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Eataly oysters
Photograph: Courtesy Eataly

The best dollar oysters in Boston

Slurp fresh, delicious oysters on the cheap at these Boston bars and restaurants

Jillian Dara
Written by
Jillian Dara
Written by
Gerrish Lopez
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We all know that some of the tastiest oysters on the planet come from the icy waters of the New England coast. You can enjoy these succulent treats any time at Boston’s best oyster bars and best seafood restaurants, but these beloved bivalves taste even sweeter when the price is lower. From buck-a-shuck nights to two-for-one happy hours, here are the city’s best and most popular deals. Oysters are not always available due to seasonal sourcing, but some spots offer year-round specials — always check first. For more wallet-friendly fare, check out our list of Boston’s best food happy hours and the best cheap eats in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best oyster happy hours in Boston

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Harvard Sq
  • price 3 of 4

A glass case of oysters greets you at the host stand, so you know these bivalves are some of the freshest in town. On Fridays and Saturdays you can indulge in the regional selection of oysters for $1 at the bar. And if you decide to stay for dinner, expect coastally-inspired fare on the menu at this Harvard Square restaurant.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Harvard Sq
  • price 3 of 4

This stylish tavern is popular for patio dining in the warmer months and cozy comfort fare when it’s cold. For night owls who love oysters, Russell House Tavern offers $1 oysters—a rotating selection of both East Coast and West Coast varieties—nightly from 9—10pm on Sunday through Wednesday, 9—11pm on Thursday and 10pm—12am on Fridays and Saturdays. The special is available in the restaurant as well as on the patio.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Back Bay
  • price 4 of 4

Though celebrated as a local, premium steakhouse, you’ll find regulars at the bar nightly from Monday through Thursday slurping up Grill 23’s dollar oyster happy hour, offered from 5—6pm. The restaurant serves up whatever’s in season, so the bivalves available can vary—but no matter which types of oysters are there, you can always expect them to be immaculately shucked.

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Harvard Sq
  • price 2 of 4

Charlie’s stakes its claim in the great oyster deal wars of Harvard Square by offering 50¢ bivalves daily from 12—5pm—well, for your first dozen anyway. This deal is also available from 9pm until close, should you have a late-night hankering. Once you've had your fill of shellfish, follow the loud, ready-to-drink crowd of punks, students, professors and local rock luminaries into the upstairs bar for massive glasses of beer, cheap eats, snippy waitresses and the best damn jukebox in Harvard Square.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Harvard Sq

This Irish Pub pays its respects to Boston’s historic roots, but its menu also pays homage to The Hub’s in its modern day. Take advantage of the fresh, local $1 oysters from 4—6pm every day at this welcoming Harvard Square venue. In warmer weather, enjoy your oysters and wine while seated on the sidewalk patio.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • South Boston
  • price 3 of 4

This laidback South Boston hangout is popular any day of the week, and Monday is no exception. Loco offers dollar oysters all day each Monday, from when it opens at 11am to just before closing at 12:30am (the place closes at 1am). If you can’t snag a reservation, the bar is first come, first served. Once seated, you’ll get a checklist of toppings, including daily made mignonettes, hot sauce, as well as your standard citrus and horseradish.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • North End
  • price 4 of 4

Oysters at this high-end Italian restaurant in the North End are perfect—either as a standalone happy hour or as a preface to one of Prezza’s handmade pasta dishes (you can’t go wrong with their seasonal ravioli or lobster fra diavolo). Stop by this Fleet Street between 4:30—5:30pm every weekday and slurp some oysters for $1 each.

  • Shopping
  • Grocery stores
  • Back Bay

This Back Bay magnet runs seasonal offerings for dollar oysters at its signature restaurant, La Pizza & La Pasta. Its fall special, for example, runs every weekday from 5—7pm, when you can get local Sea Hag oysters from Barnstable, MA, at a buck a shuck. Eataly allows worlds to seamlessly collide, with the New England bivalves complementing the spot’s Italian cocktails, including creative spritz, and crisp vino served by the glass.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Somerville
  • price 1 of 4

Wood-grilled fare and globe-spanning culinary influences are on tap at this Somerville spot. A rotating selection of East Coast oysters complements the robust menu. You’ll find dollar oysters served daily from 5—6pm with mignonette and fresh horseradish. Pair with a glass of wine and one of La Brasa’s delicious spreads.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Inman Sq
  • price 3 of 4

Shabby-chic environs, Yankee touches and locally-sourced ingredients make this cozy Inman Square restaurant a popular place for a delicious meal. The raw section of the menu features daily oyster selections. Get them for $1 on Tuesday evenings from 5:30pm until they sell out. The cucumber-ginger mignonette that accompanies these salty half-shells is divine, so don’t forget to try it, even if you usually prefer slurping your oysters au naturel.

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  • Restaurants
  • North End

This seafood-focused Italian restaurant near the North End waterfront serves fresh, locally-sourced seafood. Oysters are fresh — the selection is based on what’s available locally — and available year-round. From 4:15-5:30pm Mondays through Saturdays (plus from 10-11pm on Thursdays through Saturdays), enjoy $1 oysters at the bar.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Back Bay
  • price 3 of 4

Tucked away on a Back Bay sidestreet, Chef Jasper White’s raw bar and seafood shack is often overlooked by passersby. Don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy dollar oysters every Tuesday from 4pm—10pm at this downtown spot (or at its Cambridge location on Alewife Street). The casual, checkered tablecloths and wood-paneled walls exude the essence of a classic beachside eatery, ensuring the feel of a never-ending summer—even on the coldest winter evening.

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