Tag Archives: oysters

Top 10 Places To Get Oysters In Austin (And Their Corresponding Happy Hours)

oyster-happy-hour

My obsession with oysters  is no secret. I’ve tried just about every oyster-slinging joint in town, and I’m hungry for more. Now that we’re getting into ‘Oyster Season,’ I’d like to share my top picks, and of course their discounted happy hours with you. After all, any local worth their salt and brine, should know where to get the good stuff.

oyster-fresh-horseradish-clarks-austin

Clark’s Oyster Bar: A huge spread of oysters, in a small, yet fancy place. Enjoy the patio, fantastic service, and overall seafood spread. It’s going to cost you, but if you have the cash to spare it’s well worth it. Happy Hour: 50 cents off oysters from 3-6 daily, with 1/2 off burgers, and $5 beer/martinis on weekdays. 50 cents off oysters, and 1/2 off bottles of wine on weekends.

Liberty Kitchen: I hit this new hot spot recently, and had a great time! I like the space, food, and wine a lot. Their menu is expansive, and good. They even have brunch! Happy Hour: 50 cents off oysters, 1/2 off burgers/queso/wings, 1/2 select bottles of wine, and $5 liquor/beer from 3-6 on weekdays.

Parkside: A surprising diamond in the rough on 6th Street.  This spot has a wide variety, rooftop patio, and busy-yet-good service. Happy Hour: 1/2 off beer, liquor, and all bar food until 6:30 on weekdays.

oyser-raw-austin

Eddie V’s: I don’t normally like Gulf oysters, but I do like theirs! I’m not sure if they’re sourcing them from a premium supplier, or if they’re just conning me with the ambiance, and staff. I used to be there practically every Sunday for the live jazz. Do you like giant, delicious vodka martinis? You’re in luck here. I really do love this place, despite my constant jokes that they make their staff dress like Bond villains (which they do). Happy Hour: All night Sunday-Monday, and 4-7 otherwise. You can enjoy 1/2 off oysters/select appetizers (I go for the tuna tartare), and $5 martini/wine selections.

Monger’s: This happening, new E. Cesar Chavez spot focuses on east coast oysters at $3/pop, and various other fresh seafood dishes. Happy Hour: 1/2 off oysters on Wednesday.

Perla’s: Sister to Clark’s Oyster, and made famous by their own food, as well as a visit from Anthony Bourdain. Expect great wait-staff, and a great wait. The South Congress Avenue people watching is glorious, and I’m a huge fan of their wine list.  Happy Hour: $2 off drinks, and 50 cents off oysters on weekdays.

oysters-austin-whole-foods

Hillside Farmacy: Cute space, and fantastic seafood. I do whine about the small tables, but that’s because I order so much food! I highly recommend this trendy spot for brunch. Happy Hour: 1/2 off east coast oysters, and $5 bubbles all night on Monday.

Quality Seafood: Famous for their amazingly fresh Ocean offerings, this spot is wonderful for the stomach, but not exactly candlelit. (There’s a slight, to-be-expected aroma from the fish, but you get over it fast.) On a regular night you can expect Gulf oysters at 8.99/15.99 and east coast at just 9.99/17.99 for a half/dozen. Happy Hour: Thursdays $1 Gulf oysters

Deckhand: If you’re up north, and have a penchant for grilled oysters then this is your spot! This is admittedly the only place I haven’t tried, but friends and Yelpers alike do rave about it. The menu is Southern, with a slight twist. Expect everything from gumbo to tom yum. Happy Hour: None.

Whole Foods Market at The Domain: Who would have though that a grocery store would offer some of the most amazing grilled oysters? Well, they do. At their in-store beer (and wine) bar, you’ll find a selection of cheesy, buttery shelled delights to enjoy as you take a break from your shop. I’ve been to New Orleans, and these babies are in close competition.  Happy Hour: $1.75 charbroiled oysters (regularly $2.75) daily from 3-5.

As a bonus, I would like to add that Foreign & Domestic does oysters on Mondays. Expect $1 per east coast oyster, and a delightful fried chicken meal. You can have the chicken and sides, oysters, and even specially discounted sparkling rosé once a week.

Oyster Fever: Liberty Kitchen

liberty-kitchen-prepared-oyster

You know that one song in Sound of Music where Julie Andrews is listing off ‘raindrops and roses, and whiskers on kittens’ as her favorite things? Yeah, I sing that song to myself anytime I think of oysters, and martinis on happy hour. These are a few of my favorite things!

liberty-kitchen-martini

I recently popped in around 5 to catch a few of the HH deals (as well as the fantastic regular menu), and boy was I impressed.

liberty-kitchen-oysters

There were discounted drinks, and a few reduced food items. Everything served was spectacular! I couldn’t get over how fresh, clean, and flavorful all of their seafood was! My main issue with local places serving oysters is that a lot only do Gulf. I was delighted to find that they have theirs coming from PEI, and all over!

liberty-kitchen-salmon

What’s that shown above? Oh, just in-house smoked salmon with bacon jelly. That’s all. (It’s insanely good!)

liberty-kitchen-seafood-broth

When I looked at the specials, I saw their Friday offering, and knew immediately it was what I was going to have. That was Marseille Bouillabaisse, served in 2 parts. They start you off with arguably the best seafood-saffron broth known to man, then follow it with a fantastic plate of lobster, clams, potatoes, and more!

