With primal pageantry and a hefty dose of testosterone- and sperm-count-boosting zinc (plus a passing resemblance to certain lady parts), freshly shucked oysters have been an aphrodisiac since Biblical times. Order them in months with the letter “R,” when colder water ensures lean and sprightly freshness. And get them here.
Anchor Oyster Bar
San Francisco --
Tourists go to Nob Hill’s Swan; insiders head to the Castro, where a mean clam chowder and oyster shooters have kept the dive busy for over 30 years. If local Bodega Bay Kumamotos or Sweetwaters are on hand, order ’em.
Twelve rotating East and West Coast selections keep the bustle up at this casual-fancy South End institution. Pair the salty tang of local Wellfleets with a glass of bright, lemony Muscadet and a spot on the leafy patio.
Brooklyn (right) --
Oysters and absinthe, a duo done to perfection at this smoke-mirrored ’20s-style Williamsburg hideaway. Happy hour (M-F, 4–7 P.M.) sees 17 types of briny bivalves going for a buck. Come dinner, the list tops 30.
New Orleans --
For nearly 100 years, NoLa-ians have headed to the Garden District for their half shell, stew, or “loaf” fix (a po’ boy using Texas Toast). Good thing they claim the “fastest shucker” in town.
The Walrus & The Carpenter
Seattle (below) --
With only regional hauls on the menu—like Samish Sweets and Hama Hama—taste the San Juan Islands as you slurp ‘em back in Ballard’s super-popular, hipsterfied seafood pub.