Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Apr 27, 2008 08:58 AM

Whats the status of eating good oysters on the half shell? Any decent local oysters around?

I used to live in Md and I miss having great Chesapeake Bay oysters.
I've been to McCormicks, Legal Seafood, Old Ebbitt, but I miss those local spots that emphasize freshness and taste. Any suggestions for a good old style boat dock kind of spot that has a nice
raw bar and doesn't fry everything in oil?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I used to love local seafood from Chesapeake Bay.(oysters and crabs)

    Sadlyt, these days I'm reluctant to eat them now because the Bay is so polluted. :(

    1 Reply
    1. re: OaktonWhitney

      I'm reluctant because they're pathetically small. Particularly sad since Harvey's Restaurant in it's heyday would disgorge a two-story high pile of oyster shells every day, many the size of a catcher's mitt.

      The Chesapeake oyster population has been decimated. What's being harvested now is a hybrid Japanese oyster that is hardier but much smaller. Most of the oysters in seafood bars in DC are flown in.

      If you want boat dock ambience, you can get a cheap plate of raw oysters at Maine Avenue at any number of stalls. I'd rather pay extra for the raw bar at Hank's. There's also a place in Old Town closer to the water that has a great deal on oysters, but the name escapes me. I read about it on

    2. Last week, I attended a Farm to Fork dinner at Vermillion in Old Town. Dragon Creek oysters were served, from Dragon Creek Aqua Farm in Montrose, VA. They were very fresh and firm. If you can find these local oysters, give them a try!
      More info:

      1. The Woodberry Kitchen in Hampden (Baltimore) specialises in local Oysters (Olde Salts, Choptank Sweets, etc.) some of these are aquafarmed now.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hon

          Ryleigh's is still my oyster place, although to be honest I haven't had much to do with local oysters since I discovered the wonders of west coast varieties. My god those are amazing.