Where to get raw oysters in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — November is officially Virginia Oyster Month thanks to a November 2022 proclamation by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

The Facts

  • One adult oyster can clean 50 gallons of water a day
  • Virginia has eight different regions of oysters — Seaside, Upper Bay Eastern Shore, Lower Bay Eastern Shore, Upper Bay Western Shore, Middle Bay Western Shore, Lower Bay Western Shore, Tidewater, Tangier/Middle Chesapeake Bay — each with a unique taste based on saltiness, buttery or creaminess, and sweetness
  • Oyster flavors are a reflection of the location where they are grown. In Virginia, this ranges from the briny Atlantic to the sweet water on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay

In honor of the month, here’s a list of 10 places you can get oysters on the half shell in Richmond, curated by 8News.

1. Birdie’s

  • What to expect: A bright yet cozy spot overlooking Broad Street specializing in craft cocktails and carefully selected wine offerings, offering an array of East Coast oysters in a variety of flavor profiles, homemade pastries, shareable plates and more
  • Location: 305 West Broad Street
  • Bonus: Beginning Nov. 17, the oyster, coffee and wine bar, will embrace the holiday spirit by transforming itself into its more holly-jolly version: The Evergreen

2. Rappahannock

  • What to expect: Upscale Arts District seafood restaurant featuring craft cocktails and beer in an open, airy space. Offering East Coast oysters such as Rappahannock River oysters, Rochambeau Oysters and Olde Salts Oysters all on the half-shell
  • Location: 320 East Grace Street

3. Alewife

  • What to expect: A bright and modern fish house in Church Hill, specializing in mid-Atlantic seafood and foodways of Virginia. Local Virginia oysters are offered on the half-shell, with weekly varieties transforming an otherwise unsurprising dish into an unexpected step above
    • Previous oyster varieties include: Peach Tree Oysters served with pummelo and pink peppercorn mignonette garnished with bay leaf oil; oysters with a spicy dilly bean mignonette made from yellow filet beans; oysters topped with kishu mandarin, spruce vinegar and mint
  • Location: 3120 East Marshall Street

4. East Coast Provisions

  • What to expect: Contemporary casual dining with a seafood-oriented menu and an outdoor patio overlooking Carytown. Oysters are offered at various salinity points on the half-shell on a rotating basis
  • Location: 3411 West Cary Street

5. The Hard Shell

  • What to expect: Upscale-casual restaurant with an outdoor patio. Offers traditional seafood, steaks, and a raw bar with Ruby Salts and Chesapeake oysters on the half-shell
  • Location: 1411 East Cary Street

6. Lemaire

  • What to expect: Upscale dining, call ahead recommended. Featuring oysters on the half shell from Matheson Oyster Co. with champagne mignonette and cocktail sauce
  • Location: 101 W Franklin Street – Inside the Jefferson Hotel

7. Brenner Pass

  • What to expect: Modern European dining with craft cocktails, an extensive wine list, raw bar, charcuterie, small plates and mains, all utilizing seasonal ingredients on a regularly changing menu. A rotating selection of raw oysters is offered at market price
  • Location: 3200 Rockbridge Street #100

8. Can Can Brasserie

  • What to expect: Upscale eatery in a large, airy space lined on two sides with large windows overlooking the bustle of Carytown. The restaurant has oysters on the half-shell in addition to an array of other seafood and Parisian-style offerings. Reservations recommended during peak hours
  • Location: 3120 West Cary Street

9. The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing

  • What to expect: A centerpiece of Rocketts Landing, the large building has a patio providing great views of the downtown Richmond skyline and the James River. The restaurant offers a rotating selection of raw oysters at market price, as well as Boathouse oysters from Mathews and Wavelength oysters from Mobjack Bay. Expect white tablecloths and modern decor to accompany American grill fare
  • Location: 4708 East Old Main Street

10. Yellow Umbrella Provisions

  • What to expect: For the on-the-go bi-valve enthusiast. Yellow Umbrella is a local specialty grocer offering fresh, sustainably sourced seafood, pasture-raised meats, house-prepared foods and locally sourced provisions. Head here to pick up East Coast oysters in bulk for your next dinner party. Offered in a variety of salinity levels
  • Location: 5603 Patterson Avenue

*Soon to come:

  • Lillian Oyster Hall is preparing to open at 3001 W. Leigh Street in Scott’s Addition.

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