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11 of the world’s best places to eat oysters

Here’s an idea for a trip – why not focus on travelling to places that can serve you delicious food, but food that is also an aphrodisiac? Oysters are a favourite aphrodisiac around the world, and in the words of Catalan man, Agustí Bertomeu, who has been farming oysters for most of his life: “Six Delta del Ebro oysters equal two Viagra pills.” Here are 11 of the top places in the world to eat oysters – the list is not in any particular order, and doesn’t include all great oyster restaurants worldwide, as this would require writing a small book! Oysters 1. Delta de l’Ebre, Catalonia, Spain When you think of eating oysters in Europe, you may automatically think of France. However the area of the Delta de l’Ebre in Catalonia, produces such excellent oysters that actually 80% of these are exported to France. In fact, the President of the Union of Producers of Molluscs, Agustí Bertomeu, has ironically told people that a percentage of these oysters are re-packaged and then “exported” back to sell to Catalan restaurateurs. The delicious taste of the oysters from the Delta de l’Ebre is the result of the influence of both the sweet fresh water of the River Ebro and the salty water of the Mediterranean. The Delta oysters have a silky texture and a lovely, distinctive flavour. Bertomeu recommends not adding lemon juice to them, but leaving them linger on your tongue for a while, to let the flavours escape. Of course this breaks the normal rules of how we eat oysters, but when you’re sitting in the sunshine of the superb, unique landscape of the Delta de l’Ebre, washing your oysters down with cava, you won’t see this as a problem! In the Delta de l’Ebre, there a number of restaurants where you can eat oysters and other fresh seafood, but you may also enjoy taking the boat excursion, which happens at 11.30am on Saturdays, from April until the end of September. This costs €25 for 2 hours, and you can taste oysters, mussels and drink cava. 2. Moran’s Oyster Cottage, Galway, Ireland The not very long established Moran’s Oyster Cottage, has only been open since 1797, so up to now they’ve been around for two entire centuries, and a few years of the 18th and 21st centuries. These days Moran’s is run by Catherine Moran, who is of the 7th generation of Morans since its opening, and Nobel Prize Winner, Seamus Heaney immortalised the establishment in his poem “Oysters.” Moran’s Oyster Cottage has also had its fair share of celebrity visitors, which include Roger More, Pierce Brosnan, the Empress and Emperor of Japan, Keith Floyd and Eddie Jordan. If you want to taste oysters in Ireland, washed down by Guinness, this is the place to go. 3. Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland Another of Ireland’s top oyster spots is Strangford Lough, in the North of Ireland. What makes the oysters special here is the extremely rich nutrient content of the water and the speedy tidal movements. In celebrity chef, Richard Corrigan’s opinion, these are the best oysters in the world. 4. Huiterie Regis, Paris, France Of course it would be rude not to visit Paris to eat oysters, so although there a few good oyster bars in Paris, I have chosen the Huiterie Regis because it is intimate and cosy, and they offer the exceptional Marennes Oleron oyster. These oysters benefit from age-old traditions of savoir-faire, and mature in special oyster ponds. 5. Le Coquillage, Les Maisons de Court, Brittany, France Head north out of Paris, to go and see the fabulous Mont St. Michel and before you know it you’re in the French oyster Mecca, Cancale. In this area you’ll find that the excellent chef, Olivier Roellinger, has a restaurant in a wonderful setting, in a large 1920s villa, overlooking the Mont Saint Michel bay. You can stay, as well as eat there, but you may need to book with a lot of notice, however it’s worth the wait. Below is a link for one of Roellinger’s oyster recipes. Les Maisons de Court oysters 6. Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, London, England As you may expect, London has its fair share of good oyster bars, Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s makes a religion of oysters. Sample some of the freshest and finest Irish, Maldon and Scottish Rock, and Loch Ryan Natives from Bentley’s broad range. If you are a keen cook, you may like to go along to the cookery classes that are held here on the first Saturday of most months, which are then followed by lunch. 7. Lochleven Seafood Café, Inverness Shire, Scotland This restaurant developed because of its sister company, Lochleven Shellfish, who have been exporters of live shellfish to the Far East and Europe for many years. People would come along and ask if they could buy something, and then some people would ask if it could be cooked for them. So a restaurant was created, and in 2011 it won the Scottish Seafood Restaurant of the Year. Visitors from Australia said: “12,000 miles for the best seafood platter we have had.” Oysters cost £1.50 each, and there’s a good shellfish menu, plus some seasonal alternatives. 8. Xinh’s Clam & Oyster House, Washington Xinh’s is a clam and oyster house, which has been featured in USA Today Travel as one of “10 great places to sample local food and wine.” Xinh was born in South Vietnam, and the extensive menu reflects her heritage, with some wonderful oyster, clam and various other tasty dishes. She won the West Coast Oyster Shucking Championship five times, and then decided it was time to stop and let someone else win. Xinh’s Clam & Oyster House, Washington 9. Elliott’s Oyster House, Seattle In a lovely location on Elliott Pier, you can start off with the best oysters that Seattle has to offer and follow them with a prime, juicy steak. This restaurant goes through over 7000 oysters every week, and has a choice of featured oysters, as well as an Oysters Menu. 10. Casamento’s Restaurant, New Orleans Established back in 1919, Casamento’s serves chargrilled oysters daily, as well as their legendary oyster loaf and a range of other fish loaves and dishes. Joe Casamento blended his Italian roots with Louisiana seafood, to create a food icon in New Orleans. The Chicago Tribune said: “this tiny tile and marble decorated gem serves impeccable raw oysters.” 11. Ponta Dos Ganchos Resort, Santa Catarina, Brazil Last, but certainly not least, is this gorgeous resort, which is located in Santa Catarina, where Brazil’s best oysters come from. Need I say much more? Well, I guess I could mention that there’s a private beach and a private island, where an intimate, romantic dinner, complete with Santa Catarina oysters, could be arranged for you. Jackie de Burca is Co-owner of Catalonia Valencia. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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  1. You omitted Get Shucked Oysters at Bruny Island Tasmania… easily the best Oysters on the planet from the pristine Southern Ocean.

