While St. Louis may not have the oceanside proximity that we’ve enjoyed so often, there are still numerous restaurants in town valiantly striving to bring quality raw oysters to the Lou. Yet, the question remains: how does it hold up to the best? The answer: pretty well indeed. Here are our top picks for eating oysters in St. Louis.
Serving raw oysters to the hungry masses for over 25 years, Broadway Oyster Bar (or BOB as this New Orleans-style joint is known to regulars) is known for more than just their live music and festive patio—it’s also one of the best places in town to get East Coast oysters. The late night menu here lets night owls slurp down Gulf or Blue Point oysters while watching the band perform until 2 a.m. on weekend nights. Pro tip: keep an eye out for the fall oyster special—when the weather turns cool, BOB offers up a $1 oyster special that is too good to pass up.
When a restaurant gets its name from a New Orleans-style fried oyster po’boy, it better have good oysters. Fortunately, the award-winning Peacemaker flies in fresh coastal seafood daily. The fried oysters get a lot of attention, but it’s the raw oysters that are not to be missed. They’re served in a granite farm-trough and accompanied by a house-made mignonette and lemons, and should pretty much always be followed with a slice of derby pie.
Sleek and sophisticated, Boundary at the Cheshire is the kind of place where patrons cozy up in fancy leather booths and a pair of heels is never out of place. Fortunately, the quality seafood offerings don’t have to break the bank, since on weekdays between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Boundary at the Cheshire serves up “buck shuck” oysters for just $1 each. It’s the perfect way to roll like James Bond on a budget. Pro tip: there’s free valet parking for restaurant patrons.
The eclectic and sexy Elmwood offers not one, but two types of oyster preparations. You can either get them raw, topped with a charred lime granita, or roasted over the coals of their Josper oven, then topped with Thai naam jim. Picking is never easy, so we recommend you just get one of each...or, like, half a dozen of each.
Extra Brut is a secret, but not a secret. Any Friday or Saturday night, head to Louie's Wine Dive in Clayton, but look to the left for the big wooden door with EB painted on it. Enter it and go down the long hallway. Boom: you've found a secretive little champagne and oyster bar. Grab a glass or bottle of your favorite bubbles, enjoy some live music, and get ready to dig into some oysters. The oyster varieties change daily, but you can get them charbroiled with a creole hollandaise, Katheryn style (baked with artichoke, garlic, parmesan, and lemon), as shooters with vodka and cocktail sauce, or simply on the half shell.
This Clayton bistro is overflowing with seafood offerings, including everything from bigeye tuna to oysters. Considering its fine-dining atmosphere (and fine-dining prices), Oceano’s oysters are fittingly high quality, sourced from Blue Point and the West Coast, and served on the half-shell with a tangy cucumber-chile mignonette. Pro tip: head to Oceano during happy hour, during which diners can sip on a number of $5 cocktails and enjoy a half-dozen Blue Point oysters for $6.