Where to Get Shucked
am the Hitler of Half Shells. The Bloody Mary of Mollusks. The Caligula of–well, you get the idea. I’ve been to every oyster happy hour in town, leaving discarded shells in my wake and the smell of mignonette in my hair.
With so many choices, where do you begin? Well, each raw bar has a decidedly different vibe and menu, so here’s a breakdown on where, how and why to get oyster happy.
For Northern Elitists
Hank’s Oyster Bar has one of the best oyster deals in town, where oysters just $1 each, and you’ll usually find two types from New England or Canada, and one local. I recommend always trying the ones from up north. In Old Town Tuesday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 pm; and DC from 11 pm-midnight. 1624 Q Street NW, Washington, DC; 633 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington, DC; 1026 King Street, Alexandria VA.
For Happy Hours Disguised as Business Meetings
Various Clyde’s locations including Old Ebbitt Grill still have some of the best raw bar items for half off on Sunday from 11 pm-1 am, Monday-Thursday 3-6 pm and 11 pm-1 am. Get a dozen of any oysters for $12, a dozen Little Neck clams for $5.50 or the lobster cocktail for $15.95.
Every Tuesday, P.J. Clarke’s hosts a bivalve happy hour with 50¢ Clarke’s Select oysters and $3.50 DC Brau from 2:45-7 pm. 1600 K Street NW, Washington, DC. (202) 463-6610
For Hill People
Senart’s also takes half off everything in the raw bar from 4:00-6:30 pm everyday. Oysters are $12 a dozen, Cherry Stone clams are $10 a dozen, and 8-piece jumbo shrimp cocktail is $16. 715 G Street SE #3, Washington, DC. (202) 544-1168
For Those Who Want to Get Laid
The sexiest address on 14th Street, Pearl Dive’s has 2-for-1 oysters Monday-Friday from 4-7 pm while Black Jack has them Tuesday-Friday from 6-7 pm and on Sundays from 3-close. You can also get half-price draft beer, $5 wines and $7 Sobieski vodka martinis. Pair that with your mad skills in the indoor bocce ball court, and you’re in like Flint. 1612 14th Street, Washington, DC. (202) 319-1612
In Bethesda, Black’s Bar & Kitchen has a great seafood happy hour menu Monday-Friday from 4-7 pm. Get 2 Chesapeake Bay oysters for $1.99, plus $6 martinis, $3.75 draft beers and $5 wines by the glass. 7750 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD. (301) 652-5525
After a strenuous day of retail therapy, recharge at Georgetown’s best-kept secret, Sea Catch. Oysters are just $1 each, plus get half off rail drinks, select beer and wine on Monday-Saturday from 5-7 pm. 1054 31 Street NW, Washington DC. (202) 337-8855
In the middle of bustling Penn Quarter, Legal Sea Foods offers “Six for Six,” a ½-dozen oysters for just $6 at the bar Monday-Friday, from 4-7 pm. Pair them with $3.25 draft beers or get $2 off “Raising the Bar Cocktails” and well liquor. 704 7th Street NW, Washington, DC. (202) 347-0007
Newcomer Azur, also in Penn Quarter, will start oyster happy hour early on Fridays. From 3-7 pm, get $1 oysters and select $5 draft beers and $6 cocktails. 405 8th Street NW, Washington, DC. (202) 347-7491