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Recommend oysters in Baltimore

I love oysters on the half shell, but I'm occasionally skittish about where I eat them. So I'm wondering where in Baltimore people recommend the oysters beyond Mama's on the Halfshell and the big-chain raw bars around the harbor. Places that are cheap (or that have specials) but where the oysters and shuckers are generally trustworthy would be great, and added bonus points the closer these places are to Hampden. Thanks.....

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  1. Every first friday of the month, the Hon bar in Hampden has oysters shucked to order, $3 for 6, they are usually Chesapeakes and are shucked by George Hastings, an oyster shucking champion!
    Not too sure of anything else in that area.
    Ryleighs Oyster House in Federal Hill might be worth checking out.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hon

      I've been to Ryleigh's, and they were good oysters, although I'd look for a special. The regular prices are kind of expensive.

      Had an oyster sandwich there too. Not enough oysters, but some really excellent bread.

        1. re: hon

          I know -- I am SO excited about this. Do you know if they have a bar space or similar? I'm thinking about walking down tonight just to see the area, and would love to grab some oysters while I'm there.

          1. re: matt8313

            I am pretty sure there is a bar!

      1. Faidley's in Lexington Market is the quintessential oyster bar in Baltimore. Also great fresh seafood and crabcakes at their other counters.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ko1

          I'll second Faidley's. It's more of a market, but it's impossible not to enjoy standing there soaking in the place with a few oysters and lite beer in a plastic cup. (however, the real gem of Faidley's is the crabcake - wonderful!)

          1. re: ko1

            Just wanted to say thanks for this rec -- I've been a big fan of Faidley's crabcake for years, but had never bothered to try the oysters. I was there today buying red snapper for dinner, the shucking stand caught my eye, and I figured what the hell.

            Got three prime oysters and a cup of Bud Light for something like seven bucks, and it may be the best deal in Baltimore. The oysters were from the James River in VA, and they were ENORMOUS, possibly the biggest I've ever actually eaten. The largest of them appeared, no lie, to be the size of the average fried egg. Nice shucking job, good clean taste, a very cold light beer in a plastic cup, and the best peoplewatching in the state. Can't beat that with a stick.

            1. re: matt8313

              They also have really good clams at their raw bar. I go there for clams and oysters pretty much every time I go to Lexington Market.

              1. re: 4X4

                Strangely, I've never really gotten into clams on the half. Maybe it's time for me to reassess that position.

          2. Nicks in Cross Street Market usually has a good oyster!!!

            1. Dudas in Fells Point. Very good, quite reasonable.

              1. Has anyone ever had oysters at Legal Seafoods?

                3 Replies
                1. re: tartuffe

                  I had some there a while ago -- I remember them being good, but I was grumpy because their menu advertised kumamotos (which I love), and it was all just a bitter, foul lie. Sort of poisoned me against the place, no matter how good the oysters were.

                  1. re: matt8313

                    Kumamotos, mmm... Occasionally Wegman's has them on offer.

                    1. re: ko1

                      INteresting. Anywhere else around here? I had a dozen fantastic Conway Cups from PEI at Mama's last week, which were probably the closest to what I remember kumamotos tasting like, but I haven't had real kumas since I moved back east a couple of years ago.

                2. Friday it was a raw rainy day and I wanted oysters! At 11:30 I headed to Nick's in the Cross Street Market. The waitress offered Louisiana oysters for $7.50, Chesapeakes for $7.95 and Chincoteagues for $10.00 a half dozen. I ordered a dozen Chesapeakes and a Heineken light...the oysters were huge, fat, plump and delicious, so much so that I ordered a dozen more! They serve lemon, sriracha, cocktail sauce, horseradish and crackers with them, but all they really needed was a squeeze of lemon. If I could have afforded it I would have had 2 dozen more! Highly recommended, and it was not crowded at that time.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: crosby_p

                    Dead Freddies Bar on Harford Road in Pakville. For football on Sundays, they bring in a shucker for free oysters on the halfshell for the games. Not sure what kind, but they are always good and fresh,

                    1. A little fish stand in Lex Market (West) had the coldest, cheapest most delicious (3 for $2.50.) I'm on my way back right now.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: onocoffee

                        Wasn't there some sort of Oyster Tasting in Fells Point this past weekend. I think I saw an ad in the City Paper for Friday and Saturday, hosting over 20 different types of oysters.

                          1. re: JonParker

                            Oops, your correct. I went back to the ad, its this Thanksgiving weekend.