Now that we’ve officially started the third month of the letter R streak, the time is ripe for a self-guided tour of New York’s oyster bars. True, the old saying holds little sway today (oysters are just as safe to eat in May, June, July and August as they are in any month with an R in its name), but don’t that let stop you from overindulging this month.
This antiqued oyster bar has 33 varieties on offer — so grab a pencil, take a deep breath and start marking your selections with reckless abandon. If it sounds a little overwhelming, you can always rely on helpful guidance from the staff.
298 Bedford Ave.
The Blue Ribbon flagship has been satiating late-night raw bar cravings for nearly 20 years, so they’re clearly on to something. Make friends at the intimate bar with a round of oyster shooters — a freshly shucked oyster served with vodka, a dash of Blue Ribbon hot sauce and a dash of Blue Ribbon cocktail sauce.
97 Sullivan St.
If raw seafood isn’t your thing, The Dutch offers fried oyster sandwiches as well. Served on a bite-sized sesame brioche bun with pickled okra sauce, they’re just begging to be topped with the restaurant’s house-made hot sauce, a fiery mix of fresno peppers, poblanos, anaheims and jalapenos.
131 Sullivan St.
The Press Lounge
There’s something natural about eating oysters with a view of the water, and the Press Lounge at hotel Ink 48 boasts views of both the Hudson and city skyline from its rooftop perch. Toast the view with a glass of La Carvelle Champagne to compliment your tray of Wellfleets, now available.
653 11th Ave.
The John Dory Oyster Bar
Sandwiched between The Ace Hotel and Opening Ceremony, The John Dory’s corner is undoubtedly one of the coolest in the neighborhood. Enjoy the casual atmosphere over an order of oysters — there are three from each coast to choose from — and a glass of wine from the tap.
The Mermaid Inn
While the decor here resembles an old-fashioned New England fish shack, The Mermaid Inn’s Oysterpedia iPhone/Android app brings the ancient practice of shellfish consumption into the digital age. Download the app for detailed flavor notes on over 200 varieties of North American oysters, or use it to make recommendations to Facebook and Twitter.
96 Second Ave., 212-674-5870