Gone are the days when enjoying oysters was limited to the months containing the letter “R.” It’s about time this myth was declared as such, since summer is perhaps the ideal time to take advantage of all the half-shell happy hour deals. Here, five of the best, featuring oysters and cocktails chilly enough to offset the Atlanta heat.
The oysters at Kimball House in Decatur remain an Atlanta classic.
New Orleans-inspired Bon Ton riffs on bold Vietnamese and Creole flavors. Fresh seafood with unexpected seasoning makes every item on the menu a must-try, but of course the oysters are always a hit. Choose–or don’t!–raw with either mignonette or gulf style, and be sure to check out the charbroiled options. Half-dozen artisan gulf oysters $14, 674 Myrtle St. NE, Midtown, 404.996.6177, @bontonatlanta
Choices abound at Fontaine’s Oyster House. Whether you pick a cozy booth, the warm patio or the lively bar, be sure to order some oysters. With raw, Rockefeller, specialty or a sampler of all of the above, there is something for everyone at this laid-back eatery. As if you needed more convincing, Tuesdays include half-price oysters on the half-shell. Kitchen oysters from $12, 1026 1/2 North Highland Ave. NE, Virginia Highlands, 404.872.0869, @fontainesoysterhouse
Kimball House prides itself on serving only the freshest food for the season, their raw bar is the perfect example. Stop in for post-work oysters and cocktails between 5 and 7pm on weekdays. Mix-and-match Gulf, Pacific or Atlantic oyster varieties to get a feel for coastal living in Downtown Decatur. Oysters from $3, 303 E. Howard Ave., Decatur, 404.378.3502, @kimballhouse
One Eared Stag
It’s hard to beat the $1 oysters and $1 beers that One Eared Stag offers weekdays from 5 to 7pm. While this offer is exclusive to those seated at the bar or patios, there is no better place to be on a summer evening. Chef’s choice oysters are the perfect precursor to the rest of the fresh menu served at this intimate Inman Park restaurant. Oyster special $1 a piece, 1029 Edgewood Ave. NE, 404.525.4479, @oneearedstag
The Optimist takes its oyster bar to the next level with more than 10 breeds to taste from, served either raw or roasted in their wood-fired oven. Perfect for sharing small plates and large pitchers of Fish House Punch, it’s no wonder the restaurant has become an Atlanta staple. Stop in for happy hour, Monday through Friday from 5 to 6pm and weekends from 3 to 5pm, featuring $1 oysters and other exclusives. Oysters from $3, 914 Howell Mill Road, West Midtown, 404.477.6260, @theoptimistatl
Photography by: Andrew Thomas Lee