It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s summer. So what better way to cool down than to slurp some oysters? Luckily for you we have pulled some of the best oyster places in D.C. and created this handy guide for you. Want to know the happy hour deals? We got them. Want to try some interesting oyster dishes? Read on! Don’t like oysters? Then why are you on this guide?
In no particular order-we recommend all of these:
There is really no talking of Oysters without mentioning Jamie Leeds’ bright, lovely neighborhood gathering emporium (which, incidentally JUST won for the neighborhood gathering spot at the 2014 RAMMYs). Specials change almost daily and with every different location but no matter what the day and occasion is, here are some good happy hour/deals to ALWAYS keep in mind: Capitol Hill has a happy Hour Monday-Thursday 5-7pm, and on Fridays 4-7pm, and serves a half price raw bar 10pm-close every night. In Dupont the half price Raw Bar is every day 10pm-midnight and in Old Town $1 oysters are offered at the bar 5-7pm, Monday to Friday.
- 1309 5th street NE
Rappahannock operates their own oyster farm (check out our “DAY ON THE FARM” story with them) so as far as local, fresh oysters go – this is your stop. The fact that it was just named one of top 5 Oyster Bars in America by the Washington Street Journal and that it is open as early as 11am for you anytime oyster fix is just an added bonus. In the mood to test drive some stuff before picking your favorites? Stop by their daily happy hour for a half-off sampling.
- 1612 14th St NW
Happy hour at Pearl Dive Oyster Palace features 2 for 1 local oysters. Or you can get an Oyster Po’Boy for $10. This is another location where you can try the new “Ugly Oysters”, named after their less uniformly shaped shell. On Mondays starting at 4pm there is Oyster Mania in the bar and dining room. You can get hot oyster appetizers from $6 and raw bar oysters on the half shell for 1/2 price. If you want oysters at dinner you can get the Oyster Dinner, which includes bacon braised organic greens, salt roasted potatoes and creamy coleslaw with cayenne aioli for $19.
- 1501 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA
Heavy Seas Alehouse serves four local oysters (Rappahannock, Stingray, Blue Point, Olde Salt) on the half shell served with cocktail, Cutlass Amber mignonette with wasabi tobiko, sriracha, and yuzu hot sauce. Pair it with Heavy Seas Cutlass Amber or seasonal Riptide White IPA. For an interesting take on oysters, try the Virginia Oyster Chowder in a creamy potato-bacon stew with caramelized leeks and red swiss chard. Check out our full review of it here.
- 601 Pennsylvania Ave NW
At Fiola (this year’s winner for BEST FINE DINING Rammy btw), you can get free bites during happy hour, Monday through Fridays from 4-6 pm. Depending on the day of the week it includes Rappahannock oysters. Otherwise, oysters are $3 each at the bar. For a raw bar option, the Ahi Tuna Carpaccio is served with roasted tomatoes, Taggiasca olives, lemon, yuzu, and sorrel cream. Also, the first course of the Tasting Menu is always raw seafood. An interesting dish is the Kumamoto oysters on the half shell with caviar and West Coast sea urchin. It is occasionally offered on the Tasting Menu. The oysters and sea urchin are dressed in a yuzu-ginger citronette. You can pair your oysters with Peroni or Rose Prosecco, both on draft. Or, you can pair them with Ca’ del Bosco, Brut, Franciacorta, Lombardy NV, or Gimonnet-Gonet, Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger, Brut, Champagne NV.
- 3100 K St NW
In general, you can get 3 different types of oysters at Fiola Mare. They represent both the West Coast and the East Coast and are served with two sauces. You can also get the Frutti di Mare, a gourmet selection of market seafood. The selections vary but currently features East and West Coast oysters, clams, jumbo lump crab, sea urchin, and jellyfish. Also, the “Tutto Crudo!” offers raw seafood and shellfish dressed lightly in the Italian style. The offerings vary but have featured ahi tuna, hamachi, and taragai. An interesting dish to try is the Oysters and Caviar. The oysters are tossed in yuzu-ginger citronette, and topped with prosecco zabaglione, and a dollop of Spoonbill caviar. It is served with a piece of crisp Pane Carasau flatbread. You can pair it with Peroni or Rose Prosecco, both on draft. If you prefer something a little more expensive, you can pair it with Ca’ del Bosco, Brut, Franciacorta, Lombardy NV, or Gimonnet-Gonet, Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger, Brut, Champagne NV. For a full review click here. And the views, the views!
