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The best spots for oyster happy hour in NYC

Your love of bivalves meets your love of cheap eats at these restaurants hosting the best oyster happy hours in NYC

Photograph: Courtesy Krista Schlueter

Even when it’s not oyster season (that’d be any month that ends in R, FYI), New Yorkers are always down for an oyster happy hour. After all, what’s a better romantic date idea than sharing sensuous oysterswith your bae at one of the city’s best seafood restaurants? The next time you’re craving something indulgent that won’t break the bank, get out to one of the best oyster happy hours in NYC. After all, the city is your oyster.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best oyster happy hours in NYC

1

The Wayland

The cozy, casual vibe, excellent playlists (plus occasional live music), and deliciously creative cocktails make this East Village gastropub a hit even when it’s not happy hour. But of course, the bar’s happy hour—hosted Monday through Friday from 4pm to 7pm—sweetens the deal by offering $1 East Coast oysters. Wash it down with cocktails, which include chefly ingredients like peppercorn syrup, apple-spice bitters and chipotle-infused agave nectar, for only $7 a pop.

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East Village
2

Lighthouse

There is something very special about the ambiance at this breezy Williamsburg spot. High windows and beautiful wood tables, floors and walls fill the restaurant with natural light and a balmy airiness. Go for the dollar oysters during happy hour—available Tuesday through Sunday until 7:30pm—and throw in one of their delightful cocktails while you’re at it.

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Williamsburg
3

Desnuda

This is not your average raw bar. If you’re feeling a bit jaded with the same old oyster deal, step into this East Village gem to try offerings like Sichuan tea-smoked oysters, or bivalves pepped with green-apple mignonette. Happy hour runs Tuesday through Saturday from 6pm to 8pm, and all day Monday and Sunday.

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East Village
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4

Crave Fishbar

There are three reasons why this is a perfect date spot. Firstly, its interior is incredibly romantic, with lighting that’s neither too bright nor too dim and wooden tables and accents that make the dining experience feel like an intimate cabin retreat. Secondly, it has solid wine list to get your buzz on. And lastly, of course, oysters—their raw-bar menu offers East Coast and West Coast varieties as well as a number of other seafood delicacies.

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Midtown East
5

The Ten Bells

The dark, sexy atmosphere of this Lower East Side winebar is an apt setting for slurping down the aphrodisiac duo of oysters and wine. Happy hour offers $1 oysters and $15 carafes of wine every day until 7 pm—their lengthy wine list has something for every budget, as well as uncommon natural wines.

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Lower East Side
6

Virgola

This West Village Italian winebar is teeny tiny, so only go with someone you want to get up close and personal with. With all-day $1 East and West Coast oysters, caviar, cheese, Italian small plates and a solid wine list, it’s an opportune spot to enjoyably kill an hour or two.

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West Village
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7

Maison Premiere

This gorgeous, NOLA-inspired haunt brings in the crowds, and all the more so during happy hour, which happens 4 to 7pm Monday through Friday and 11am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday. We can't think of a better way to spend brunch than sampling from the salon's 30 different varieties (based on market availability) of oysters for $1 each. Oh, and that special includes all clams, too.

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Williamsburg
8

The John Dory Oyster Bar

Going here for oysters is like going to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for chocolate—it’s a no-brainer. April Bloomfield and co. make it even no-brainier (it’s a word!) by offering a daily happy hour from 5 to 7pm (noon to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays), including $2 oysters (and clams!), plus half-off deals on Captain Lawrence Kolsch beer, on-tap sparkling wine and sherry and $5 oyster shooters. The $2 price is a little steeper than other places, but the booze deal makes it worth it. Plus, the more you drink, the less you’ll care.

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Midtown
9

The Mermaid Inn

This longtime fish shack has stood the test of time—it remains one of our go-tos for oyster happy hour. Danny Abrams's Upper West Side eatery (which also has locations in the East Village and West Village) serves up chef's choice, East Coast bivalves for $1 a pop every night between 5pm and 7pm. You can also score some fried oysters for $3.50.

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East Village
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10

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

Venue says: “For over 100 years we have been serving the freshest oysters & seafood in NYC! Our Oyster Happy Hour features Bluepoint Oysters, $1.25/each”

At the legendary 96 -year-old Grand Central Oyster Bar, located in the epic and gorgeous hub that shares its name, play it classic with a reliably awe-inspiring platter of iced, just-shucked oysters (there can be a whopping three-dozen varieties to choose from at any given time, from Baja to Plymouth Rock). From Monday through Wednesday from 4:30pm to 7pm and Saturdays from 1pm to 5pm, you can enjoy Blue Points for just $1.25 each, as well as five-dollar beers.

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Midtown East
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Comments

7 comments
Gary Seven
Gary Seven

Or, you can go to certain areas near Staten Island, where the Oysters get to feed on a "special diet".  

Mark A
Mark A

Having lived in FL for so long I was a HUGE fan of oysters and to be honest while looking for my http://www.corcoran.com/nyc home I was looking for spots that had to best oysters in NY so I can be a stones thrown away and by far The Dead Rabbit has some of the best ones!

Michelle H
Michelle H

$1 oysters at Sagaponack Restaurant NYC in Flatiron during happy hour M-F 4pm to 7pm. Really amazing oysters!! Also 50% off draft beers & wine. Best deal ever.

TC C
TC C

As a prideful Queens resident who has enjoyed some amazing seafood meals in The Oyster Bar this Summer, (as well as an amazing Soft Shell Crab Sandwich at Pat Randazzo's in Sheepshead Bay) I would like to temper Barbara P.'s opinion and observation about London Lennie's.


LL on Woodhaven Boulevard does offer great Happy Hour specials during the week, as well as unique things like Crawfish boils.  It is easily Queens's best seafood restaurant, but not New York City's.  The service still lags behind The Oyster Bar and John Dory's, for example.  There's a great neighborhood vibe and fine food, but it's not New York's best...just yet.

TC C
TC C

But wait!  thee's more.  

TONY has left out the Tuesday thru Thursday after work specials at The Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal's Food Court. Typically, there is an oyster prix fixe variety as well as drink specials in the Bar and Bistro areas.  


Kim T
Kim T

This information isn't 100% accurate. I went to Mermaid Inn last night because I read that "Danny Abrams's Upper West Side eatery serves up chef's choice, East Coast bivalves for $1 a pop all night Monday." However, the UWS location does not offer this deal; it's only in the East Village location. :/

Barbara P
Barbara P

$1 happy hour oysters 4-6 M-F at London Lennie's on Woodhaven Blvd. Queens.  The best seafood restaurant in NYC