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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.


  1. Paprikaboy 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Jan 23, 2014 09:00 AM

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

            2. zuriga1 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 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 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 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 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 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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