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Oyster happy hour - London

nyc_to_ma Jan 22, 2014 01:35 PM

I'll be visiting London for the first time in March, and would love to try some oysters while I'm there. I live in Boston and eat oysters here a lot - I think it'd be fun to try them elsewhere.

Around here, a lot of restaurants have 'oyster happy hours' where oysters are $1 or otherwise discounted. Does this exist anywhere in London?

We're staying in Shoreditch, but will be headed to all of the tourist sites during the days.


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  1. Paprikaboy RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 22, 2014 01:54 PM

    I don't know of anywhere that does oyster happy hour.
    However The Newman St Tavern does oysters @£1.50 each or £15 a dozen, Not quite as cheap as $1 a pop but it's pretty good by London standards.


    1. f
      Foodie94 RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 23, 2014 05:18 AM

      You'll usually pay more like £2-3 per oyster over here. As a transplanted New Yorker, I have found that dishes cost the same number-wise but then you're paying over 150% more as it's pounds. One good option is Richard Haward’s oyster stall at the fantastic Borough Market - http://boroughmarket.org.uk/richard-h..., or you could take a day trip to Whitstable in Kent, which is gorgeous and known for oysters.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Foodie94
        DavidT RE: Foodie94 Jan 23, 2014 10:37 AM

        Sorry to be a nit-picker, but I think you mean one pays roughly 50% more (not 150%!) in London than in the U.S., as the British Pound is currently roughly valued at $1.60-$1.65.

        When looking at prices in Britain, one should remember that they are quoted net of a 20% valued added tax. Prices in the U.S. are never quoted net of whatever sales taxes are applicable. That accounts for 20%-30% of the cost differences.

        1. re: DavidT
          Paprikaboy RE: DavidT Jan 23, 2014 10:47 AM

          The menu prices in Britain include VAT. This means that they are the gross price. A price that was net of VAT would be the price before VAT was added, which is not the price that would be paid.

          1. re: Paprikaboy
            DavidT RE: Paprikaboy Jan 23, 2014 01:58 PM

            Yes, I agree with the point you are making! We differ in our use of gross and net.

            I am using the term "gross" as the price before any fees or taxes are added/subtracted. "Net" is the final price a customer pays (regardless or whether it is higher or lower than the gross). Based on that usage, net prices in the UK are higher than gross prices.

          2. re: DavidT
            Harters RE: DavidT Jan 23, 2014 10:52 AM

            There would also be the difference in tip (or service charge) level between America and the UK.

          3. re: Foodie94
            MVNYC RE: Foodie94 Jan 29, 2014 09:32 AM

            Do try the oysters at hawards in borough market. They have European flats that are fantastic and different from the oysters on the other side of the pond. A real oyster lovers oyster, intense, Briney with a bit more texture. Really delicious.

          4. n
            nyc_to_ma RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 23, 2014 06:14 AM

            Thanks for the ideas! Are there places that do any good general food or drink deals - not necessarily oysters/seafood? We'd obviously like to eat well while on our trip, but we're on a pretty tight budget.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nyc_to_ma
              Harters RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 23, 2014 09:00 AM

              For deals - check out Top Table (now owned by the American Open Table)

            2. zuriga1 RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 23, 2014 09:45 AM

              There are also deals at times on www.london-eating.co.uk. It's a site that has reviews, too, but I can't vouch for how accurate those are. You could always check with us here about a certain restaurant.

              1. Paprikaboy RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 23, 2014 10:29 AM

                If you're on a tight budget then set lunches or pre/post theatre menu rather than going for dinner might be your best bet.Though choice will be limited.

                Hereford Road, Hix, Gymkhana , Green Man and French Horn and Quo Vardis will give you two and in some cases three courses for £20 or under.

                There was a post a while back for food under £10 which may be of interest.


                1. c
                  chief1284 RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 23, 2014 03:38 PM

                  Two ideas:

                  (1) Hix restaurants (certainly oyster and chop house) do done kind of pre-fixe champagne and oyster deal before 7. Top quality guaranteed.

                  (2) Though I've never had them, there's a stall in the small streets around Columbia Road flower market that sells cheap oysters on Sundays (the streets north of the market near brawn - incidentally brawn is a great restaurant). The Sunday flower market is generally a great place to go esp when staying in shoreditch. Have lunch at brawn or the royal oak after your oysters

                  1. j
                    J Sheridan RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 24, 2014 08:05 AM

                    There's a very good oyster stall at the market in Duke of York's Square on the Kings Road, near Sloane Square, on Saturdays. I haven't had an oyster there for a while but I think they were £1.50. There are lots of other lovely things to eat there too, from all over them world.

                    1. Kavey RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 24, 2014 11:07 AM

                      I've been told The Wright Brothers are good for oysters, not particularly cheap but good oysters generally aren't, in the UK.

                      I'm not a huge oyster lover, so can't say I've sought them out in London, but it's a name that's been passed on to me when I was asking for recos for my (oyster adoring) sister.

                      1. n
                        nyc_to_ma RE: nyc_to_ma Jan 29, 2014 09:00 AM

                        Thanks for the ideas!

                        We're planning on eating many of our meals at 'fast casual' type places / local chains to save money. Any positive or negative thoughts about the following?

                        -Pho Cafe
                        -Rosa's (thai)
                        -Franco Manca
                        -Hummus Bros
                        (Nando's and Pret a Manger are also on the list, but we have those in the States and I've been many times)

                        And these two which seem slightly 'nicer':

                        ...and this thread is now thoroughly off topic.

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