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Oysters on ice with mignonette and lemon
Shucked and ready
Rachel Palmer/Parsons

Where to Slurp Oysters From the Shell in London

Unadorned, roasted, or topped with bright, cunning condiments — here are the best bivalves in the city

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Shucked and ready
| Rachel Palmer/Parsons

While its aphrodisiac properties might be widely disputed, the oyster’s popularity is not. London’s earliest oyster bars began cropping up around the late 18th century and those buttery and briny bivalves played a formative role in the awkward, gangly years of the city’s dining scene. One might even argue that, as a nostalgic porthole to the past, they’re just as important today.

Perhaps M.F.K Fisher put it best when she wrote that “an oyster in its best state needs nothing more than to be opened for me!” But — unfortunately for the shellfish lovers and the hapless lovers out there — poorly shucked and shell-flecked oysters are almost as ubiquitous in London as Oyster cards. But fear not: Whether they’re serving them pickled, fried, or fanned nude on a bed of ice like Fisher suggests, these are the best places to find oysters in London.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Oysteria @ Portobello Road Market

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306 Portobello Rd
London W10 5TA, UK

This pleasant little grill and seafood bar runs at Portobello Road Market every Saturday from 8a.m. to 5p.m. Which, to all intents and purposes, means: breakfast oysters. Oysters are sourced from Richard Haward’s Oysters and can be bought either freshly dressed, with toppings that range from nduja and honey to a Thai mignonette, or grilled with Irish churnmaster Abernethy’s black garlic butter and parmesan. The latter is grunt-worthy grub.

2. Bibendum Oyster Bar

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Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 6RD, UK

The oyster bar at Claude Bosi’s Michelin-starred Bibendum in Chelsea is as sexy and Gallic as the man himself, which is to say that it’s extremely sexy and gallic. The chef’s selection, running to eight regions from three countries, even includes the amazingly named Amazing oysters from the Marennes-Oléron oyster beds in France.

3. The Sea, The Sea

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174 Pavilion Rd, Chelsea
London SW1X 0AW, UK

Part deli, part fish shop and part seafood bar, The Sea, The Sea is a wholly worthy spot where eating oysters just feels ... Right. Sidle up to the bar, order six or twelve oysters freshly rendered apart by executive chef Leo Carreira, and remember why there’s so much romance written about the gnarly little creatures.

4. Scott's

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20 Mount St, Mayfair
London W1K 2HE, UK

Scott’s has kept Londoners satiated in the seafood department, opening as an oyster warehouse all the way back in 1851. Nowadays, things are lot less salt-stained warehouse and a lot more Mayfair chic; Jersey Pearls, Dooncastle Rocks, Lindisfarne Rocks, Ostra Régal, and Gillardeau make up the brunt of the comprehensive oyster selection.

5. Wiltons Restaurant

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55 Jermyn St, St. James's
London SW1Y 6LX, UK

Only available from September through to April, the oysters at Wiltons Restaurant are some of the finest and freshest in the city. Expect to find Helford natives, Jersey Rocks and Colchester natives on the menu around this time of the year. It’d be remiss not to try out the oysters served “Christian Dior” with white wine sauce, whipped cream and truffle. It’s just as extra as it sounds.

6. Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

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11-15 Swallow St, Mayfair
London W1B 4DG, UK

This Mayfair mainstay supposedly gets through upwards of 1,000 oysters a day, which is absolutely mad. The oyster bar here is well-stocked with native oysters from West Mersea, Helford and Galway — best served nude — as well as cultivated Jersey, Menai and Carlingford Rocks that can be tarted up either Vietnamese or Rockerfeller-style.

7. Darby's

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3 Viaduct Gardens, Nine Elms
London SW11 7AY, UK

Robin Gill’s NYC-inspired oyster bar and restaurant is as suave as it gets. The “Black, bubbles, rock ‘n’ roll” offer that runs from Tuesday to Saturday, between the hours of 5 and 7pm, is what sets it apart from the shucking crowd. During those two blissfully happy hours Maldon rock oysters are £1; half a dozen oysters and a pint of Guinness is £10; or, if feeling extra liquid, half a dozen oysters and two glasses of champagne come in at £30.

8. The Drop Wine Bar

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Unit 22-24 Bagley Walk Arches Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DH, UK

As far as date night options go in the strangely sterile Coal Drops Yard, The Drop Wine Bar is one of the best bets. The wine list is full of some fairly interesting bottles that start from a friendly £27, and the opportunity to pair some of that plonk with a fat Jersey or Carlingford is difficult to pass up.

9. Parsons

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39 Endell St, West End
London WC2H 9BA, UK

Parsons is a friendly spot, where it’s impossible not to feel at ease with a glass of something bright — the owners also run excellent wine bar The 10 Cases just across the road — and a plate of something briny. Plump fried oysters cost £4 and come served with a clever melon salsa: The salt, fat, and acid of the piping hot oyster combining with the natural sweetness of the melon for a superlative bar snack.

