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:
- 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.
- Cole’s Seafood House and Deli – Menu specials include Fried Oysters and Oyster BLTA at this small seafood market and take-out restaurant.
- Doc’s Downtown Grille – In the heart of downtown Easton, Doc’s features its Buck-a-Shuck Raw Bar, along with Fried Oysters on the menu.
- Easton Diner – This retro 1950’s diner keeps a Fried Oyster dinner on its menu year-round.
- Headwaters Seafood & Grille – The seafood restaurant serves Fried Oysters on its appetizer, lunch, and dinner menus.
- Hunters’ Tavern – The Tidewater Inn’s anchor restaurant offers an Oyster Po’ Boy on their lunch menu. Look for specials as well.
- Legal Assets – Serving craft food and spirits in one of Easton’s beautiful tree-lined neighborhoods, Legal Assets bakes a seasonal Oyster Pot Pie.
- Doc’s Sunset Grille – Dine on Fried Oysters while sitting on their deck right on the Tred Avon River.
- Robert Morris Inn – Across the street from the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, the historic 1710 Inn offers a variety of oyster choices including Chef Mark Salter’s Oyster Pot Pie.
- 208 Talbot – Chef David Clark serves his Baked Oyster appetizer with Champagne Crème!
- Ava’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar – Damian’s Wasabi Oysters are panko crusted with Ponzu sauce for dipping.
- Bistro St. Michaels – This French-style bistro offers a variety of Oyster choices on the menu including Oyster Stew and Pot Pie.
- Blu Miles Seafood & Grill – In the heart of the St. Michaels Marina, enjoy Oysters on the Half Shell or Fried Oysters served with cocktail sauce and lemon.
- 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.
- Stars Restaurant and Pursers Pub at the Inn at Perry Cabin – Not only does Executive Chef Gregory James prepare his famous Oyster stew for his diners, but he also provides the recipe and shows you how to make it!
- The Crab Claw Restaurant – This quintessential Chesapeake Bay seafood restaurant experience offers a variety of Oyster choices on their menu while you dine viewing St. Michaels Harbour and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s boat building pavilion.
- Theo’s Steaks, Sides & Spirits – Located in the heart of St. Michaels’ shopping district, Theo’s offers a variety of Oyster choices on their menu.
- Characters Bridge Restaurant – Sit on their deck enjoying some Fried Oysters as you watch the draw bridge raise and lower as working and pleasure boats cruise by.
- Tickler’s Crab Shack & Restaurant and Bar Mumbo – Relish the Oyster/Raw Bar or the Oyster Po’ Boy with up-close views of the Chesapeake Bay and fabulous cocktails.
- Tilghman Island Inn –The Inn sits right on the lapping waters of the Chesapeake Bay where you can enjoy your Oysters fried and roasted.
- Momma Maria’s Mediterranean Bistro & Bar – This Italian restaurant in the little town of Trappe offers a Fried Oyster appetizer with Remoulade or Cocktail Sauce.
Where Do I Find My Favorite Style of Oyster?
Oyster Buffets and Raw Bars
- Doc’s Downtown Grille
- Harrison’s Harbour Lights
- Tickler’s Crab Shack & Restaurant and Bar Mumbo
Where to Buy Oysters in 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 famous Oyster Stew recipe for you to try.
Plus, Chef Stephen Mangasarian of the old Banning’s Tavern in downtown Easton has provided his famous Fried Oyster recipe.
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!