What better way to celebrate oyster season (that’s every month without an R, by the way) than with an oyster happy hour? NYC has plenty of top-notch happy hours offering discount bivalves at seafood restaurants like Upper West Side mainstay the Mermaid Inn and Williamsburg favorite Maison Premiere. Whether you’re a slurp savant or are simply on the look out for some cheap eats in NYC, these are the best oyster happy hour restaurants and bars in town.
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NYC’s best oyster happy hours
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.
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.
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.
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.
At this FiDi drinking den, you can take advantage of a daily “Green Hour” deal (5 to 7pm) with delicious mollusks for $1 apiece. The throw-back bar is known for resurrecting long-forgotten quaffs, and during happy hour you can also toss back specially-priced absinthe cocktails.
This Boerum Hill cocktail bar is full of picture-ready curiosities, from the Technicolor prints on the walls to the twee mignonette-filled eye droppers (salty ponzu, fiery jerk) that accompany the impressive selection of shucked-to-order oysters. You can get the tavern's beautiful bivalve for one dollar each on weekdays from 5pm to 7pm.
After music-industry pal Adam Geringer-Dunn noticed a plethora of butchers but zero fish shops in the nabe, the pair began hosting pop-up lobster bakes. Now they’ve ventured into purveying, sourcing only seasonal and sustainable—and sometimes local—catch like wild Alaskan salmon and Arctic char at a retail counter. On weekdays between 2pm and 6pm, take advantage of dollar oysters and littlenecks and wash ’em down with five-buck beers.
You know you can count on fresh seafood from the folks behind Chelsea Market's Lobster Place—and the same goes for their adjacent restaurant. All oysters are $1 Monday through Friday 4 to 6pm, and we recommend slurping them down with a Mini Mary cocktail (Tito’s vodka, tomato, A&B hot sauce and horseradish) for $6.
In the mood for a burger?
White Oak Oyster Bar & Lounge
Venue says: “Prix Fixe Lunch, $33 p/p - 1 appetizer, 1 entree, 1 desert from our prix fixe menu, and a glass of wine, prosecco, Bloody Mary or Mimosa.”