    1. How is it that Bluff oysters don’t even qualify for a mention…? You’ve gotta’ be dreaming

  2. Wow! We love this post! We took down notes and made sure to try them when we get to one of these areas! Yummy post!

  3. Thanks Patrick! It won’t be the only great place that I’ve omitted, but it’s great to see you mention it, many thanks.

    It was a hard task to select just a percentage, but as I say in the first paragraph, to include all oyster bars/restaurants in the world, that deserve to be included would be a small book.

    Thanks again, Patrick, for mentioning Get Shucked Oysters at Bruny Island Tasmania…and for others reading this, why not do the same, post your comments about your favourite local oyster bar. :)

  4. Great post! While I definitely agree with some of these, here’s some oyster bars for serious ostreaphiles that I’d add:

    1. Eventide in Portland, Maine
    2. Open Oyster in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
    3. Osakana yatai Matsuri in Osaka, Japan
    4. The Plump Oyster in Shanghai, China
    5. Belga Queen in Brussels, Belgium

  5. Hannah, thanks so much for your comment I hope you get to try as many as humanly possible. If you manage to get to the Delta de l’Ebre here in Spain, you should try to go on the boat tour and hopefully you’ll meet the character, Agustí Bertome.

  6. C&H Oyster Bar. Elizabeth City, NC USA
    This local dive serves the best oysters on the East Coast. Only open during months with an “r” so plan accordingly! Sit at the bar and have one of the locals shuck a couple of dozen for you (to start). There are other things on the menu so I’ve been told…but why would anyone bother with them when the oysters are so exceptional?

  7. I love oysters! But sadly don’t have them as often as I would like. These look like some great spots, Jackie… there’s an old post buried here somewhere where I had “Oysters five ways” in the Hague – with ginger, with seaweed, with Bloody Mary, with salt and with onions (see https://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/2006/08/02/special-feature-haagsche-suites-the-hague-netherlands/ ). It was good to experience but I don’t think you can beat them just as they are, with a dash of lemon juice… :)

  8. I totally love oysters and would love love to try them at all of these establishments. I don’t think I’ve been to any of these yet, so I have a big bucket list.

  9. Ok so I will openly admit that I have never even tried oysters!! Waiting for all the boos but better to be honest right.

    Anyway, after reading through all of these options I would imagine that these would be a good place to start sampling oysters rather than some local establishment that receives few reviews.

  10. No mention of Canadian oysters? That must have been an oversight! Oysters from Prince Edward Island are world famous, not to mention kusshis from British Columbia. Oyster Boy Toronto is number 1!

