Where to find the best seafood in Southland

Southland and seafood are synonymous with one another. Blue cod can be found on nearly every menu here. However, not every fish fry was created equal.

A hand reaching for a seafood platter at Oyster Cove in Southland.
A man scooping out an oyster at Oyster Cove in Southland.

Here are four Southland restaurants that serve up some of the very best catches day in and day out, and two of them are even perched above the very ecosystem that supports seafood centric menus.

A waiter holding a platter of seafood at Oyster Cove in Southland.

Oyster Cove

8 Ward Parade, Bluff

Oyster Cove’s seafood platter is downright impressive. It includes mussels, salt n pepper squid, battered blue cod, house smoked salmon, poached prawns, oysters, tartare, lemon and salads, the perfect balance of fresh and fried seafood. Dive into this feast while enjoying sweeping views of Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island and beyond from the restaurant’s giant picture window.

Close up of a plate of food.

Louies Café & Tapas Bar

142 Dee Street, Invercargill

Seafood dishes at Louie’s are always a celebration of fresh, local flavour. Blue cod comes in a light, perfectly salted pinot gris, caper and lemon cream sauce on a bed of roast potatoes and spinach. Pickled ginger, fresh coriander and micro greens add colour and an interesting bite. Stewart Island salmon is served atop beetroot quinoa with spring greens, edamame, fennel, radish, orange, toasted almonds and citrus vinaigrette. Bright and zingy on the tongue and to the eye. Louie’s seafood offerings and their accoutrements change with the seasons, but no matter the month you’re in for a treat.

Close up of a Fat Bastard pie.

Fat Bastard Pies

158 Tay Street, Invercargill

Fat Bastard pies are honestly made, extremely moreish and likely to bring out your inner Fat Bastard in the best kind of way. The top selling flavour, The Big Nude Seafood, is filled with a homemade chowder mixture of fresh fish, mussels and prawns. It’s got the stick-to-your-insides kind of bite that makes a good meat pie but with fresh, briny seaside flavours. If you love pies and you love seafood, this is the perfect choice for you.

Close up of fish chowder on a table.

Beachhouse Restaurant

126 Rocks Highway, Riverton/Aparima

Seafood chowder, it’s comforting, warming and delicious. But there are far too many chowders out there that are over creamed or are made with less than fresh components. Head to The Beachhouse for one of the best bowls of seafood chowder you’re likely to find this side of the equator. It’s light, delicately creamy and chock-full of squid, shrimp, mussels, octopus and blue cod, all caught just offshore from this beachside haven and restaurant. Onion, some buttermilk and slices of homemade sourdough bring the bowl together. This chowder keeps people coming back and for good reason.