Best Oysters in Melbourne

Updated 10 months ago


No one sits on the fence when it comes to oysters: either you can’t get enough of them or you wouldn’t eat them if you were stranded on a desert island with nothing else to eat.

Broadsheet is on team can’t-get-enough. If you are too, this is the guide for you. Some of these spots have views of the ocean that you can enjoy as you slurp down oysters by the half-dozen or more (just don’t forget to chew – it’s a myth that you should swallow them whole). Other places serve them up with garnishes designed to be paired with wine. A lot of these restaurants are budget-friendly, serving great oysters for around $2 a pop. That’s helping to dispel the idea that oysters are a special-occasion-only food that must be consumed with lots of champagne.

Victoria isn’t renowned for its oysters (our one native variety, the Angasi, was only reintroduced to Port Phillip in 2017). The best oysters in Australia grow in New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania. But thanks to Melbourne’s proximity to those three states, these restaurants have no trouble sourcing fresh oysters every day.

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  • The name says it all. Come to this swish, nautical-themed cocktail bar for oysters served at least eight ways, and Martinis with spherified olives in tiny oyster shells, among other creative cocktails.

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  • In the same way as its sibling Pinchy’s is all about champagne and lobster, this swish bar champions another age-old pairing – with oyster degustations and around 500 Burgundy wines to choose from. Find it hidden in a low-key CBD arcade.

  • If you’ve no luck squeezing in at Pearl Chablis & Oyster Bar, make this playful rooftop diner your next port of call. It’s all about lobsters and champagne, but you’d be remiss not to order some sweet Sydney rock oysters. Pinchy's favours a variety from Wapengo Lake in NSW.

  • The oyster bar at the Atlantic takes inspiration from New York's famous Grand Central Oyster Bar. If you've got cash to splash, this is probably the most opulent way to eat oysters in Melbourne.

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  • Hemingway’s does wallet-friendly oysters and bubbles Tuesday to Thursday, so there’s no excuse not to shuck. Molluscs are $2 each, and there’s a choice of champagne, prosecco or sparkling sake to go with them. From 5.30pm–6.30pm.

  • The oysters at Andrew McConnell’s standard-setting diner come from two of Australia’s finest growing regions. Expect plump Pacific oysters from Coffin Bay, SA, and the smaller and sweeter Sydney rock variety from Merimbula, NSW.

  • It's not surprising one of Melbourne's best wine bars does some of the city’s best bar food. If you don't feel like a full meal, few things accompany a glass of wine better than an oyster. They come by the half-dozen here, served natural with mignonette.

  • Conventional wine wisdom would have it that white wine is the only wine you should drink with seafood. Not true – let the team at this Med-inspired wine bar show you otherwise. And be sure to kick off your meal with some oysters.

  • Oysters by the sea is one of life’s great pairings, and there’s no finer place to turn on your bivalve than this St Kilda icon. It works extensively with top-tier seafood, and the premium oyster service is a must.

  • There’s so much seafood woven throughout the menu at Supernormal, it can be hard to know where to start. But when it comes to oysters, the choice is simple: Pacific or Sydney rock, straight from the raw bar.

  • Walk-ins are always welcome at Vue De Monde’s adjoining cocktail bar, which means you don’t have to pay high-end degustation prices to experience the sparkling city view. Or the oysters – they’re spiked with a lemon myrtle vinaigrette.

  • Kisumé is widely regarded as one of the finest sushi experiences in Melbourne. But lesser known is its dedicated wine bar, where you can sip from Australia’s largest collection of chablis, the king of chardonnays. Oysters here, please.