liberty-kitchen-seafood-bounty
liberty-kitchen-austin-claw

I went nuts on the wine list, because hey, I’m me! Of course, I did! But it is worth a mention that their cocktails are insane.

liberty-kitchen-grapefruit-cocktail-yum

My favorite involved grapefruit skins, herbs, and a slight effervescence. It looked a little like the rose-in-the-glass from Beauty and the Beast to me, so I guess this place just fills me with movie references all around.

liberty-kitchen-dessert-chocolate

It’s hard to get a low-carber like me to crumble, but they did it. Luckily, I had a dining partner with me that did most of the damage, but I was extremely happy to taste their fantastic chocolate cake. It was worth the ‘cheat.’ Apart from the food, I’m a huge fan of their decor, staff, and even the sounds of their brunch menu, which I have yet to try! If you’re a seafood nut like I am, this is definitely a place to taste.

We Accidentally Went to Jazz Fest

 

Image

We learned that we were getting a Chevy Impala to test drive for a week, and did what any sane, reasonable people would do: We took it on a last minute excursion to New Orleans, during what turned out to be Jazz Fest. (We seriously didn’t realize that Jazz Fest, the SXSW of New Orleans, was going on.) We originally thought we could get away with using Hotel Tonight to book something last-minute, but with the festival weekend in full swing, that just wasn’t an option. We sent a few panicked messages to AirBnB hosts located in the Crescent City, and set off praying that we’d get a response before we arrived.

Image

I have to say, I was impressed with the car. With safety sensors alerting my partner every time he veered too close to another lane, I was relieved of what I consider to be my sworn duty to bicker at him when his driving is less than perfect. (Thanks, Impala! You do all the backseat driving for me!)

ImageOur last-minute host, an Irish artist that lived near the cemeteries on a street car line, was wonderful. We did fork over a fortune for the room, but the convenient location and “from another time” charm of the aging house made it worth it. Let’s be honest though, I came to the city to eat (and freely drink in the streets), and wasted no time between throwing my bags down and sprinting to the nearest French Quarter-bound transportation.

ImageAfter a few “go cups” of vodka, and about an hour of wandering tourist-strewn streets, we stopped for oysters, oysters, and then more oysters. The Quarter was in some ways smaller than I expected (easily navigated within a few hours), but also larger than I expected (far more massive and interesting than 6th Street). We did spot the famous Acme Oyster House, and beat the lines by hopping in just after 4:30. At that particular stop we went with raw oysters, but after spotting someone else’s melty-cheesy-buttery spread of grilled oysters, I made sure that the next stop would include an order of those instead.

Image

ImageI’m always a sucker for deals, and saw that the Yelp app offered a free appetizer at a nearby place called Royal House. We climbed the steps to sit on the edge of their balcony, and ate the most incredible crab claw dish whilst watching people in wedding dresses pose for photographers on the street below. I don’t know what was in their sauce, but I drank it.

Image

…And I drank more than my fair share of wine too. We left the Quarter for the Bywater area. I’m friends with quite a few food writers, and I was threatened within an inch of my life to, “Eat in the Bywater area or else! Doesn’t matter where. All restaurants are amazing there!” I found a place called Bacchanal that had wine, cheese, food, a massive patio, and live music. The selections were perfect, the restaurant had the most pleasant vibe, and I almost felt like I was home in Austin with the band playing. Be warned though, it is cash only for the most part. It was there that I met some locals that shared their cheese plate with us, and invited us to a nude bar. You read that last sentence right.

ImageSo we went. (You read that sentence correctly as well.) The Country Club was more than a bar, it was a clothing-optional pool, hot tub, and restaurant. My partner and I are far from wild and crazy, well at least he’s far from it, and there we were… Getting naked under the stars with every shape, size, age, and variety of stranger to go swimming in the middle of the night in New Orleans. I hear the brunch there is fantastic, but I can’t imagine that much nudity in broad daylight over pancakes. It was certainly an out of the ordinary experience, and I’m glad we met the people that invited us, because that experience would have never happened in a million years otherwise.

Image

They brought us home wet and drunk. We slept for a few hours, and packed our things so that we could catch a quick brunch or two before heading off. I also had a secret pit stop in mind for my British partner: I wanted him to try boudin, because I grew up Cajun (little known fact), and if he wasn’t eating crawfish or frog legs on this trip, he was going to get at least one, “weird” Cajun food. I took him to Cochon Butcher, in the Central Business district. I had seen the reviews, and heard the praise for this place, so I knew we would be in good hands. In our typical fashion, he ate the meat, and I ordered Champagne. (Or was it Cava? It was probably Cava.)

Image

Knowing that our “24 hours in New Orleans” trip was soon ending, we decided to venture to a new neighborhood, and find another place loved by Crescent City locals: Atchafalaya. We parked a few blocks away, and wandered through sidewalks that wrapped around cute houses with booming flower gardens.

ImageAs expected, the place was packed. We decided to wait outside for our table with mimosas in hand. The food passing us by on plates in the hands of busy waiters looked incredible, but we didn’t get to sit down. The wait simply became too much with our last minutes in New Orleans remaining, so we left. We walked through the neighborhood; my partner calmly taking in the sites while I weaved in and out of businesses for more of those wonderful vodka “go cups.”

ImageWith the 7 and a half hour journey stretched before us, my partner began the drive home, as I slept off my “go cup” indulgences (almost the entire way!) back to Austin.