World's Top 25 Best Oyster Online Stores & Suppliers
".... oysters are the only food that never causes indigestion." - Jules Verne.
"I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded, dead." - Woody Allen.
"It is unseasonable and unwholesome in all months that have not an R in their names to eat an oyster." - Samuel Butler.
"As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans." - Ernest Hemingway.
The word OYSTER is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified. Some kinds of oysters are commonly consumed, cooked or raw, by humans as a delicacy. Other kinds, such as pearl oysters, generally not eaten by humans, are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle.
True oysters are members of the family Ostreidae. This family includes the edible oysters, which mainly belong to the genera Ostrea, Crassostrea, Ostreola, and Saccostrea. Examples include the Belon oyster, eastern oyster, Olympia oyster, Pacific oyster, and the Sydney rock oyster.
Middens testify to the prehistoric importance of oysters as food. In the United Kingdom, the town of Whitstable is noted for oyster farming from beds on the Kentish Flats that have been used since Roman times. The borough of Colchester holds an annual Oyster Feast each October, at which "Colchester Natives" (the native oyster, Ostrea edulis) are consumed. The United Kingdom hosts several other annual oyster festivals, for example Woburn Oyster Festival is held in September. Many breweries produce Oyster Stout, a beer intended to be drunk with oysters that sometimes includes oysters in the brewing process.
The French seaside resort of Cancale is noted for its oysters, which also date from Roman times. Sergius Orata of the Roman Republic is considered the first major merchant and cultivator of oysters. Using his considerable knowledge of hydraulics, he built a sophisticated cultivation system, including channels and locks, to control the tides. He was so famous for this, the Romans used to say he could breed oysters on the roof of his house.
In the early 19th century, oysters were cheap and mainly eaten by the working class. Throughout the 19th century, oyster beds in New York Harbor became the largest source of oysters worldwide. On any day in the late 19th century, six million oysters could be found on barges tied up along the city’s waterfront. They were naturally quite popular in New York City, and helped initiate the city’s restaurant trade. New York's oystermen became skilled cultivators of their beds, which provided employment for hundreds of workers and nutritious food for thousands. Eventually, rising demand exhausted many of the beds. To increase production, they introduced foreign species, which brought disease; effluent and increasing sedimentation from erosion destroyed most of the beds by the early 20th century. Oysters’ popularity has put ever-increasing demands on wild oyster stocks. This scarcity increased prices, converting them from their original role as working-class food to their current status as an expensive delicacy.
Fresh oysters must be alive just before consumption or cooking. There is only one criterion: the oyster must be capable of tightly closing its shell. Open oysters should be tapped on the shell; a live oyster will close up and is safe to eat. Oysters which are open and unresponsive are dead and must be discarded. Some dead oysters, or oyster shells which are full of sand may be closed. These make a distinctive noise when tapped, and are known as 'clackers'.
Oysters can be eaten on the half shell, raw, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed, or broiled, or used in a variety of drinks. Eating can be as simple as opening the shell and eating the contents, including juice. Butter and salt are often added. In the case of oysters Rockefeller, preparation can be very elaborate. Care should be taken when consuming oysters. Purists insist on eating them raw, with no dressing save perhaps lemon juice, vinegar (most commonly shallot vinegar), or cocktail sauce. Upscale restaurants pair raw oysters with a home-made Mignonette sauce, which consists primarily of fresh chopped shallot, mixed peppercorn, dry white wine and lemon juice or sherry vinegar. Like fine wine, raw oysters have complex flavors that vary greatly among varieties and regions: sweet, salty, earthy, or even melon. The texture is soft and fleshy, but crisp on the palate. North American varieties include: Kumamoto and Yaquina Bay from Oregon, Malpeque from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Blue Point from Long Island, New York, and Cape May oysters from New Jersey. Salinity, mineral, and nutrient variations in the water that nurtures them influence their flavor profile.
NOTE: Oysters should only be eaten when there's an 'r' in the month.
