London is home to some swish oyster bars, which means you can really enhance your experience of these desire-inducing treats from the sea (served with a bit of champagne obvs). Whether you’re after somewhere really fancy or prefer things luxe but low-key, you’ll find somewhere that suits you in this list. Take a look at my three favourite places for oysters in London and decide for yourself.
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
Book a seat at the bar so you can be guided through your experience by one of Bentley’s ‘Oyster Boys’, like Federico, who shucked the oysters right under our noses.
With red leather seats and clamshell lights, this cosy bar has been serving fresh delights from the sea to locals for over a century. Their vintage logo, featuring a jaunty oyster wearing a monocle and straw boater, is possibly the best indication that you’re in the safe hands of a culinary classic. This place is hands down my favourite spot for oysters in London.
A glass (or two) of their Paul Déthune champagne is the perfect accompaniment to their selection of oysters that are served a choice of lemon or mignonette (shallots in red wine vinaigrette). Legend has it that Julius Caesar claimed Loch Ryan oysters from Scotland were “the best in the world”, and having tried the deliciously firm and briny variety at Bentley’s, I wholeheartedly agree.
Situated in the heart of Covent Garden’s theatre district, J Sheekey has become a much-loved haunt for celebrities starring on the West End’s stages.
Inside their Atlantic Bar, you’ll discover some seriously Mad Men-esque interiors, complete with panelled wood walls adorned in black and white portraits of British theatre stars. I opted to perch at the glossy horseshoe-shaped bar, but if you fancy something a little more intimate, try one of the dark-leather booths.
Our waitress Daisy recommended a glass of the crisp Gerard Bertrand Picpoul de Pinet, which was heavenly with their silky selection of oysters: Lindisfarne, Morecambe Bay and Natives from England and Ostra Regals from France.
Try the jalapenos mignonette, which is a wonderfully spicy twist on the classic vinegary accompaniment. Plus, the mini sausages made from wild boar that provide the perfect palate cleanser.
If you’re looking for a low-key vibe, bag one of the wine barrels out the front of this establishment. The pedestrian-only streets around Borough Market make this oyster bar an excellent spot for people-watching.
Wright Brothers are well-established in London’s seafood restaurant scene, with two additional outposts in Battersea and South Kensington. Their relaxed style and £1 happy hour make them a great choice, especially if you’re new to the oyster game.
Our platter of plump sea molluscs was presented with notes on where each variety was from, which tested our (slightly patchy) knowledge of UK geography. This was by far the most educational experience of oysters in London.
A glass of fruity Piper-Heidsieck champagne made our selection sparkle, including meaty Lindisfarne and Morecambe Bay oysters from the north of England and salty Scottish ones from Cumbrae. They arrived with a simple accompaniment of lemon or a clear mignonette to accentuate their flavour.