After a day of salt and sun on the Coffs Coast, there’s nothing better than crackling batter, locally-sourced fish and a fistful of chippies – don’t forget the chicken salt.
From fresh king prawns to tempura batter and tantalising tacos, our local fish shops are taking the humble meal of fish and chips to the next level.
We’ve rounded up our favourites and paired them with luscious picnic spots – with a list like this, it’s impossible to resist a paper-wrapped picnic with a view.
The FishermEn’s Co-Op at Coffs Harbour Marina
A Coffs Harbour icon, “The Co-Op” has been a go-to for fresh seafood since the early 1950s. It’s owned by a collective of over 70 local fishermen – from longliners to trawlers and trappers – whose freshly-caught fish is delivered straight from the boat to you.
Pick it up fresh to take home or have it cooked to perfection on the spot for an affordable price. Popular picks include mouthwatering salmon, snapper, and of course their epic fresh prawn packs.
Recommended picnic spot – take your pick!
Start with a walk along the marina boardwalk to check out the bevy of boats and underwater creatures before looping back to the Co-Op via the North Wall – you might even spot the resident marina dolphin!
White Salt on Beach Street IN Woolgoolga
A Beach Street favourite, White Salt’s menu is bursting with flavour. Owner Michael is passionate about elevating the fish and chip experience – as well the classics you’ll find tempura batter, gourmet specials and a revolving list of fresh fish options that change as the ocean does.
There’s no denying their fish tacos have a cult-following – they sell a few hundred of them each service in the summer months. Perfect to pair with a sweet potato scallop – just try and say no!
Recommended picnic spot – Woolgoolga Beach Reserve and rockhopping
After lunch, take a stroll along the shore, rockhopping your way around the headland to spot some whales.
Village Takeaway on First Avenue IN Sawtell
With a retro vibe that’s reminiscent of a 50s seaside diner, Village Takeaway is the perfect spot to stop if you’re craving the classics. Think milkshakes, fresh fish and chips, the ever-popular gourmet burgers – and don’t forget your ice cream with a dollop of Nutella!
“Village” truly is the perfect name for this bustling business – the staff always have a smile ready, locals stop by to chat with owner Duncan, and regulars race in to pick up the latest special before it’s gone. It’s everything we love about Sawtell, wrapped up in one little shop.
Recommended picnic spot – relax under the iconic Sawtell fig trees then stroll to Bonville Headland
There’s no doubt Sawtell main street has something special about it – locals waving to each other from across the street, the smell of popcorn wafting from the theatre and plenty of shade from the famous fig trees.
Seasalt fishmongers and fish and chips in Toormina
Seasalt is not your standard fish and chip shop – it’s fine seafood dining in a paper box. Chef Cookie is passionate about sourcing the best ingredients and has a group of 10 fishermen – hand-selected for their commitment to sustainable practices and the quality of their catches – to supply the shop.
As well as take-home seafood like Balmain bugs and oysters, there’s cooked specials you won’t find anywhere else. Think miso-glazed salmon, prawn and whiting ‘spring rolls’ and ‘fisholles’. There’s also loads of local produce like kimchi and chutney up for grabs.
Recommended picnic spot – picnic at Boambee Creek Reserve, then float down the tidal river
Boambee Creek Reserve has plenty of room for the whole family – spread the blanket on the grass by the river, play a game of cricket and float downriver with the tide. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a train roaring over the bridge!