Whether you're after a lunchtime half-dozen or a bucketful of briny delights, there are more places than ever that will meet your oyster needs in the capital.
So aphrodisiac fans unite – here's where to find London's best selection.
1 | The Exotic Twist: Wright Brothers (above)
Chances are if you're a fan of oysters, you've already ventured to Wright Brothers. With fixed posts at Spitalfields, Borough Market and Soho's Kingly Court, the renowned chain offers a variety best experienced with the Asian flourish recommended by head chef Sasha Ziverts. With ten different kinds of oyster on offer – some of which hail from their own coastal Cornish farm – it's no surprise Wright Brothers are the go-to choice for local seafood lovers.
Kingly Court Brasserie, 13 Kingly Ct, W1B 5PW, 020 7434 3611, wrightbrothers.co.uk
2 | The Decadent Setting: Kaspar's
As one of London's oldest and most exclusive hotels, The Savoy can still be a little intimidating for anyone looking for a casual lunch or evening meal. It really shouldn't be. The staff at Kaspar's Seafood Bar & Grill will give you one of the warmest receptions in London whether you are staying there or not, and the menu is divine from top to bottom (we particularly recommend the smoked fish selection). As for the oysters, a dozen for £28 is a surpisingly good value given the luxurious settings. You get six from Jersey, which are light and delicious, and six from West Mersea, which have a brilliant, more meaty texture. Dig in.
The Savoy Hotel, Strand, London, WC2R 0EU, +44 (0) 20 7420 2111, kaspars.co.uk
3 | The Market Classic: Richard Haward's Oysters
The keen-eyed among you are likely to be long-familiar with Richard Haward's small Borough Market stall. Haward – a seventh generation oysterman – offers servings that, upon one taste, transport you from your market place surroundings to Mersea Island, Essex, where his oysters are freshly sourced; dredged from the River Blackwater, a blend of fresh nutrients lead to a taste unlike any other you can find in the city. Best served with a dash of Mignonette sauce.
Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL, 020 7407 1002, boroughmarket.org.uk
4 | The Reliable Pop-Up: Mothershuckers
Designed to bring seafood to the senses, this pop-up was birthed through a shared love of the delicacy by self-branded Mother Shuckers, Theresa and Melissa. Their in-demand events – which sporadically occur in a gallery on Notting Hill's Portobello Road – bring a whole array of shellfish to the 16 lucky diners, the highlight of which remains the freshly-picked Maldon oysters. With Japanese and French incarnations on offer, it's the simple buttery blazed oysters with parmesan, washed down with their signature Bloody Mary, which make the £25 ticket a worthy expenditure. "Tasty as shuck," indeed.
Portobello Road, Notting Hill, mothershuckers.co.uk
5 | The Classier Option: Boisdale
Serving rock oysters from the far reaches the British Isles, it's the wild native oysters from Cornwall that come most highly recommended here. While the half-dozen for £26 are worth a lone purchase, it's the dozen – priced at a reasonable £45 – that make the perfect date-time sharing platter. While the other Boisdale fixtures (Belgravia, Bishopsgate) all offer optimum dining experiences, try the Canary Wharf establishment for added live music.
Cabot Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QT, 020 7715 5818, boisdale.co.uk
6 | The Long-Time Fixture: Bentley's
Lovingly known as "the grand dame of Swallow Street," Bentley's has been serving in this Mayfair location since 1916. It's to the credit of Michelin-starred chef Richard Corrigan that, under his guide, the locale is more revered than ever with the ground floor's Oyster Bar – fit with original marble and art deco windows – still seen by many as the quintessential place to feast on briny bivalves. With a high range of cultivated and native offerings priced at up to £5 a shuck – not to mention the eaterie's centenary being just around the corner – what better time is there to pay Bentley's a visit?
11-15 Swallow Street, Mayfair, 020 7734 4756, bentleys.org
7 | The Modern Addition: J Sheekey
West End staple J Sheekey has been providing city-dwellers with their seafood fix since 2008. With a variety of rock oysters available throughout the year – ranging from Fines de Claire to Tempura – and native offerings from September to April, the locale is perfectly suitable for a pre-pub bender or pre-theatre jaunt, depending on your interests. The venue transforms into a speakeasy on Sundays, an additional cost of which will see you treated to a cabaret performance; oyster in one hand, cocktail in the other.
28-35 St Martin's Court, WC2N 4AL, j-sheekey.co.uk
8 | The Trusty Pub: Well And Bucket
Resurrected in 2012 following a lengthy tenure as a leather wholesalers, The Well & Bucket, which first opened in 1818, is a beloved Bethnal Green boozer which serves both a wide range of craft beers and osysters by the bucketful. Our recommendation for your visit? Look no further than the Rockefeller broiled with tabasco, absinthe, spinach and topped off with a cheese sauce for £15. If you're not already salivating, something's not right.
143 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG, 020 3664 6454, wellandbucket.com
9 | The Unconventional Choice: Bibendum
If we told you that a restaurant named after the recognisable Michelin Man, mascot of the renowned UK tyre depot, was one of London's most acclaimed oyster haunts, we'd forgive you for thinking us mad. It makes more sense when you consider this oyster bar is situated on the ground floor of the historic Chelsea building where Michelin formed in 1911. With a new menu recently introduced by latest head chef Peter Robinson, get on down to Bibendum for a half-dozen Colchester or Jersey rocks priced up to a mere £2.50 each.
Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, 020 7581 5817, bibendum.co.uk/