Fewer cuisines are as polarizing as eating oysters. It seems like someone either hates eating the slimy food from the ocean or they’re obsessed with it. If you haven’t yet had a great experience eating oysters, it is possible that you just haven’t had the right type or had them from the right venue. If you’re obsessed with them, well, there’s no need to convince you of how fun it can be to eat oysters, but maybe we’ll provide you with some new restaurants to check out here in Orlando. Here is our oyster eating guide along with our list of restaurants to find the best oysters in Orlando.
Before we point you in the direction of finding the best oysters in town, here are a few tips
The R-Month Rule
In oyster eating circles, there has been a long standing rule for eating oysters. The rule says that you shouldn’t eat raw oysters in months that do not have an “r” in them. For example, May, June, July, August. In other words, don’t eat oysters during the summer, when it is hot. This is especially the case in Florida as water temperatures are higher in this region than the other parts of the country. Many oyster fans disregard this rule and eat them at will, but if you’re cautious or new, eat your oysters in the cold months.
How Oysters Are Prepared
Oysters are prepared a few different ways typically. First, it’s important to discard oysters that are already opened or cracked as it maens the oyster is likely dead and won’t be good for eating. Wash them right before preparing them (rather than washing them ahead of time) as this will ensure they stay alive the longest which means the freshest oyster possible.
Many enjoy oysters steamed. Steaming the oysters for 5-10 minutes will result in most of the oysters opening. Typically, you discard the ones that did not open.
Roasting oysters means cooking them on the grill. You can roast them either on the half shell or whole. Typically 5 to 6 minutes is all that is needed.
Some also fry oysters, and of course, eating them raw is very popular.
Typically, if you’re shucking oysters, it means you’re eating them raw. To shuck the oyster, you’ll need a short knife or something with a thin edge that you can work in between the oyster shells to pry them open. Need more help on learning how to shuck? Try this instructional video:
Now that you’ve learned more about eating oysters, let’s discuss where we can eat the best oysters in Orlando.
Lee and Rick’s – 5621 Old Winter Garden Rd
This longstanding local joint is simply the best if you’re looking for Oysters in Orlando. Located on the intersection of Kirkman Rd and Old Winter Garden, Lee and Rick’s is ideal for those looking for excellent oysters, inexpensive drinks and a great local atmosphere. Lee and Rick’s is about impressing you with their oysters and that’s it. There’s no pretense at this local place. Go there, hand over some cash and get some buckets of oysters in return. If you’re an oyster enthusiast, you will not be disappointed.
Big Fin Seafood Kitchen – 8046 Via Dellagio Way
Big Fin is located on Sand Lake’s “Restaurant Row” which is known for its higher end restaurants. Big Fin has the feel of a more casual seafood kitchen and the selection of oysters to eat is fantastic. Their experienced staff will explain the different types of oysters that they offer and the areas they come from. Examples include Blue Point, CT, Cape Spear, NB, East Bch Blonde, RI, Fanny Bay, BC and more. They offer Chef’s Choice dozens which include a variety of the various oysters which allows you to try different kinds and find the best oysters that fit your tastes. Big Fin Seafood Kitchen also has great outdoor seating with a fun outdoor bar area.
Johnnie’s Hideaway – 12551 State Road 535
Johnnie’s is a great restaurant offering much more than oysters, however, if you’re an oyster fan, head into this spot for happy hour between 4:30 and 6:30pm. Their happy hour offers some great oyster options for great prices. Johnnie’s has a fantastic deck with a bar and seating overlooking a pond which is great for happy hour.
Other Honorable Mentions
Cityfish Restaurant – 617 E Central Blvd
King Cajun Crawfish – 914 N. Mills Ave