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 right guide for you. Some of these restaurants 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 $1 or $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 (around Sydney Harbour), 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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Oysters: An Explainer

Vue de Monde

Probably the highest altitude you can consume fresh oysters in Melbourne.

Level 55, Rialto Building 525 Collins Street, Melbourne

Estelle

The oysters here are served with cherry and elderflower.

243 High Street, Northcote

Cumulus Inc.

The oysters at this all-day restaurant come from Moonlight Flat, one of Australia's best oyster purveyors.

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Cumulus Up Wine Bar

The bar has the same oyster selection as Cumulus Inc downstairs, but it's worth asking one of the experienced sommeliers to pair wines with your order. The results – and added dimension to flavour – will surprise you.

Level 1 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Kisumé

The oyster garnishes at this Japanese restaurant include shiso salsa and yuzu ponzu sauce (an umami-rich blend of soy and sake).

175 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Donovans

Here the oysters come garnished with Spanish onion and dill vinaigrette. Choose from Sydney Rock or Pacific.

40 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda

Supernormal

Simple: Pacific and Sydney Rock oysters, straight from the raw bar.

180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Galah

The modern Australiana theme here extends to the oysters, which come garnished with ingredients such as native mint, sunrise lime, karkalla, and saltbush. Wednesday is $1 oyster night.

216 High Street, Windsor

Miss Katie’s Crab Shack

Katie Marron's crab shack takes inspiration from southern American seafood cuisine. There's a great selection of oysters here, but the highlight is the "Southern fried oyster" which shouldn't work, but does.

325 Smith Street, Fitzroy

The Atlantic Restaurant and Oyster Bar

The oyster bar at the Atlantic takes inspiration from New York's famous Grand Central Oyster Bar. This is probably the most opulent way to eat oysters in Melbourne.

8 Whiteman Street, Crown Complex, Southbank

Neptune Food & Wine

It's quite rare for a wine bar's food offering to focus on seafood. Conventional wine wisdom would have it that white wine is the only wine you can drink with seafood. Not true – let the team at Neptune show you otherwise. And start off with some oysters.

212 High Street, Windsor

Iki Jimē

It's not surprising that Shannon Bennett's seafood-focused restaurant has a great selection of oysters.

430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Marion

It's not surprising that one of Melbourne's best wine bars does some of Melbourne's best bar food. If you don't feel like a full-blown meal though, few things accompany a glass of wine better than an oyster.

53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Longrain

Only one oyster here, but it's good: served with red chilli nahm jim (dipping sauce) and crispy shallots.

40-44 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Philippe

This French restaurant might have the best (and most generous) oyster happy hour in Melbourne. $2 oysters all day, Monday to Friday (and from 5pm on Saturdays).

115-117 Collins Street, Melbourne

Captain Baxter

There's just something better about eating seafood by the water. It doesn't get much closer than this.

10/18 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda

Rockpool Bar & Grill

With all the steak on the menu – and in paintings and swinging around in meat cabinets – it's easy to forget that Rockpool is just as much a seafood restaurant as it is a steakhouse.

8 Whiteman Street, Crown Complex, Southbank

Nobu

A word of warning to your wallet: the (excellent) oysters here only come by the half-dozen.

Crown Riverwalk, Crown Melbourne 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
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