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Oysters in Minneapolis

Hello. I'm in Minneapolis for the summer. What is the best place to get oysters in the city?

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  1. Upscale: Oceanaire
    Excellent quality in a park setting: Sea Salt Eatery (caveat: see other threads for contrasting opinions on waiting in line, noise level, plastic forks, etc.)

    Bar/club atmosphere and happy-hour specials: Stella's Fish Cafe

    3 Replies
    1. re: KTFoley

      Is SeaSalt run by the folks at Coastal?

      1. re: KC612

        It does not appear that the folks at Coastal run Sea Salt, if you mean one business owns or manages the other.

        Two fellows left Coastal to launch Sea Salt. Some of their counter staff are Coastal alumni, and you may run into current Coastal employees there who are holding down two jobs.

        1. re: KTFoley

          KTFoley is correct here: Sea Salt was started up and is run by a couple of former Coastal employees who left specifically to start up Sea Salt. The only other connection that Coastal has with Sea Salt is as a supplier

    2. I'd have to go w/ Coastal Seafoods which isn't a restaurant, but probably has the freshest/best selection of oysters in town. I prefer to eat some raw and grill some myself, but that's just me. I also heard there was a fish market in the old Sears building, but I haven't been there yet.

      1. Oceanaire & McCormick & Schmick's for variety

        Sea Salt for setting.

        1. I've had some really good oysters at Azia.

          1. It's been a while since I've had oysters on the half shell...

            Oceanaire because they have good variety, good vodka and they didn't leave bits of shell or grit in my oysters.

            Coastal if you're into shucking your own.

            I didn't like McCormick & Schmick's because the one time I ordered from them, the oysters had bits of shell in them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JimGrinsfelder

              Bluepoint in Wayzata has bluepoints on their happy hour special board for $6. As cheap as you can get unshucked. Served with grated fresh horseraddish, a nice touch.

            2. Mystic Lake Casino wednesday nights. I don't know about the quality, cocktail sauce-vinegar-LJ-swallow for me, but they are all you can eat with crab kegs and other goodies for like 22 bucks.

              1. Stella's Friday 3-6pm .50 oysters, rockin deal!!! Plus other great happy hour deals, any other day I believe they are a $1 during Happy hour, you can expect bluepoint, I thought they were great even for bluepoints (not my favorite for say...) Check out Stella's website for more details.

                Stella's Fish Cafe
                1402 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                2 Replies
                1. re: mnxd9

                  I second Stella's for Friday's Happy Hour. The rest of the week they are $1 each during happy hour. Also, they have very cheap peel and eat shrimp that is very good.

                  1. re: churchka

                    Thanks everyone :)

                    I'll have to check out Stella's and Oceanaire.

                    How much should I expect to pay at Oceanaire?

                2. I have eaten at both Oceanaire and McCormick and Schmicks.

                  Was not happy with Oceanaire's service (and thought the food was overpriced). During the long wait, we were crammed in at the (much) too small bar. As always, could have been a bad night to be there. The only reason we went back to the Hyatt is to eat at the greatest steak restaurant in Mpls., Manny's. That is cow, not fish, however, and the place has moved.

                  I have had the absolute best Oyster shooters at McCormick and Schmicks which no other seafood place that I've been at has duplicated. Make sure that you are not driving when you try one 'cause you'll have more.

                  1. Oysters in Minneapolis. Pond hockey tournaments in Miami. I'm not saying we shouldn't have 'em, but they really are best when freshest. I know. Two words, air freight.

                    Indigenous fish should make it on to your list too. The State fish, the Walleye can't be fished commercially, but is readily available from Canada at many MSP venues. Koochaching walleye and pike, fished on the reservation, is sometimes available. Also smelt is another Great Lakes seasonal favorite. What's not to love about whole fried finger sized fish? Sometimes Blue Gill is also served in restaurants (aka Crappie, why do you think they call it Blue Gill). An oyster eater, here for the summer, is probably not going to embrace the full monty of a Minnesota wood fired (or stove top depending on the fire season) shore lunch, but that is the ultimate lake fish experience.

                    Enjoy your oysters. Sea Salt does a downbeat/down home version in a beautiful venue (Minnehaha Falls) - I say downbeat because the service concept is slow and the venue is picnic casual.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: keg

                      They're still alive when they get here and have probably been out of the water just as long if you were getting them on their corresponding coast if you;re eating them at a restaurant. Though I will say you are correct; hard to beat an oyster plucked right from the sea in front of you.

                      I agree that it is nice to get them right out of the water, but you can't find a place better situated to get both east and west coast oysters as fresh as one another (maybe Dallas could give us a run).

                      1. re: Foureyes137

                        I agree with Foureyes137

                        Minneapolis is, ironically, ideally situated for fresh oysters (and seafood in general), from *both* coasts.

                        1. re: djohnson22

                          Stella's seems like a great deal. They carry 4-5 varities. What would be best to order?