If there’s any city where an oyster happy hour makes sense, it’s New Orleans (or maybe that city the Little Mermaid lives in). Nowhere else has this city’s bar culture, and nowhere else can you find the plump, salty, Gulf oysters that our restaurants thrive on -- and as fall approaches, the cooler water will produce even more local pearl factories of superb quality, so naturally, it’s imperative to know where to find them thrown into a bar’s happy hour...
The 11 Best Oyster Happy Hours in New Orleans
Central Business District
On Tuesdays, buy a pitcher of beer or a bottle of wine and enjoy 60-cent oysters all day long. They have various drink specials throughout the week, and every weekday from 4-7pm, enjoy two-for-one well drinks and half-off draft beer.
Central Business District
This is the place that is at the top of everyone’s list, and rightfully so. It’s centrally located, in a beautiful space, and is part of the John Besh empire. Happy hour is every day from 3-6pm, with 75 cent oysters, plus half-price wines by the glass, house brand liquors and draft beers. It's a great way to pass an afternoon at a spot that is well known to locals and tourists alike, so get there early to stake your spot. And don’t forget the umlaut.
Happy hour lives here every damn day of the year, including Christmas, New Year's, Mardi Gras, or the Superbowl. It’s from 4-8pm, and the deal is good as long as you get a drink per every dozen. For raw oysters, a half dozen will set you back $3, and a full dozen is $6. Chargrilled oysters are also available for happy hour (which is highly unusual) with the same drink-per-dozen caveat -- $5 for six and $7.50 for 12. Located right off the streetcar on St. Charles, the Blind Pelican also has a large outdoor patio to take in the sights and sounds of the city.
The Bourbon House has a more highfalutin happy hour with dollar oysters on the half shell. But it’s right there in the Quarter and it’s a bargain for the area. Along with oysters, enjoy $3 Abita drafts, $4 glasses of house wine, and $5 small plates of items like truffled Romano potato chips or red bean hummus. Pro tip: even though you’re on Bourbon Street, try not to bring your Hand Grenade in with you. It’s frowned upon.
An upscale seafood resto, part of the Ralph Brennan empire, Red Fish Grill offers 50-cent oysters, two-for-one draft beer, and two-for-one glasses of house wine, Monday through Thursday from 3-6pm.
Up St. Charles at Napoleon, sit back every afternoon between 4-6:30pm and suck down 50-cent raw oysters, two-for-one frozen mojitos, half-price bottles of wine, $3 draft beer, and/or $3 glasses of house wine. Even the people who work there will stick around after their shift to get in on this deal. A dozen oysters and a drink for under $10? Um, yes please.
On Monday through Friday from 2-6pm, take 25% off raw oysters and ALL BOOZE. Yes, that includes beer, wine, and the hard stuff. While up at the bar, order some oyster nachos, so you can say you did it.
This 100-year-old Uptown institution has a splendid, gleaming oyster bar adjacent to the regular booze bar. And on Monday through Friday, you can get half-price oysters, all bottled beer, glasses of house wine, and select cocktails while sitting in the manly mahogany embrace of this old-school, dark-wood bar.
For 29 years, Le Bon Temps Roulé has been serving free raw oysters on Friday evening, starting at 7pm until they run out, which is usually around 9pm or so. Enjoy live New Orleans-style piano music while enjoying the free fruit of the sea, and note that regular booze happy hour here runs from 11am-8pm, with various discounts and specials on various types of hooch. Even though the ersters are free, though, don’t forget to tip your shucker.
On Monday nights, reward yourself for strolling up and down Magazine St by stopping in at Basin Seafood to enjoy 50-cent oysters from 5-10pm.
Bayou St. John
What’s better than cheap? FREE. This new seafood joint in the Mid-City neighborhood of Bayou St. John offers a half dozen free oysters on the half shell and a comp glass of wine on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5-7pm, when you buy a dozen raw oysters. But you were gonna do that anyway, right?
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1. Grand Isle Restaurant575 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans
2. Lüke333 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans
3. Samuel’s Blind Pelican1628 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans
4. Bourbon House144 Bourbon St, New Orleans
5. Red Fish Grill115 Bourbon St, New Orleans
6. Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar4338 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans
7. Frankie & Johnny's321 Arabella St, New Orleans
8. Pascal's Manale Restaurant1838 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans
9. Le Bon Temps Roulé4801 Magazine St, New Orleans
10. Basin Seafood & Spirits3222 Magazine St, New Orleans
11. The Half Shell Oyster Bar & Grill3101 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans
This family-style resto focuses on fresh ingredients, whether it's their fish and seafood that they receive daily, or their garden salads that're always served w/ dressings made in-house.
Although this may be a New Orleans restaurant at heart -- complete with white tablecloths and old world courses like crab and corn bisque and fried oyster salad -- they've certainly perfected the burger, which is made from chuck and brisket and comes on a buttered brioche bun. French, German, and Belgian brews are also available, including three that are custom-made in Louisiana.
With a full bar, an extensive menu of tasty fare from the sea, and a kickin' oyster happy hour, this Garden District spot is a go-to seven days a week.
Bourbon House is a prime exemplar of what NOLA's all about, cuisine wise-- it serves up fresh seasonal, seafood dishes, has a great oyster bar on hand, and is home to more kinds of bourbon than you ever knew existed. This place is legit. The New Orleans Bourbon Society was created there, and continues to meet to discuss bourbon, drink bourbon, and even eat bourbon-themed meals.
Part of the Ralph Brennan empire, this upscale seafood spot in the French Quarter offers terrific happy hour deals on both drinks and oysters, as well as a full, regularly priced menu featuring seafood and Creole favorites.
Located in Uptown New Orleans, the name of this place tells you everything you need to know, except for the fact that they have sweet happy hours for both oysters and drinks. In fact, come late during the weekdays to get an extra special happy hour. Even though Superior is often frequented by tourists, you can carve out some bar space for you and your friends if you get to the bar early.
This Uptown jewel not only offers outstanding seafood and authentic Creole dishes, it also features a terrific happy hour including oysters, beer, wine, and cocktails.
Look for the brightly glowing neon cursive on Napoleon Avenue, follow the tantalizing scent of Cajun spices, and voilà: you’ve arrived at Pascal’s Manale, a cozy Uptown joint where shellfish reign. Blending bold Creole flavors with Italian influences, the kitchen serves heavy-hitting favorites like frutta del mare drenched in homemade marinara sauce and the house specialty: Pascal’s Barbecue Shrimp, a local legend for its hefty portion and spice-obsessed butter sauce.
This Uptown bar and music club was founded by a death metal singer and is now famous for a Thursday night house party put on by a hip-hop/brass band hybrid, so you could guess that it's an interesting place to be.
This Uptown resto serves "modernized, lighter versions of traditional Louisiana dishes" that are made with locally sourced Gulf fish and locally grown seasonal veggies.
This Mid-City seafood joint offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while specializing in oysters and offering burgers, shrimp, po' boys and vegetarian items, as well as a super-cheap oyster happy hour.