The world may be your oyster, but New Orleans is certainly the pearl. When certain local restaurants (ahem, Antoine’s) have invented some of the most prized oyster dishes in the world, you know we’re doing it right. Whether you want them served raw, bubbling with cheese, or stuffed in a po-boy, here’s where to throw back some of the best (and cheapest) oysters in the city.
Best Raw: Pascal’s Manale
Many New Orleans restaurants claim to serve the freshest, plumpest oysters in town. But throw in a side of entertainment with your dozen raw and Pascale’s Manale takes the pearl. Locals and visitors alike make their way to this New Orleans staple for a chance to see master shucker “Uptown T” in action. The pride he takes in his work makes the oysters taste that much better.
Best Fried: Café Giovanni
Chef Duke’s creative approach to food and flavors is evident through his award-winning Oysters Giovanni that are lightly fried and served on a plate drizzled meticulously with five sauces for a stained-glass effect. It might pain you to disrupt the mesmerizing art work presented on your plate, but it’s totally worth it.
Best Oysters Rockefeller: Antoine’s
Try as you might (and many have), but you can’t beat the original. Created in 1899 by second-generation proprietor Jules Alciatore, Antoine’s Oysters Rockefeller recipe is still the same family recipe, and a secret, to this day. A decadent treat that must be experienced at least once in your lifetime. For historical purposes.
Best Oysters Bienville: Tony Angelo’s
Yes, it was first created at Arnaud’s restaurant in the French Quarter, but we’re giving props to Lakeview favorite Tony Angelo’s for recreating this classic to perfection. These baked beauties, topped with a light cream concoction, will turn any oyster hater into a loyal fan.
Best Oyster Po-boy: Red Fish Grill
A festival favorite that can be devoured year-round in their French Quarter restaurant, Red Fish Grill’s barbecue oyster po-boy took home the “Best Seafood Po-Boy” crown from the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival four years straight. Can’t argue with that.
Best Charbroiled: Drago’s
Sizzling and buttery to golden perfection, Drago’s charbroiled oysters are arguably the best oysters in the city. When garlic, butter, and a blend of cheeses and herbs are involved, you can’t go wrong. Just make sure you save some bread for dipping up the excess sauce.
Best Oyster shooter/Oyster Bloody Mary: Acme Oyster House
Sure, it’s the oldest and most famous oyster bar in New Orleans (also making it the most touristy), but that means they have perfected all things bivalves — cocktails included. Nothing is more coveted after a late night in the Crescent City than one of Acme’s spicy Bloody Marys topped with a raw oyster. And for a quick fix, grab an oyster shooter, which consists of a shot of chilled vodka with a raw ‘ster and a drop of cocktail sauce. Breakfast of champions, am I right?
Best Oyster Happy Hour: The Blind Pelican
Featuring an ‘Oyster Hour’ 365 days a year from 4-8 p.m., Blind Pelican offers up oysters for just 25-cents. Yes, that means for four hours out of the day, you could be eating a dozen oysters for just 3 bucks, as long as you get a beverage with every order (as if that wasn’t already the plan).
Best Oyster Bar: Curious Oyster Company
Posting up shop inside Dryades Public Market, Curious Oyster Co. offers diners a taste of the Gulf, West, and East coasts from its raw oyster menu. Polishing off an order of Bellegarde and Leo’s bread and butter is also encouraged (found on their snacks menu).
Lagniappe: Oysters Goodenough from Carrollton Market
A “little something extra” is our mantra in New Orleans, and Carrollton Market delivers in the oyster department. Their specialty: Oysters Goodenough with flash-fried oysters, Benton’s bacon, creamed leeks, and sauce béarnaise. The name says it all.