Best Oyster Happy Hours in NYC

April 12, 2017
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by Zagat Staff

Prefer slurping and shucking shellfish over slugging back cold pints? These are the best oyster happy hours in the Big Apple.

Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar
Oyster Bar · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.8 · Service 4.1

A “welcome respite from the craziness of Chelsea Market” , this “lively” Lobster Place offshoot offers the same “amazingly fresh catches” (including “pristine” oysters) turned into “creative” , “well-crafted” dishes; the narrow space makes for “sardine” -like conditions, but the happy hour “can’t be beat.”
Maison Premiere
Oyster Bar · Williamsburg · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.3

It “really feels like the Big Easy” at this “gorgeous” Williamsburg hang offering “beautiful, plump” oysters and “serious” cocktails (including “creative” absinthe options) alongside other “delicious” seafood-focused dishes in “old New Orleans” digs; snagging a seat is “tough” , but a seasonal garden helps.
Lure Fishbar
Seafood · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.1

Still “trendy” and filled with “beautiful people” , this SoHo staple wins ‘em over with “fresh seafood par excellence” and a “swank” , “yachtlike” setting tucked below street level; tabs “on the pricier side” don’t seem to dampen the “active bar scene” or “challenging” decibels.
Crave Fishbar
Seafood · East 50s · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

“Popular” neighborhood “standouts” , these seafood spots specialize in “fresh” sustainable catch “well prepared” with “interesting” flavors; the “modern” digs host an “energetic” scene, especially during happy hour, when “you’ve gotta love those dollar oysters.”
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
Oyster Bar · East 40s · $$$
Food 4.2 · Decor 3.8 · Service 3.7

“Justly beloved” , this “boisterous” seafood “legend” in Grand Central stays “faithful to its 1913 origins” with “terrific” oysters and pan roasts that provide a taste of “true NY” ; a “venerable” sublevel sprawl with a “dramatically” vaulted ceiling, “classic” dining counters and a “throwback” saloon, it’s “not to be missed” even if it “costs a pretty penny.”
The Mermaid Inn
Oyster Bar · East Village · $$$
Food 4.2 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

Like dining “at the shore” , these New England–inspired “standbys” supply “spot-on” seafood highlighted by a most “worthy lobster roll” ; trade-offs include “high decibels” and “tight quarters” (although the expanded UWS outpost is “more comfortable” ), especially when the “unbeatable happy hour” rolls around with its “swell” oyster deals.
Littleneck
Seafood · Gowanus · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

New England–style seafood washes up at these “friendly” clam shacks where the “well-priced” roster ranges from “always fresh” raw-bar items to steamers and “delicious” rolls; a “mean brunch” , “great-deal” happy-hour oysters and “cozy” , marine-themed digs keep its “hipster” crowd content.