Image of John Dory Oyster Bar (courtesy of Nicole Franzen)
Happy hour is the light at the end of the 9 to 5 tunnel of a workday. Walk down any street in New York on your way home from work and you’re sure to see chalkboard menus and window signs boasting food and drink specials. Summer brings a special breed of happy hours — that of the oyster special. There’s no better time of year to slurp oysters, scope out the sidewalk scene, and bask in blue nights. So how do you know which ones will bring you back for more, and which will leave you swearing off bivalves forever? We’ve weeded through the oyster deals in New York to bring you the most impressive, high-end happy hours around. Slurp away!
Maison Premiere – The ambience at this Williamsburg oyster house is a mix of Paris, New Orleans, and of course, New York. Already great. Its menu features at least 30 different varieties of oysters, and best of all, they’re $1 each at its daily oyster happy hour.
Mermaid Inn – Each of the three locations of this Manhattan seafoodery offers a tried-and-true happy hour deal: $1 oysters and clams. All happy hour cocktails are $8, wine is $7, and draft beers are $5.
Cull & Pistol – This Chelsea Market raw bar has an elevated happy hour menu, featuring fried oysters and clams casino (and $1 oysters). The drink menu is full of specials, from $4 lagers to $12 cocktails.
Grand Central Oyster Bar – This Grand Central terminal spot is a perfect happy hour seating for the commuter or midtown worker. Bluepoint oysters are $1.25, and the special menu includes fried and roasted (!) oysters, and steals like $5 beers.
John Dory Oyster Bar – April Bloomfield’s restaurant inside the Ace Hotel is hip and happening, and it features two bars — one for oysters and one for drinks. That said, it’s a prime spot for oyster happy hour, where the specials include $2 oysters and clams and $5 oyster shooters.