Oysters on the OBX

 In Food & Dining, Upscale Dining, Waterfront Dining

Oysters are a seasonal delicacy, and North Carolina’s Outer Banks is a great destination for oyster lovers. Though there are many ways to eat them – oysters on the half shell are an Outer Banks classic. Whether you prefer them raw or steamed. You won’t have to search very far when it comes to finding oysters on the OBX.

outer banks oysters

Outer Banks Oysters –Roast ’em. Shuck ’em. Eat ’em!

We’re sure you’ve heard it before: Traditionally, on the Outer Banks oyster season belongs to the “R” months – those being September through April. However, depending on what type of oyster it is, some can be eaten any time of the year. That type of oyster is what local oyster farmer Katherine McGlade, and most other oyster farms use – the triploid oyster.

The triploid is an oyster that is sterile. The sterile oysters come from fertile parents who naturally produce sterile offspring. “The reason we grow a sterile oyster is the reason why oysters were typically not eaten in the warm weather months. They were putting out so much energy to reproduce they were skinny.”  McGlade continues, “But when they’re sterile, they never put out energy for reproductive material, so they stay fat and can produce 12 months a year.” Read more about farmer Katherine McGlade and how she raises oysters at her Slash Creek farm off Hatteras Village.

north carolina oyster historyNorth Carolina Oyster History

Oysters have been harvested and eaten for generations on the North Carolina coast and there is A LOT to learn when it comes to the oyster business. Oysters naturally grow in the estuarine bodies of brackish water on the Outer Banks. When farmed, the temperature and salinity of the water have to be controlled or monitored to ensure healthy harvests. The North Carolina Oyster Wars was a large piece of U.S. oyster history. At one time, in the late 19th century, North Carolina’s oyster beds were some of the most productive in the United States. Unfortunately, due to over-harvesting, environmental sustainability, and the balance between commerce and resource, the wild stock took a major hit throughout the years.

outer banks oystersOyster roasts have long been a seaside tradition.

Fall on the Outer Banks is here and that means that it’s time to get those fire pits ready again. Getting cozy around a bonfire and roasting oysters is a common OBX past time during the chiller months of the year. Oyster roasts have a way of bringing people together. Whether it’s in the comfort of your own backyard or at a local Outer Banks Restaurant.

Many of the restaurants in the area feature a raw bar, a small bar within the restaurant where live raw shellfish are shucked and served. So if you love raw oysters, steamed oysters, or even if Oysters Rockefeller is your thing, then the OBX is right place to be. Here are a few of the Outer Banks restaurants where they show off their shucking skills.

Outer Banks Restaurants with oysters

Awful Arthur's Oyster BarAwful Arthur’s Oyster Bar

A go to spot for locals and visitors when it comes to oysters is Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar. Customers will delight in watching hot oysters come hissing right out of the steamers as the guys behind the bar shuck and serve them on the restaurant’s copper-topped bar. Order them steamed, fried, or slurp them down raw – no matter how you like your oysters, you’re covered at Awful Arthur’s.

During the entire month of October 2019 Awful Arthur’s is offering buy a ½ dozen oysters and get ½ dozen FREE!!

jimmys seafood buffetJimmy’s Seafood Buffet

Indulge yourself at a great price for the best quality and quantity of food at Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet. You’re on vacation. You, your whole family, and the entire crew deserve to go overboard with the famous seafood buffet offered at Jimmy’s in Kitty Hawk!

If you’re looking for delicious fresh seafood and other mouth-watering favorites, you’ve found the right place with Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet. For 23 years, we are proud to serve a huge variety of dishes, and that enthusiasm, flavor, and quality have made us the most loved seafood buffet on the Outer Banks. Come for a meal and devour an unlimited supply of more than 100 tasty foods, made fresh daily. We want your dining experience to be a celebration of food, flavor, and fun. It’s up to you. Indulge in the all-you-can-eat buffet or Jimmy’s famous dinner menu.  Whatever you select, come hungry.

The Village Table & Tavern

Welcome to Duck’s casual waterfront dining destination. The Village Table and Tavern embraces the simple pleasure of good food and drink shared with friends and family as part of the joy of everyday living. Enjoy local oysters served raw on the half shell with horseradish, cocktail sauce and lemon.

You can find oysters on the OBX any time of the year with certain restaurants that feature a raw bar. Listed below are more Outer Banks Restaurants that offer oysters on the half shell.

Black Pelican
Black Pelican Oceanfront Restaurant
Jimmy's Seafood Buffet
Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet
Captain George's Seafood Restaurant
Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant
Tortugas Lie Logo
Tortugas Lie
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