The Best Oyster Happy Hours in Philadelphia

Buck-a-shuck might be tough to come by right now (hello, inflation), but that doesn't mean you can't get a great deal on oysters in Philly.

Photograph courtesy of Oyster House

Happy hour may have been invented to get butts in seats and sell more booze. But the concept was perfected when some enterprising oyster enthusiasts had the idea to combine drink specials with dollar bivalves, turning a luxurious cold treat into something for the masses — at least for a few hours each week. While one-dollar oysters are tough to come by right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great deal in Philly. Here are some of our favorite restaurants and bars where you can slurp down oysters at a slightly discounted price.

Oyster House, Center City
Even an oyster itself might be impressed by what’s happening at Oyster House, since this spot has been a go-to for seafood (and martinis) in Philly for half of a century. Every Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Oyster House sells $2 oysters, along with more discounted options like $5 oyster shooters and $7 punch. Happy hour happens at the bar. Also: Oyster House recycles their oyster shells, which supports the health of the Delaware watershed. 1516 Sansom Street.

Ember & Ash, East Passyunk
This East Passyunk neighborhood spot has changed their focus slightly in recent months — they’re still thinking about seasonality and sustainability, but without harping on the “root-to-snout” thing as much. What that means is American, tavern-y dishes that are more thoughtful than the menu at your run-of-the-mill neighborhood spot. If we lived nearby, we’d be at the bar here every other week eating fried chicken sandwiches with gochujang aioli, Caesar salads made with broccoli rabe, and discounted oysters during happy hour (which runs weekdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.). 1520 East Passyunk Avenue.

Pearl & Mary, Midtown Village
Pearl & Mary’s bar area gets busy during happy hour, and for good reason. In addition to $2 oysters, they serve a $7 crudo, $4 fries, and clams casino for a buck a pop. Pair all of that with a $7 gimlet or a $6 glass of wine, and you’ll be quite pleased that you fought the crowds. Daily happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 114 South 13th Street.

Bloomsday Cafe, Society Hill
Bloomsday does almost buck-a-shuck (oysters are $1.50) every Wednesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. This, in combination with Bloomsday’s interesting happy hour wines and a great sidewalk seating area, means you should make plans to go. In addition to oysters and discounts on their entire bottle list, the team runs happy hour specials like tinned fish and sherry for $16 and a very good $6 smash burger with Cooper sharp. 414 South 2nd Street.

P.J. Clarke’s, Washington Square West
In a weird turn of events, Buddy Holly proposed to his wife at P.J. Clarke’s in New York (on their very first date, allegedly). We’re not suggesting you should expect expedient romance and/or ghosts from oyster happy hour here, but maybe it’s not out of the question either. The Philly outpost of this old-timey NYC seafood spot offers a half-dozen oysters for $6 (or a dozen for $12) on weekdays between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m at the bar or in their lounge. 601 Walnut Street.

Kensington QuartersFishtown
Kensington Quarters does $2 oysters with mignonette and piri piri during happy hour. Combine your oysters with their $8 wine of the day or a glass of sangria and sit on the patio. Happy hour runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, plus Sundays. 1310 Frankford Avenue.

Wilder, Center City
In the warm weather, the hub of Sansom where Wilder is located turns into a tiny outdoor dining haven. Sit on the sidewalk and eat some $2 oysters during their happy hour, which runs Monday through Friday 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There are also $8 glasses of vinho verde available, plus a $9 rum cocktail or a boozy spritz and some mortadella dip served with bread from the restaurant’s wood-fired oven. 2009 Sansom Street.

Royal Boucherie, Old City
In Old City, you’ll pay more for a two-hour spot in a parking garage than you will for a glass of sparkling wine and a half-dozen oysters at Royal Boucherie’s happy hour ($15 in total). You could also ditch the wine and stick with just oysters for $12. We support both approaches, but if you ever see us there for weekday happy hour between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., come have a glass of wine with us. 52 South 2nd Street.

Photograph courtesy of Devon Seafood Philadelphia

Devon Seafood Grill, Rittenhouse
Devon has a huge variety of seafood specials, including a half-dozen oysters for $15, fried calamari, shrimp tacos, mini lobster rolls, plus $5 beer, $8 wine, and a variety of cocktails for $11. Happy hour runs from Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 225 South 18th Street.

The Olde Bar, Old City
Every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Jose Garces’s seafood-centric restaurant serves up $2 East Coast oysters along with house wine, beer, Fish House punch, and other snacks like shrimp cocktail and Buffalo cauliflower. You can make a reservation during happy hour, which is a bit unusual for places offering deals. 125 Walnut Street.

The Wayward, Center City
During The Wayward’s weekday happy hour in their bar and lounge (which runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.), you can order a half-dozen oysters for $14. But we also endorse their salmon rillettes, served on little baguette chips and topped with chopped herbs. Order these with one of the restaurant’s many gin cocktails and you’re in for a good patio snacking situation. 1170 Ludlow Street.

Fishtown Seafood, Fishtown
A bonus add: technically speaking, you can’t slurp any happy hour oysters at this fish market on Belgrade Street in Fishtown. But the shop does sell a rotating variety of $1 oysters on Fridays. (These are adorably called “Buck Youse Shuck.”) Pick some up and shuck them at home — the staff will give you pointers if you’re a shucking n00b. Alternatively, you could keep an oyster knife in your purse and have a feast on the sidewalk. 339 Belgrade Street.