There’s nothing like gathering around a plate of freshly-shucked oysters. Virginia is home to eight oyster regions, with results ranging from briny to mild to sweet butter and cream. Of course, many Norfolk restaurants serve oysters from all over, so take the opportunity to discover a new favorite. The most popular option for oysters is raw with a side of cocktail sauce, lemon juice or mignonette. You’ll also find them steamed, fried or served Rockefeller or Romano style. Whatever you’re craving, these Norfolk oyster bars are ideal for shucking and slurping.
Hilton Norfolk The Main features three restaurants including the seafood-focused Saltine, located at street level. Saltine offers an airy, open environment with garage door windows that open to the main streets of Downtown Norfolk. You can’t miss their raw bar, displaying top-notch seafood options chilled on mounds of ice. Their daily selection of oysters on the half shell rotates, so you’ll always have something fabulous to try. Prefer hot? Their charbroiled oysters are perfectly flavored with sea butter, lemon and parsley. Pro tip: Join for happy hour and get local oysters by the half dozen for just 75 cents an oyster!
Todd Jurich’s Bistro
At this AAA Four Diamond Award-winning restaurant, Chef Todd Jurich prides himself on using fresh ingredients from local farms and oysters from Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Get them iced on the half shell with mignonette and a special chili cocktail or deep fried with lemon and house remoulade. For something a bit heartier, try Todd’s Famous Oyster Stew topped with smoked bacon, potatoes and chives.
Byrd & Baldwin Steakhouse
Fine dining at its finest, this Downtown Norfolk steakhouse brings culinary expertise to each meal. Their rotating raw oyster selection comes standard with lemon, cocktail and mignonette. Rockefeller oysters get gussied up with spinach, bacon and parmesan. Know before you go: Reservations are encouraged here, a dress code is required, and the restaurant requests no children under the age of 12.
Oysters are a must at this casual raw bar and grill featuring specialty craft beers, wines and cocktails. A locals’ favorite, A.W. Shucks sources oysters from up and down the East Coast. Grab a seat at the raw bar, learn more about the oyster offerings and watch the shucker at work. Enjoy them raw or Romano with fresh greens, bacon and Italian cheeses broiled golden. Get them crispy fried as an appetizer or dinner platter, or stuff ’em in a Po-Boy. Another great option is Shucks’ oyster stew, made to order and loaded with plump Eastern Shore oysters and bacon, served over mashed potatoes.
Captain Groovy’s Raw Bar
This wharf-themed eatery offers regional seafood dishes and casual cuisine with a full bar and patio. Captain Groovy’s proudly serves an array of oysters in many variations. Slurp them raw or steamed for just $1 each all day (minimum of six). You can also get broiled oysters in three exciting variations: Rock with spinach, onion, bacon and provolone; Spanish with chorizo, tomato and queso fresco; or Americana with butter, garlic and parmesan. Extra hungry? Get the Sandy Point oysters served with slaw, fries and remoulade.
Norfolk Seafood Company & Big Easy Oyster Bar
Simply a seafood lover’s heaven, Norfolk Seafood Company & Big Easy Oyster Bar is the quintessential seafood restaurant, complete with excellent food and stellar vibe. Each night, this oyster bar serves up four to seven different types of oysters from the Chesapeake Bay to New England. We recommend the oyster sampler, a shucker’s select assortment of 18 plump and juicy oysters, or the raw bar sampler where you’ll get oysters, snow crab legs, shrimp and crab cocktail. Hot options include fried oysters with Napa cabbage and spicy aioli or Rockefeller with spinach, bacon, parmesan, onion and Pernod.