Eating Sushi for Brekkie at the Sydney Fish Market

sydney opera house

Sydney is renowned for its sensational breakfasts, or “brekkie” as the locals say. From its sublime coffee culture to its hearty omelets and mouthwatering pastries, brekkie in Sydney is not only legendary but a way of life. However, my AirBnB host made an unusual recommendation that made me halt at the thought of the Sydney breakfast culture: go to the Sydney Fish Market and get sushi for brekkie.

Sushi for breakfast? What was this kid smoking?

He put his hands up once he saw the quizzical looks on mine and Leon’s faces. “Trust me, give it a chance. It’ll be one of the best things you’ve ever eaten. I’ve been to Japan, and this sushi is even better.”

I’ve never been to Japan, so I really can’t offer an opinion on the difference in sushi quality.

But damn…sushi for brekkie in Sydney was one of the best recommendations we received during our entire trip.

Get To the Sydney Fish Market Early

The Sydney Fish Market opens its doors at 7:00 am every day except on Christmas.

Like any marketplace, arriving early ensures that you’ll have less crowds and get the freshest catch of the day. Leon and I arrived before 9:00 am, and the market was swarming with visitors by 10:00 am. Tour buses pulled into the parking lot with groups of people from all over the world itching to taste Sydney’s fresh catch of the day. Since we’d arrived early, Leon and I strolled leisurely through the stalls as we scoped out the seafood. 

scallops at sydney fish market
Scallops on a bed of rice with spicy mayo and tobiko. Mmmmm….

This is the #1 reason why I recommend visiting the Sydney Fish Market early: each stall can offer different prices depending on their location. The ones closest to the entrance were more expensive; the ones in the middle and surrounded by competition offered better prices. Some also offer better deals: one of the vendors we visited next to the entrance was selling delicious, intricate looking sushi. Scallops plucked from the Pacific Ocean laid on top of a bed of rice, spicy mayo drizzled on top, with tobiko sprinkled on top. My eyes bugged out of my head…

…until I saw that they were $3.50 AUD/piece.

Yikes. I wasn’t going to feel very satisfied eating one piece of sushi for breakfast. Leon and I splurged for something a tad cheaper, though equally delicious. We savored the explosion of flavors on our tastebuds before making our way through the rest of the market.

After taking our time ambling through all of the stalls, we settled on one vendor towards the center of the marketplace. Happy as clams, we devoured our meals, which included some of the freshest tuna and salmon in the world.

tuna at sydney fish market
Grab the tuna while you can! It melts in your mouth.

Reason #2 for visiting the Sydney Fish Market early: it guarantees that you’ll taste the freshest fish of the day. Deliveries are usually finished before opening hours. Most of the best quality fish are gone early since restaurant owners buy them up to prep for their menus. When you show up at the same time, you’ll get fish that is just as fresh as the ones sold to a restaurateur.

shellfish at sydney fish market

I Should Mention the Rock Oysters

Sydney is known for offering some of the best seafood in the world. However, I’d be foolish if I forgot to mention the Rock Oysters. Oh yes, these babies will wake up your tastebuds.

rocky oysters at sydney fish market
Rocky Oysters came a little cheaper at Claudios, just across from the main marketplace.

The only problem, like the rest of Sydney, is that they were pretty expensive. We kept walking through the main marketplace, and couldn’t justify spending $20-$30 AUD on a dozen oysters. Like I said, Sydney is expensive.

Our AirBnB host had mentioned checking out the small shop just across from the main marketplace: Claudios. To our delight, we found slightly cheaper prices. We ended up paying $8 AUD for half a dozen Rock Oysters. Since we were there at the end of the season, we knew we were in for a special treat. The oysters were at their prime. Sprinkled with lemon, we felt them slide over our tongue and explode on our tastebuds. Yuuuuummm…

Make Time for a Unique Dining Experience

I don’t usually travel for the food. I tend to stick to a budget, which means I often overlook trending restaurants and hang around friendly bodegas or rely on grocery stores to get me through each trip. Don’t knock it till you try it: I’ve had some of my best foodie experiences while eating street food. Just be safe and research reviews of each place you’re visiting. I’ve found Yelp to be extremely helpful when deciding on local dining experiences.

However, I always set aside time and budget for one good meal whenever I visit someplace new. After all, it’s important to try the local cuisine if you want to fully experience the culture. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s totally worth it if you want a unique experience and some of the best sushi in the world. Sydney blew me away, but the Sydney Fish Market left me craving for more.

pelicans begging for food at sydney fish market
Please sir, we want some more.

 

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