Q. Can you supply a list of New Orleans restaurants with actual oyster bars? I seem to be running into more restaurants all the time that have raw oysters, but they don’t shuck them in front of you. Any explanation for that, since I’m here?
A. An oyster bar is a major undertaking for any restaurateur who installs one. They require special employees to shuck the oysters, for starters. Oyster shuckers with even minimal skill are in short supply, let alone really good ones. Next, the logistical needs of an oyster bar–beds of ice, working with the rigorous laws about raw oysters, getting rid of the shells–are greater than for most menu items.
So, when a restaurant maintains an oyster bar, you know you’re in a place that has made a major commitment to the serving of the bivalves.
You are right in noticing a trend away from oyster bars, even in restaurants that shuck their own. A good example of this is Drago’s, a contender for best raw oyster restaurant in town. But Drago’s no longer has a real oyster bar–you get the raw ones at the table.
Here are all the full-fledged oyster bars I know about, where you can walk up and order a dozen and eat them right there, seconds after the shucker pops them open. (If I missed any, let me know! The list below was updated on October 3, 2014.)
Acme Oyster House. French Quarter: 724 Iberville. 504-522-5973.
Acme Oyster House. Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 3000 Veterans Blvd. 504-309-4056.
Acme Oyster House. Covington: 1202 US 190 (Causeway Blvd). 985-246-6155.
Bistro Orleans. Metairie 3: Houma Blvd To Kenner Line: 3431 Houma Blvd. 504-304-1469.
Blue Crab. West End & Bucktown: 7900 Lakeshore Dr. 504-284-2898.
Borgne. CBD: 601 Loyola Ave (Hyatt Regency Hotel). 504-613-3860.
Bourbon House. French Quarter: 144 Bourbon. 504-522-0111.
Brisbi’s. West End & Bucktown: 7400 Lakeshore Dr. 504-304-4125.
Buster’s Place. Covington: 519 E Boston. 985-809-3880.
Casamento’s. Uptown 2: Washington To Napoleon: 4330 Magazine. 504-895-9761.
Chilito’s Seafood Restaurant. Gretna: 1801 Stumpf Blvd. 504-366-5706 .
Cooter Brown’s Tavern. Uptown 4: Riverbend, Carrollton & Broadmoor: 509 S Carrollton Ave. 504-866-9104.
Crabby’s Seafood Shack. Madisonville: 305 Covington. 985-845-2348.
Crescent City Brewhouse. French Quarter: 527 Decatur. 504-522-0571.
Deanie’s Seafood. West End & Bucktown: 1713 Lake Ave. 504-831-4141.
Dockside. Harahan: 1820 Dickory Ave. 504-736-9666.
Don’s Seafood Hut. Metairie 3: Houma Blvd To Kenner Line: 4801 Veterans Blvd. 504-889-1550.
Don’s Seafood Hut. Covington: 126 Lake Dr. 985-327-7111.
Felix’s. French Quarter: 739 Iberville. 504-522-4440.
Frankie & Johnny’s. Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 321 Arabella St. 504-243-1234.
Grand Isle. Warehouse District & Center City: 575 Convention Center Blvd. 504-520-8530.
Harbor Seafood. Kenner: 3203 Williams Blvd. 504-443-6454.
K Gee’s Oyster Bar. Mandeville: 2534 Florida. 985-626-0530.
Kenner Seafood. Kenner: 3140 Loyola Dr. 504-466-4701.
Landry’s Seafood House. French Quarter: 400 N Peters. 504-558-0038.
Landry’s Seafood House. West End & Bucktown: 8000 Lakeshore Dr. 504 283-1010.
Lüke. CBD: 333 St Charles Ave. 504-378-2840.
Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish Grill. Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 3117 21st Street. 504-833-6310.
Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish Grill. French Quarter: 512 Bienville. 504-309-4848.
Pascal’s Manale. Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 1838 Napoleon Ave. 504-895-4877.
Pêche Seafood Grill. Warehouse District & Center City: 800 Magazine St. 504-522-1744.
Perino’s Boiling Pot. Harvey: 3754 West Bank Expy. 504-340-5560.
Ralph & Kacoo’s. French Quarter: 519 Toulouse. 504-522-5226.
Red Fish Grill. French Quarter: 115 Bourbon. 504-598-1200.
Red Maple. Gretna: 1036 Lafayette. 504-367-0935.
Remoulade. French Quarter: 309 Bourbon. 504-523-0377.
Royal House. French Quarter: 441 Royal. 504-528-2601.
Samuel’s Blind Pelican. Warehouse District & Center City: 1628 St. Charles Ave. 504-558-9398.
Smitty’s Seafood. Kenner: 2000 West Esplanade. 504-468-1647.
Stingray’s. Kenner: 1303 West Esplanade. 504-443-4040.
Superior Seafood. Uptown 2: Washington To Napoleon: 4338 St. Charles Ave. 504-293-3474.
The Chimes. Covington: 19130 W Front St. 985-892-5396.
Vera’s. Slidell: 2020 Gause Blvd W. 985-690-9814.