Nestled in downtown’s Ankeny Alley, amongst tourist-favorite Voodoo Doughnuts and various late-night clubs, Dan & Louis Oyster Bar stands its ground as the oldest family-owned restaurant in town. A window display shows a market-fresh line-up of the day’s oysters—from Tillamook to Eld Inlet—propped by ice buckets and hand-written signs. The oyster sampler (6 for $18) comes with the requisite cocktail sauce, horseradish, and vinegar for a big buttery slurp of Pacific coast goodness.
EaT is a no-frills, New Orleans-inspired bar with big-screen TV’s and Steve Miller-esque tunes blasting from the speakers. Try a catfish po’boy or throw back a chile-infused tequila, lemon and lime oyster shooter. There’s no shame in unleashing your inner glutton here: let loose on a bucket of fresh oysters ($16 for a half dozen), High Life, and fried pickle chips.
Flying Fish's M.O. has been hyper-local since the days when founder Lyf Gildersleeve peddled his fresh catch out of a mobile truck on SE Division. Now the seafood underdog has upgraded to a brick-and-mortar six-seater inside NE Sandy’s high-end Providore Market. Inside the small brick-walled bar, a rotating line of just-shucked oysters on the half shell awaits—$0.50 off during happy hour (3–5 p.m. Mon–Fri).
One of Vitaly Paley's early visions as he geared up to re-open the Heathman Hotel Restaurant in 2016: “I imagine visitors’ first impression will be people slurping oysters there at the raw bar.” And he was right. Along with ceviche, crudo, and kippered fish selections, you’ll find an impressive list of Washington and California oysters. Mix-and-match your own half dozen Sun Hollows and Brooksides ($3.50) or say "what the shuck" and go for the Shucker’s Dozen ($39).
The North Mississippi shop channels its bivalve love through Asian- and Latin-inspired small plates. An ornate, built-in ice chest curves along the corner of the small bar to reveal the craggy little Northwest-grown shells on offer that day ($15 for 6, $30 for a dozen). We appreciate the tasting notes, which include descriptors like “tide-tumbled” and “authoritative.” Swing by for a chef’s choice $10 half-dozen during Olympia’s happy hour (4–6:30 p.m. Tue–Thu, and 2–6:30 p.m. Fri) and wash it down with a dry gin martini.
A dedicated shucker greets you at the ground-level entrance to this subterranean bar below Clyde Common and Ace Hotel. Half ($18) or dozen ($34) plates of the craggy Oregon oysters come with champagne mignonette and horseradish on the side. It’s a good way to temper the Long Island iced tea and Stumptown espresso martini from buzzy bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler.
Along with its 2014 move from SE Clinton to bustling NW 23rd Ave came St. Jack’s auspicious chilled seafood menu, the likes of which include thin-sliced scallops, chilled poached prawns with vadouvan curry aioli, and, of course, oysters (6 for $19 or 12 for $33). Chef Aaron Barnett’s menu pays homage to Lyon, France, but he sources his rare seafood finds from local Oregon fishers. Oysters come perched atop ice filled metal serving trays, and beg for a glass of sparkling French something.
Ken Forkish (of Ken’s Artisan Bakery fame) is best known for his iconic bread, but his southeast Portland tavern and bakery has become somewhat of a bivalve institution. Settle into any one of 14 tall, black-leather bar stools for a plate of Pacific Northwest-local oysters ($16 for a half dozen) and a bone marrow cocktail. Or slide into one of the large red booths for a multi-course meal of pan-fried oyster sliders, baked oysters trifecta (with pork sausage, lemongrass, cilantro, and bread crumbs), and fried Alaskan razor clams with old bay aioli and lemon onion marmalade.
Tucked away from street view, the cozy den’s small bar, with its broad skylights and large, low-hanging Edison bulbs, is much more than a ribeye waiting room for perpetually-packed Ox restaurant. A small glass-paneled oyster cooler holds a small, well curated selection. Recently, that included Pickering Pass ($3.25), Nisqually ($3.50) and Kusshi ($3.75). The condiments are a standout: a crunchy, tangy dill pickle mignonette, sesame sweet and spicy thai chile ponzu, and classic horseradish cocktail sauce. Get one of each, drizzle generously, and hope your table takes a little while longer.
As a bastion of all things Pacific Northwest, the dark-wooded Southeast Division spot has always put its oyster display front and center (and just to the left of the whiskey-lined bar). Washington- and Oregon-sourced oysters, from Burns Point to Netarts, are a mere $2 during Monday’s all-day happy hour. And if you’ve got an insatiable, otter-like drive for oysters, there’s always the $110 seafood tower.