The Best Oyster Happy Hour Deals 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.
Happy hour may have been invented to get butts in seats and sell more booze. But the concept was perfected when some enterprising fishmongers had the idea to combine drink specials with dollar oysters, 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 to slurp down a couple of oysters for less money than you might spend elsewhere around the city.
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 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 shooters and $7 punch. Happy hour primarily happens at the bar, but you can also stand outside and eat some $2 oysters on top of their barrel tables when the weather cooperates. Also: Oyster House recycles their oyster shells, which supports the health of the Delaware watershed and is just plain old cool.
Bloomsday Cafe, Society Hill
Bloomsday does true buck-a-shuck every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. This, combined with the fact that Bloomsday has some of the most interesting and delicious happy hour wines in the city and a great sidewalk seating area, means you should make plans to go there as soon as possible. (They run more happy hour specials — like tinned fish and sherry for $16, $6 burgers, and $9 glasses of wine — on Wednesdays and Fridays as well.)
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 $11 (or a dozen for $19) on weekdays between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sit on their outdoor patio across from Independence Hall and involve yourself with some fried feta curds and $6 glasses of wine for good measure.
Kensington Quarters, Fishtown
Rather than buck-a-shuck, Kensington Quarters does a half-dozen oyster with house hot sauce and mignonette for $14. Considering how high-quality the seafood is here, KQ’s happy hour price feels like a notably good deal. Especially when you combine your oysters with their $7 rose of the day or a glass of white sangria. Happy hour runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day of the week (other than Saturday).
Royal Boucherie, Old City
In Old City, you’ll likely 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). You could also ditch the wine and stick with the oysters for $12. We support both approaches. But if you ever see us there for happy hour between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, we’ll be ordering the former.
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 $9 and $10. Happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the bar and on Devon’s patio right next to Rittenhouse Square.
Olde Bar, Old City
Jose Garces’s seafood-centric spot serves up $2 East Coast oysters from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, along with house wine, beer, Fish House punch, and other snacks like the Olde Bar fries which come topped with lump crab and cheddar fondue. You can make a reservation during happy hour, if you enjoy making fool-proof plans.
The Wayward, Market East
During The Wayward’s 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekday happy hour in their bar and lounge, you can do a half-dozen for $9 or a dozen for $18, but we also love their broiled oysters, which come on a plate of three for $6. They’re topped with butter mornay sauce and chopped herbs. Order these with one of the Wayward’s many gin cocktails and you’re in for a good snacking situation.
Fishtown Seafood, Fishtown
A bonus add: technically speaking, you can’t slurp any happy hour oysters at this recently opened fish market on Belgrade Street in Fishtown. But the shop does sell a rotating variety of $1 oysters on Fridays from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. 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.