Our 10 Best Restaurants for Oysters in NYC
Lucky for those of us who crave raw bar offerings in this city's summer heat, oysters are now offered at almost all restaurants of a certain echelon that are worth their salt. We demystified the source of the shellfish in last week's Village Voice, and now we've rounded up the 10 best spots for eating oysters in NYC. For ultimate usability, we've compiled the list superlatively, high school yearbook-style. Read on for steals, deals, splurges, and scenes within New York's massive mollusk market.
Best Bucket-List Oyster: Aqua Grill, 210 Spring Street
If you're serious about oysters, Aqua Grill is a must. Chef Jeremy Marshall stocks one of the city's best selections of bivalves culled from waters around the world, amassed into a list that changes on a daily basis. The mollusks are shucked before your eyes if you're at the bar and served with finesse by a friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Best Hole-in-the-Wall Oyster: Upstate, 95 First Avenue
This tiny, no-reservations First Avenue spot houses a long bar with just a few tables squeezed in for good measure, but it boasts a killer oyster selection. Choose from over 20 varieties, and don't miss the happy hour special: $12 for a half-dozen oysters and a pint of craft beer. As a bonus, the spot serves complimentary whiskey cake, a sweet treat to finish your meal.
Best Oyster to Eat and Run: Grand Central Oyster Bar, Grand Central Station, 89 East 42nd Street
This classic midtown oyster haven keeps it classy with solid service, serious ambiance (see the Gustavino tiled arches for proof), and dozens of varieties of oyster, listed with helpful descriptors so that you can easily differentiate between Blue Points and Malpeques. The bar provides good reason to come early and slurp down a dozen before you board a train, though this restaurant is also a worthy destination in itself.