While Oysters are in season year-round in South Carolina (#winning), they’re best eaten in colder months from September to April. As such, Columbia chefs are shaking up the game and dreaming up creative ways to serve you these salty gems beyond crackers and cocktail sauce (although, we are also big fans of that, too). So, grab your shuckers and read on for our roundup of 10 places to enjoy oysters in Columbia SC.
Saluda’s in Five Points is known for its elevated southern fare + prime Five Points view. Choose between the daily selection of raw oysters served with cocktail sauce and lemon or spice it up a bit with the legendary sweet & spicy fried oysters—completed with citrus-chili glaze, pineapple pico de gallo and chipotle lime aioli. Save us a seat on the porch!
Just about any way you can think of to serve up oysters, Pearlz has got it on their menu. From Southern fried to atop a NY strip, you'll find your way to enjoy them. Our personal favorite: they Oyster Shooter. From the raw bar, this shot has pepper vodka, an oyster and a dash of spicy cocktail sauce. As we like to say, bottoms up, buttercup!
The aptly-named old-fashioned oyster bar is a Columbia institution. With a no-frills concept, it’s the perfect place for true oyster connoisseurs. They still now how to surprise you, though, with specials like the Capital City Oysters (served with garlic alfredo sauce, bacon and cheddar cheese) and Jalapeno-infused oyster shooters. Make sure to try the famous Mother Shucker cocktail sauce!
This swanky wine bar in Five Points knows how to serve up unforgettable bites. Along with your glass of vino, order up the buffalo fried oysters and a side of garlic frites. For a full meal ask for the Oyster Po-Boy. You can thank us later.
Chef Mike Davis is legendary in Columbia SC for mastering the surprise-and-delight, with the use of local ingredients in creative ways. On the starter menu, he pairs fried oysters with a comeback sauce—a must-order to kick off your meal. Pro tip: order the raw oysters if they’re on the specials menu.
Motor Supply is known for incorporating all things hyper local + fresh into their farm-to-table menu. The menu changes daily, so you’re in for a unique treat each time you visit. However, if oysters are on the menu in any form, snag ‘em while you can.
While we love a classic cracker and lemon squeeze, we also know that Hendrix on Main Street has a way of taking our favorite and making them even better. Try the oysters on the half shell served with a pomegranate mignonette, horseradish and Fresno chili hot sauce for a twist on the classics.
The only thing better than enjoying oysters is enjoying them with a great view and your drink of choice in hand, trust us. Head to the rooftop at Black Rooster and order a round of oysters on the half shell to see what we're talking about.
A long-time staple in the Columbia seafood scene, we can't talk about oysters with out mentioning Blue Marlin. Enjoy their Oyster and Shrimp Skillet Bienville, which comes with Adluh stone ground grits for a delightful taste of classic Southern goodness.
Smoked offers several ways to enjoy oysters from a seafood charcuterie board to the lux Rockefeller Ravioli, a dish of smoked oysters, house-made ravioli with a cream sauce, fresh spinach, house-smoked bacon lardons and Alderwood smoked Parmesan crips. If that's got you thinking "Holy Smokes!" you're not alone.
One of the best traditions surrounding oysters is the famed oyster roast. Each year we look forward to the SC Oyster Festival and the Farm to Table Annual Pig and Oyster Roast. Look out for tickets to these events to get the true oyster experience.
Looking for more eats inspo? Check out our restaurants page, where you can search by category to find exactly what you're craving.