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.
Top Oysters in New Orleans
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. Ya know, for historical purposes.
Best Oysters Bienville: Arnaud’s
An Arnaud’s restaurant original recipe still reigns supreme. Plump Gulf oysters are topped with a creamy mixture of diced shrimp, mushrooms, breadcrumbs, parsley, and Romano cheese. You can enjoy this delicacy at their restaurant in the French Quarter any night of the week.
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 soaking 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 one of the busiest), 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 raw 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: Seaworthy
Tucked in between Balise and the Ace Hotel on Carondelet, this oyster bar features sustainably harvested oysters coast to coast. Local Gulf varieties include Caminada Bay out of Grand Isle, La.; Mon Luis from Sandy Bay, Ala.; Point Aux Pins from Grand Bay, Ala; and our wonderful, wild Gulf Louisiana oysters.
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.