Philadelphia used to be an oyster heaven, with oyster bars on nearly every corner in the city. In fact, more than 300 oyster bars were counted in Philly in 1881 alone! Oyster preparation has changed throughout the years, but one pairing – fried oysters and chicken salad – has remained a favorite for Philadelphians from the early 19th century to today. No matter how you like your oysters though, here are some of the best buck-a-shuck and oyster happy hours in Philadelphia.
Headhouse Crab and Oyster Co.
119 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Headhouse Crab and Oyster Co. opened last year on South Street and has been serving some of the best seafood in town ever since. This restaurant serves delicious soup, like Maryland crab chowder, but it is also known for its raw bar, where you can get both East Coast and West Coast oysters. Headhouse celebrated the mollusk during its OyserFest all December long, and even though it featured great daily specials throughout the month, you can still enjoy $1 oysters during its happy hour, which runs Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday from 2 p.m to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. for the late night crowd.
1401 W. Moyamensing Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
The Industry might be named after those in the restaurant business, but anyone is welcome to dine and drink on some great American pub fare and craft beer at this South Philly restaurant. On a daily basis, you can find $1 oysters and $3 local drafts during its happy hour (Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.). Its oyster selection changes daily, so call ahead to see what is available. If you’re “in the biz,” enjoy a 20-percent discount at all times.
The Original Snockey’s Oyster and Clam House
1020 S. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19176
Snockey’s Oyster and Clam House has been serving Philadelphians for 102 years. Now located in Queens Village and owned by the founder’s grandsons, Snockey’s has more than 12 types of oysters and clams daily and the selection changes seasonally. During “Clammy Hour” (Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.), oysters are only 83 cents. The oysters are either raw or fried and the oyster chosen for the happy hour special changes daily. Other happy hour specials include $2 drafts, 60-cent raw and steamed clams and 40-cent shrimp. Come on Sunday for $1 and $1.50 raw oysters all day long.
1516 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Oyster House opened its doors in 1947 when the Mink family bought the seafood restaurant Kelly’s on Mole Street. Although it is now located in Rittenhouse Square, Oyster House remains in the Mink family and is now under third-generation ownership. Taking center stage at Oyster House is the raw bar, one of the best you’ll find in Philly. The ever-changing menu features more than eight varieties of oysters. Come visit during the famous buck-a-shuck happy hour, Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., for $1 oysters and $3 oyster shooters.
114 S. 12th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Pennsylvania 6 is named after Hotel Pennsylvania’s phone number, a number famous for being the oldest in NYC. This restaurant in Center City, however, is famous for serving classy American cuisine and for its small raw bar, which contains clams, lobsters and, of course, a daily selection of East and West Coast oysters. Any day of the week from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., come in to try $1 oysters. Also, enjoy $5 bubbly and $3 Philly Pale Ale during happy hour.
Kelly Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.