Where to Eat Oysters in New Orleans
Nate and I love to eat raw oysters in New Orleans. Down here, bivalves are plumper, softer, and larger than most Northern varieties; and because of the warm waters, a year-round supply can be harvested, often making them less expensive. The flavor tends to be mild, which means we eat them all sorts of ways: broiled, chargrilled, Rockefeller, or stuffed into a po’boy. But our favorites are raw, served on the half-shell.
There are tons of places to get oysters in the Crescent City, but not all are created equal. Here’s where the locals go to eat oysters in New Orleans.
Situated in between the Ace Hotel and Balise (another favorite), this oyster bar features sustainably harvested oysters from coast to coast. It’s a hip spot, but don’t let that dissuade you—they serve some of the finest oysters in the city. A few favorite Gulf varieties include those from Grand Isle, Mon Luis, wild Gulf Louisiana, and Point Aux Pins. They play host to a fantastic happy hour, too.
Our most frequented oyster bar in NOLA lies on St. Charles Avenue, easily accessible by the streetcar. The bar area has an incredibly affordable weekday happy hour with 50-cent raw oysters (that’s just $6 per dozen!), two-for-one frozen cocktails, and half-price bottles of wine. Plus, there’s live piano music.
A large and lively (and sort of loud) Donald Link restaurant in the CBD is focused on working with local fisherman and farmers who all harvest sustainably. The restaurant has has a great raw bar with super fresh oysters, plus seafood salads and platters. For something more, the whole grilled fish is outstanding.
Regarded for their barbecued shrimp, this uptown institution has been in operation since 1913. They serve a great happy hour at the back raw bar that’s ideal for popping in for a dozen, plus a cold martini, in an old-school setting.
Brennan’s may be known for their breakfast and bananas foster, but the Roost Bar has delicious cocktails and a baked Gulf oyster dish, made with pimento cheese and bacon. It’s served on the happy hour menu, along with fun and festive drinks. The restaurant does a courtyard Champagne sabering every Friday at 5 p.m.