Best oyster bars in the country: Portland tops NYC

eventide If you’ve ever stepped into the Grand Central Oyster Bar and delighted in the romantic, underground dining hall steeped in Gotham lore, flung your bags down at a stool and ordered a dozen oysters, a Brooklyn lager and planned your next 48 hours in New York City, you know that Travel and Leisure’s Portland pick this month is Front Page news.

Eventide Oyster Co., just over two years old, was mentioned before New York City’s bivalve institution as one of the top oyster bars in the country. If you haven’t “kissed the sea on the lips” in this cheerful, urban clam shack, you are missing out on dining now.

The fried oyster buns, kim chee ice, negroni cocktails combined with the energy of Brooklyn transplants in-the-know has made Eventide a standout from day 1. And endless accolades from Food and Wine, food bloggers and local journalists means you can’t waltz into this Middle Street bar on an idle Tuesday at 11 a.m. and expect to snag a seat. This newest nod will multiply the situation.

What’s neat about this best of is its variety. Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown, Rhode Island shares time with Merroir in Topping, VA. Island Creek Oysters in Boston is no surprise, but the Original Oyster House in Mobile, Alabama?

Of course Maine has tons of great spots to slurp down the briny (I indulged in some killer Pemaquid oysters at Three Tides in Belfast last weekend), congrats to Maine’s food city for keeping the state top-of-mind. Where’s your favorite place to suck down a dozen?

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.