Oysters seem to be one of those things, you either love them or hate them. There’s very few people that land somewhere in between. But for those of you on the love end of the spectrum, New England is a great place to find some of the best. On a hot day there’s nothing like a dozen on the half shell on ice and a glass of rosé. Cold, salty and paired with cocktail or mignonette sauce (heavy on the horseradish), digging into a raw bar platter is one of our favorite weekend activities. If you want to find the best oysters in Rhode Island, these spots are some of our favorite hangouts in the summer (and year round).
It really doesn’t get much fresher than the selection at the Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown. Their very own oyster farm, that can be seen from the waterfront patio, supplies the restaurant with its shellfish. Their signature raw bar offers a variety of Rhode Island oysters, cherrystones, littleneck clams, and jumbo shrimp at really reasonable prices—while the standard oyster is usually $2.50 each they offer them for $1.85. You can try their own farmed oysters or other local varieties. This place is a seafood lovers paradise.
Take a seat right on the water and enjoy watching all of the beautiful boats and yachts in Newport harbor. The Mooring has the standard six varieties rotating through their raw bar menu, but we also suggest the Veuve Cliquot & Oysters, a dozen oysters and a bottle of bubbly for $69 dollars. With the smell of the sea air and a gorgeous sunset you’ll feel like New England royalty.
This location doesn’t get any more classic Newport. Perfect views for people watching on Bannister’s Wharf and a wonderful raw bar set up, you can watch the pros shuck your oysters right in front of you. At any given time there could be up to six varieties offered—with a focus on local options. Ask the waitstaff to help you figure out what you might like best. They’re real pros and will always be accommodating! On an semi-related note if you’re visiting in the summer they serve the most delicious sushi so follow up your oysters with an order. You won’t regret it.
Located in Tiverton, RI the Boat House is worth the drive out of Newport and as a bonus, there is plenty of parking. The whole back of the restaurant is windows so stop in around sunset for a gorgeous view. Their waitstaff is also very knowledgeable so they can tell you which oysters will work according to your tastes—large, small, briny or sweet. Native oysters also tend to read like a map of New England with varieties coming in from up and down the coastline. Each oyster also comes perfectly shucked (no shell pieces) and nice and cold. Yum!