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Jan 7, 2013 11:58 AM


Where do you eat the best oysters in Paris?

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  1. As a native, I have not yet in my 35 years been able to say where are "the" best oysters in Paris. We parisiens are very finicky about our oysters and the standards/ quality of the oysters you find at street markets, bancs de huîtres, fishmongers, restaurants etc are generally excellent. And everywhere... there is no need to make this or that oyster joint a destination unless it happens to be convenient or especially good value. There is also a lot of different types and sources... all with differing degrees of saltiness, size, etc. It's just a matter of trial and error before you find the kind that suits your own particular preferences.

    And a previous post (with a map link) might help:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Parnassien

      And let me correct my own grammatical error, it's bancs d'huîtres... not "de". Oh the shame! IPad-itis.

    2. that's the really amazing thing about Paris (and most of the rest of the country) -- "best" is really, really subjective -- but "average" here is "awesome" by the standards of most other places. Food here, and the relation of the French to their food, is truly different than that I've seen in any other state or country I've been fortunate enough to visit.

      and finding YOUR best is a fun exercise, because you get to do all that tasting to find it!

      9 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        Excellent point, sunshine! The trial-and-error sampling method is rarely a trial when it comes to food in France. (Except of course when you are paying 300€ for a meal at some over-hyped temple of gastronomy.) But, sigh, too many visitors prefer ready-made absolutes... and miss all the fun.

        1. re: Parnassien

          Especially since nobody really thinks in terms of "best" here. Just enjoying a variety of good places, everyone having their set of favorites among the bunch, which generally fluctuate from time to time. We rarely think "vertically", insisting on the superlative and discarding every other option, but have a more horizontal way of appreciating the things we like.

          "Best" oysters? I don't even like the same oysters as my neighbor does.

          1. re: Ptipois

            "'Best' oysters? I don't even like the same oysters as my neighbor does."

            Perfect! Perhaps the wisest advice ever and it applies to everything.

            1. re: jock

              It always amazes me how many people come to Paris seeking the best baguette or the best croissant or the best macaron (or even worse the best fondue or ratatouille or cassoulet...)....and then get downright offended when nobody has an answer for them....

              1. re: sunshine842

                I think it's New York Times poisoning. NYT fires all journalists who don't use the word "best". They are forbidden to say "favorite". Even if they have tasted the baguettes of all of two boulangeries, they are contractually obliged to say that one of them is the best, BEST, of Paris.

                1. re: Parigi

                  Actually it's the nature of the (travelling foodie) beast. The Japan board is peppered with requests for 'the best' in sushi, ramen, kaiseki and so on, despite the fact that Japan is actually quite far off the radar of NYT and its readership.

                  1. re: shakti2

                    Still waiting for someone who has tried every oyster stand in Paris and is thus qualified to answer the OP. "Best".

                    1. re: Parigi

                      you've got a verre to pass the time while you wait, right?

                      (and not only every oyster stand in the city but throughout the season and every week, to differentiate between quality variances between species, harvest region, and time of year...)

        2. A vote here for Huitrerie Regis in the 6th, which was conspicuously missing from the Oyster thread.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lemarais

            "Huitrerie Regis in the 6th"
            Let me start off by supporting my/our quest to avoid the "best of's" in town.
            That said - to oysters - For years, I've depended on L'Huitrier for bivalves, then turned to my local shucker guy who toiled outside the Nord-Sud for years but now has (or with his bank, has) his own place Les Délices De L'Atlantique on Duhesme, but from time to time I try other joints - the Bars à Huîtres, L'Ilot, L'Ecume Saint-Honoré, etc., trending toward L'Ecailler du Bistrot in recent years where the oysters from the D-Day Beaches/Bays are awesome.
            But my 12 #3 Fines de Claires today were quite fine. Don't expect to escape pesky visitors, although none today were from my continent of origin.

          2. To a simple question (thank you), a simple answer:

            Now that I've tasted the Tsarskaïa oysters at Breizh Café in Cancale, and that I know that they're also served at the Paris branch of Breizh Café, I think I'm going to eat no other oysters than these in Paris.