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Mar 8, 2012 11:27 AM

Best places for Oysters on Olympic Peninsula

I am a huge fan of oysters and every year for my birthday my family treats me to a day (or weekend) of an adventure of finding them. One of the best included a sea plane ride to the San Juan islands and renting scooters to get to Wescott Bay fresh oyster farm. That trip will be hard to top! Last year, we drove to Pacific Oyster near Tillamook and spent a glorious day picnicking on a bench on the bay slurping fresh oysters.

I am looking for recommendations of places from a shack on the side of the road to nice restaurants and if you have ideas about places to stay for three people, those recs would also be appreciated.

Looking for an oyster adventure, driving from Portland OR.


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  1. I hear Xinh's Clam & Oyster House in Shelton is good. Have not been able to stop by for a bite myself.

    Way up in Skagit County, along the Chuckanut Drive, is The Oyster Bar. Pricier, but consistent quality, with great vistas to boot. *NOT* to be confused with The Oyster Creek Inn, about 1 mile or so further north on Chuckanut ..... which is inferior, IMHO.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LotusRapper

      I live in L.A. and frequent the PNW. Learned about Xinh's on this site. Went last August. Been craving this place ever since. Will be in the PNW again at the end of the month. Making a special trip from Astoria on my way back to Seattle just to go to Xinh's. Best darn oysters ever. Had the Fresh Pac. oysters with ginger, garlic in Hoisin Sauce. OMG!!!

      1. re: Kitchen Queen

        yeah, Xinh's is worth a side trip. Large portions, too.

        1. re: Steve K

          We passed through Olympia twice on way to/from PDX in late March during school spring break. Wanted to go up to Shelton but the severely crappy weather didn't put me in the mood. Next time ..... next time .....

    2. South Bend WA calls itself The Oyster Capital of the World, and you might do a search to find more. The town is not what one would call a destination resort, but in the middle of town on Hwy 101 is a dump called River View Dining. There's a large home made wood fired barrel out front with logs - not briquettes or whatever - for fuel. The best BBQ oysters I've ever had, and I've had them raw and cooked every way imaginable for over 30 years, from Tomales Bay to Desolation Sound BC.

      We were blasting thru town and didn't make time to try the OOTHS, but the owner/chef is a sauce/oyster genius.

      Can't rec a place to stay. Would like to hear where you go and how the oysters were.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Steve K

        Oysters need warm shallow bays. Middens are evident all along US101 as it follows the east side of WIlapa Bay. South Puget Sound (including areas near Shelton) and south Hood Canal have oysters. But north Olympic Peninsula along St Juan de Fuca isn't as good for oysters.

        1. re: paulj

          Not really, altho you are right about the best commercial sites. We lived on a boat for five years, based out of Sidney, BC. Almost anywhere we anchored, we would dinghy ashore and then gather oysters, in water so cold it required insulated boots.

          octobercat is going to have a great time if he finds the right spots.

        2. re: Steve K

          Sure, I'd be happy to report. I've since discovered that you can pick them up right off the beach. We are going to rent a vacation home and do just that! I can't wait. According to fish and game, the only ones available are "pacific" commonly called "hood canal" oysters. I'm a purist and only like to eat them raw.

          1. re: octobercat

            Wow does that bring back fond memories...
            Fifty years ago (I'm aging myself) my father would take us all up to The Olympic Peninsula and we'd rent a cabin in the woods for a few weeks during the summer.
            During the day we'd go to the beach around Port Ludlow and spend days 'hunting and digging' for geoduck and those oysters would be, literally, laying on the beach.
            He'd build a fire (I highly doubt you'd be allowed to do that now) and we'd just go crazy eating our way through the day.
            The geoducks were the most fun...I can still remember him telling us to 'cover up the holes' once we'd get 'em.
            I really, really miss those days.
            Recently, here in LA, I asked my guy I go to for seafood if I could get a jar of x-small oysters and he told me he could special order them if I really wanted them.
            There is nothing that tastes as good as a fresh plucked oyster, right out of 'the sound''s pure heaven...the taste of that salt water combined with the fresh air??? Omg.
            Give me an oyster knife and some tall rubber boots and I'm in complete nirvana.
            Enjoy yourself, as I'm sure you will :).

          2. re: Steve K

            By the way, what is the OOTHS? Is that an acronym for a longer name? Couldn't google it.

            1. re: octobercat

              Oysters on the half shell. Sometimes I look at my notes and forget what it means, too.

          3. Near Shelton, you can buy your shellfish directly from Taylor United.

            1. Willapa Bay oysters should be available all along the Washington and Northern Oregon coast. I like raw oysters as much as anyone, but think that pan-fried is the best preparation, properly done. Just this week I had a plate for lunch in Astoria at the Silver Salmon on Commercial. You won't find better pan-fried oysters by driving farther for them, in my opinion.

              1. I know this is a year late but it's almost your birthday again. For my birthday I always try to visit or have sent Hama Hama Oysters, Lilliwaup, WA. Hama Hama Oysters are hands down the BEST oysters I've ever eaten. Over the years I have converted "never will I eat something that looks like it came out of a bulls nose" people to oyster lovers! I've even gotten people from Chesapeake Bay who said that west coast could never beat east coast oysters to "eat their words"! I don't even bother to get them in the shell anymore, it just slows me down. Try 'em you'll love 'em!