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Sep 13, 2008 12:41 PM

Best Oysters Portland, ME?

Where is the best oyster bar in Portland, ME? Last time we were sent to J's Oyster Bar by an ill-informed hotel clerk. The horror, the horror... flabby, flat, stale pre-opened oysters. Maine abounds in briny, succulent oysters both wild & farmed; J's waitress informed us that they only buy Chesapeake oysters. Bah! Please give us somewhere better in Portland; we are returning there soon. Cheers!

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  1. Oooh, sorry about the J's thing. I've never really been able to figure that place out but think its for people who like cocktail sauce rather than oysters ? I really don't know.

    The options coming to mind are Street & Co. and Old Port Sea Grill. Honestly, we never really get them when out. When we want oysters we hit Harbor Fishmarket and do 'em up at home. Could make a fun, albeit messy picnic, too!

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodquest

      I agree w/ Old Port Sea Grill rec. Nice raw bar; usually several varieties available. Sit at bar; at coctail tables; or dining room.

      Old Port Sea Grill & Raw Bar
      93 Commercial St., Portland, ME 02888

      1. re: foodquest

        Thanks! The Old Port Sea Grill served perfectly fresh, neatly-opened Damariscotta & Winter Point oysters...yum. A good tip.

        1. re: foodquest

          I agree, had some great oysters at the Old Port Sea Grill last September -- also good beers and wine.

        2. went to J's this past summer, sat at the bar, maybe there were 5 other people sitting at the bar, and left after 15 minutes. No-one seemed to want to wait on me, so I said to myself that there must be other food places on the street that will take my money.

          1. I dissent from the J's Oyster bashing. There is no reason oysters in Maine need to cost $3.00 per oyster. For those seeking to satisfy an oyster fix, J's is perfect and a bargain. To each his own. My wife and I get to enjoy two dozen for the same price as a dozen (or less) at Old Port - a restaurant that charges as much as Street & Co. yet is mediocre at best.

            4 Replies
            1. re: StevensAve

              J's is a very particular scene, I love it. Forget the oysters, get the 'combination cocktail' - cold lobster claw meat, raw scallops, crabmeat, shrimp, and yes, a couple of oysters. Follow up with the haddock sandwich (complete with little plastic container of 'Kraft' tartar sauce).

              Good beer, unpretentious staff that could not care less about you one way or the other. Very New England.

              1. re: StevensAve

                there's also no reason for warm, pre-shucked oysters full of shell pieces either. and it wouldn't hurt them to clean the place once in a while.

                1. re: ScubaSteve

                  J's is gross, dirty, warm oysters, horrible burgers, and a rude staff is not very New England. Old Port Sea Grill definitely.