Local oysters and littleneck clams at Catch Oyster Bar in...

Local oysters and littleneck clams at Catch Oyster Bar in Patchogue. Credit: Daniel Brennan

Fall may be the time when cider doughnuts and pumpkin beer come into their own, but it's also when oysters near their plumpest best. With dozens of oyster farms ringing our waters — producers grow in number every year — we are spoiled for choice when it comes to local oysters, and some of the best places to find them is at a raw bar. Combining oysters with shrimp, clams, crab and lobster into a seafood platter (or tower) can be as fun to snack on as it is indulgent.

Whether hidden in the kitchen or on full-frontal icy display, the raw bars at these restaurants are well-stocked — from Lucky 13 or Great Gun oysters to local clams and lobster, plump shrimp and maybe a crudo or two.


Clam Bar at Bridge Marine (40 Ludlam Ave., Bayville): Just across the bridge from Oyster Bay to Bayville is this busy marina with a mellow outdoor bar, takeout counter and outdoor tables where you can indulge in all things clam, whether raw, steamed, baked or fried. (And they are certainly some of the freshest clams around, dug from the nearby harbor). There are clam chowder and burgers, too, plus fried calamari, crab cakes, lobster rolls and sautéed soft-shell crab. Boaters can tie up to the Clam Bar’s floating dock, but most people arrive by car. Open seasonally. More info: 516-628-8688, bridge-marina.com

Louie’s Grill & Liquor (395 Main St., Port Washington): This local landmark is perched on Manhasset Bay and its raw bar — from littleneck clams to shrimp cocktail, East and West Coast oysters with mignonette to lump crabmeat — comes with water views and excellent cocktails. The smoking seafood tower (a feat of dry ice) is something to behold. Open year-round. More info: 516-883-4242, louiessince1905.com

Peter’s Clam Bar & Seafood Restaurant (600 Long Beach Rd., Island Park): Situated in Barnum Inlet, this spot has been serving seafood, raw and cooked, since 1939, and almost every table comes with a view and a breeze. Littleneck and cherrystone clams and Blue Point oysters highlight the raw bar. For a more substantial snack, choose from king crab legs, lobster tacos, lobster oreganata or clam bakes and steamed crab pots. Open year-round. More info: 516-432-0505, petersclamhouse.com

Point Lookout Clam Bar (99 Bayside Dr., Point Lookout): The view of Reynold's Channel would be reason enough to visit, but much of the seafood at this fish market and clam bar comes from the owner's own boats. (The motto here has long been "From our ships to your lips.") Scallops, steamers, flounder, tuna and lemon sole — they all join the party, as does sushi, chowder, fish tacos and a heavily stocked raw bar. Seating is waterside at umbrella-topped tables. Open year-round. More info: 516-897-4024, pointlookoutclambar.com

Popei’s Clam Bar (384 N. Wantagh Ave., Bethpage): Popei's has been shucking around for more than three decades, sending out plenty of seafood alongside their rota of Italian dishes. Littleneck clams can come steamed or baked three ways, and staples include oysters on the half shell, steamers, shrimp cocktail, crab legs and multiple spins on chowder and bisque. Seafood over pasta, from scungilli to clams, also is a specialty. Open year-round. More info: 516-822-9169, popeisbethpage.com

Schultzy's (265 Bayville Ave., Bayville): This is the charming domain of longtime lobsterman/clammer James Schultz, who segued from raking for clams and oysters to catering. This past summer, he segued to restaurant life, and his spot has all of the raw bar chops you'd expect from someone who knows the Sound like the back of his hands. Clam bakes and shellfish "buckets" are a specialty. Open year-round. More info: 516-588-6240, longislandrawbar.com


