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Jun 23, 2011 03:51 AM

Grand Central Oyster Bar: for tourists or Lovers of Good Seafood??

IOW have past mediocre reviews improved??

Grand Central Oyster Bar
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

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  1. Short answer: both. The atmosphere / architecture alone makes it kind of a must-see.

    That said, no city trip is complete for me w/out a lunch consisting of a dozen fat bivalves of my choice (a choice from, generally, 25-30 different oysters). The stews look good to, if a bit heavy on the cream, and I find most of the other seafood rather overpriced.

    1. It's one of the nicest places in Manhattan to have a dozen oysters and a beer. But I wouldn't go for a full dinner. Fun fact: tourists and locals often eat at the same restaurants. This is legal, believe it or not.

      2 Replies
      1. re: small h

        "Fun fact: tourists and locals often eat at the same restaurants. This is legal, believe it or not."

        So true small h.

        nother fun fact: All of us CHers are tourists when we go abroad or to other states on vacation or business and eat out at restaurants. Go figure.

      2. there is a pretty much a consensus on this: sit at the counter, eat only the raw oysters (and maybe fried oysters and/or a bowl of soup), enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, and it's a fabulous historic lovely place...but if you sit at tables and eat the bland overpriced cooked food then it feels like a tourist trap...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Simon

          Completely agree. I love sitting at the counter and eating oysters and clams and a glass of wine - but that's it. I don't even think the pan roasts and chowder are good - basically bland bowls of cream with stuff floating in them. But oysters and wine...and maybe a shrimp cocktail....and shad roe when it's in season. That's it. And I love sitting there.

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            i'm a huge fan of the maryland she-crab soup, as well as the seared tuna sandwich. both available at the to-go window.

        2. For tourists? Yes!! Manhattan is a tourist destination. Tourists, especially Chowhounders, love great restaurants and great food. That's not a "bad" thing.
          Great oysters and chowders while sitting at the bar?? Absolutely!! Great atmosphere too!!
          Good seafood otherwise?? It's ok. We often hit the oyster bar for a dozen as an appetizer and then head off to another restaurant for dinner.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Motosport

            Exactly. Also did a dozen after a lunch at Sarge's a few blocks away

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