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Sydney Fish Market Pyrmont

118 Sydney Fish Market Pyrmont Stepping into the Sydney Fish Market may come as a shock for first time visitors. The idea of a fish market probably conjures up images of a loud, smelly, fish-fuelled frenzy with shouting spruikers and hundreds of shoppers all fighting for fresh sashimi. This is not the case at all. Indeed, the fish markets are an extremely civilised shopping and dining experience. There are plenty of seats and plenty of dining options, including a restaurant, and several take-away shops. For the less aquatically inclined, the fish market also has a deli, greengrocer and even, surprisingly, a butcher.

“We love to come to the fish markets for lunch,” say John and Mavis Browne, long time Pyrmont residents and retirees. “It’s a day out in itself.” Not just a place for locals to shop and dine, the fish market is also a major tourist attraction; it even offers early morning tours. “Tours are conducted by a trained SFM tour guide and go behind-the-scenes to explore all facets of the Market and its operations, including the auction floor, sashimi pavilion and crab and lobster pen,” a Sydney Fish Market representative explains. On top of all this, there is the Sydney Seafood School, a culinary hotbed for amateurs and aspiring chefs. The Seafood School offers daily classes and guest lectures from several of Sydney’s prominent chefs. “I learn a lot from this place,” one student commented, “it’s so useful being taught something and then having the ingredients right beneath your feet.”

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“Most of the staff have been working here for quite a few years, and quite a few have grownup in the markets,” says one of the managers of De Costi seafood. “It’s almost like a family trade. So in that respect, everyone knows everyone’s business, not just on a working level, but also on a personal basis. It’s quite a close knit community” This feeling is tangible throughout the Fish Markets. Even on the auction floor (where silent, high tech Dutch bidding systems were introduced long ago), you can hear the bubbling sound of amicable banter.

Many agree that over the past few years, the face of the Sydney Fish Market has been changing. “It’s certainly become more touristy,” a shop keeper informs me. “Yes,” another agrees “it used to be a working market with customers coming in to buy fresh seafood. Now many more tourists come for lunch and a day out.”

The Sydney Fish Market’s official website can be found here:

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