Where to Celebrate National Oyster Day in Chicago

When it comes to beating the summer heat, you could go the usual ice cream route of course. But equally curative for the summer months are slurping down some refreshing oysters. We may not abut an ocean, but our restaurants are sure filled with bounteous oyster options. With National Oyster Day coming up on August 5, there’s never been a better time to indulge your nautical cravings. Here are some top-notch places to celebrate. 


National Oyster Day


Oysters and Champagne go together like macaroni and cheese. Del Frisco’s is combining the two for National Oyster Day with a special (and opulent) pairing if you’ve got an extra $805 lying around. For that price, you and a bunch of your friends can enjoy a bottle of Dom Perignon Rosé with 50 oysters. The restaurant is also offering less extravagant options as well. Guests can order oysters three ways by the half dozen, including traditional on the half shell, Rockefeller, or char-grilled with Brie and bacon. 

STK is getting in on the Oyster Day action too, with a little shooter promo. When the raw bar opens at 4:00 p.m., guests can order Bloody Mary oyster shooters for $5. The restaurant will also have their large selection of fresh oysters available, per usual. 

III Forks Prime Steakhouse is another steakhouse partaking in the Oyster Day festivities. From 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on August 5, the steakhouse will feature a special happy hour event with $1 oysters, half-priced draft beer, and cocktails on tap. 

Naturally, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House is the perfect spot to visit on a day like this. Hugo’s is to Oyster Day what the North Pole is to Christmas. Especially now, with new executive chef Russell Kook in the kitchen, it’s an apt time to hit up this classic restaurant for oceanic treats. On August 5, they’ll feature $1 oysters and oyster bites all day long, including oysters “Moscow” with creme fraiche and smoked trout roe; fried oysters with Calabrian chile and lemon; oysters casino with piquillo peppers, Nueske’s bacon, and Meyer lemon; and raw oysters with spicy pineapple mignognette. 

Downtown’s quintessential destination for oysters, Pearl Tavern, is getting in on the Oyster Day action by combining it with the Olympics opening ceremony. In honor of the two days coinciding, Pearl Tavern is hosting a viewing party with cocktails and a special oyster menu from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. True to the spirit of the Olympics, the menu will feature oyster dishes from across the world
Smack Shack may be best known for their lobster dishes, but the Fulton Market newcomer is equally adept at all forms of seafood, and this certainly includes bivalves. The restaurant will be serving select oysters on the half shell all day long for just $1. 

Typically only available discounted at happy hour, GT Fish & Oyster is celebrating the day by offering half-price oysters all day long. This means about $1.50-$2 a pop.

On August 5, Frontier is cooling things down with an Oyster + Rosé Patio Soiree. The happy hour-style event runs from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., wherein attendees can enjoy a bunch of specials, such as $1 raw oysters, $2 char-grilled oysters, $12 bacon-wrapped char-grilled oysters, $5 glasses of rosé, $5 rosé slushies, and more. The event will take place in Frontier’s beer garden. 

For Oyster Day, Saint Lou’s Assembly is paying homage to Louisiana with a fried oyster po’boy special. The sandwiches are topped with sliced tomatoes, bibb lettuce, and lime mayo. Priced at $14, they’re available both at the restaurant and adjoining sister bar, MONEYGUN. 

Oysters are going for just a buck all day long at Chop Shop as well. Considering the ravenous success of last year’s Oyster Day promo, you’d be wise to swing by for a slurp or two. There will also be specials on select white wine bottles, plus $5 slushies from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.  

Happy hour runs all day long on Oyster Day at Cold Storage, providing ample opportunity to partake in $1 oysters and $3 draft beers. Plus, for every 100th oyster shucked, the “golden oyster” will be served. Like in Willy Wonka with the golden ticket, basically. But for whoever gets the golden oyster, their check will be comped. 

- Matt Kirouac