An OYSTER BAR, also known as an oyster saloon, oyster house or a raw bar service, is a restaurant specializing in serving oysters, or a section of a restaurant which serves oysters buffet-style. In France, the oyster bar is known as bar à huîtres. Oysters have been consumed since ancient times and were common tavern food in Europe, but the oyster bar as a distinct restaurant began making an appearance in the 18th century.
Oyster News, Reviews & Resources
- 4 OYSTER KNIVES REVIEWED - Wired.
- 10 Gorgeous Ways To Celebrate National Oyster Day - Forbes.
- 11 BEST OYSTERS TO TRAVEL THE WORLD FOR - "If you want to understand the essence of a place, then go in search for its oysters."
- 11 Million New Oysters in New York Harbor (but None for You to Eat) - "The oysters, which act as nonstop water filters, were added to the Hudson River as part of an ongoing project to rehabilitate the polluted waterways around the city. The restoration of New York Harbor has reached a new milestone as 2021 draws to a close: 11.2 million juvenile oysters have been added in the past six months to a section of the Hudson River off the coast of Lower Manhattan, where they are helping to filter the water and creating habitats for other marine life."
- A tour of Boston's five best oyster bars with chef Michael Serpa - "From Black Lamb to Row 34, the acclaimed Boston seafood chef and restaurateur recommends where travellers should go for the city's best oysters."
- All you need to know about oysters - "Can you tell a native from a Pacific? Should you chew or swallow whole? Here's our expert guide."
- An oyster: they can hear the breaking waves - "To eat an oyster raw is to eat it alive."
- ANYBODY WHO WON'T HELP SAVE OYSTERS IS JUST BEING SHELLFISH - Wired.
- best & worst health myths & wisdom - "Chocolate doesn’t cause acne - but carrots do help you see in the dark. True or false: cheese gives you bad dreams and oysters are aphrodisiacs? We investigate good, bad and mad health advice."
- Best oyster bars & oyster restaurants in London 2019 - Tatler.
- Bivalvia - Wikipedia.
- Can oysters save New York City from the next big storm? - "A new project aims to shore up the disappearing coastline of New York City’s Staten Island, while reviving a once famously thriving oyster population."
- Denmark's Oyster Festival - since 2016. "Denmark's Oyster Festival gives you an immersive learning experience. You will meet experts from different fields who will provide you with insights and practical examples that will help you and enable you to excel in your own daily life in the kitchen."
- Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival 2022 - "Created by city hotelier, Brian Collins in 1954, the world renowned Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival takes place on the last full weekend in September each year. The festival is one of Ireland's oldest festivals and celebrates the native Galway oyster or 'Galway flats'." The world's longest running International Oyster Festival, taking place from 23rd-25th September 2022.
- Harvey’s Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Oyster Saloon - (1858-1974). Corner of Pennsylvania Avenue & 11th Street, NW, Washington, DC, U.S.A. It entertained political and literary leaders for more than 65 years. Every President from Ulysses S. Grant to Franklin D. Roosevelt dined here.
- How The Gambia’s oyster farmers are being hit by climate change - "If CO2 emissions remain high, by the end of the century oyster stocks are projected to decline by up to 80%."
- How to cook perfect oysters Rockefeller - The Guardian.
- How to Open an Oyster - YouTube 2:15.
- How to Taste an Oyster - "Take a deep whiff of the oyster. It should smell like a fresh ocean breeze, not overpoweringly fishy. ... Be sure to chew the oyster, don't just swallow it. Many new oyster eaters are squeamish about this, but chewing is where the true flavor and pleasure of eating oysters comes out."
- How to Tell If It's Oyster Season - "You may have heard the legend that good oysters are available only during months that contain an 'r' in their name and that those months constitute oyster season. The rule dates back to the days before refrigeration when oysters could spoil quickly. These days, you can enjoy oysters throughout the year, but it is still important to know in which months oysters are in season and where you can get the tastiest oysters that won't leave you feeling ill."
- Huge oysters from UAE's warm waters - "How edible oysters are thriving in the warm waters of the UAE."
- Is Shellfish Healthy? Here's What the Experts Say - TIME Magazine.
