It's often said that the first man to try an oyster was a brave one, which is absolutely true... because those delicious pearl factories can be expensive. Thankfully, you don't need to be that brave to order a dozen, as long as you know that the oyster happy hour exists, and that Austin has a ton of them. We've put together a list of the 19 best in town, so you can eat as many Gulf, East, and West Coast varieties as you please:
The cozy restaurant boasts wine and bites that are perfect for light dinners with friends or date night also has a fantastic oyster program. Everyday from 4pm-7pm, its happy hour deal allows you $3 off a half dozen or $6 off a dozen oysters. It has a nice selection of fresh East and West Coast offerings. Please, add this to your calendar: Apothecary does West Coast Wednesday with $2 West Coast oysters all night long. And, on Sundays and Mondays -- $10 off all bottles of wine all night. Saturday’s special is 50% off all bottle of bubbles, all night.
Every Monday, those in the know head over to Foreign & Domestic for Dollar Oyster Monday. Arrive early for a coveted spot at the bar and get down on its selection of East Coast oysters and drink specials. There is also an accompanying menu of poached shrimp, squid, and Southern-inspired sides to complement your raw oyster feast.
Happy Hour at Parkside is the best way to eat well and not break the bank. From 5pm-6:30pm, Monday through Friday guests get half off of the bar menu, beer, and cocktails. The Oyster Platter, regularly $32, is a steal at $16. We recommend pairing your mollusk meal with a side of Parkside fries and a few glasses of Prosecco.
Sit lakeside or in the comfy North Austin location and take advantage of the ridiculous happy hour deals. Monday through Friday, 4pm-6pm (Abel’s on the Lake) and 4pm-7pm (Abel’s North) you get $1 Gulf Coast oysters along with $4 select beers and $3.50 Deep Eddy vodka drinks.
During its very generous happy hour (Monday and Sunday, ALL DAY! and Tuesday through Saturday from 4pm-7pm), Eddie V’s offers $1 Louisiana oysters served on ice with the bright mignonette sauce. Also included: live jazz and cocktail deals.
Another popular HH is Truluck’s elegantly-named “Cocktail Hour.” The featured East Coast oysters are $2.50, and we couldn’t help but notice the deep discounts also apply to selected appetizers, wines, and most importantly, cocktails. This mixed enthusiast has got her eye on the “Ipso Facto,” a martini made with artisanal St. George Terroir gin for only $6.
Although this isn’t a one-night-a-week deal or a happy hour, the prices at Lucy’s are impossible to ignore. A dozen raw Gulf oysters at Lucy’s will only set you back only $14. No meal at Lucy’s is complete without trying its wood fire-grilled oyster, Lucha-style. They come loaded with buffalo sauce, cilantro, Worcestershire, and bacon.
This under-the-radar, campus-area gem has a menu full of seasonal comfort food inspired by a multitude of cuisines, and great oyster deals to boot. On Sundays, East Coast oysters are half price after 5pm. And Sazerac is on tap, too.
Hillside Farmacy is known for its hip, retro aesthetic, and as a gathering spot for Austin’s pretty people. It's are also known for its superb Monday night oyster deals -- that is, half price East Coast oysters and $5 bubbles from 5pm-10pm.
You’ve got to love the old school attitude of Shoal Creek Saloon, whose iconic sign still advertises “Color T.V.” You know what else we love? A dozen Gulf Oysters on the half shell that only costs $13.99. That’s just over a buck each, folks.
Liberty Kitchen is just west of Lamar, and in addition to a extensive Texas-inspired seafood menu, it has a totally decent happy hour. Everyday, from 3pm-6pm, Dallas-based Liberty Kitchen offers 50 cents off Gulf and East Coast oysters. This bustling restaurant’s happy hour also includes half off queso and select wines.
Sunny, nautical Clark’s is highlight on this list -- here you find a large variety of oysters from East and West Coasts, including Washington, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island. Its happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3pm-6pm, and its selection of fresh oysters are 50 cents off. Pro tip: eat the fantastic sourdough bread, and then ask for seconds.
On South Congress, Austin’s own version of Disneyland, Perla’s is taking care of tourists and locals alike. We love its happy hour which boasts 50¢ off oysters, $2 off beverages from 3pm-6pm, Monday through Friday. And, as you know, Perla’s doesn’t mess around. This includes the freshest East and West Coast oyster selection you can get.
Everyday from 3pm-5pm the Draft Shack inside Whole Foods offers char-grilled oysters for $1.75 in addition to 40+ beers on tap. Whole Foods hack: we’ve heard of people ordering the oysters at the store’s actual seafood counter (where they will shuck them to you), and then just casually walking over to the Draft Shack and enjoying those with a cold beer. We don’t think it’s rude considering you just spent your entire paycheck on groceries.
dine is located in the Radisson Hotel on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Congress. The deals on oysters are almost too good to believe. Ahem, get this: Monday through Friday from 4pm-6pm the oysters are half off. And then there’s $1 Buck Shucks Happy Hour -- $1 oysters on Sundays & Mondays from 4pm-close. Don't even get us started on the insane beer and spirits selection that is also heavily discounted. Just go.
