The Difference Between Sole & Flounder

By Kara Page; Updated April 24, 2017
Sole and flounder are similar, yet different species of fish.

Sole and flounder are both types of flatfish, and because the texture is similar, they are considered interchangeable in recipes. However, they are two separate species with slightly different looks and tastes.


Sole is a type of flatfish. Dover sole, the most common type, is a member of the Soleidae family. Flounder is also a type of flatfish categorized under Heterosomata.


Both fish are flat, with both eyes on one side of their face so they can hide on the ocean floor and watch for prey. While both are oval in shape, flounder is more rounded.


Sole are most commonly found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, while flounder is found in the northern Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.


Both sole and flounder have delicate, flaky flesh and a mild, sweet taste. There are several types of each fish, each with a slightly different flavor, generally considered discernible only by more experienced palates.

Expert Insight

Dr. Ben Kim of Health & Beyond recommends you choose both sole and flounder from the north Atlantic Ocean, as this area is less likely to be polluted and the fish will contain lower levels of mercury.

About the Author

Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.