- It’s the Biggest Oyster Found in New York in 100 Years. And It Has Stories to Tell - The New York Times.
- Is this The World's Largest Oyster? - Fine Dining Lovers.
- Kumamoto Oysters - deep-cupped with petite meats, have a mild brininess, sweet flavor and a honeydew finish. They are a favorite for both new oyster eaters and connoisseurs.
- List of oyster bars - the oyster bar as a distinct restaurant began making an appearance in the 1700s.
- Lorenzi Milano - since 1929. Mesh glove, oyster knife and oyster set.
- Marenne-Oleron oyster - large, firm, claire-finished oysters from France’s famed fourth-generation oyster dynasty, which calls itself "the Rolls-Royce of oysters".
- merroir - the complete set of local conditions in which seafood is raised.
- OFM Awards 2019: Best restaurant - The Oystermen, London - "Matt Lovell and Rob Hampton started out working weddings and music festivals - they even fed Grace Jones. Now their restaurant has been voted your favourite place to eat."
- OYSTER - Wikipedia.
- OYSTER BAR - food service term that describes a restaurant specializing in serving oysters, or a section of a restaurant which serves oysters buffet-style.
- OYSTER FARMING - Wikipedia.
- OYSTER Knife - "Comfortable yet strong enough for the toughest oyster shells." OXO Good Grips Oyster Knife.
- OYSTER knives - The WEBstaurant Store.
- OYSTER MAPS & REGIONS NORTH AMERICA - since 2007. "Explore over one hundred oyster appellations from thirteen regions." The Oyster Guide.
- Oyster sauce is a cult ingredient of the Chinese dinner table - "The surprising complexity of a classic Chinese condiment. How is it made, and why is it so irresistible?"
- OYSTER SEASON - oysters should only be eaten when there's an 'r' in the month.
- Oyster stew, sturgeon soup: historic menus from Lincoln’s inaugural to San Quentin prison - "New York exhibition of more than 200 menus traces US history through a century of dining."
- OYSTERrater - "300+ oysters. What are your favorites?" Oysterater is for everyone who’s ever walked into an oyster bar, stared at a chalkboard full of Bluepoints, Malpeques, Sea Cows and Beavertails, and thought, “How do I decide?” With Oysterater, you can quickly look up every oyster in existence and see what others have to say about it.
- Oysters & mussels produce 'ridiculous' levels of gasses causing climate change - The Telegraph.
- Oysters & whisky? Why the pairing could have huge benefits for wildlife in Scotland - "Oysters and whisky? Why the pairing could have huge benefits for wildlife in Scotland. Scientists find that using oysters as water filters helps the bivalve and other species thrive - and could treble the amount of carbon going into the seabed."
- Oysters Ascendant - "From working stiff's snack to rare luxury, this mollusk has seen its share of ups and downs. Now, the forecast looks brighter than ever." The Wall Street Journal.
- Oysters Rockefeller - consists of oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with various other ingredients (often parsley and other green herbs, a rich butter sauce and bread crumbs) and are then baked or broiled.
- Pacific oyster - Wikipedia.
- Pearl of New York: lucky diner gets oyster surprise - "Dish served up at city’s famous Grand Central Oyster Bar contains hidden treasure."
- Scientists accidentally kill world's oldest animal, a 507-year-old clam - "In the 507 years that Ming the Clam was alive at the bottom of the Norwegian Sea, the world changed. Great empires rose and fell again into the dust, the Industrial Revolution transformed human society, and two world wars claimed millions of lives."
- Sustainable seafood: why you should give a shuck about oysters - "The oyster is full of nutrients, as sustainable as seafood gets and magnificent eaten just as it is or in this rhubarb-flavoured ceviche."
- The Best Oyster in the World - The Oyster Guide.
- The marine creature ancient Americans ate billions of that's now a delicacy - "Ancient humans ate copious quantities of oysters - shucking billions of shells over thousands of years in a way that did not appear to cause oyster populations to collapse as they have in many places today."
- The Weird History of Oysters as Aphrodisiacs - Wired.