- 1839 7th St NW
1/3 of Derek Brown’s 7th street emporium is done in partnership with Rappahannock and it shows. Eat the Rich has Industry happy hours from 11pm to close every night. You can get $1 oysters and $7 Natty Boh and Old Overholt combos. Their raw bar features clams and three types of oysters (Rappahannock, Stingray, and Olde Salts). You can also get the Redneck Laundry, which includes caviar and Route 11 potato chips. If you stop by for brunch you can try their Soft Boil Hen Egg, which is served with oyster and toast points. Our full review is here.
- 1604 14th street NW
Much like any good brasserie, Le Diplomate offers a great selection of Fruits de Mer, from the raw bar or otherwise. And while ordering them a la carte is a joy as well, lets face it-you’re all really angling for one of their Seafood Platters (probably one of the most instagrammed dishes in DC in our social media feeds). Pro tip: the price may seem prohibitive for a casual meal but the Petit one (which is ANYTHING BUT) is plenty for a full scale meal for 2, even 3 people. Add some of their well priced whites or roses to the mix, and you have a perfect summer feast.
- 1054 31st Street NW
Going to a movie in Georgetown? Want an amazing oyster deal? Stop by this tucked away, under-hyped Georgetown gem for $1 oysters, half priced drinks and an atmosphere you can actually fully, legitimately, truly have a conversation at.
- 7134 Main St, Clifton, VA
Trummer’s serves local oysters with creative toppings. Currently they are serving Rappahannock oysters topped with pearl tapioca mignonette, cantaloupe, and jalapeño. On Fridays you can get these oysters for 50% off in the bar or lounge. Pair it with “The Up-Sell” cocktail, a mix of Barr Hill gin, sparkling wine, granny smith apples, cucumber and dill. Or you can pair it with Sophora’s sparkling cuvée from New Zealand. If you want to read our review, you can find it here.
- 704 7th St NW
If you feel like stopping by a national chain restaurant, you should check out Legal Sea Foods. From 4pm to 7pm every Monday through Friday you can enjoy Six at Six happy hour. It features 6 oysters for $6 at the bar. Enjoy your oysters with select draft beers for $3.95, select wines by the glass for $5.95 and select cocktails for $6.95.
- 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW
At 701 you can get Crispy Oysters served with Asian Slaw, Miso Aioli, and Chili Oil for lunch at the bar for $17. Included is a glass of wine. Craving oysters at dinner? You can get the Crispy Oysters as a snack for $8. Enjoy your oysters with live jazz on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Our most recent review of 701 is here.
- 4021 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA
Known for its great American food, you can get oysters for lunch or dinner at Copperwood Tavern. Their chilled oysters come with cocktail sauce, mignonette and horseradish. Their grilled oysters come with Parmesan, parsley butter, and garlic crumbs. Plus, a bonus of a daily 4-7pm happy hour, with $1 oysters.
- 400 N. Capital Street NW
The Capitol Hill mainstay obviously has oysters on their mind, from the name onward. Daily half-shells are offered at $2.50 each/$15 for half dozen/$29 for a dozen but their daily happy hour helps drop those prices down (and pairs them with other delicious bar snacks)
- 705 6th St NW
This ramen shop sells oysters under their “Fun Bites” section. You can get Grilled Rappahannock Oyster with sake and housemade oyster salt for $2.75. Or you can get Baked Rappahannock Oyster with teriyaki sauce, butter, and Parmesan cheese for $3.35. Find our review here.
- 800 F St NW
Nopa has a raw bar that serves a variety of seafood. You can get oysters on the half shell for $3 per piece. If you don’t feel like oysters you can get clams on the half shell for $1.50 per piece, a shrimp cocktail or a lobster cocktail. Our review of lunch at Nopa is here.
