Summertime is prime time for binging on bivalves, and while there are plenty of seafood sanctuaries where you can fork over dozens of dollars for a half-dozen oysters, we have an alternative: oyster happy hours. Here are Denver's five best restaurants for slurping oysters without breaking the bank.
Specializing in fare from Baja California, this lively restaurant and watering hole in the Lowry Dining District offers charcoal-grilled oysters for $2 a pop during its happy hour, which runs all day Monday, 3–6 PM Tuesday through Saturday and again from 9 PM until closing time. North County's versions, poached in a lemon-garlic herb butter, come topped with roasted poblano peppers, onions, bits of bacon and melted Jack cheese.
94 Rampart Way; 720-532-0106
From 3 to 6 PM every day, Humboldt, Uptown's shrine to seafood serves up Washburn oysters for $2 each — and on Sunday, all of Humboldt's oysters are just a buck a shuck. Pair them with a $6 cucumber gimlet, a glass of Principato Pinot Grigio ($5) or a local craft beer.
1700 Humboldt St.; 303-813-1700
Everything about Cart-Driver merits praise, including its sublime pizzas, but its oyster bar is a thing of beauty. The daily happy hour, which runs from 3 to 6 PM, trumpets two market oysters for $5, best matched with a glass of Prosecco, an Aperol spritz or a Negroni, all priced at $5, as well.
2500 Larimer St.; 303-292-3553
For years, Jax has been a crowd favorite for fresh oysters, especially during its super-popular happy hour, offered 4–6 PM daily and all night on Monday. All four locations serve up pristine raw oysters, sourced from the East Coast, for $1.25 a slurp, and there are plenty of deals on libations too, including $1 off all draft beers and a house-infused strawberry-vodka lemonade that will set you back $5.
The recently launched "Aww Shucks Happy Hour" at Union Station's Stoic and Genuine doles out oyster deals from 2 to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, and again from 11 AM to 4:30 PM every Sunday. Executive chef Jorel Pierce and his team feature different selections, depending upon availability, but they're all beautiful specimens (no commodity oysters here), and they're just two bucks each, plus they match up perfectly with the daily granita cocktail special, priced at just $3.
1701 Wynkoop St.; 303-640-3474