- They Knew Little About Oysters. Now They Have a Farm With 2 Million - "Stefanie Bassett and Elizabeth Peeples left their city lives behind to raise mollusks."
- Wedgwood Wiltons Oyster Bar plate - numbered from a limited edition print run.
- Where to eat the best oysters in London - The Telegraph.
- Why buy oysters in months with the letter "r"? - About.com | Home Cooking.
- Wiltons Oyster Bar plate - since 1742. Designed exclusively by Wedgwood & individually numbered from a limited edition.
- With Cultivation, Have Oysters Become Too Perfect? - "Farmers are perfecting dainty, briny, name-brand products to supply America’s thriving raw bars - making something more predictable out of what was once wild."
Top 25 Best Oyster Online Stores & Suppliers
- Caviar House Oyster Bar - "Caviar House Oyster Bar is at Heathrow Airport. Find store locations, opening times and more for Caviar House Oyster Bar at Heathrow."
- Chesapeake Bay Oyster Company - "The Oyster Is Our World." We grow our signature Parrot Island Oysters in the shadow of Parrot Island near the mouth of Virginia’s Rappahannock River, one of the Chesapeake Bay’s main tributaries.
- Citarella - since 1983. "Freshly Shucked, A Sweet & Salty Delicacy." Our coasts overflow with a cornucopia of oysters and clams, pearls of adoration here at Citarella. Match local, East Coast Blue Points to our own freshly made Cocktail Sauce, or pair West Coast Kumamotos to a delicate squeeze of citrus. Specialty varieties abound, from sweetly mineral to intensely buttery. We’ll shuck them fresh for you, for chowders, oysters Rockefeller or clams casino!
- COLCHESTER OYSTER FISHERY - since 1977. "Suppliers of the Finest Seafood." Our Oysters are truly free-range and live naturally on the seabed rather than being grown in nets and cages above the seabed. We believe this is one of the reasons why our Oysters are some of the best in the world. Feeding from the rich fertile waters in the Pyefleet Creek is what gives them their distinctive flavour.
- Crabville - since 1982. "Harvesting the best of the Chesapeake Bay." Fresh Shucked Oysters & Shell Oysters. We sell fresh shucked oysters and wild caught shell oysters. Our shucked oysters are shucked daily. We shuck 3 grades from smallest to largest - standards, selects & counts. We offer these 3 grades in pints, quarts and gallons. Our Wild Caught shell oysters are harvested daily. Oysters are washed and offered in 25, 50 & 100 count offerings.
- DAVID HERVÉ - since 1939. Médaille d'Or du Concours Général Agricole en 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004 & 2005. "Fine" oysters online. France.
- Dorset OYSTERs - since 1974. "Fresh Oysters Online." Ethically sourced, sustainable seafood. Leading suppliers of Poole Oysters & shellfish.
- E. Goodwin & Sons Seafood - since 1969. "If it swims, we have it!" Purveyors of the finest quality wholesale seafood for over 60 years.
- Farm-2-Market - since 1999. "Great oysters need a constant exchange of fresh, clean ocean water. And we found just that - along with what just might be the best cultured oyster farms in America." Fresh, delicious, and healthy - our connoisseur-quality Oysters come from the cool, clean waters off Washington state, and are harvested daily.
- Fine Food Specialist - since 2012. "Buy Fine Foods & Specialty Items." We have hand-picked our favourite oyster species from all corners of the globe for you to enjoy. Oysters are a wonderful seafood delicacy that can be enjoyed at any special occasion with a glass of champagne, or try one of our recipes, such as oysters with Nduja butter to spice them up (find the recipe on our blog).
- HOLBERTS OYSTER FARM - "Holberts Oyster Supplies are Port Stephens leading oyster growing and processing business for over five generations the Holbert family have been growing and distributing their award winning oysters to local restaurants and seafood outlets, around the Port Stephens area." Australia.
- Island Creek Oysters - since 1994. "Buy fresh Island Creek Oysters online. Free overnight delivery. Order today, delivered tomorrow!" We grow the world's finest oysters and have a damn good time doing it. Awards: Best Oyster in North America.