  11. These all sound fabulous and I love the sound of the cookery course at Bentley’s in London. It would make a fabulous gift too, if your loved one has a passion for cooking, and you can then join them for lunch. What a treat!

  12. LOL while in Paris I ordered oysters and the server exclaimed, “They’re raw!” I said, “Yes, I know.” He replied, “I didn’t know Americans could appreciate the fine delicacy of raw oysters.” I explained a bit to him about growing up on the ocean… Aye aye aye.

  13. I was also surprised to see PEI oysters and Tasmanian oysters missing from the list… they are so good that it is a disservice to suggest one single establishment that serves them… [though I did have beautiful French oysters many years back at the seafood restaurant in the basement of the Burj in Dubai…]

  14. Thanks everyone for all the feedback and of course, lots of great suggestions, that I am delighted to see. It was impossible to do this subject justice really, this feature only scratches the surface. Please keep your suggestions coming.

  15. As an Islander through and through, I can’t help but notice that Prince Edward Island was missing from the list. Famous for our Malpeque Oysters, Atlantic Lobster, and PEI Mussels, we like our seafood. I do believe we also have a former Oyster shucking world Champion! Maybe we’ll make the next list!

  16. Porthilly Rock Oysters, nurtured on the banks of the Camel Estuary in Cornwall are some of the best I’ve ever tried. But, I am probably biased because I live here!

    They’re used in top Michelin star restaurants locally, such as Paul Ainsworth’s Number 6 and worldwide, and won Gold at The British Oyster Championships in 2013. Definitely worth a try if you’re ever in the area.

  17. For me the best is to eat oysters in Leucate, France. Directly from the sea. A glass of simple dry muscat wine, bread and butter. No more.

  18. Can’t believe Prince Edward Island is not on this list. Canada’s mighty little Maritime province is famous for its oysters particularly its Malpeques which are harvested by hand and offer the sweetest meat imaginable. I like them best with a chilled glass of champagne and a side of fresh pumpernickel bread.

  19. I am not an oyster connaissure but from those I know that are say Morocco is heaven for oyster lovers. Whether it is d’jemaa el Fna in Marrakesh or the 20 some stands lining a street near the Morocco Mall in Casaanca, you have a selection of sauces and spices that are the specialty of the house. I promise, I will try them next time I go to bisitmy husband’s family!

  20. Excellent choices of Oyster bars- especially Le Coquillage in Brittany.
    I would also add the baked oysters at Burj Al Arab, Dubai.

  21. Sorry Jackie, but I guess I’ll be sticking with “budget” travel and stick with my favorite location…little tiny Apalachicola, FL. :-)

  22. Hey Thea,

    Your comment made me smile :) Sometimes luxury can be found at a budget price, don’t forget it!! Anyhow, yes you’re right this is a location that is renowned for superb oysters, thanks so much for sharing.


  23. Sorry but the best oysters in the world are Bluff Oysters from NZ……..dont need any fancy bar just shuck and enjoy……yum yum.

  24. Baked Oysters are always the best, with butter and a little powdered milk! I tried it once at home, didn’t quite taste like the ones I had but definitely good food all the same.

  25. People who live in Seattle know that the best selection of the freshest oysters is at Shuckers at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. Wonderful selection from US and Canada.

  26. I strongly disagree with Patrick. I found Tasmania great but the oysters did not match the European oysters at all also in Bruny island! On place that should be included in this list certainly is KadeWe’s Oyster bar in Berlin. Easily the best oyster bar in the world

  27. In The Uk Loch Ness Oysters are the larget Uk natives ive ever had Lovely too

    Lets Not forget whitstable in Kent Uk brought off the boat to you plate in seconds

    Brighton in The Uk has somne great oyster restaurants
    english’s , Fishy faishy are two that serve exceptional Oysters from Dorset

    And in Croatia the Fjord where The vikings Was filmed ” Limfjord” has woderful oysters and mussels farmed by passing a Growth stimulating electronic charge in the water that has astonishing and amazingly tasty results (please note i visited there when it was still Yugoslavia over 25 years ago)

    Lovely jubbly

  28. The best oysters that I have tried where in the South Island of New Zealand – Bluff oysters plump and delicious. I will travel back during next years oyster season just to taste them again.

  29. The fact that there is not one mention of Chesapeake bay area oysters, shows the big miscue of this article. THE absolute best in the world.