Bright and beachy Alcomar offers its half-dozen Gulf oysters for only $9 during its happy hour which runs from 3pm-6pm everyday. The orange habanero mignonette is the perfect accompaniment to the plump, briny oysters. Pair that with one of Alcomar’s $4 HH cheladas -- Pacifico beer, lime, Cholula, Worcestershire, and El Chile rim.
Quality Seafood has been around for a long time providing wholesale seafood to Austin’s restaurants and running a little eatery as well. Enjoy its classic vibe every Thursday from 6pm-9pm, for Texas Gulf oysters on the half shell for just $1 each with a cold Lone Star.
North Austinites rejoice, Pacific Rim now has a Tuesday Night Dollar Menu. In addition to highlights like freshly prepared sushi, yakitori skewers, Sake Bombs, and coconut shrimp, Pacific Rim also has, wait for it... raw and Panko-fried oysters for just a buck. The lounge also houses large-screen televisions which are always airing “the game.” Don’t miss the Polynesian cocktails while you’re there.
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Anastacia Uriegas is a writer in Austin who thinks that any hour spent eating oysters is a happy one. Follow her at @AnaUrie.
From married City of Roses transplants, F&D is a pastel-painted one-room canteen with mod-wooden furniture and long bench seating, centered around an open kitchen serving an unpretentious French/ Spanish/ American fusion of "snacks, chomps, and plates", but not C.H.O.M.P.S., because movies starring Valerie Bertinelli as the girlfriend of a young man who invents a robotic dog are All-American, baby.
Right on Sixth Street, Parkside is a relatively upscale gastropub known for its raw bar and wine selection. Though the oysters are sourced from all over the country and the wine menu is more than two pages long, don't think it's just a wine and oyster bar. The menu features protein entrees, a knockout cheeseburger, and Texan craft beers.
Truluck’s is the kind of restaurant that lends itself to special occasions, dates, and business dinners you're all too happy to comp. The upscale seafood and steakhouse is perfect for those who like a little surf with their turf, like the Dynamite Filet, a 7oz filet topped with blue crab, rock shrimp, and Maine lobster in a Sriracha cream sauce. The hearty portions here are complimented by live, nightly entertainment and great happy hour deals. Because good booze and good dining go hand in hand, try the Dark Horse cocktail -- a classic Manhattan made with coffee-infused Knob Creek bourbon.
Here to give crappy chicken joints the bird: Lucy's, a flightless-fowl celebration from the chef behind Bon Appetit-lauded Olivia humming with an all-TX jukebox, and offering bone-gnawing in the dining room, in an outdoor biergarten with mod-ish tables direct from Germany, or on a perch-like 2nd-story patio where you too can make like a bird...and eat twice your body weight.
The Hillside Farmacy doubles as a sit down farm-to-table restaurant with daily raw bar and specialty grocery. Their seasonal meats, cheese, and greens are locally sourced and can be enjoyed with a glass of wine or afternoon tea (if you're detoxing from the night before).
Houston-based Liberty Kitchen has a comfort-food-meets-seafood brunch menu, with a Bloody Mary that belongs with Austin’s best. The 20oz drink features house-made Bloody Mary mix, Dripping Springs vodka, a fried oyster, fried okra, and pickled veggies. Food offerings include a menu chock-full of treats such as oysters (fresh roasted or fried), Shanghai fried lobster, as well as an extensive selection of burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and pasta. Be sure to try the Thrashed at Maverick's burger, mad with mustard-sizzled onion-jalapeño-pickle, bacon jam, Stubb’s-RO hickory sauce, and pimento cheese.
A small neighborhood seafood joint, Clark's Oyster Bar, prides itself on simple, sustainable seafood with a cozy ambiance. The maritime cache is fully stocked with house-made breads, burgers, and an extensive brunch menu, but the oysters, which come in a breadth of both East and West Coast options that rotate out with availability and season, are an essential order.
At Perla's, you'll find some of the best seafood in Austin. Oysters are flown in from both coasts as well as the Gulf of Mexico, where they are served at the poured concrete oyster bar. The space features a large saltwater tank and open-kitchen space, where you can enjoy fresh brunch, lunch, and dinner menus consisting of a large variety of fresh seafood entrees. You can also partake in some of their delicious coastal cocktails or refreshing wines on the oak-shaded patio.
From the same restaurant group as El Chile and El Alma, Alcomar specializes in what's been dubbed a "Latin-inspired seafood concept." Set in a beachy and bright open space, it serves up ceviche, Gulf oysters, and fusion concepts like lobster enchiladas and octopus tostadas. Expect a variety of margaritas, served by the glass or pitcher, and a notable Bloody Mary served a single oyster.
Austin's top seafood supplier since 1938 (when it was just a stall on S. Congress) scored a place on our Favorite 5 sports-watching spots for their totally under-appreciated bar, which is buoyed by a pair of flatscreens and eight taps under five bucks. The game snacks don't hurt either, from applewood-bacon-wrapped scallops, to fried-anything-you-can-imagine, to the freshest fish tacos in town that don't involve making an untoward joke about SRD.