- 675 15th street NW
7 days a week, 3-6PM and 11pm-1am (2am on weekends) all the items in their extensive raw bar menu, including their half a dozen or so rotating oyster selections are half off.
- 717 8th Streeet SE
Obviously the menu at Aaron Silverman’s jewel box of a restaurant changes regularly and the raw bar offerings as we type this are mainly crab claw centric BUT the last few times we went there (including a particularly enchanting dinner on their roof deck private garden) they served these divine oysters assortments with rose vinegar on top that are worth planning any special occasion around. For proof, check out this amazing photo from @SvetlanaBYT’s instagram:
- 1201 24th St NW
Blue Duck Tavern adds perfect oysters to their overall perfect seafood menu. You can get oysters on the half shell for $18 ($16 during brunch) at this place in the Park Hyatt.
- 6939 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD
At happy hour at Republic you can get local Chesapeake Bay Oysters for $1 while all other oysters are $2.35. Fried Oysters are $8. Happy hour lasts from 3pm to 7pm on Mondays through Fridays. One oyster to try is their new “Ugly Oysters”. These oysters come from the same waters as Barren Island Oysters. They are a buttery oyster that has a finish similar to sweet blue crab. For lunch or dinner you can get Wood Grilled Bay Oysters served a la pearl dive, with garlic butter and red chili flakes. You can find our review here.
- 1612 14th St NW
Happy hour at Black Jack is from 3pm to 10pm on Sunday, 6pm – 8pm Tuesdays through Thursdays, and 5pm – 7pm Fridays. You can get 2 for 1 happy hour oysters during that time. For an interesting oyster dish try the Mariscos de Campechana, which consists of blue crab, grilled shrimp, oysters, avocado, and pico de gallo. It is available Tuesdays through Saturdays until 11pm.
- 4883 MacArthur Blvd NW
During happy hour (from 4pm to 7pm Monday though Fridays and 4pm to 6pm on weekends) you can get 6 for $6, or 12 for $12 Boutique oysters. You can also try the new “Ugly Oysters” here. The Oysters Rockefeller, with house smoked bacon, vermouth cream, and spinach is only $8. The raw bar during dinner features boutique oysters ($2.25 each), premium oysters ($2.75 each), and signature oysters ($2.25 each). The signature oyster is from Old Black Salt, VA.
- 7750 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD
You can get 2 for 1 Chesapeake Bay Oysters during happy hour for $2.25 at Black’s Bar and Kitchen. Happy hour is from 4pm to 7pm Mondays through Fridays. During happy hour you can try their new “Ugly Oysters”. These oysters have a mild salinity and a balanced mineral quality. The raw bar has Chesapeake Bay oysters from $2.25 each, boutique oysters for $2.50 each, and premium oysters for $2.95 each. For dinner you can also choose Black’s Signature Oyster for $2.50 and Black’s Shellfish Sampler, along with the other oysters.
- 1600 K St NW
At P.J. Clarke’s you can get half-off half shell oysters and clams from 3pm to 6pm. The raw bar includes the day’s selection of iced oysters, Long Island Littleneck clams, jumbo shrimp cocktails, oyster samplers, and other sampler platters. The raw bar is half-priced after 10pm. A Monday special is Oysters between the Sheets for $19.90.
- 1155 14th St NW
On Thursday nights Zentan has an oyster happy hour. You can get $1 War Shore oysters with a housemade sriracha cocktail sauce and a ginger mignonette. Pair it with cocktails from Jon Harris such as the signature Zentan cocktail made with hakushu 12 year Japanese whiskey, choya umeshu plum wine, housemade lemon bitters, and brandied cherry.
- 2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Bourbon Steak offers a daily selection of oysters for dinner. New chef Joe Palma also has two oyster dishes with creative toppings that you will soon be on the menu. The first dish is Rappahannock Olde Salt oysters with a pine and cucumber gelée. The second dish is Sewansecott oysters with seawater and warm uni.
Did we miss your favorite oyster place? Let us know in comments!