Oysters in New York City are notoriously expensive. Spending three or four dollars for a mouthful can seem a bit punchy, but these briny bivalves have a way of making you forget the price pretty quickly.
There are places to splurge on oysters (that provide not only expertly shucked oysters, but some ambience too) and there are places to save (where atmosphere doesn’t top the priority list, or where an oyster happy hour brings value). Here are some of our favorite spots to order up a dozen and slurp them down.
••• SPLURGE •••
Oysters at Lure Fishbar, $3.50-$3.95/each
If you’re going to splurge on oysters, depend on Lure Fishbar to deliver the complete experience. This SoHo favorite is a dimly lit seafood den with a rotating oyster selection. Your server will know about oysters here, and will be able to help you make your selections based on your preferences (what size oyster? what level of brine?). Pair with a glass of Champagne. 142 Mercer St., 212-431-7676, lurefishbar.com
Oysters at John Dory Oyster Bar, $3/each
Part of the ever-cool Ace Hotel, the John Dory Oyster Bar is an energetic place to see and be seen. They also have an excellent raw bar with oysters, clams, whelks and more. At $3 a pop for East Coast and West Coast oysters, these aren’t cheap, but the freshness, presentation and fun atmosphere are worth the price tag. 1196 Broadway at 29th St., 212-792-9000, thejohndory.com
••• SAVE •••
Oysters at Kanoyama, from $2.20
A Japanese restaurant on 2nd Avenue might not be the first place you would think about for great oysters, but Kanoyama has an affordable selection. The same oysters that you pay $3-$4 each in other destination oyster bars — Blue Points, Sewansecotts, Hama Hama — here start at $2.20/each. Plus, this sushi bar brings its eye for detail to the art of shucking oysters. 175 2nd Ave., 212-777-5266, kanoyama.com
Oysters at Ten Bells, $1.25 Oyster Happy Hour
Some of the best deals in town are for “oyster happy hour.” Yet not all oyster happy hours are created equal — they might be for only certain types of oysters, or only be available if you’re purchasing drinks, too. At cozy Ten Bells on the Lower East Side, all oysters are $1.25 each before 7pm every day of the week. Go ahead — order twice as many as you typically would. 247 Broome St., 212-228-4450, thetenbells.typepad.com
See more splurges and steals.