  30. Do not forget a really special place in Seville in Spain
    you can taste the best choise of fresh oysters from france, ireland an galicia
    its Ostrerias de mercado in a Food Market of Triana
    A real pleasure!!!

  31. These sound great, I’ll have to try them. I also like the amazing oysters from the west coast of Canada on Vancouver Island. They are the Clayoquot Climax from Tofino, Canada or what about the Baynes Sound Oysters from the east coast of Vancouver Island? Cheers

  32. Funny thing about oysters! EVERYBODY barefacedly claims to have the best in the world, yet nobody gets their knickers in a knot!

    I was glad to se Ken mentioned Prince Edward Island Malpeque ™ oysters – clearly the best in the world. So said the judges at the World Oyster competition at the Paris World’s Fair.

  33. Wonderful post! Don’t miss Ile de Ré, located off the west coast of France. Two of my personal favorite eateries are: La Cabane Feneau and La Cabane du Fier, You can ride your bike from oyster farm to oyster farm and eat your way across this lovely island.

    Thanks for sharing your list.

  34. Do you have a website to the boat tour?? I will be visiting Spain for the summer, and would love to reserve a spot on the boat.

  35. Got to agree with Patrick at the top, just come back from Tasmania and the Bruny Island and barilla bay oysters are out standing. Coffin bay oysters of South Australia are some of the best I have ever eaten. These oysters I have just mentioned are pacific oysters, the native Sydney rock oyster is smaller , but with its sweet white meat and a drop of lemon juice is a delight! Check out the huge range of oysters on display for sale at the sydney fish markets. Never seen so many tourists taking photos of oysters!
    Oysters here are very affordable, only $10-14 AUD a dozen. Keep up your good work

  36. Currently in Melbourne for the birth of our first grandchild (a boy, born last Thursday), on Sunday went to South Melbourne Market and bought 24 St Helens oysters (Tasmanian) for AU$30. Plump and full of flavour, and that is only this baby whose head we enjoyed wetting that evening.

    New baby, plump oysters and a glass or two of champagne, what a happy chap I am.

  37. Have been eating oysters for 45 years and shucking for 30 years. My list of oysters would be 1) Strangford Lough 2) Prince Edward Island 3) St Helens,Tasmania 4) Mont San Michel 5) Loch Fyne,Scotland 6) Nelson, New Zealand 7)Vancouver, BC 8)Washington State,USA 9) Arica, Chile 10) San Sebastián , Spain

  38. Guys …believe me Coffin Bay South Australia .. They are so big and tasty you carry them
    Home in a wheelbarrow ! ….Heaven 👼

  39. Besides PEI malpeques, I would suggest Mali Ston Bay in Croatia. Great oysters and historical salt farm by the Adriatic Sea. Not to missed if you travel from Split to Dubrovnik by car.

  40. As a specialist oyster eater(12 dozen in one sitting) make it a top 15 places to eat oysters.
    Bruny Island Tasmania for sure and please include Coffin Bay oysters from South Australia, they absolutely beautiful. Big, fat and so creamy, my mouth is watering already!

  41. I had been eating oysters for over 20 years and my Top 5 choices of places for oysters are :-
    The most kinds of selections that you can get from one Reataurant.
    1) Aqua Grill in New York City – 27 kinds
    2) Shaw’s Crab House in Chicago – 12 kinds
    3) Oysters and Wine Bar in Sheraton Hotel in Hong Kong – 17 kinds

    Freshest oysters that you can get as the oysters are served on the same day as they are taken out from the oyster farms.
    4) Hog Island Oyster Bar in Ferry’s Building in San Francisco
    5) Chez Victor in Cancale, France
    6) Astoux et Brun in Cannes, France

    I have many more favorite places for oysters that I had tried before but as Jackie said: I would need to write a small book to list out all the good oysters places. My dream is to own an oyster farm, a seafood restaurant next to the oyster farm, and also doing seafood distribution business to import the best and unique live, fresh, and frozen seafood into Hong Kong and China ! Hope my dream will come true in a day of my life !

    Best wishes to all the oysters and seafood lovers ! Save our planet and save our environment, please ! This is the only way that the most distinguish seafood can survive !

  42. Kapetanova kuca at Mali Ston in Croatia, most amazing oysters, surely in south Europe!’Direct from the sea, full of taste, delicious!

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