Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Best spots to get oysters in Philly

From oyster happy hours to raw bar towers, these are the best spots to celebrate National Oyster Day, or any other day.

Wellfleet oysters on the half shell are pictured at Oyster House in Center City Philadelphia on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
Wellfleet oysters on the half shell are pictured at Oyster House in Center City Philadelphia on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. TIM TAI / Staff PhotographerRead moreTIM TAI / Staff Photographer

A plate of freshly shucked oysters on the half shell is a briny and beautiful thing.

“Philadelphia has a very old and rich oyster history,” said Sam Mink, owner of the popular Rittenhouse seafood spot Oyster House.

Philadelphia’s proximity to the Delaware Bay, the Chesapeake, even the Shore, are large oyster-producing areas, which meant that in the 19th and 20th centuries, oysters and oyster bars were commonplace throughout the city. “Oysters bars used to be ubiquitous, like the way pizza parlors are in every neighborhood,” he said.

How we choose our best lists
What makes something the best? Our recommendations are based on our reporters' deep regional knowledge and advice from local experts. We also strive to represent the geographic and cultural diversity of the city and region. Spot an error or omission? Email us at

And while oyster bars aren’t as common as they once were in this area, there are still a number of great restaurants to visit for fresh oysters — many of which serve full-flavored oysters harvested from the Delaware Bay.

Below, find the best restaurants for freshly shucked oysters in the Philly area.

Oyster House on Sansom Street has the best, most expertly shucked selection of oysters around, plus great fried oysters. They frequently serve a half-dozen varieties, including oysters from the Delaware Bay, Maine, Long Island, Cape Cod, Canada, and more, so there’s lots from which to choose. Happy hour runs Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the oyster bar. During happy hour, a rotating oyster (usually local) costs $2 a pop. Don’t forget to tip your shucker.

📍1516 Sansom St., 📞 215-567-7683, 🌐, 📷 @phloysterhouse, 🕑 Tuesday to Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday to -Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to -10 p.m.

Inside Reading Terminal Market, the menu at Pearl’s Oyster Bar leans classic with fried oyster and clam platters, crab cakes, clam chowder, and more, alongside fresh oysters available for $14 for a half dozen or $3 each.

📍51 N. 12th St., 📞 215-964-9792, 🌐, 📷 @pearlsoysterbar, 🕑 Sunday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sweet Amalia Market and Kitchen is named for co-owner Lisa Calvo’s Sweet Amalia oyster farm on the Delaware Bay, and, naturally, its oysters are the draw, both from the farm and from Barnegat Bay Collective. Try a half dozen raw oysters from the farm for $21 and a dozen from Barnegat for ($18). Or get four baked ($18), eight fried ($22), and four cornmeal-fried oysters on a brioche roll with cabbage and lime slaw — or celery root slaw in the fall ($18).

📍994 Harding Hwy, US Route 40, Newfield, NJ, 📞 856-839-2478, 🌐, 📷 @sweetamaliaoysters, 🕑Thursday to Monday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you’re in the mood for a briny snack, happy hour at Pearl & Mary is Monday to Sunday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with $2 buck-a-shuck oysters that rest on ice as shuckers work nearby.

📍114 S. 13th St., 📞 215-330-6786, 🌐, 📷 @pearlandmary_phl, 🕑Monday and Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. to midnight; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

There are two ways to order your oysters at Vernick Fish, chef Greg Vernick’s American oyster bar on the bottom floor of the Comcast Technology Center: raw by the shell ($3.25 to $4.75) and the broiled oysters Philadelphia ($24), which come topped with genoa salami and provolone.

📍 1 N. 19th St., 📞 215-419-5055, 🌐, 📷 @vernickfish 🕑 Tuesday to Saturday 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (The kitchen closes at 10 p.m.)

River Twice on East Passyunk Avenue also sources its oysters from a favorite on this list: Sweet Amalia oyster farm in Cape May. The oyster offerings and pricing change regularly.

📍 1601 E. Passyunk Ave., 📞 267-457-3698, 🌐, 📷 @rivertwicephl, 🕑 Thursday to Monday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Find both East and West Coast oysters on the menu at Old City’s Royal Boucherie for market price, along with other raw bar options like shrimp cocktail. You can also splurge and get oysters on a seafood platter with a daily rotation of other seafood (for $99). Get $2 oysters at happy hour, Monday to Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the bar and bar tables.

📍 52 S. Second St., 📞 267-606-6313, 🌐, 📷 @royalboucherie, 🕑 Monday and Tuesday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 4-11 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 11a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sweet Amalia oysters are the star at The bivalves come on the half shell with peach kimchi mignonette and grilled lemon, at $22 for six.

📍 1737 Walnut St., 📞 215-825-7030, 🌐, 📷 @akitchenphilly, 🕑 Monday dinner 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesday to Friday breakfast 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., lunch 11 a.m. to -3 p.m., dinner 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday brunch 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday brunch 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Bring a bottle of white wine to pair with the freshly shucked Prince Edward Island oysters at Conshohocken’s Blackfish BYOB. The oysters are topped with whipped Meyer lemon and a light topping of pickled fennel and pink peppercorn, for $20 for five oysters.

📍119 Fayette St., 📞 610-397-0888, 🌐, 📷 @blackfishbyob, 🕑 Tuesday to Friday 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday  5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The oysters on the menu at Standard Tap change often to keep up with demand and availability but are always served with mignonette sauce and lemon wedges.

📍 901 N. Second St., 📞 215-238-0630, 🌐, 📷 @standardtap, 🕑 Monday to Friday 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to midnight

Dock Street Brewing Company’s cocktail bar and taproom has $2-buck-shuck oyster parties every Wednesday from 5 p.m. until sellout. Find freshly shucked Fishtown Seafood oysters each week by Mars of Shell Daddy, plus a guest chef Deep Bleu Dining on Aug. 9.

📍1229 N. Front St., 📞 267-284-0345, 🌐, 📷 @dockstreetfishtown, 🕑 Tuesday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Sunday 4 p.m. to close, Saturday noon to close

This neighborhood gastropub offers buck-a-shuck oysters for $1 each during Seafood Night on Wednesdays. Find the oysters at both Port Richmond and Rockledge locations from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. or during happy hour Monday to Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oysters are $2 each during regular hours. There’s also specials like the all-you-can-eat combo of snow crab, mussels, and fries for $49.99.

📍2619 E Indiana Ave. and 704 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, 📞 215-423-7878 and 215-935-6443, 🌐, 📷 @gaulandcorichmond and @gaulandcorockledge, 🕑 Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.

» READ MORE: Live your best life in Philly: Read our most useful stories here.