The Ten: Orgasmic Oyster Bars

Photo courtesy of Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

Photo courtesy of Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.

This week, we’re in the mood to slurp and suck to our heart’s content, so we’re rounding up the most orgasmic oyster bars. We remember reading somewhere that the briny bivalves are an aphrodisiac, so maybe after eating a few of them you’ll find new meaning to the phrase happy hour.

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
It’s worth braving the wait to get a seat at this ever-bustling 14th Street standout. When you sit, pay your respects to both coasts by ordering a platter filled with Black Pearl oysters from Chincoteague, Va. and Washington’s Duckabush variety.

Hank’s Oyster Bar
Don’t expect the same old same old at this chummy, charming oysteria, because selections change daily. Luckily, there are plenty of crazy good cocktails to sip on while you’re mulling your choices.

Well over a dozen oyster varieties vie for your attention at this Palisades favorite. While you’re considering the options, enjoy a curated selection of first-class caviars.

Old Ebbitt Grill
DC’s oldest saloon boasts a modern day bounty of oysters. Even better, they’re 50% off from 3-6 pm every day.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar
This island of bivalves and beer is the capitol of Union Market. Set your anchor there if you’re in the mood to indulge in the finest oysters that the Chesapeake Bay has to offer.

Kellari Taverna
You leave the hustle and bustle of K Street behind you as soon as the front door closes at this swanky Mediterranean restaurant. Oysters and the day’s catch are elegantly arrayed on crushed ice, so you can peruse your choices before making a final decision.

Le Diplomate
Sure, you could simply order a few dozen oysters for the table to sate your appetites before the entrées arrive. Or you could be a baller and order the Grand Plateau pimped out with lobsters, shrimps and crabs.

The scenery at this seafood restaurant on the Georgetown waterfront is so beautiful that you just may forget that you came to enjoy a few dozen oysters. An uninhibited view of the Kennedy Center, already impressive during daylight, is multiplied in magnificence at night as shimmering glimmers dance in the ripples of the Potomac. 

The corner raw bar overlooking the open kitchen is a clutch spot to score at Bryan Voltaggio’s epic eatery in Friendship Heights. Order the “All In” for a selection of oysters and much, much more.

Is your favorite missing? Disagree with one (or more) of my choices? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @nevinmartell.

  • Leslie

    Can anyone tell me if these oyster bars return their used oyster shells to the Chesapeake Bay? The Chespeake’s oyster population, think Choptank Sweets, are dying off due to excessive nitrogen, think lawn fertilizer, and over-fishing of what we have left. We need to rebuild the oyster reefs. New oysters are created on oyster shells. Everyone should demand that our restaurants return the spent oyster shells to the Chesapeake. Talk with Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, MD. They re-cycle oyster shells.

  • Billy D

    Just noticed the message from “Leslie” . As an resident near the Bay–which is important to Washington’s economy and social life–she is right on target. For all those who supposedly care about “green” and all that sort of stuff, this oyster shell matter is much more immediate as well as long term