10 places to slurp oysters in Charleston ahead of National Oyster Day

Brine and dandy

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JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
Apparently March 31 is National Oysters on the Half-Shell day. And while we think it's cute that other parts of the nation have to carve out a day to celebrate our favorite oysters, we know the truth — every day is national oyster day if you try hard enough.

And with the recent scare over the sewage spill in Hollywood, S.C., we figured it was worth checking out if any local spots were affected, and if not, what oysters we could still enjoy. Here are some of the slurpiest oysters in town (that's a good thing, BTW), and where to eat 'em.

The Darling's oyster offerings include: James River Oysters from the Chesapeake Bay, VA-$1.50 each; Bulls Bay Blades-Bulls Bay, SC-$2 each; Beaver Tails-Narragansett Bay, RI-$2.50 each; Malpeque-P.E.I, Canada-$2.50 each; Beausoleil-New Brunswick, CA-$3 each; Single Ladies-Seabrook Island, SC-$3.50 each. Oysters are served with a hollandaise, tartar sauce, and cocktail sauce.



The Ordinary's oyster selection changes daily. Typically, the prices run around $3 each on the half shell, but on Tuesday — Friday from 5 to 6:30 p.m., all oysters are half-off. They’re served with a seasonal mignonette, and the current option is Meyer lemon and thyme, also served with a traditional red wine mignonette and lemon.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar was largely unaffected by the spill due to most of their oysters coming from their farms in Virginia. The local oysters they serve come from outside of the spill zone and have been cleared by the health department. Currently available are Rappahannock River Oyster from Topping, Va., Olde Salts from Chincoteague, Va., Rochambeau-Yorktown, Va., Bulls Bay Blades-Bulls Bay from right here in good ol' SC, and Single Ladies from Seabrook Island. All oysters are $2.50 each, but are half-off during happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., served with a cracker bowl with house-made hot sauce.

At Mt. Pleasant's The Shellmore the oyster options change regularly. They get them from Massachusetts and other Northeast farms. The prices change with the market, but they don’t usually go over $3. All of the oysters are served with cocktail sauce, horseradish, and a mignonette.

167 Raw also changes its oysters daily and they run $2.75 each, $30 for a dozen and are served with a house-made mignonette and cocktail sauce. Currently aren’t serving any South Carolina oysters because of the sewage spill.

Blossom Oyster Bar just opened its new oyster bar which means you can now get James River oysters ($2 each), Bluepoint Oysters from Great South Bay, Long Island ($2.75 each), Malpeque Oysters from Prince Edward Island ($2.75 each), or Beausoleil Oysters from Neguac, New Brunswick ($3.25 each), Pink Moon Oysters-Prince Edward Island ($3.25 each). Blossom isn't currently serving any local oysters at the moment because of the spill. All oysters are served with cocktail sauce and a lemon mignonette, but they also offer other sauces upon request. You can also eat the oysters as shooters too.

At NICO, Nico Romo's Mt. Pleasant restaurant, the oyster selection changes daily. NICO always has a selection of 12 oysters, and they are always East Coast oysters from as far North as Maine and as far South as Beaufort. Served with a traditional cocktail sauce, red wine mignonette, and a house smoky hot sauce.

Pearlz Oyster Bar selection and prices change daily, and sometimes even throughout the day. The house oyster is always the James River Oyster from Chesapeake Bay, Va. The varietals can run anywhere from $26 to $29 a dozen. The house oyster is $17.99 a dozen, and $14.99 a dozen during happy hour. They’re served with cocktail sauce and mignonette.

Amen Street Fish and Oyster Bar adjusts its menu changes daily, but the house oysters are from Pamlico, N.C. and its Broad River Blades come from South Carolina. The house oysters are $12.95 for a half dozen and $18.95 for a full dozen. The other oysters are $16.95 for a half dozen and $28.95 for a full dozen and come with cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, and a traditional mignonette, all made in house. 

At Leon’s, some of the oysters change daily, but the house oyster, a Virginia Wild Oyster, stays the same. The changing oysters are usually from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, or Connecticut. The house oyster is $1.75 each, and the other selections are $3 each. All the oysters are served with cocktail sauce and a mignonette.

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