Perhaps you didn’t know but London has a huge array of top-notch restaurants where you can indulge in fresh oysters. Gooey, buttery, a little sweet, and some brine – oysters are full of all the good stuff and yet very low on calories. But that’s not the only reason why people love them. Eating them is definitely a skill that you pick up over time and hone. They’re not just simply a dish, but are arguably a whole dining experience! Here’s our roundup of seven of the must-visit oyster bars in London:
1. The Oystermen Seafood Bar and Kitchen
This award-winning oyster paradise has expanded since opening its doors in 2017. And rightfully so! This is the go-to seafood station for those who like their molluscs cooked in the half shell. The Oystermen serve the ‘buffalo oysters’ with a spicy sauce and yuzu kosho – a Japanese condiment made from fresh chillis and fermented salt – and the ‘tempura oysters’ with smoked Herring Caviar. Oh darling! You can also combine any of their ‘dressed oysters’ with a glass of sparkling wine for a lovely occasion.
You may have tried jelly-like oysters, but at The Oystermen, you’ll find them kind of creamy and citrusy. But don’t forget to kick off the meal with their outstanding selection of starters. Go for the ‘Dorset white crab meat salad’ or the ‘grilled jumbo tiger prawns’ and combine them with a portion of the ‘anchovy toast’ before you tuck into the oysters. The place is always packed with seafood lovers, so we recommend booking it well in advance.
You’ll find The Oystermen Seafood Bar and Kitchen at 32 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8NA. Nearest station is Covent Garden.
2. Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
This century-old restaurant is known for serving the freshest oysters in town. It’s has been run by Michelin-Starred Chef Richard Corrigan for more than a decade. Shucking over a thousand oysters every day, Bentley’s definitely cements itself among being one of the best oyster bars and restaurants in London.
The marbled bar and the terrace are the preferred places for oyster enthusiasts. The bar is well-stocked with the molluscs from Helford, West Mersea, Carlingford Rocks, Galway, Menai, and Jersey, and they also serve Vietnamese and Rockerfeller-style oysters here too.
Bring your family along or plan a date here; the restaurant is the perfect locale for all occasions. From the starter menu, try the ‘wild seabass ceviche’ or any of the scallops, and you won’t regret it. The fish pie from the main menu is incredible and tastes even better with some green tabasco, and if you’re a lobster fan then go for the tasty bisque.
You’ll find Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill at 11-15 Swallow Street, St. James, London, W1B 4DG. Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.
3. Richard Haward’s Oysters
The oysters have been farmed by the Haward family at this prestigious spot for eight generations. Their legacy of cultivating award-winning Mersea oysters from the River Blackwater has been drawing attention for decades, and the oysters here are unquestionably some of the best oysters in the world.
They know their oysters like the back of their hand here. Fresh from the sea, Richard Haward’s Oysters serve three sizes – small, medium and large – at one of the most affordable prices in the city. The small ones are quite filling and meaty, although medium-sized oysters are probably the best ones for real foodies. Pair it with chilled wine, and you will thank the heavens for Haward’s.
What’s more, their outlet in Borough Market serves this real delicacy as street food. This means you can sprinkle some tabasco or shallots on the oyster before you pop it in. Sounds pretty good to us!
You will find Richard Haward’s Oysters at 35 Stoney Street Borough Market, London, SE1 9AA. Nearest station is London Bridge.
An oyster warehouse since 1851, Scott’s has arguably been the king of oyster bars for years. They’ve got an array of different varieties on offer including Jersey Pearls, Gillardeau, Ostra Régal, Lindisfarne Rocks, and Dooncastle Rocks too. Call them the fisherman’s choice or a wonder from the sea; the oysters here are just perfect – in particular, the tempura fried oyster with shiso and avocado cream is unmissable.
Besides the molluscs, you can try their lobster or the Dover sole from the ‘fish on the bone’ menu. Also, recommended is the mildly sweet and flaky fillet of cod and the lemony ‘seared sea bass’ with herb butter, which is pretty bloody remarkable.