Catch Oyster Bar (63 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue): You'll likely sit on a bar stool inside this cozy, narrow spot (run by a father and son) where shucking is visible at one end of the bar. Local oysters (plus a few from points farther north and west) are delivered daily and listed on a chalkboard; eating them on the half shell is the default, but fried or grilled oysters are a treat, as are shellfish platters. Local littleneck clams, tuna nicoise salad, poke, seafood stew and specials such as scallop ceviche all make appearances, and the oyster po'boy is almost legendary. Open year-round. More info: 631-627-6860, catchoysterbar.com

Clam Bar, Amagansett (2025 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett): This casual roadside spot is known for its excellent lobster rolls, as well as perfectly steamed lobster, Montauk Pearl oysters on the half shell, New England-style clam chowder and spicy crab-and-corn chowder. Clam are served every which way, from steamed to fried to raw on the half shell. You may have to endure a wait — especially during summer lunchtimes — but the relaxed vibe means hanging out here feels like a mini vacation. Open seasonally. More info: 631-267-6348, clambarhamptons.com

Chowder Bar (123 Maple Ave., Bay Shore): A fixture since 1946, Chowder Bar is but a clam shell away from the Great South Bay. What was once a wholesale fish operation still serves local littlenecks aplenty — on the half shell, baked and stuffed, a la casino. There are local oysters, too, and shrimp cocktail with a zingy house sauce. Open year-round. More info: 631-665-9859, thechowderbar.com

Kingston’s Clam Bar (130 Atlantic Ave., West Sayville): At this waterside clam shack, which shares a terminus with the West Sayville Boat Basin, a deck runs the length of the dining room and umbrella-topped tables look out over a marina. Start with a dozen littleneck clams or oysters on the half shell (or even tuna poke), then segue to the impressive lobster roll. Open seasonally. More info: 631-589-0888, kingstonsclam.com

Lulu Kitchen & Bar (126 Main St., Sag Harbor): The raw bar inside this atmospheric bistro crests its competition with attention to detail, from Montauk Pearl and Peeko oysters, top neck clams on the half shell and ornate seafood towers that combine clams, shrimp, grilled crab and bigeye tuna tartare. Open year-round. More info: 631-725-0900, lulusagharbor.com

Manna at Lobster Inn (5 Inlet Rd., Southampton): The new owners of the legendary spot have ambitious plans, a nearby hatchery and offshore fish farm among them. For now, they concentrate on finessed platings of lesser-known seafood — think skate and bluefish — but also platters highlighting shellfish from local waters. Oysters on the half shell include Red Trucks, farmed within eyesight, as well as Montauk Pearls; seafood towers run to the baroque. Open year-round. More info: 631-728-5555, mannarestaurant.com

Prime: An American Kitchen and Bar (117 N. New York Ave., Huntington): Whether sitting outside on the harborside patio or in the more formal (yet still nautical) dining room, eating at Prime is an opulent experience. An oyster bar out front shows off bivalves from both East and West, including Kumamotos and Blue Points. Shrimp, crab and lobster cocktail are on the menu, too, as is plenty of sushi. For a serious indulgence, go for the "prime grand plateau," this restaurant’s decked out seafood tower that feeds between four and six people, depending on appetites. Open year-round. More info: 631-385-1515, huntington.restaurantprime.com

Salt & Barrel Oyster & Craft Cocktail Bar (61 W. Main St., Bay Shore): The focal point of this beautiful bar is ice piled high with East and West Coast oysters, shucked to order and served with an array of sauces. Cocktails are imaginative and highly finessed, and in summer, frosé pours freely to chase tuna tartare, crispy rock shrimp with gochujang aioli and baked clams. Open year-round. More info: 631-647-8818, saltandbarrel.com

Virgola Oysters & Italian Wine Bar (5 Village Green, Patchogue): Nestled in the New Village in Patchogue is this inviting wine bar, where platters of salumi share the bill of fare with an impressive raw bar. Oysters, littleneck clams, ceviche, salmon crudo, raw scallops, caviar — you can get them all on a tower, accented by orange-infused olive oil. Open year-round. More info: 631-714-5000, virgolausa.com

Top Stories

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months