Houston is well known for its seafood, with many local restaurants making use of the area’s natural bounty. But there’s one local delicacy that’s particularly ubiquitous in this town: oysters. Plucked right out of the gulf for freshness you can taste, Gulf oysters are large, meaty and wonderfully briny. Take a look at our favourite oyster bars in Houston – you may not find a pearl inside the shell, but the oysters here are gems nonetheless.
Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen
Head to Houston’s Museum District for some terrific oysters at Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen – oysters are baked with chunks of tasso ham for an unusual flavour (many customers lovingly refer to them as “ham-sters.”) Fresh oysters on the half shell are, of course, very popular, too.
Liberty Kitchen and Oyster Bar
Oysters are all over the menu at Liberty Kitchen and Oyster Bar, which is good because it’s right there in the name. Iced raw Gulf oysters from Texas and Louisiana are the classic, but the Coctel de San Leon is a great variation on shrimp cocktail, substituting oysters and mixing with cocktail sauce and horseradish. Alternatively, try one of their “crazy roasted oysters” topped with bacon jam, butter and jalapeo.
Caracol, a beach-style Mexican seafood restaurant from one of Houston’s most beloved restaurateurs, Hugo Ortega, has a delightful oyster offering. The Ostioned Asados are wood-fired Gulf oysters topped with chipotle butter. If you prefer yours fresh-from-the-water, order up a dozen raw from the oyster bar.
For those who appreciate no-frills eateries, Gilhooley’s is tough to beat. Found over in Bay Area Houston, this unpretentious hole-in-the wall is considered one of the best oyster bars in Houston by many locals. Order a platter of oysters on the half shell, or opt for a version topped with shrimp, Parmesan and butter.
Known for its progressive southern cooking, Lucille’s serves up delicious fried oysters, and even an oyster bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Fresh oysters on the half shell with various toppings are often available, too.
The signature char-grilled oysters at this Louisiana-style seafood joint are so big, a dozen rarely fit on the tray without being stacked upon one another. Grilled and topped with lemon garlic butter, herbs and an Italian cheese blend, you won’t need many to get your fill.
One of the top-rated seafood restaurants in the United States, Reef serves up a variety of oyster styles, starting with a traditional half-shell presentation. The 3rd Bar Baked Oysters feature creamy Swiss chard, lime pickle and Asiago breadcrumbs, while the 3rd Bar Fried Oysters arrive adorned with sriracha remoulade, scallions, and chilies.
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Have you tried any of these oyster bars in Houston? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Steven Lindsey