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Jan 26, 2010 04:05 AM

Fresh oysters in DC?

So John Shields tells me (in his book) that now is oyster season on the Chesapeake. Do any of these fresh oysters make it over to markets in DC? What's the best place to get some?

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    1. re: comestibles

      I've heard amazing things about that place, I will make sure to try it soon.

      1. re: comestibles

        Do yo mean Maine Avenue? I don't think anything there has been local for decades. In fact, I suspect that much of the seafood there isn't even seafood. And I am pretty certain that what is seafood isn't the seafood they claim it is. And if it is the seafood they claim it is, it's older than you are. Ad to that no parking and rotten service and you've got a piece of riverfront property that is ripe for development. Good riddance.

        1. re: comestibles

          The Wharf (on Maine Ave) much like Ben's chili bowl survives more on past reputations perpetuated by foodies then how good it actually is.

          I'd recommend you look somewhere else. If you are looking for really fresh oysters try the following website. I recently had oysters from this place and they are really good.

        2. Definitely visit the DC marina - very fresh seafood!

          1. Blacksalt Market on McArthur will definitely have some. Call ahead, they are very helpful. Best fishmonger in the city. Hands down.

            1 Reply
            1. re: caphil07

              The Wharf is terrible--caters to tourists with little taste. BlackSalt is consistently excellent. Hank's Oyster Bar might be worth a look.

            2. Try the fresh oysters from the vendors that sell at the Dupont Farmers market on Sundays. The same people sell at the Court house farmers market on Saturdays. I think that thieir name is Busters seafood. I think the source is actually the James River, not the bay., but never the less, I doubt if you will find any sweeter or fresher Oysters in DC.

              4 Replies
              1. re: sharonc

                I've always found the oysters at Old Ebbit to be salty-sweet and fresh. Also J.Paul's in Georgetown, but it's been a few years. The best I've had lately were in Ocean City and Chicoteague. Also at Liberty Road Seafood in Libertytown, MD.

                1. re: flavrmeistr

                  If you don't mind a short drive north, check out J&T Seafood in Woodbine, Md. I and frends have gotten oysters from them a few times and they are lower cost then the markets in Jessup and very sweet. Call them at 410-489-9800.


                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                    Agree with Flavrmeistr on Old Ebbit! Not sure whether they still have half-price oyster happy hour, but it was a great thing when I was doing shift work circa 2003-2004. Fresh raw bar items discounted between midnight and 1 a.m. Good times.

                    1. re: notthatfoodisimportant

                      As far as I know, they do. So does Clyde's in Chinatown.

                2. Get thee to Hank's! Tom Sietsema reviewed Hank's (just east of 17th and Q Streets, NW) in the Washington Post's best new listings a couple years back and it has been one of our favorites ever since. It's a fantastic place that we feel privileged to call a neighborhood restaurant. It's also a great location if you are headed to or from The Studio Theater. The oysters alone are worth it -- even though they are not all local. The daily oyster MENU will include some Chesapeake Bay oysters as well as very fresh varieties from New England and the Pacific Northwest. I like having the wait staff describe all the oysters with as much care as they would recommend a fine wine. Creamy finishes, cucumber finishes, more or less brine, mineral finishes -- Hank's offers them all and will serve you as many or as few as you like of each. Sunday brunch includes a delectable fried oyster frittata with parmesan shavings and garlicky pesto. Yum! Their Bloody Mary's aren't bad, and Hank's always has 4-5 micro-brews on tap. I haven't tried Jamie's second location in Old Town Alexandria, but have no reason to think the oysters there wouldn't be first rate, too.

                  Hank's Oyster Bar - Dupont Circle
                  1624 Q St NW Ste Lowr, Washington, DC 20009