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10 Best Ways to Celebrate National Oyster Day in Philadelphia

Who came up with the idea for National Oyster Day? Who cares! Buck a shucks and more around Philly
August 5, 2014
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by Danya Henninger

Who came up with the idea that August 5 would be National Oyster Day? It really doesn’t matter. If all this micro-holiday does is give us a great excuse to eat oysters, we’re for it — and so are several restaurants in town, proving their support with special menus and deals. Read on for where to celebrate National Oyster Day in Philadelphia. Happy slurping.

1) Oyster House

Tons of oysters go through Brett Naylor’s kitchen every week at third-generation owner Sam Mink’s classic Sansom Street seafood house, but on this occasion he’s doing something different. The chef put together a four-course menu where every dish features the briny mollusk in some way, available from 5-10 PM for $50 per person. Slurp them raw, then try them grilled, fried and roasted in this one-day-only offering.

2) Pennsylvania 6

Pull up a stool at the marble bar or slide into one of the red leather booths at this Wash West lounge to take advantage of $1 Malpeques all evening. Chef Marc Plessis also thought up several oyster additions to the menu, including oyster corn chowder and Kentucky fried oysters, available à la carte. Starting at 6 PM, there will be live jazz to go along.

3) Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House

The buck-a-shuck deals at Dave Magrogan’s West Chester and University City seafooders will encompass 15 different varieties of both East and West Coast oysters. If you come closest to guessing how many shells each location will open throughout the day, you’ll win a half-dozen per week for a year for yourself. Also look for $3 oyster shooters and $6 oyster po’ boys at both locations.

4) Paris Bistro & Jazz Cafe

Chef Al Paris is doing the dollar oyster deal from 5-9 PM at this Chestnut Hill bistro, but if you’re ready for a mini mid-week escape, sign up for the special “Last Tango in Paris Bistro” package. Drop $100 and you’ll get 100 oysters plus a bottle of bubbly plus an overnight  room at the adjacent Chestnut Hill Hotel. Space is limited.

5) Headhouse Crab & Oyster Co.

It’s an all-night happy hour at David Ralic’s South Street spot, so you can let buck-a-shuck oysters slide down your throat from the time the indoor-outdoor dining room opens at 4 PM through closing at 10 PM. Prosecco flutes will go for just $5, and it also happens to be Taco Tuesday, in case you want to mix $3 fish tacos in with your raw bar feast.

6) Alla Spina

Why is an Italian birreria celebrating National Oyster Day? Why not, is a better question, since many brews go perfectly with raw shellfish. Buck-a-shuck will be offered all evening long at Marc Vetri’s North Broad Street spot.

7) Crabby’s Cafe & Sports Bar

Buy a half-dozen oysters, get one free is the offer at this Northern Liberties beer and seafood pub in The Piazza, available all day long. If you want more, oysters are also on special for $1 each, and oyster shooters go for $2 throughout the night. 

8) a.bar

Get classy with your oyster deals at this Rittenhouse cocktail lounge, where the usual $1.50 half-shell happy hour deal is extended all day, from noon-10 PM. Don’t miss the chance to try one of bar manager Mike Haggerty’s cocktails to wash them down.

9) Estia 

If you mention the deal, you can cop a free glass of champagne with every dozen oysters you order at this Avenue of the Arts Greek dining room or its taverna cousins (in Marlton and Radnor, open as of yesterday). In a twist, the special is good anytime except 4-6 PM happy hour.

10) Snockey’s

This 102-year-old South Philly seafood house isn’t doing anything specific for August 5, but we feel compelled to include them here, since you can head over between 4-6:30 PM on *any* weekday and score raw or fried oysters for just 83 cents a pop. Pair them with $2 draft deals and follow up with a $6 plate of Snockeyfries — covered in not just crab seasoning, but real crab meat.

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