Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Jan 7, 2013 01:11 PM

Oyster Bar

Island Creek Oyster Bar is booked and Neptune doesn't take reservations. What's the next best thing?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: mkfisher

      Only opening at 10:00 pm which is too late. What do you think of Oceanaire? I want a fun atmosphere, nothing too sterile or fine dining.

      1. re: katbri

        for oysters oceanaire is perfectly fine and the room is gorgeous -- a former bank.

        1. re: katbri

          Oceanaire is fine, but I find it a bit on the sterile side. There is only so much you can do with a former bank!

          Legal harborside is okay for oysters too. Only the second floor has that fine dining feel.

          How many in your party? There are quite a few places where you can have good oysters at the bar. I have also enjoyed the oysters at Lineage, Gaslight, Marliave, Citizen Pub, Summer Shack, Central Kitchen, Rendezvous, Russell House, Dante, and Summer Shack. Some of these place only had island creek, but others have at least 3 or 4 varieties of east coast oysters.

      2. I'm a fan of B&G, which accepts reservations for a portion of their tables.

        1 Reply
        1. Just show up. Be a walk-in. Tell them that you tried to book but could not get in. I am sure they will accommodate you. Island Creek not only have great food but their service is amazing too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cherrytomato

            This... they almost always have some seats open if you hang around the bar long enough.

          2. Did you call? Places often hold back a few seats from Open table listings, and you can get these if you call. Otherwise, I agree, just show up at Island Creek and see if they will seat you. if not, walk down a few doors to Eastern Standard which has good oysters as well. They are run by the same people as island creek, but the focus is broader than IC - i.e, not as many oyster varieties and more non-fish dishes.

            There is also the oyster bar at the much smaller Cognac Bistro on Harvard Street in Brookline - it usually has at least 4 kinds of oysters.


            1. there are a bunch of a 1.00 per oyster places around including Rialto on Monday nights.

              6 Replies
              1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                There are 5 of us and its for Saturday night. Thinking of Gaslight, what do you guys think?

                1. re: katbri

                  If you get to ICOB ~6 or before on a Saturday, they should be able to sit you at one of the high tops with no or minimal wait. To my knowledge the high tops cannot be reserved and are for walk ins only, but you could call and check?

                  1. re: katbri

                    Gaslight is just okay. Have you tried Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar? Loved the oysters and presentation there. Haven't been since last year.

                    1. re: Berheenia

                      I've given up ordering oysters at Citizens Public House after 2 times getting chipped shells and oysters with shell fragments in them. The last time I went, the guy next to me had an oyster that was missing a huge chunk of shell, enough to cut up your lip if you weren't careful.

                      1. re: kimfair1

                        I guess we haven't been for a while. The oyster shucker we had was an older guy with the skills of generations in his blade. We sat at the bar and it was a pleasure watching him open them and even more of a pleasure to eat a plate of them.

                        1. re: Berheenia

                          Yeah, the shucker both times was a younger foreign guy, who was quite nice, but really didn't know what he was doing. Next time I'm in if there's an older guy shucking maybe I'll get some oysters.