However, it’s not just the oysters they are known for. Scott’s is the birthplace to the most famous line from the quintessentially British James Bond films ‘shaken, not stirred‘ – so martini it is then! In fact, you can even often spot celebrities savouring the oceanic delights here.
You’ll find Scott’s at 20 Mount Street, London, W1K 2HE. Nearest stations are Bond Street and Mayfair.
5. Wright Brothers
The Wright Brothers brought the concept of oyster bars to London, and nowadays, they supply some of the freshest catches to many restaurants across the entire UK.
The idea is for them to bring diversity to your plates. You can get raw oysters in half a shell from Scotland, Carlingford Lough, Jersey Rocks, and (surprise, surprise!) Huîtres de Celine in France. These are all served with California hogwash – a kind of tasty mignonette sauce. On top of that, they also have some lip-smackingly good cooked versions too.
Their ‘shellfish platters’ are simply too good to miss, and are really the best option if you’re into sharing. If you’re in the mood to try a variety of shellfish, definitely go for the ‘Deluxe’ platter. From oysters to crab and whelks, this menu certainly won’t disappoint. And why not trying their signature cocktails to end your meal with. The ‘half-shell martini’, ‘red snapper’ and ‘Wright Brothers Bloody Mary’ are all quite the showstoppers.
You’ll find the Wright Brothers in Borough Market at 11 Stoney Street, London, SE1 9AD, and in Battersea at 26 Circus West Village, London, SW11 8EZ. Nearest stations are London Bridge and Battersea Power Station.
6. Bibendum Oyster Bar
The ambience and the oyster collection from eight regions, in three different countries, come together to make this pearl of a place. Nestled in the Michelin-starred restaurant Claude Bosi, the Oyster Bar serves some truly delicious molluscs. The bar is named after Michelin Tyre’s famous mascot, and you’ll be able to find the freshest catches from Morecambe Bay, Boudeuse, Maldon, Oyster Regal, Dungarven, Gillardeau, and Jersey. All of these are served with shallot vinegar, and all of them are – it has to be said – bloody delicious.
The seafood is the highlight of this bar. Besides an applaudable serving of oysters, their half-native lobster with homemade mayo and the seasonal seafood platter will not disappoint. The wine list is exceptional and pairs well with the shellfish. Bibendum’s selection of oysters with a glass of champagne are the perfect recipe for an unforgettable meal. To have an extraordinary experience, dive right into their starters with the ‘tarama’, the Cornish crab, and the Scottish mussels from the main course.
The mosaic flooring and the tiled walls give off a classy vibe. You can sit inside or in the half-open courtyard enjoying the streetside hustle on Fulham Road. Fancy!
You’ll find Bibendum Oyster Bar at Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6RD. Nearest station is South Kensington.
7. J Sheekey
How creative can you get with oysters? J Sheekey answers that question with a platter of mixed oysters with spicy boar sausage. The scarlet façade on St. Martin’s Court has been drawing lovers of the oceanic cuisine for decades. Probably London’s most famous restaurant for seafood, J Sheekey has been serving the best seafood all the way since 1896.
If you’re on the lookout for a more traditional option, then just ask for their platter of Jersey oysters but make sure you order a glass of Henriot Brut or Moët Grand Vintage to go with. If fish is right up your alley, then their grilled Dover sole accompanied by béarnaise sauce is one of the best you will taste in the city.
This fantastic addition to this roundup of the best oyster bars in London is also a favourite among a celebrity crowd – the renovated place has a brand new crustacean bar, walls with famous personalities staring back at you, stylish flooring, and a Winter-specific terrace with a retractable roof.
You’ll find J Sheekey’s at 28-32 St Martin’s Court, London, WC2N 4AL. Nearest station is Leicester Square.
So there you have it – the ambience, service and quality of oysters make up for the overall experience. These seven oyster bars in London will definitely live up to your expectations, so what are you waiting for? Grab a glass of champers and get slurping!