Get Your Oyster On
Oysters are ubiquitous at San Francisco restaurants. The City's Pacific setting makes it one of the best places to imbibe on several different types of bi-valves, whether they are harvested locally from Drake’s or Tomales Bays or flown in from the East Coast or Canada. Oysters typically cost about $3 each at fine dining establishments, but there are deals to be had where they can go for as little as $1 per shellfish. Below are our favorite locales to shoot up a dozen or more. Since we’re BarFlys, we’ve highlighted the places that also have a full bar to take in a cocktail or two while slurping on the briny snacks.
Waterbar | 399 The Embarcadero
Waterbar has an excellent oyster raw bar, offering over a dozen varieties. We prefer to dine at Waterbar before 6 pm, while the daily oyster special is $1 (still just $2 after 5:30 pm). With their fresh, high quality seafood, it’s a great place for a weekend brunch, especially with the $1 oysters. The spectacular views of the bay and the Bay Bridge add to the overall experience.
Farallon | 450 Post St #4
The big sister restaurant of Waterbar offers an excellent daily happy hour in their Jellyfish bar. Farallon's Six Before Seven menu features several different bar bites and drinks, including a killer Manhattan, each for just $6 as long as it’s ordered before 7 pm. Locally harvested Drake's Bay oysters need to be ordered by the half dozen for $6, but would you want any fewer?
Hog and Rocks | 3431 19th St
The City’s first and only ham and oyster bar is serious enough about bi-valves that it makes up half its namesake. A rotating chef’s choice of $1.50 oysters are featured during their weekday daily happy hour from 5-6 pm and all day Sunday. Start with the oysters, but be sure to make your way to their selection of fine hams, or any of the other great gastropub fare. With a lively bar scene serving excellent whiskey and cocktails plus great food, this Mission spot is a local favorite.
Café des Amis | 2000 Union St.
Café des Amis is Bacchus Management Group’s bistro with an excellent raw bar, located in the heart of Cow Hollow. Weekdays from 4-7 pm and during brunch on Sundays, a featured oyster can be had for $1.25 each. Always delivering fresh and perfectly shucked shellfish, this is a great place to shoot a dozen or more oysters. A decent Bloody Mary is the perfect brunch drink to accompany the salty bites.