Food & Drink

19 Amazing Oyster Happy Hours in Boston

Published On 02/26/2014 Published On 02/26/2014

So the bad news: backward-thinking liquor laws make booze-based happy hours an impossibility here in Boston. The good news? The "liquor" in oysters is booze-free, which means you can take advantage of Beantown's proximity to the ocean and gorge on discounted bivalves all the time. Here are the details on when to hit 20 wallet-fattening oyster specials around town.

Jacqueline Dole


329 Columbus Ave
$1 oysters, Friday 4-6pm

Les Zygomates

129 South St
$1 oysters, Monday-Friday 4-6pm

Myers + Chang

1145 Washington St
$1 oysters, Sunday 8pm-close


10 Bosworth St
$1 oysters, 4-6pm daily

Local 149

149 P St
Half-price oysters, Monday-Friday 4-6pm

The Lansdowne Pub

9 Lansdowne St
$1 oysters, Tuesday 4-7pm (not on non-game days)

Smith and Wollensky

101 Arlington St
$1 oysters, 5-7pm daily


199 Clarendon St
Two-for-one oysters, Monday 3:30-10pm

Jacqueline Dole


242 Harvard St
$1 oysters, 5-7pm daily at the bar

Matt Murphy’s Pub

14 Harvard St
Free oysters, Monday 5-7pm

Jacqueline Dole


40 Edwin H Land Blvd
$1 oysters, 4-6pm daily

The Ginger Exchange

1287 Cambridge St
$1 oysters, Thursday 11pm-1am

Grafton Street

1230 Mass Ave
$1 oysters, 11pm-close daily

Red House

98 Winthrop St
50c oysters, Tuesday-Sunday 3-6pm; $1 oysters, Tuesday-Sunday 6pm-close


1 Bennett St
$1 oysters, Monday 5:30pm until sold out at the bar

Russell House Tavern

14 John F. Kennedy St
$1 oysters, 11pm-close daily

Ashmont Grill

555 Talbot Ave
$1 oysters, Thursday

Jacqueline Dole


65 Holland St
$1 oysters, Monday-Friday 3-6pm


118 Beacon St
$1 oysters, Sunday-Tuesday 5:30pm-close

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1. Marliave 10 Bosworth St , Boston, MA 02108 (Downtown Crossing)

Marliave first made its debut in 1885, opened by a French immigrant who brought over a closely guarded cachet of Francophile recipes. It’s had its ups and downs in the 13 decades since, but Marliave really is an undersung institution. Where else can you enjoy French onion soup and rarebit at the bar while savoring a drink called the Chauncey Warbucks (Baker’s bourbon, absinthe, grenadine, bitters)? The first floor reeks of backroom politics gone by, while the upstairs dining space provides a charmingly anachronistic view of Downtown Crossing (you forget how little the architecture has changed here). Oh, and on those deep February nights when you cannot bear to drag your ass out the door? Marliave delivers. Rarebit in bed, baby.

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2. The Ginger Exchange 1287 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Inman Square)

The first in-city offering from the owner of Ginger Pad in Burlington, GE is billed as a hip "urban sushi bar" offering a funky twist on Asian fusion with an eclectic selection of late night sushi/sashimi, noodles, and create-your-own bento boxes.

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3. Coda 329 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)

A cool American grubbery and beer hall with a great bar program.

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4. Myers + Chang 1145 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118 (South End)

From the creator of Boston-favorite Flour Bakery, Asian-inspired Myers + Chang cooks up American twists on Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese classics in its quirky South End location. The “punchy and craveable” menu options range from “Dim Sum-y Things” like a rich Crab Rangoon Dip to “Buns, Baos, Rolls + a Taco” like a tangy Korean BBQ Sloppy Joe to “Mama Chang’s Favorites” with options like, Wok Roasted Mussels with grilled garlic toast and Twice-Cooked Lamb Belly Stirfry with hot mustard and noodles. At lunch try variations on Vietnamese Banh Mi like Braised Shortrib and Asian Pear with traditional carrot-daikon slaw, pickled jalapenos, and sriracha aioli dressings. Stop in with a date on Monday or Tuesdays for themed menus and great deals on shareable meals.

