Where To Go When You Just Want Some Oysters

The best shucking places around town.
Where To Go When You Just Want Some Oysters image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Every now and then, you just want to slurp a little shellfish. Maybe you’re simply attempting to fill yourself with a tray of briny ocean aphrodisiacs, or maybe you just need a proper plate-to-mouth vehicle for your current horseradish addiction. Whatever the motivation, here are a few places around town that won’t look at you sideways when you order a couple dozen oysters for yourself.


photo credit: Justin Cook



$$$$Perfect For:Happy HourOutdoor/Patio SituationEating At The Bar


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The answer to the Shakespearian mystery of, “What’s in a name?” is easily answered at Clark’s: an oyster bar. This Austin-import-turned-Montrose-resident offers up a long list of Gulf, East, and even West coast oysters with a classic mignonette and cocktail sauce topped with a real primo ingredient: freshly shaved horseradish. Nine out of ten oyster enthusiasts agree that fresh horseradish trumps any other kind (this is not a legitimate poll), and Clark’s aims to please. Slug down some shucked shellfish on the massive patio or take down a couple dozen for the 50-cent-per-oyster discount during Happy Hour.

photo credit: Arturo Olmos

It’s safe to assume Little’s Oyster Bar serves oysters. And they do. The Pappas seafood restaurant on the edge of Montrose offers oysters on the half shell—Gulf when in season, but also East Coast varieties throughout the year—as well as broiled oysters with melted gruyere cheese, and fried oysters topped with caviar. Raw oysters are served on their own with a trio of sauces or on Little’s epic seafood platter along with crab, lobster, and smoked trout roe. Make a reservation for the oyster bar, and watch the shucking happen right before your eyes.

La Cruderia, a mariscos and michelada spot in Bellaire, could easily be a little shack on the beach, which makes sense, since you’re here for the oysters and seafood. While the menu here is massive, La Cruderia keeps the oyster selection focused. Order them naturales(raw, with or without pico)or gratinados (roasted, with or without serrano-piquin salsa). Throw back a couple dozen with crisp, spicy pico and lime in between some of La Cruderia’s other dishes like mountains of ceviche and tostadas, and keep it casual with a shrimp-topped michelada or a 32oz Mexican beer.

The oysters at Winnie’s, a bright Cajun-Creole restaurant in Midtown, are meant to be enjoyed anywhere there’s a seat. Hang out on the patio with your friends and have them chargrilled or sit at the mile-long bar and take in the glow of the frozen daiquiri machine. On Tuesdays, Gulf oysters are only $1 each, which means you can slurp them to your heart’s content.

A certified classic, Christie’s has been serving up seafood, steaks, and fat Gulf oysters in the Galleria area for over 100 years. The dining room resembles an old school cruise ship deck, or the nicest restaurant in a small seaside town, with stuffed fish mounted above every table, gazing down upon your order of juicy Gulf oysters. Gulp a few dozen down with a dry martini or a lemonade with a date, your parents, or a group of friends.

People-watching at Brasserie 19, a French bistro in River Oaks, never disappoints. And neither do the daily oyster selections, served with a simple but spot-on acidic shallot mignonette, cocktail sauce, and fresh horseradish. While the oyster condiments may be refined, the cadre of socialites and River Oaks rendezvous seekers sneaking in and out to smoke or trade gossip are sometimes anything but. So grab a dozen or two, a bottle of bubbles, and watch the show unfold around you. 

Brennan’s, a Southern Creole institution in Midtown, may have a strict business casual dress code, but their Happy Hour oysters are a steal. Mondays through Fridays, from 4-7pm, Brennan’s has some of the least expensive Gulf oysters in the city, at $1 per oyster. And because the minimum order of a half dozen will only set you back $6, you can save up for the suit you need to wear to eat there. 

International Oyster Night happens every Wednesday from 5-10pm at Traveler’s Table, a Montrose restaurant that explores a truly eye-crossing and stomach-busting number of global cuisines. You can get raw oysters by the dozen for $20 or $30, or orders of nine chargrilled oysters with a kitchen sink’s array of toppings like mango cucumber chili sauce, lemongrass and fish sauce, shallot-lime mojo with Paddlefish caviar, or Irish Cheddar and Guinness. Oysters are available all of Wednesday night, or until they run out, or until you’ve tasted around the world and back.

You just gotta love a restaurant inside of a shrimp boat. Capt. Benny’s, a mostly fried seafood restaurant in Garden Oaks (and other locations around Houston), serves up Gulf Coast oysters by the half dozen or dozen every month of the year. There are also baked oysters covered in garlic butter or parmesan cheese for under 20 bucks. Sitting at the worn wooden tables surrounded by fake portholes and portraits of fish, you can almost feel the ocean breeze on your face—or maybe that’s just the AC. There are also multiple locations around town.

The dry ice budget at Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette, a seafood restaurant at the edge of River Oaks, must be astronomical. Every tray of oysters (either raw or chargrilled) or pillared seafood tower is served in a thick cloud of icy smoke. Once the bubbling cauldron cools off, condiments like cocktail sauce with fresh horseradish, are revealed. You can even throw a few fried oysters on top of their vegan kale salad, because no one will tell you you can’t.

Bludorn’s menu lists oysters served “everyway,” which means that oysters are served in the fanciest ways (the option to add uni or caviar is right at the top.) This upscale American restaurant on the edge of Montrose serves them raw with adorably bottled house hot sauce, fried and smothered in tangy mustard gribiche, or roasted under a blanket of crispy bacon and watercress. Throw a few oysters on a seafood tower, slurp some back during brunch, or set your money on fire and dress each one with Siberian caviar.

Dining at State Of Grace, an upscale Southern restaurant, during the oyster Happy Hour, when Gulf varieties are only $1.50 each, feels like discovering buried treasure, which isn’t all that unlikely this close to River Oaks Boulevard. Only the Oyster Room and bar serve Happy Hour, which is available Mondays through Fridays from 4:30-6pm. But you can also throw back a selection of a dozen different oysters all night, either by the dozen or packed into a seafood tower. 

To find Ragin’ Cajun in the Greenway area, look for the giant red crawfish wrapped in string lights. Opened in 1974, this was the first Cajun restaurant in Houston. Like any iconic Louisiana roadside restaurant, it smells of paprika, cayenne, and brine, and it’s covered floor-to-ceiling in bayou-, crawfish-, and Mardi Gras-themed memorabilia. Gulf oysters are served raw by the half dozen or chargrilled with cheese and lemon butter. Grab a couple dozen and slurp them down by the light of the giant glowing crawfish.

Connie’s Seafood Restaurant in the East End has been shelling out a unique combination of Mexican-Asian plates and seafood by-the-pound for decades. So not only can you get dozen after dozen of Gulf oysters here, you can also get a giant plate of shrimp fried rice, a bowl of ceviche, and a frosty michelada. The inside may resemble a discotheque at closing time—tons of neon, bright overhead lights, a backlit glass block bar top—but we kind of dig the scrappy ‘80s vibes. So bring your friends, slide into the plastic-molded booths, and knock back some oysters and beer. There are also multiple locations around town.

A casual but sleek Sixth Ward spot, Xin Chao offers a contemporary take on Vietnamese cuisine, with inspiration coming from Texas and Gulf Coast ingredients and flavors. On the menu are five different takes on oysters—and you should definitely get the spicy Viet-Cajun oysters dressed with a garlicky and buttery H-Town Bang sauce. Apart from the Viet-Cajun treatment, you can get oysters raw, grilled, roasted, or topped with pineapple sorbet and caviar. Even better, all the oysters are half off on Tuesdays all night long (all night). 

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