Tips for getting the best fresh seafood in Brisbane this Christmas 2023
Not all seafood shopping is created equally! Luckily, being in Brisbane we usually have access to amazing fresh, wild caught seafood at Christmas time!
- 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!
- So will there be a shortage of prawns this Christmas 2023?
- Tips for getting the best fresh seafood in Brisbane this Christmas 2023
- Fresh seafood in the Moreton Bay area
- Sandgate and Shorncliffe area
- Seafood shops North Brisbane
- Where to get fresh seafood on Brisbane’s southside (and Redlands)
Fresh seafood in the Moreton Bay area
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 now until Friday 22 December (at noon) to avoid disappointment.
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!
Order Collection Times: Christmas Eve, 7am – 4pm
Sandgate and Shorncliffe area
Shorncliffe is known for its seafood, especially at Christmas time. Jump in any local Facebook group and the local trawlers always get a good wrap.
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.
Saying that, all crews will post Christmas availability if taking orders in the first week of December.
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. Del Maree Trawler is a firm favourite at our house but Lucinda Bay Seafoods is also well respected in the local area.
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
Did you know that you can contact your local Woolworths and pre-order your Christmas seafood? You can pick it up when you drop in for your last-minute groceries before Christmas – so simple!
Open: Check your local Woolworths for opening hours
Ordering Instructions: Order soon in person or call your local Woolworths
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. You can pre-order your Christmas seafood online and pick up between 22-24 December. 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 (on Straddie) store open on Christmas Eve from 7am until sold out. They also have mobile vans at Cleveland on Christmas Eve. 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! Home deliveries cease on the 16th of December; however you can still collect in store after this date. The shop is open on Christmas Eve but closed on Christmas Day. Check here for more information.
Aussie Seafood House Strathpine
Affordable fresh seafood – this is the go-to place for Christmas prawns and seafood for a lot of Brisbane families The long 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.
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.
Princess Charlotte Seafood
Princess Charlotte Seafood aim to provide Australian and New Zealand sourced seafood of the highest quality. This includes a variety of fish, prawns, oysters, mussels, bugs and so much more! Perfect for a Christmas Day seafood feast. The located in the Brisbane region at multiple markets throughout the week including Brisbane CBD, Enoggera, New Farm and Hendra. You can also pick up seafood from their factory Unit 5/53 Northlink Place, Virginia QLD 4014.
Opening Hours: Call ahead for Christmas Eve opening hours for Factory. Markets will be operating usual hours on lead up to Christmas. Find out exact times on their website.
Ordering Instructions: Online orders for Christmas are open now. Orders close 5pm Monday 18 December. Pre-orders can be lodged for pick up at the factory or you can walk into any one of their trading locations for your Christmas fare.
Clayfield Seafood Markets
Clayfield Seafood Markets serve some of Australia’s Best Fish & Chips, Burgers and Fresh Seafood. They receive FRESH deliveries direct from Australian Fisherman 6 days a week with everything filleted fresh onsite or made from scratch by our qualified Chef’s to ensure the best restaurant quality seafood. For Christmas you can either choose from their product list or buy a seafood pack. They are located in Clayfield and Coorparoo (Delivery and Pick up) and Sandgate (Delivery only). Find their exact locations on their website.
Opening Hours: 6am-4:30pm on Sunday 24 December. More opening hours on their website.
Ordering Instructions: Last orders for pre-ordered seafood will be accepted on COB Wednesday 20 December so order NOW!
Reef Gasworks Seafood & Sushi
Reef Gasworks Seafood invites Australians to infuse their Christmas festivities with the finest ocean delights. The Christmas seafood offerings boast a variety of crowd-pleasers, including the Seafood Box packed with prawns, oysters, and caviar, as well as delectable scallops, mussels, bugs, crabs, and lobsters. The selection extends to whole fish, sashimi, and gourmet products for those seeking a culinary adventure. To secure one’s preferences for the holiday feast, customers are encouraged to place their orders online well in advance. With Reef Gasworks Seafood, this Christmas promises to be a celebration of the sea’s bounty, ensuring a memorable and flavorful holiday for all.
Pick up instructions: Pick up on Saturday 23 December between 8am – 6pm, or choose one of two slots on Christmas Eve – 6am – 12 noon or 12 noon – 4pm.
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. 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! Find out exact opening times on their website – Marine World Seafood Cafe.
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.
Remember if you’ve got a hot tip for the best places to get fresh seafood in Brisbane for Christmas, please share below!