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Where to find the best oysters in London—6 bars, restaurants & markets you just have to try

If you’re wondering where to buy oysters in London there are numerous fabulous options whether you want to eat at a fancy bar, quality restaurant or take your fresh oysters home to be shucked. Wild native oysters are in season in the UK from September to April, while farmed or rock oysters can be bought and eaten all year round—and there’s a bounty of quality shells to be had in the city on a daily basis.

London is so full of great food and drink options that it can sometimes feel overwhelming when deciding where to eat out, from London’s luxury breakfast spots to the emerging restaurants of Lewisham serving up seriously authentic Peruvian and South-Indian food. But quality spots often need hunting out and never has that been truer than when it comes to buying and eating shellfish, so after many, many years in the city, here are my top recommendations for finding the best oysters in London, and that elusive taste of the ocean.

1. Cornerstone, 3 Prince Edward Road, Hackney Wick, E9

Known for its inventive seafood dishes and wholesome delights like the famed cheese-topped crumpets, Cornerstone also became the place to go during lockdown when queues of people would snake around Hackney Wick craving take-home oysters that would sell out in seconds.

oyster with wedge of lime of pretty plate at cornerstone in hackney wick london
Cornerstone's oysters are some of the best in town

Now, back to in-restaurant dining and their two oyster options are still firmly on the menu, I tried raw oyster with green tomato and seaweed hot sauce but they also serve a pickled option that sounds dreamy and comes served with cucumber, horseradish and dill. Cornerstone wins for presentation and taste—it’s the best option for special occasions!
Price: $7.50 (£6) each.

2. Jonathan Norris Ltd, 207 Victoria Park Road, E9

The best at-home oysters come from beloved fishmonger Jonathan Norris where the daily options are so fresh they transport me back to some of my favorite seafood restaurants in the Florida Keys. Seafood and shellfish arrive at the shop daily and oysters are either native or rock, the latter being the bigger of the two options.

chopping board with a knife, lemons and shucked oysters ready to be eaten
Oysters from Jonathan Norris

The clams here are also super fresh and perfect for making spaghetti alle vongole at home. It’s worth noting that the shop closes at 2.30pm on Sundays and doesn’t open on Mondays, and of course, you’ll need your own oyster knife—just watch those fingers! Price: from $1.50 (£1.20) each.

3. The Mandrake, 20-21 Newman Street, W1

One of the best-kept secrets in London, The Mandrake is not only an exquisite place to sleep in the city, but it also has a stunning labradorite-topped bar serving potent but delightful cocktails, a fabulous restaurant with the most incredible art, and a super cozy terrace.

plate of oysters and glasses of champagne at the mandrake hotel in london
Oysters and Champagne at The Mandrake

Oysters are from the Northumberland or Irish coast and come served with champagne granita and lime. I’d recommend a glass of Veuve Clicquot to pair, followed by the cocktail named Mangosteen and a plate of parmesan tapioca.

Price: $6/$6.80 (£5/£5.50) each.

4. Oyster Boy at Columbia Road Market & Broadway Market

Tucked away, just next to Campania restaurant, you’ll find London institution Oyster Boy serving super fresh rock oysters out of a hatch on Ezra Street on Sundays and from a stall on Broadway Market on Saturdays.

paper plate with four oysters and a cup of bloody mary just near columbia road
Oyster Boy oysters, just off Columbia Road

Accompaniments include homemade hot sauce and a classic mignonette—and there are Bloody Marys on offer too.
Price: $2.50 (£2) each or 6 for $12 (£10).

5. Ombra, 1 Vyner Street, E2

One of the best Italian restaurants in London, Ombra serves heartwarming pasta dishes that rival those of Naples and Florence.
oysters at london restaurant ombra
Ombra's offering

But the Carlingford oysters here are also worth talking about. Served with different delights depending on the season—sometimes sorrel and blackberries, other times granitas—Ombra's oysters are always the perfect amuse-bouche before the main event.
Price: $5 (£4) for 1, $27 (£22) for 6.

6. The Hari, 20 Chesham Place, SW1

The only entry on my list in Belgravia, five-star hotel The Hari has become a firm favorite on the brunch scene following a recent shake-up in their Italian offerings.

three plates of oysters on ice at the hari hotel in london
Maldon oysters at The Hari

As part of the weekend brunch menu, you can add a plate of three Maldon oysters for $15 (£12). Served in quaint glass bowls on a bed of ice, the Hari’s rock oysters are served with fresh lemon and mignonette. This is the place to come for a little weekend sophistication and plenty of live music.
Price: $5 (£4) each, minimum order of 3 oysters.

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