Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Jul 3, 2012 04:01 PM


Looking to take a client to a good restaurant which serves great oysters. I welcome your recommendations.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Starfish
    Rodney's on Bay (it's actually on Temperance St)
    Oyster Boy

    My favourites are the first two

    3 Replies
      1. re: CocoaChanel

        +1 for Rodney's and Oyster Boy.


        1. re: CocoaChanel

          The Drake Hotel's Oyster Bar is very good as well. And they offer a twist on the traditional sauces. Can't go wrong with the East Coast oyster selections. Not sure is they have a cheapy night. Starfish is not cheap, but fresh, and they've got Tsarskaya oysters. Don't bother with their lobster though ($28/lb) and not sweet.

        2. Starfish, hands down ( in case you want something more than just oysters ). The kitchen produces some of the best hot seafood and fish dishes in town!

          Rodney, Oyster Boy....are good for oysters but the rest of their menu items are run-of-the-mill stuff!

          Diana's Seafood is pretty good as well, but a little out-of-the-way!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Charles Yu

            I disagree about the rest of Starfish's menu. We didn't like anything we tried: even the clam chowder was mediocre. But the oysters there are phenom. Not cheap however.

            1. re: pebepe

              I have been going to Starfish for years!! To date, I have not encountered a single bad dish?!
              It has consistently been on our top 10 list for the past few years.
              On top, there are over 56 discussions on this board on Starfish and I cannot identify a single case of bad review. ( service may be, but NOT food )

              Obviously what you wrote "I disagree about the rest of Starfish's menu. We didn't like anything we tried:" instill huge curiosity in me and no doubt on other seasoned chowhounders?!!

              May be you can elaborate on your experience and the dishes you had so that we can have a better understanding?!

              May be they have change chefs?!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                As an example of Starfish's cooked food. This European Sea Bream dish I had a few weeks ago was perfectly executed with crispy skin and super moist flesh. Vegetables were timed correctly and the sauce delicious. Dish was as good as any other top-end restaurants in town!

                For someone to disagree with 'an entire' menu of a reputable and consistently good restaurant definitely warrants more substantial backups than just a simple one liner!!!

          2. Add Pheobes to the list for midtown oysters and seafood.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sloweater

              Just a note that most people refer to this place as Zee Grill, in case you decide to do a search for it on this board.

            2. Starfish and Diana's are your best bet. As CY says, Diana's is out of the way if you're looking for a place in central Toronto. Also last time I ate at Starfish I ordered their Paddy Mix which is a dozen oysters for only $30 (not sure if that's the current price right now). So, if that price holds up then Starfish gives you more bang for your buck. I've enjoyed the hot dishes from both establishments so, for me either one is a winner.

              Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill
              100 Adelaide Street East
              Toronto, M5C 1K9 CANADA
              416-366-STAR (7827)

              Diana's Oyster Bar and Grill
              2105 Lawrence Ave. East,
              Toronto, ON M1R 2Z4

              20 Replies
                1. re: Luvtooeat

                  The selection at Pure Spirits is much more limited then Diana's (my favorite). We do enjoy sitting at the bar on a week night (and this is crucial - avoid the tourist/weekend crowd) - the bartender always had good spirit suggestions for our oysters.

                  These days, I actually prefer Fishbar over Oyster Boy. In terms of seafood offerings, I really enjoy Fishbar's oyster selections and ceviches.

                  217 Ossington Ave
                  Toronto, ON M6J 2Z7

                  1. re: happycamper

                    Does anyone offer any sort of "oyster happy hour" in the gta??

                    1. re: nevrenuf

                      I am pretty sure Big Daddy's on King St W does some sort of special. Mr. Vuitton and I ended up there prior to a performance at Roy Thompson across the street. The oysters were rather small, but very fresh. I would add, this would not be my first choice, we were just stuck for time. I like a meatier oyster, so Starfish or Rodney's on Bay are wheere I end up.

