Slurping Oysters: A Favorite New Orleans Pastime

Salty and slippery, Louisiana oysters are a delicacy long enjoyed by natives and visitors to New Orleans and its surrounding areas. They’re consumed in a variety of ways, from raw, grilled, or charbroiled to fried on a po’ boy and served as oyster dressing on holiday tables. We’re currently in the heart of what is deemed to be the true oyster season, which lasts from September till April and is the non-breeding season for these tasty mollusks.

Oysters are found in their various forms across the city. Some restaurants are known for their oyster specialties, such as Oysters Rockefeller, created by Antoine’s in the French Quarter, founded in 1840. Casamento’s on Magazine St is famous for their oyster loaf, a specially dressed and fried oyster po’ boy.

Throughout the week, you can find oyster specials all around the city. John Besh’s restaurant Luke in the CBD has a $.50 raw oyster happy hour every day from 4 to 6pm that has become extremely popular among locals and tourists alike. The oyster happy hour at Blind Pelican on St. Charles offers $.25 oysters, likely the best price you’ll find in the city.

Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter often has a line out the door for their raw and cooked Louisiana oysters. They are arguably some of the biggest and best in the city, but they come at a price. Drago’s too in the CBD has some of the best charbroiled oysters in the  city, but they too come at a steeper price. Quality oysters tend to these days, especially since they have become rarer (but still fine to eat) since the Gulf oil spill.

Every summer, Oyster Festival celebrates this delectable bivalve in the green space of the U.S. Mint at the edge of the French Quarter and the Mississippi River. In 2013, the fest will be held June 1st and 2nd and will bring together some of the best dishes featured throughout the city—like Drago’s famous charbroiled oysters, Borgne’s Oyster Almondine, Royal House’s Oyster Patties with Fried Oyster and Crystal Beurre Blanc, and more—plus live music from some of NOLA’s finest musicians.

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