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Looking for great oysters on the half shell. East Village, Union Square area would be best. And ideally a place where I can pickup a to go order.

I've got no real evening plans (thus not nice dinner out) but really am craving some good oysters.

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  1. Sit at the bar at Shaffer City (5 W. 21st St.) Maybe the best oysters in Manhattan.

    2 Replies
      1. re: steve h

        Shaffer City is the best oyster bar in the city-aquagrill and Grand central are tied for second.

      2. I also know that The Lobster Place will shuck oysters for you, effectively giving you a to-go order. They're in Chelsea Market and on Bleeker Street (next to Murray's).


        Link: http://nycnosh.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nosher

          The Lobster Place on Bleecker (note spelling) is so remarkably over-priced that locals stand and stare in the window, in shock at the prices. It is a regular subject of conversation, as those of us who remember this street when it was a great source of ALL foods, stand outside and make jokes about the fish aging as no one goes in, due to the prices. The conventional wisdom among those of us in the neighborhood is that they make enough on the other branches to support this loss leader. The fish store on Sullivan off Houston is worlds better.

        2. mermaid inn usually has a decent selection of oysters. fish bar on bleecker has a cheap happy hour, as does a place on 3rd and 13th. cafe deville, i think. five points, to my memory, also has $1 happy hour oysters.

          1. I've found some decent oysters at Citarella, which shucked them for me, so I could bring them home on the half shell.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Captain

              I often get oysters on the half shell from Citarella - tasty, esp. the Kumamotos.

            2. Fish on Bleeker St has the greatest oyster deal ever. You're not going to get a selection, but you will get some delicious Blue Points for an amazing deal. The special (you can get it anytime) is called the Red, White and Blue. You get a house wine (red or white) or a Pabst Blue Ribbon and a half dozen Blue Points for $8.

              They can price them so cheaply as the owner owns a fishing boat, so there's no middleman.

              The rest of the food at the restaurant is so-so, but I always like to stop by for the special before heading out elsewhere.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Misscox

                Fish also has legendarily obnoxious service...the swine-like behavior of the manager has been documented on chowhound for ages...when i was there, my dining companion was served a totally rotten oyster...we politely complained to the waiter who gave us attitude about it...when we asked to talk to the manager, he snidely grabbed the bill and deducted the price of a single oyster, made a face, and stormed away...disgusting way to run a restaurant, and based on reviews here, fairly common at Fish...we tipped zero and will never return...

                For better places in the area requested by the OP:
                -- Blue Water Grill: sort of a loud scene on weekends but the oysters are always fresh and the service professional
                -- Shaffer City: great selection and the shucker never fails to smell each and every one for freshness...the vibe is a little bland but a perfectly good place to eat a couple oysters w/ a glass of wine...
                -- hop the 4/5/6 train to the Grand Central Oyster Bar and feast like crazy...

              2. I have always liked the raw bar at Blue Ribbon Brasserie on Sullivan, though I adhere to the adage about only eating raw crustacians in months with "R"s in them. I think the cool water of fall is less of a potential threat to the little guys. I am excited about the raw bar Blue Ribbon is opening across the street from their Bakery on Downing. I may break the "R" rule to check it out! Is the "R" rule now rendered obsolete by controlled, year-round oyster farming?

                3 Replies
                1. re: sing me a bar

                  I think R is no longer an issue. I was in Wellfleet a couple weeks ago and asked the venerable shucker at the Bookstore about it and he looked at me like I was yet another crazy tourist and said, they've been lying about all winter, best time for them. My last visit to GCOB (yesterday) was one of my most rewarding all year-- Glidden Points and Cape Bretons both much bigger than I usually get but terrific nonetheless. I think they do the best fried oysters in town, too.

                  1. re: dbird

                    agreed on the fried oysters at GCOB...i usually get an appetizer order of fried oysters, a salad, and a glass of Sancerre, followed by a dozen raw oysters and/or cherrystone clams...pretty much a perfect meal

                    1. re: dbird

                      I have always eaten oysters in the "R" months including Mray, Jrune, Jurly, Aurgust.

                  2. BLT Fish Shack is a place I trust...plus they have a decent lobster roll (mmm...I love lobster rolls...)

                    1. I think Aquagrill is the best in the city. Their oysters are as fresh and varied as Shaffer City's, and their mignonette is better. GCOB is, in my experience, a DISTANT third (or fourth or fifth - you can also get better raw-bar food at Blue Ribbon, though the selection is always very small). And I don't want to sound snobby - I have given Grand Central a chance about every five months for nine years straight. I'm always disappointed and I always try again because so many people love it. But truly I think they don't do anything very well. The oyster panroast is all bread and paprika, the clam chowder is gloppy. And their plain old oysters on the half-shell are hastily shelled, resulting in lots of shell bits in every slurp, plus the liquor gets diluted with ice melt and they all end up tasting watery. It's a beautiful place and I appreciate the history, but I think you can do a lot better.

                      Btw, why is Chowhound telling me that this post was started in 2005?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: GDSwamp

                        Aquagrill does this nifty thing; wish every raw bar was equipped to do the same. It has a system that prints out a copy of your oyster order, which is presented to you with your platter of oysters.

                        At 12 o'clock on the platter, they place a lemon. The oysters are arrayed clockwise from the lemon, in the same order that appears on your printout, so you know exactly what kind of oyster sits where on the plate.

                        No guesswork, no head-scratching, no memory drills ("Now which one did he say was the Falmouth?").

                        Just don't move the lemon.

                      2. i agree with blt fish shack in union square as well as fish in the village.

                        1. I was actually surprised to see this old thread resurface for the very reason mentioned above: the R tale. As a teen I spent many summers waitressing on the Cape (just a town away from Wellfleet) and we always served oysters but never ate them ourselves.

                          However, a couple weeks ago I was at Blue Water around 4pm and the seafood platter called out to our table. The oysters were quite good.

                          The night after posting this in November, I went to Deville (a mere 2 blocks from home and mentioned here) and was super disappointed ... flavor-less oysters and very poorly shucked.