You may have noticed that we constantly rave about how fall is our favorite time of year around here and we’re going to give you yet another reason why: OYSTERS!
October 1st marks the official return of oyster season in the Lowcountry and there is no shortage of options on offer to sample this local delight. Our coastline has even been referred to as the ‘Napa Valley of oysters’ due to the ideal habitat of the region; the result of an abundance of flat, tidal areas, bountiful oyster reefs, and ideal temperatures for a lengthy spawning season.
For the adventurous, DIY types, you can get your South Carolina Saltwater Fishing License and head out into the surrounding recreational shellfish grounds during a low tide. Don’t forget a good pair of boots for the pluff mud, as well as gloves, a hammer, and a bucket. Just be sure you’re up to scratch on local DNR regulations and shell recycling locations! Keen to cook your own oysters, but forgo the harvesting part? Pick up a bushel or two to prepare at home from locally-owned Crosby’s Seafood Co. conveniently situated at the entrance onto Folly Beach.
More Than Just a Restuarant; a Local Institution
Vacationing on Folly, you are especially fortunate to have one of the most renowned oyster institutions almost at your doorstep. Just a short two-mile drive (or bike ride) away, you’ll find the longstanding Bowen’s Island Restaurant; famous for both its delicious shellfish and jaw-dropping sunsets since its inception in 1946. Revered by everyone from humble natives to the New York Times, this no-frills, unpretentious classic is a must-try. Just be sure you bring some warm layers when the temperature drops as the dining area at Bowen’s Island is something akin to your back deck.
Have You Ever Been to an Oyster Roast?
Another great spot to check out is Bohemian Bull. Located just a few miles down Folly Road on neighboring James Island, this popular locale will be hosting all-you-can-eat oyster roasts for only $15 every Thursday evening at their backyard fire pit from 6-9pm! To top it off, they have great beer, bourbon, and whiskey specials as well as live local music to add to the experience. The first oyster roast of the season kicks of on November 7th.
For Those Who Prefer More Traditional Dining…
If you’re searching for a more upscale (or just heat and tablecloths) oyster experience, head into downtown Charleston. There is a wide array of oyster restaurants and raw bars that cater to every taste and budget, but here are some of our favorites to get you started:
- Leon’s Oyster Shop; the trendy-yet-welcoming hotspot in a funky renovated garage on Lower King Street.
- 167 Raw; a popular raw bar located in the heart of downtown and sourcing a huge variety of fresh East Coast oysters.
- Hank’s Seafood; not only a restaurant, but a turn-of-the-century historic landmark that has been named Best Seafood Restaurant in Charleston for 18 consecutive years.
Happy shucking everyone!