10. The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen

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32 Henrietta St, West End
London WC2E 8NA, UK

Presented with the Best Restaurant gong at the OFM Awards 2019, Matt Lovell and Rob Hampton initially set up their shucking service as a means to host first-class oyster bars at

weddings and events. It’s since grown into one of Covent Garden’s most accomplished and pleasant neighbourhood restaurants, with a rotating selection chalked up on blackboards and buffalo oysters or oysters lardo on the cooked side.

11. Seabird

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14th Floor, 40 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank
London SE1 8NY, UK

This newish restaurant, perched on the 14th floor of The Hoxton Hotel in Southwark, is a sight for sore eyes. It’s also a site for those with a soft spot for oysters. Why? Well, there’s a whopping 16 different types of oyster on the menu. Is that too many? Probably. Is trying them all recommended? Absolutely. Oyster happy hour provides the chance to tuck into some shells starting from £1.50.

12. Prawn on the Lawn

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292, 294 St Paul's Rd, Highbury
London N1 2LH, UK

Porthilly Rocks at this 35-seater in Highbury come either raw, for an affordable £2.75, or deep-fried with garlic and crème fraîche, for a still-affordable £3. Both are delicious, and both a shining, if somewhat barnacled example, of how Prawn on the Lawn is a pearl of a place that does the basics oh-so right.

13. Daffodil Mulligan

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70-74 City Rd, Old Street
London EC1Y 2BJ, UK

Richard Corrigan is a man responsible for not one but two entries on this list and, all things considered, it’s fairly safe to say that the fella is mad for oysters. Jersey Rock, Colchester and West Mersea native oysters can all be found on the menu at his latest restaurant on Old Street. Just don’t squeeze any lemon into a native on his watch — that’s a cardinal sin in his eyes.

14. BRAT Restaurant

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4 Redchurch St, Shoreditch
London E1 6JL, UK

Just like everything else that finds its way into the kitchen at this Shoreditch stalwart, Jersey oysters are given the wood grill treatment at Brat and roasted with minced celery and seaweed for an extra umami punch. There’s not much else to say except that these are some of the best oysters going from one of the best restaurants going.

15. Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown

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3 Prince Edward Rd, Hackney Wick
London E9 5LX, UK

Pretty much all of the seafood at Tom Brown’s Hackney Wick restaurant is top shelf stuff but the pickled oyster — dressed in an astringent négligée of celery, horseradish and dill — is £5 worth parting with. The go-to move is to pair one of those pickled molluscs with an undressed one for comparison.

1. Oysteria @ Portobello Road Market

306 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TA, UK

This pleasant little grill and seafood bar runs at Portobello Road Market every Saturday from 8a.m. to 5p.m. Which, to all intents and purposes, means: breakfast oysters. Oysters are sourced from Richard Haward’s Oysters and can be bought either freshly dressed, with toppings that range from nduja and honey to a Thai mignonette, or grilled with Irish churnmaster Abernethy’s black garlic butter and parmesan. The latter is grunt-worthy grub.

306 Portobello Rd
London W10 5TA, UK

2. Bibendum Oyster Bar

Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 6RD, UK

The oyster bar at Claude Bosi’s Michelin-starred Bibendum in Chelsea is as sexy and Gallic as the man himself, which is to say that it’s extremely sexy and gallic. The chef’s selection, running to eight regions from three countries, even includes the amazingly named Amazing oysters from the Marennes-Oléron oyster beds in France.

Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 6RD, UK

3. The Sea, The Sea

174 Pavilion Rd, Chelsea, London SW1X 0AW, UK

Part deli, part fish shop and part seafood bar, The Sea, The Sea is a wholly worthy spot where eating oysters just feels ... Right. Sidle up to the bar, order six or twelve oysters freshly rendered apart by executive chef Leo Carreira, and remember why there’s so much romance written about the gnarly little creatures.

174 Pavilion Rd, Chelsea
London SW1X 0AW, UK

4. Scott's

20 Mount St, Mayfair, London W1K 2HE, UK

Scott’s has kept Londoners satiated in the seafood department, opening as an oyster warehouse all the way back in 1851. Nowadays, things are lot less salt-stained warehouse and a lot more Mayfair chic; Jersey Pearls, Dooncastle Rocks, Lindisfarne Rocks, Ostra Régal, and Gillardeau make up the brunt of the comprehensive oyster selection.

20 Mount St, Mayfair
London W1K 2HE, UK

5. Wiltons Restaurant

55 Jermyn St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6LX, UK

Only available from September through to April, the oysters at Wiltons Restaurant are some of the finest and freshest in the city. Expect to find Helford natives, Jersey Rocks and Colchester natives on the menu around this time of the year. It’d be remiss not to try out the oysters served “Christian Dior” with white wine sauce, whipped cream and truffle. It’s just as extra as it sounds.

