HEAR ME OUT ON THIS OYSTER THING.
Okay, so I realize it’s very possible that absolutely no one reads this article about oysters. I get it. If you haven’t tried oysters yet, I know the common stigma to raw seafood is that the texture is “gross” and most people can’t get past that slimy feeling.
I was a little afraid too. But wait—I have good news, and I’m here to convince you that just trying one oyster is worth the plunge.
The good news is that my favorite three places in Columbus with bangin’ deals on oysters (both raw and baked!) also have huge menus with a ton of other options. What am I suggesting here? The next time you find yourself at one of these restaurants during their oyster happy hour, I beg you to try just ONE. You know how much that’ll set you back?
Tell me the last time you could try something new for a buck.
I’ll be waiting.
#1: The Market Italian Village
Although you may know The Market IV for their 5 for $5 wine tastings or their legendary brunch (we’re talking grilled peaches on top of pancakes, here people) they pack another punch with their summer oyster deals! Hosted by Miller lite, you can sip a longneck while enjoying your oysters, both just $1 each. If you happen to pop in to their summer-friendly 4th street location on a Thursday, treat yourself to a taste or even an entire platter. The servers are more than happy to let you know where the shells are from and what they taste like.
While you’re at it, order the batata harra. Although their menu here describes the dish quite eloquently, I prefer to refer to them as fingerlings dipped in crack sauce. Same thing, right?
If you’re in for some cocktails, happy hour is every week night from 3-6pm with $6 small plates and $6 cocktails.
The last time I was at The Pearl was on my birthday. Confession—the two of us may or may not have consumed 20 oysters (16 raw and 4 baked), an order of homemade mashed tater tots, three cocktails, and four glasses of wine. Best birthday celebration…ever.
The Pearl also picked Thursday as it’s special night for oyster deals, which ring in at $2/piece all night long. You also have your choice of raw or baked (if you’re a beginner, start with the baked! They’re loaded with parmesan cheese and the slimy feeling is almost non-existent), and oyster shooters are $5. Excuse my terrible lighting in the pics to follow, if you’ve ever been in the back corner (cave) of The Pearl, you’ll understand!
Another must-try here are the tater tots. The Pearl makes them in house so they are gluten free (but we did get a warning on cross contamination) and taste like they were delivered straight from the fluffy clouds of heaven. The fluffy inside of the lightly baked tots are very similar to a mashed potato texture, which I was surprised I enjoyed. My boyfriend swears by the creamy aioli dipping sauce that they’re served with. Pretty sure I caught him trying to pour it on his baked oysters once…
I’m a lover of The Pearl’s wine list, but they also have an extremely creative line-up for cocktails as well. Come during happy hour to snag their deals, weekdays 4-6pm.
#3: Oysters at Hadley’s
Last but not least, I can’t forget about oysters at Hadley’s! Although not listed (yet) on my Top 10 Craves, this upscale bar joint is quickly making its way to the top. In fact, I’m thinking about dedicating a whole post to Hadley’s, just to emulate my true passion. Their diverse menu and happy hour food list will satisfy your every desire no matter what you’re in the mood for.
Need a drink but craving something sweet? Boozy milkshake it is.
Feeling a little nostalgic and want something from your childhood? Hello pizza twists and grilled cheese strips.
Brunch? I’ll leave it at bottomless mimosas and out-of-this-world avocado toast.
But wait, you’re vegan? Every Monday night Lauren Blake (@wholelivinglauren) does a menu takeover and completely transforms the dishes to be all vegan.
Wake up, you’re not dreaming!! When you add in oysters, this place is about as perfect as it gets. Every weekday from 3-6pm they dish out $1 oysters that you can enjoy alongside $5 shareables and $6 cocktails. What’s stopping you from trying just ONE?
I dare you.
Report back with results upon completion of your assignment.
Thanks for reading, share your oyster pics with me at @crave_columbus on Instagram!