Oysters in New York
Probably the most legendary oyster bar in the world is the oyster bar at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Grand Central Terminal is one of the major train stations in New York and is famous for its beautiful shapes and amazing spaces. And for the more than 200 million people who use the terminal every year.
Downstairs there are food halls with many different types of fast food.
But there is also an oyster bar - Grand Central Oyster bar.
Both the rooms with the vaulted ceilings and the oyster selection make the place a wonderland for any oyster eater.
The selection of oysters is very large and it is of course especially oysters from the US coasts (both the East and West coasts) that dominate.
The east coast of the United States is filled with places where oysters grow, both wild and farmed oysters. Some of the oyster states north of New York, for example, are Maine, the Massachusetts or Rhode Island.
It is not unusual that you can choose between twenty or thirty different oysters and oyster brands.
The menu card is changed every day so you are constantly up to date with the oysters that can be bought the day you visit Grand Central Oyster Bar.
Oysters are available in many places in New York. In the 19th century, the world's largest oyster banks were located in and around New York. Oysters are eaten in many places.
Chelsea Market is one of the newer places where oysters are served. Chelsea Market is a newer 'shopping and urban food hall' in the Chelsea district.
It is made in a former factory building and here, among other places, is Lobster Place, which sells oysters in large quantities in its 'Raw Bar'.
The selection of different oysters is not on par with the Grand Central Station's Oyster Bar, but it both tastes and looks good.
Oysters in Paris
Eating oysters in Paris with Hemingway
“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Paris is not just the city of cities. It is also the city where oysters are eaten, as Hemingway describes it. Oysters in large quantities and oysters in many ways.
However, oysters with lemon or oysters with vinaigrette and shallots are the dominant ways of eating oysters in Paris. There is a simple reason for that. It's because it is the best way to eat oysters.
Paris is probably the city in the world where oyster eating is most prevalent. There is not a fishmonger who does not have a large supply of oysters. It's one of the fixed things in the repertoire. And the amount of restaurants showing their oysters in great stands is also remarkable.
A good place to eat your oysters in Paris is at Huguette - Bistro de la mer. It's a fish restaurant in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris.
It is like so many other places in Paris characterized by tourists from near and far, but the quality is really good. And besides a fish restaurant, the place has its own oyster bar.
Not far from the oyster bar at Huguette there is another Parisian cafe where you can also have oysters. The range here is not that big, but the oysters - which are of the Gillardeau type - are also good here.
It is the famous cafe 'Les Deux Magots', located on Boulevard Saint-Germain.
The cafe was reportedly the home of famous writers and intellectuals such as Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Satre and Simone de Beauvoir. But that is many years ago. Now the tourists and perhaps some hopeful writers dominate.
If you go to the other side of Boulevard Saint-Germain you will find a little street, rue de Montfaucon. In no.3 another famous oyster bar is situated - or Huîtrerie - as it is called in French.
Huîtrerie Régis is the name of the oyster bar. It a small place with room for maybe around 20 persons. They mostly have oysters from Marennes Oléron.
If you move away from Boulevard Saint-Germain and towards the Montparnasse neighborhood, the possibilities of eating oysters are also quite good.
Boulevard Montparnasse has many great and impressive fish restaurants that 'boast' their seafood restaurants. Here 'Fruit de mer' servings are available in many shades. However, the possibilities of getting oysters in all varieties are also present.
One of the restaurants on Boulevard de Montparnasse is Le Bar a Huitres. Here there is a great variety of French oysters and the menu card lets you choose from about 15 different oysters from various French oyster manufacturers.
One of the oysters that can be chosen is 'L'huitre extra-terrestre Cadoret' from oyster producer Jacques Cardoret. It is known as the world's largest oyster and can weigh up to one kilo. Bon appetite. 12 Euro is the price per piece.
La Coupole is another restaurant on Boulevard de Montparnasse.
This is one of Paris' largest brasseries.
Here the range of oysters is also large, though not quite as large as at Le Bar a Huitres. And besides oysters, you can also enjoy the Brasserie itself with its art nouveau décor. It's a gem.
Oysters in London
Just like in New York and Paris you can also find excellent oyster bars in London. Great Britain produces its own oysters. However, not in the amount you know from France or US. Dorset oysters is one British oyster farmer located in the South-West of England near the city Poole.
Among the many places where you can eat oysters in London, Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill stands out.
Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill is situated in the center of London and exudes an air of oyster connaissance. Exclusiveness and appreciation of oysters (and other fish menus) is what you can expect to experience here.