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Photograph: Courtesy Krista Schlueter

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

By Arielle Shorr, Christina Izzo and Time Out contributors

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

The Wayland
Photograph: Courtesy Krista Schlueter

1. The Wayland

Bars Cocktail bars East Village

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.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Devin A.

2. Lighthouse

Restaurants Contemporary American Williamsburg

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.

Maison Premiere
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

3. Maison Premiere

Bars Cocktail bars Williamsburg

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.

Mermaid Inn
Photograph: Courtesy Mermaid Inn

4. The Mermaid Inn

Restaurants Seafood East Village

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.

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kate K.

5. Desnuda

Restaurants Seafood East Village

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.

6. Crave Fishbar

Restaurants Seafood Midtown East

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.

The John Dory Oyster Bar
Photograph: Courtesy of The John Dory Oyster Bar

7. The John Dory Oyster Bar

Restaurants Seafood Flatiron

Going here for oysters is like going to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for chocolate—it’s a no-brainer. There's 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 Ten Bells
Photograph: Filip Wolak

8. The Ten Bells

Bars Wine bars Lower East Side

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.

Grand Central Oyster Bar
Photograph: Courtesy of Grand Central Oyster Bar

9. Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

Restaurants Seafood Midtown East

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.

The Dead Rabbit
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. The Dead Rabbit

Bars Cocktail bars Financial District

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.

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