                      1. re: CocoaChanel

                        Doesn't Biff's do $1 oyster nights?

                        Edit: Biff's has $1 Oysters everyday after 5pm.

                          1. re: EarlyDrive

                            Oh nice. Good to know. There was one other one that a friend told me about but I don't recall what it was.

                            Also, regarding Biff's, there's a bit of a caveat. It's $1 Oysters but they will tell you that they could take awhile to shuck and that you have to wait a bit to get them. The kitchen gets hit with shucking 300+ Oysters at a time so it takes a bit.

                            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                              these places do as well - - i guess i answered my own question...

                              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                                We didn't experince a delay at Biff's. They even let us order oysters in the dining room when I think the buck a shuck deal is supposed to be bar only.

                                1. re: crawfish

                                  Oh sweet. I hope you took advantage and ordred a ton!

                        1. re: nevrenuf

                          The Globe/Earth dynasty recently introduced "Buck a Shuck" from 4pm to 6pm daily.

                          1. re: Davedigger

                            Thanks for the heads up Davedigger. I called them up and it's every day, not just weekdays and it coincides with happy hour. So buck a shuck and half price beers and wine by the glass. Wicked. I'm there tomorrow.

                            1. re: nevrenuf

                              Barhop (King/Spadina) has buck-a-shuck on Tuesdays.
                              The Saint (Ossington/Dundas) also has $1 oysters Sun-Tue.

                              1. re: happycamper

                                I haven't been yet, but someone told me Bier Market does dollar oysters on Thursdays too.

                                1. re: nessporter

                                  Hard to find a 'buck a shuck' that's not Malpeques. Nice oysters, but there are many other flavours and textures to find. Oyster Boy actually does the catering for some bars that offer that, and put out a more varied selection if you can find where they are doing it.

                              2. re: nevrenuf

                                I think Skin+Bones in Leslieville does buck-a-shuck oysters and half-price fizz on Sunday evenings. At Starfish last week I got a dozen oysters and a (massive!) glass of Cave Springs Riesling for $20. Before 6pm I think.

                                1. re: gembellina

                                  How was your meal at Starfish??!! Reason I ask is that a relatively new fellow hound wrote this and I was very curious to find out the reason since I've been to this place for years, without experiencing any ' food mishaps'??!!!!

                                  pebepe about 18 hours ago

                                  I disagree about the rest of Starfish's menu. We didn't like anything we tried:

                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                    It was good, though we only had oysters and an appetiser each as we were going to the theatre. I had the dozen raw as I mentioned, and he had 4 "toasted" - topped with herb butter and bread crumbs and browned in the toaster oven. Not my thing but he enjoyed them, and they were prepared from shucking to toasting right in front of us.

                                    We shared fishcakes and a calamari salad. The fishcakes were made with smoked fish, which was unexpected but not unpleasant. The calamari was perfectly cooked, with a rocket salad, new potatoes and some kid of pesto I think. Not as good as the grilled seafood salad I had at Le Canard Mort, but still very good. It wasn't earth-shattering but it was solid, with good quality ingredients and friendly service. No mishaps! I would definitely go back.

                                    1. re: gembellina

                                      Thanks for the reply! Really nice to know!
                                      I usually drive all the way down from Richmond Hill to visit them for my oyster fix and add a gorgeous fish dish to the bivalve starter. Been doing that for over 10 years.
                                      As such really surprise to see such a damning one-liner. Mind you, the poster only posted 4 times!!

                        2. Already Mentioned Biff's every day after 5 buck a shuck
                          Against the Grain Friday from 3-6 buck a shuck
                          Corks in the Longos at maple leaf square. 3 oysters with a pint or glass of wine on Thursdays and 2.50$ for 3 if you want to buy on your own.
                          I tried Pure Oyster and Spirits when they had a promo on Tuesdays last year. Didn't think much of it.