From East Coast varieties like Blue Points to bivalves from the West Coast, oyster selections abound in the Big Apple. For happy hour, many bars and restaurants around the city offer freshly shucked oysters for only $1 a pop or with a drink deal. The jury is still out as to whether or not these sea creatures are actually an aphrodisiac — but for an after-work slurp, we love these delicious specials. By Sarah Shaker.
Since listing the East Village Desnuda location as one of the best oyster happy hours in 2012, the team has opened a second location in Brooklyn — with more deals worth sharing. The Williamsburg location offers $1 oysters from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily and all day on Sundays and Mondays. The extended ceviche menu includes a refreshing Ceviche de Mango with a touch of spice and a decadent Ceviche de Langosta.
MP Taverna Astoria
Michael Psilakis’ MP Taverna Astoria is offering a daily happy hour with dollar oysters from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and late night from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. This Queens restaurant introduces the chef’s take on contemporary Greek food with influences from a broad Mediterranean region to this Greek-centric neighborhood.
The John Dory Oyster Bar
Available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the happy hour at The John Dory Oyster Bar includes $2 oysters & cams (specific/limited selection of east & west coast available in quantities of six or more), Prosecco on tap & Sherry on tap, $5 oyster shooters, and half-off Sixpoint Oyster Stout, a beer made from the oyster shells that come from the oysters shucked at the restaurant. If you’re staying for dinner or just want something more indulgent, don’t miss the warm parker house rolls or creamy oyster pan roast with uni butter crostini.
This charming Williamsburg oyster house offers happy hour specials Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. A broad variety of fresh, expertly shucked oysters are offered for $1 each. With over 20 types of oysters from around the country available at Maison Premiere, not all are offered at the discounted rate, but this may be the most extraordinary selection offered in the city. A menu of absinthe, wine and specialty cocktails compliment the oysters and seafood dinner menu.
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays at this Midtown East restaurant, all of the bivalves on the menu – about a dozen varieties from both the East and West Coast – are $1 each, along with drink specials of $5 Dogfish Head draft beers, $7 glasses of select wine and half-priced bottles of sparkling wines to compliment the oysters. Their raw bar also offers chilled shellfish ranging from jumbo lump crabmeat to a half dozen littleneck clams. A caddy of sauces is brought to diners and served tableside, allowing guests to choose between smoked preserved lemon mignonette, cocktail sauce and more.
The West Village spot from the Mulberry Project team keeps their offering simple with their happy hour deal from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m alternating East and West Coast oysters for $1 every weeknight. Don’t miss their inventive cocktails like Pimm’s Melon Punch or Garden Bloody Mary. We already love the lemonade at the Greenwich Project — the oysters just make this haunt an ideal summer hangout.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.