- Kachemak Shellfish Growewrs Co-op - since 1989. "Alaskan oysters are among the safest oysters in the marketplace." Mission: To grow the safest and best tasting oysters in the world! Buy oysters online!
- LINDISFARNE OYSTERS - since 1989. "Lindisfarne Oysters are available for sale all year round. They begin life in a hatchery, and when about the size of a thumbnail, are transferred to the oyster beds in the sea off Lindisfarne. Lindisfarne Oysters can be eaten raw, served on the half shell with a little lemon juice and black pepper or a dash of Tobasco. They can also be cooked, either in or out of their shell." You can order between 12 and 200 oysters online.
- Linton's Seafood - since 1987. "Fresh Chesapeake Bay oysters delivered from the waters of Maryland and Virginia. Also for sale are shucked, raw, live in the shell or breaded. Shipped mail order."
- Loch Fyne - "Loch Fyne Oysters was founded in 1978. Delicious seafood, direct to your door." Discover the finest quality oysters, mussels, shellfish and Scottish smoked salmon, ethically sourced from the pure waters of Loch Fyne in Scotland.
- OYSTERS AT AMAZON.com - as of September 17, 2019: 472 results.
- Pure Coffin Bay Oysters - since 1996. "Clean fresh air, pure clear waters and pristine landscape everywhere you turn!" Grown in the wild, just as nature intended. Our oysters are produced in the remote, unspoilt and pure waters of Coffin Bay are one of nature's true delights.
- Seattle Fish Company - since 2002. "From the Docks to your Door!" We also have all varieties of premium oysters available seasonally. Kumamoto and Shigoku. Please call 48 hours in advance to order. $19.99 per dozen. The Hood Canal oyster is available year-round. The average serving size of Hood Canal oysters is 1/2 dz. These oysters are presented cleaned and live and should be refrigerated and removed from the packaging immediately so they can breath. A 1/2 dz portion of Hood Canal oysters has 57 calories, 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat. Hood Canal oysters are an excellent source of Zinc and Vitamin B12.
- Rappahannock Oyster Co. - since 1899. "Nothing captures a sense of place more honestly than an oyster." Where you choose to grow an oyster has as much to do with the quality and complexity of the end product as the species you’re growing and the farmer who’s growing them. After all, oysters are filter feeders. They, quite literally, capture the essence of the region (the minerals, the grasses, the plankton) and serve it right up to you. And those nutrient combinations differ from one location to the next. In the oyster business, we call this regional distinction merroir - a nod to the wine term terroir, which speaks to the unique taste characteristics imparted by a given region. Rappahannock River Oysters, Stingray Oysters, Olde Salt Oysters, Witch Duck Oysters, Barcat Oysters, Olde Salt Clams, Barcat Shucks (shucked oyster product).
- the crab place - since 1997. "Chesapeake Bay Oysters - Unmatched Flavor." Our fresh, hearty, full-flavored oysters range in flavor from buttery sweet and slightly salty to rich, briny and slightly metallic. Connoisseurs enjoy their oysters raw, but this versatile favorite is just as good steamed, baked, grilled, broiled, sautéed, fried and frittered. They're so tasty that you will forget they are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. Sold in the shell and shucked.
- Vital Choice - since 2001. "Freshest West and East Coast oysters available live in the shell and shucked. Shipped overnight via FedEx. Largest selection of oysters at the lowest prices." Live & frozen oysters.
- W. Harvey & Sons - since 1955. "Cornish Oysters." To ensure utmost freshness we require 48 hours notice on our oysters, mussels and clams.
- WHERE TO ORDER OYSTERS - since 2007. The Oyster Guide.
- Wing of st mawes - since 2012. "The Cornish Fishmonger." Succulent Cornish scallops and fresh live oysters from Cornwall are known to be amongst the finest seafood in the UK. Sourced from the fresh clear water around our Cornish coastline, the taste and quality are second to none, - and you can have them delivered direct to your door!