A Little Lemon, A Little Hot Sauce, then slurp your oyster, liquor and all!
Though served year-round, it’s during cold weather months that Talbot County residents and visitors celebrate the oyster with festivals and restaurant menu features. It is at this time that oysters are at their best flavor with plump meat, mild brine, and a buttery finish. The shelled creatures flourish in the cold waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and, whether tonging or dredging, Talbot County watermen bring home these yummy bivalves for our enjoyment, and to help you find where to enjoy them in Talbot County, we’ve created this Oyster Trail.
Before we get started let’s talk terms:
When ordering oysters from either a restaurant or market, it’s good to know how to speak the language.
Liquor: Refers to the natural juices inside the shell, the essence of the sea. True oyster connoisseurs always slurp the oyster AND the liquor!
Naked: Eating an oyster without any sauces.
Shucking: The process of removing the outer covering of the shellfish.
Brine: The measure of an oyster’s saltiness.
Crispness: The colder waters slow down an oyster’s metabolism, leading to a crisper, sweeter flavor known as crispness.
Where Do I Find Oysters in Talbot County?
Start with where you are:
Banning’s Tavern – Located beside the Avalon Theatre and catty-corner to the Tidewater Inn, Banning’s offers a variety of oyster choices, including a terrific crispy-fried version.
Bas Rouge – A refined dining experience, Bas Rouge serves adaptations of Viennese and European dishes, made with ingredients from local farms. You’ll find chef-made Oyster Stew and Oysters on the Half Shell on the menu.
Awful Arthur’s Seafood Company – In the heart of downtown St. Michaels, Awful Arthur’s serves a variety of Oyster choices, plus an authentic Oyster Bar.
Bistro St. Michaels – This French-style bistro offers a variety of Oyster choices on the menu including Oyster Stew and Pot Pie.
Carpenter Street Saloon – Enjoy a Bloody Mary, live music, and their tasty Fried Oysters for either lunch or dinner.
Chesapeake Landing Restaurant & Carry Out – The restaurant and seafood market is open year-round and serves a variety of Oyster choices , including their Seafood & Oyster Buffet, or purchase some to take home.
Foxy’s Harbor Grille – Whether eating Foxy’s Fried Oysters or Roasted with jalapenos, you’ll enjoy their fun atmosphere and water views.
Harrison’s Harbour Lights – Serving an all-you-care-to-eat oysters buffet, eight different ways: raw, stewed, fried, Cajun fried, oyster pot pie, casino, Rockefeller, and Chesapeake (stuffed with crab imperial).
Ruse – A sophisticated bar and restaurant with Oyster Bar and special menu with a variety of Oyster choices.
Where to Buy Oystersin Talbot County?Plus, We Have Recipes!
Now that you’ve enjoyed a our Oyster Trail, we know you’ll want to take some home to make delicious dishes of your own! Executive Chef Greg James of the Inn at Perry Cabin has graciously provided us with his famousOyster Stewrecipe for you to try.
Oysters Chesapeake are another Eastern Shore delicacy that combines both of Maryland’s favorites, crab and oysters! But we’ll leave this to the professionals to prepare. Keep a lookout for it as a special on local restaurant menus.
Other Ways to Celebrate the Oyster in Talbot County
Come for OysterFest! At the end of October, prepare to sip, slurp, and savor at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s OysterFest in St. Michaels. The festival features oysters served a variety of ways, along with other local fare, craft beer, and spirits; live music on two stages, scenic river cruises aboard Winnie Estelle; an oyster stew competition; cooking presentations; Chesapeake Bay retriever and oystering demonstrations; children’s activities, and more.
Take an oyster tour with the St. Michaels Oyster Co. Experience oyster farming for a day! See their oyster nursery where the tiny baby oysters grow, and pick your own adult oysters to take home with you. This is a seasonal experience.
Now it’s time to get out on the Talbot County Oyster Trail and enjoy all that our watermen, restaurants, and markets have to offer!
Maps & Brochures
The Talbot County Office of Tourism and its partners offer a variety of brochures and maps featuring Talbot County's many beautiful attractions. We want to help you navigate our beautiful small towns, scenic roads and more than 600 miles of coastline. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us!