Many people approach oysters from a love/hate perspective. I haven’t met many that feel indifferent. I developed my obsession with oysters as an adult, with an open mind and an adventurous palette and of course since I started loving them, I can’t stop. The best approach I learned to eating amazing oysters is eat whatever is local to the area. If you’re on the west coast, stick with west, and if you’re on the east coast, go with east and you will end up with the best and freshest selections, which, in oyster world, are the most important characteristics of an excellent oyster.
My hands-down favorite place to have oysters has become San Francisco, Hog Island Oyster Co., to be precise, located in the Ferry Building in San Francisco – these guys have a direct farm-to-table supply and do all kinds of wonderful things with their oysters. My favorites – raw as they are, of course, and grilled. If you’ve never had a grilled oyster, you are missing out on life, on LIFE I tell you. Warm melted butter with flavorful herbs and spices melted into your slightly smokey oyster – heaven in your mouth. The menu is very comprehensive and offers beyond-seafood items.
This restaurant is a no fuss, no-reservation place so you will have to wait most of the time to be seated so try to come for lunch rather than dinner if you are impatient, like me. I personally love sitting at the bar where you can watch the chefs make magic or outside, which gives you a direct view of the water and bridge – perfect on a beautiful day.
On the east coast I recently checked out a spot in Hoboken, NJ called Stingray Lounge where they have a great selection of both east and west coast oysters – in my opinion though, stick to the east coast ones at this place, they are less salty and more creamy, especially the Bluepoints – which are some of my favorite. This place is pricey, but does have happy hours during the week. It comes with a very long bar with plenty of seating and very comfy couches with tables. Also makes great cocktails and has non-seafood small plates and sandwiches.
One other place I definitely recommend if you’re down in Florida is Rack’s Fish House and Oyster Bar in Delray Beach. Great oysters and cocktails and they have $1 happy hour oysters everyday. They also have happy hour appetizers, many of which are seafood, you really can’t go wrong – everything is delicious.
Do you have any favorite oyster spots? Please share with me so I can continue my journey of the search for a perfect oyster!
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