55 Jermyn St, St. James's
London SW1Y 6LX, UK

6. Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

11-15 Swallow St, Mayfair, London W1B 4DG, UK

This Mayfair mainstay supposedly gets through upwards of 1,000 oysters a day, which is absolutely mad. The oyster bar here is well-stocked with native oysters from West Mersea, Helford and Galway — best served nude — as well as cultivated Jersey, Menai and Carlingford Rocks that can be tarted up either Vietnamese or Rockerfeller-style.

11-15 Swallow St, Mayfair
London W1B 4DG, UK

7. Darby's

3 Viaduct Gardens, Nine Elms, London SW11 7AY, UK

Robin Gill’s NYC-inspired oyster bar and restaurant is as suave as it gets. The “Black, bubbles, rock ‘n’ roll” offer that runs from Tuesday to Saturday, between the hours of 5 and 7pm, is what sets it apart from the shucking crowd. During those two blissfully happy hours Maldon rock oysters are £1; half a dozen oysters and a pint of Guinness is £10; or, if feeling extra liquid, half a dozen oysters and two glasses of champagne come in at £30.

3 Viaduct Gardens, Nine Elms
London SW11 7AY, UK

8. The Drop Wine Bar

Unit 22-24 Bagley Walk Arches Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DH, UK

As far as date night options go in the strangely sterile Coal Drops Yard, The Drop Wine Bar is one of the best bets. The wine list is full of some fairly interesting bottles that start from a friendly £27, and the opportunity to pair some of that plonk with a fat Jersey or Carlingford is difficult to pass up.

Unit 22-24 Bagley Walk Arches Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DH, UK

9. Parsons

39 Endell St, West End, London WC2H 9BA, UK

Parsons is a friendly spot, where it’s impossible not to feel at ease with a glass of something bright — the owners also run excellent wine bar The 10 Cases just across the road — and a plate of something briny. Plump fried oysters cost £4 and come served with a clever melon salsa: The salt, fat, and acid of the piping hot oyster combining with the natural sweetness of the melon for a superlative bar snack.

39 Endell St, West End
London WC2H 9BA, UK

10. The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen

32 Henrietta St, West End, London WC2E 8NA, UK

Presented with the Best Restaurant gong at the OFM Awards 2019, Matt Lovell and Rob Hampton initially set up their shucking service as a means to host first-class oyster bars at

weddings and events. It’s since grown into one of Covent Garden’s most accomplished and pleasant neighbourhood restaurants, with a rotating selection chalked up on blackboards and buffalo oysters or oysters lardo on the cooked side.

32 Henrietta St, West End
London WC2E 8NA, UK

11. Seabird

14th Floor, 40 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8NY, UK

This newish restaurant, perched on the 14th floor of The Hoxton Hotel in Southwark, is a sight for sore eyes. It’s also a site for those with a soft spot for oysters. Why? Well, there’s a whopping 16 different types of oyster on the menu. Is that too many? Probably. Is trying them all recommended? Absolutely. Oyster happy hour provides the chance to tuck into some shells starting from £1.50.

14th Floor, 40 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank
London SE1 8NY, UK

12. Prawn on the Lawn

292, 294 St Paul's Rd, Highbury, London N1 2LH, UK

Porthilly Rocks at this 35-seater in Highbury come either raw, for an affordable £2.75, or deep-fried with garlic and crème fraîche, for a still-affordable £3. Both are delicious, and both a shining, if somewhat barnacled example, of how Prawn on the Lawn is a pearl of a place that does the basics oh-so right.

292, 294 St Paul's Rd, Highbury
London N1 2LH, UK

13. Daffodil Mulligan

70-74 City Rd, Old Street, London EC1Y 2BJ, UK

Richard Corrigan is a man responsible for not one but two entries on this list and, all things considered, it’s fairly safe to say that the fella is mad for oysters. Jersey Rock, Colchester and West Mersea native oysters can all be found on the menu at his latest restaurant on Old Street. Just don’t squeeze any lemon into a native on his watch — that’s a cardinal sin in his eyes.

70-74 City Rd, Old Street
London EC1Y 2BJ, UK

14. BRAT Restaurant

4 Redchurch St, Shoreditch, London E1 6JL, UK

Just like everything else that finds its way into the kitchen at this Shoreditch stalwart, Jersey oysters are given the wood grill treatment at Brat and roasted with minced celery and seaweed for an extra umami punch. There’s not much else to say except that these are some of the best oysters going from one of the best restaurants going.

4 Redchurch St, Shoreditch
London E1 6JL, UK

15. Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown

3 Prince Edward Rd, Hackney Wick, London E9 5LX, UK

Pretty much all of the seafood at Tom Brown’s Hackney Wick restaurant is top shelf stuff but the pickled oyster — dressed in an astringent négligée of celery, horseradish and dill — is £5 worth parting with. The go-to move is to pair one of those pickled molluscs with an undressed one for comparison.

3 Prince Edward Rd, Hackney Wick
London E9 5LX, UK

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