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5. Local 149 149 P St, South Boston, MA 02127 (South Boston)

The Local 149 puts the emphasis on "Local," offering a cozy and welcoming atmosphere for folks to pick from more than 20 brews on tap and eat delicious and fresh bar grub in South Boston.

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6. Lansdowne Pub 9 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215 (Fenway Kenmore)

The result of the grown-up idea to "offer something more traditional", LP's the newest piece from a group who brought you Lansdowne clubs like the old Avalon, Axis, and more: an Irish pub/old-timey saloon hybrid created by stripping the Jake Ivory piano bar down to its exposed brick walls and installing a 64-foot imported Irish wood bar, working fireplaces, faux candle chandeliers, vintage whiskey posters, a stage, covered outdoor seating, and more bar mirrors per capita than any spot in Boston.

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7. Smith & Wollensky 290 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

The Atlantic Wharf outpost of the S&W empire is slinging their traditional lineup of burly surf/turf classics (bone-in rib eyes, grilled salmon beurre blanc, crispy Alaskan halibut w/ colossal lump crab) in a massive new space tricked out with a 120-seat patio (rocking both raw & full-service bars) that overlooks the Ft. Point Channel, which, despite just being a body of water, is still more entertaining than QVC.

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8. Matt Murphy's Pub 14 Harvard St, Brookline Village, MA 02445 (Brookline Village)

Offering the friendly vibe of Cheers without the tourists, Matt Murphy's in Brookline Village is a popular neighborhood pub with craft beer and excellent Irish-whiskey cocktails, plus fish & chips that are the real deal: wrapped in newspaper and anointed with pickled onions and malt vinegar. They're joined on the menu by other Irish pub classics like shepherd's pie and a hearty beef stew, which you'll want to top off with some sticky toffee pudding. Matt Murphy's may have a spiffier look than your standard watering hole (don't expect any TVs either), but it still has the cash-only policy.

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9. Dante 40 Edwin H Land Blvd, Cambridge, MA 02142 (East Cambridge)

Thanks to Dante's beverage magician Tom Tellier, you don't have to go through Hell, or even Purgatory, to revel in the Paradise that is a new cocktail menu, specifically their "Crazy 8s", which features, yep, eight new cocktails for just $8.

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10. Russell House Tavern 14 JFK St, Cambridge, MA 02138 (Harvard Square)

Named for the 19th century Harvard furniture dealer that first occupied the building, RHT is a two-floored pub/resto in bustling Harvard Square, brought to you from the owners of Grafton Street/Temple Bar. RHT's slinging a New England-heavy menu of modern American "artisanal fare" and craft beers. Their craft cocktail is also definitely worth checking out.

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11. Ashmont Grill 555 Talbot Ave, Dorchester, MA 02124 (Dorchester)

This neighborhood grill joint boasts a sweet patio and fresh takes on American classics.

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12. Saloon 255 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144 (Davis)

Slinging bourbon below Foundry on Elm, this ode to the under-represented pre-Prohibition era throws things back with Tiffany chandeliers and hand-carved mahogany overhangs. Stuff your face with beer-battered pickled peppers packed w/ Boursin, and maple-braised pork belly w/ baked beans, before drinking said face off thanks to 16 taps, 120+ brown-booze varieties, and a slew of "bespoke" whiskey cocktails.

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13. Bergamot 118 Beacon St, Somerville, 02143 (Boston)

From a power chef/GM duo of noteworthy pedigree (Harvest, Scampo, Craigie on Main), comes Bergamot, a progressive American eatery located in the old EVOO spot, and cooking up a balanced menu of fresh, locally sourced farm/sea favorites in a remodeled 78-seat dining room replete w/ earthy brown/green walls, refinished hardwood & stone floors, a black counter/light wood 8-seat bar, and a giant orange couch, but don't mention that -- it's sensitive about its weight/spray tan.