It’s oyster season in the Lowcountry, and these local bivalves are turning up on every menu in town. From raw and ice cold with only a lemon wedge for garnish, to battered, seasoned, and fried, there’s an oyster for every palate in Mount Pleasant. Try one of these unique takes on oysters and celebrate this local delicacy one half-shell at a time.
Raw and Simple
Shem Creek Bar and Grill (508 Mill Street) is the perfect no-frills venue for a dozen clean, cold raw oysters. Pull up a seat at the oyster bar just beyond the main dining room and order a dozen of whatever the bartender suggests. They’re served simply, with just lemon, cocktail sauce, and saltines. Really, you don’t need anything else—except maybe a cold draft beer.
Varied and Upscale
Pier 41’s (1039 Highway 41, #100) raw bar is always serving a variety of carefully selected oysters from all over—from Canada to the Lowcountry—making it a great place to discover your favorite oyster. The beautiful L-shaped bar is perfect for enjoying a Seafood Tower and a glass of champagne.
Roasted and Abundant
If you’re looking to sit back and dig in to a bucket of roasted oysters, but haven’t been invited to an oyster roast, Art’s Bar and Grill (413 Coleman Blvd.) is the place to get your fix. Their weekend special of $17.99, all-you-can-eat Bulls Bay oysters keeps the place packed during oyster season. Paired with a bucket of beer, it’s one of the best ways to spend an autumn afternoon.
Baked and Flavorful
The Granary’s (835 Coleman Blvd.) baked oysters are reminiscent of Oysters Rockefeller, but so much better. Topped with melted leeks, herbed breadcrumbs, roasted garlic, and grilled lemon, they are packed with flavor, but not heavy or soggy. They’re an appetizer, but there’s no rule against ordering two plates and calling it dinner.
Crispy and Fried
Raw oysters aren’t for everyone, but fried oysters are perfect for those who want a little heat on their shellfish. The Wreck of Richard and Charlene (106 Haddrell St.) only serves their oysters fried, and with good reason: they’re crispy, delicate, briny, and tender. The oysters are served with coleslaw, red rice, and a hush puppy and fried hominy square, so come hungry and plan to leave stuffed.
Dressed and Fresh
Raw oysters at Tavern & Table (100 Church St.) are served with a selection of unique, housemade condiments. Hijiki aioli, cucumber jalapeño mignonette, and housemade cocktail sauce are all served alongside raw market oysters, giving simple oysters on the half-shell a refreshing upgrade from the usual.
Briny and Boozy
Newcomer Nico (201 Coleman Blvd.) has a truly unique twist on the oyster shooter—one with Bowmore 12 Year Scotch. The Scotch Oyster is as much a method for enjoying a fresh oyster as a dish. Diners are instructed to sip the oyster brine from their house oyster, pour scotch over the oyster, eat the oyster, then rinse the shell with scotch and shoot. Smoky, peaty scotch and salty, briny oyster may be unexpected, but it’s a match made in happy hour heaven.
You know what goes great with oysters? Live music. Check out our roundup of six live music spots in Mount Pleasant for some inspiration!