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Where to Get Shucked

Posted February 6, 2012 by Mary Kong-DeVito in Dining Out

am the Hitler of Half Shells.  The Bloody Mary of Mollusks.  The Caligula of–well, you get the idea.  I’ve been to every oyster happy hour in town, leaving discarded shells in my wake and the smell of mignonette in my hair.

With so many choices, where do you begin?  Well, each raw bar has a decidedly different vibe and menu, so here’s a breakdown on where, how and why to get oyster happy.

For Northern Elitists

Hank’s Oyster Bar has one of the best oyster deals in town, where oysters just $1 each, and you’ll usually find two types from New England or Canada, and one local.  I recommend always trying the ones from up north.  In Old Town Tuesday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 pm; and DC from 11 pm-midnight.  1624 Q Street NW, Washington, DC; 633 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington, DC; 1026 King Street, Alexandria VA.

For Happy Hours Disguised as Business Meetings

Various Clyde’s locations including Old Ebbitt Grill still have some of the best raw bar items for half off on Sunday from 11 pm-1 am, Monday-Thursday 3-6 pm and 11 pm-1 am.  Get a dozen of any oysters for $12, a dozen Little Neck clams for $5.50 or the lobster cocktail for $15.95.

Every Tuesday, P.J. Clarke’s hosts a bivalve happy hour with 50¢ Clarke’s Select oysters and $3.50 DC Brau from 2:45-7 pm.  1600 K Street NW, Washington, DC. (202) 463-6610

Newcomer Catch 15 near McPherson Square is offering $1 oysters plus specials on sliders, fried calamari, truffle fries, crabcakes and more. 1518 K Street NW, Washington, DC. (202) 969-2858

For Hill People

Senart’s also takes half off everything in the raw bar from 4:00-6:30 pm everyday.  Oysters are $12 a dozen, Cherry Stone clams are $10 a dozen, and 8-piece jumbo shrimp cocktail is $16.  715 G Street SE #3, Washington, DC. (202) 544-1168

For Those Who Want to Get Laid

The sexiest address on 14th Street, Pearl Dive’s has 2-for-1 oysters Monday-Friday from 4-7 pm while Black Jack has them Tuesday-Friday from 6-7 pm and on Sundays from 3-close.  You can also get half-price draft beer, $5 wines and $7 Sobieski vodka martinis.  Pair that with your mad skills in the indoor bocce ball court, and you’re in like Flint.  1612 14th Street, Washington, DC.  (202) 319-1612

For Suburbanites

In Bethesda, Black’s Bar & Kitchen has a great seafood happy hour menu Monday-Friday from 4-7 pm.  Get 2 Chesapeake Bay oysters for $1.99, plus $6 martinis, $3.75 draft beers and $5 wines by the glass. 7750 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD.  (301) 652-5525

For Shopaholics

After a strenuous day of retail therapy, recharge at Georgetown’s best-kept secret, Sea Catch.  Oysters are just $1 each, plus get half off rail drinks, select beer and wine on Monday-Saturday from 5-7 pm.  1054 31 Street NW, Washington DC.  (202) 337-8855

For Out-of-Towners

In the middle of bustling Penn Quarter, Legal Sea Foods offers “Six for Six,” a ½-dozen oysters for just $6 at the bar Monday-Friday, from 4-7 pm. Pair them with $3.25 draft beers or get $2 off “Raising the Bar Cocktails” and well liquor.  704 7th Street NW, Washington, DC.  (202) 347-0007

Black Jack Bar on Urbanspoon

About the Author

Mary Kong-DeVito

Mary grew up in New York where the food-centric city and her family's restaurants were literally her playground. Instead of eating dirt, she ate duck blood and rotten eggs. You never know what you'll find on the sidewalks.Mary is a veteran of the hospitality industry who's worked with numerous celebrities such as Barbra Streisand, Patrick Ewing, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe and Jane Krakowski. Her writing has appeared in DC Modern Luxury, Washington Post Express, Eater, Scoutmob, Washington Flyer and Washington City Paper.She eats "normal" stuff too, like cheeseburgers. Kangaroo cheeseburgers.