6 Best Places to Eat Oysters in Denver | Westword

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Six Places to Eat Oysters in Denver

Did you know that eating fresh oysters here helps balance coastal waterways? Just one more reason to slurp these briny bivalves!
Thanks our proximity to the airport, Denver has easy access to fresh oysters.
Thanks our proximity to the airport, Denver has easy access to fresh oysters. Molly Martin
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Confession: I didn't eat an oyster until my late twenties, despite having grown up in Vermont, mere hours from the coast of Maine. I was, admittedly, an annoyingly picky eater as a kid.

A decade ago, I found myself at the opening party for The Kitchen in Denver. I was brand-new to food writing and knew no one at the event, which had drawn an intimidating crowd, including then-Mayor John Hickenlooper. There was a huge tower of raw oysters in the center of the room, and as I made small talk with a stranger, she reached for one, so I did the same, not wanting to look as out of place as I felt.


I quickly made my way far from that tower of bivalves, wondering why people loved oysters so much.

Flash-forward a few months later. After receiving an invitation to go to Jax Fish House in LoDo to learn more about its oyster offerings, I drove over prepared to eat one or two while blending in with what I thought would be a group of local media members. Instead, it was just me, one other person and Jax's chef at the time, Eric Lee. He was stoked on oysters, understandably, and the next thing I knew, three dozen arrived at the table.

Suddenly I was ten oysters in and about to do a vodka oyster shooter with Lee. I left buzzed and in a haze of brininess, feeling nearly nauseous, but also forever changed.

Every time I encountered oysters on a menu after that, I ordered them — just two or three to start. Then I graduated to half-dozens, then multiple dozens shared with friends at happy hour. I became well-versed in mignonette. I explored grilled oysters. I slurped them down everywhere, from San Francisco to Maine to New Orleans. I was hooked.
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Ryan Croxton of Rappahannock Oyster Co.
Molly Martin
In 2021, in a happy coincidence, I learned that the Rappahannock Oyster Co., which farms Jax's signature Emersum oysters as well as its new addition, Crackerjax, was located just miles from where my sister lives in Virginia — and I happened to already have a trip booked to visit her.

I got to spend hours with Rappahannock Oyster Co. co-owner Ryan Croxton, who showed me the entire operation, drove a boat out to the oyster farm, and afterward, downed a couple dozen with me at the company's waterside restaurant, Merrior. Among many other things, I learned that oysters arriving in Denver are often fresher than those in some coastal towns because of our proximity to an international airport (freight shipping takes much longer). And, more important, that eating fresh oysters here helps balance coastal waterways there.

Ever since, I've savored every oyster even more. And so should you.

Here are my six favorite places to eat oysters in Denver, in alphabetical order:
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Indulge with wagyu steak and oysters at A5.
Molly Martin
A5 Steakhouse
1600 15th Street
Our 2023 pick for the Best Steakhouse is a swanky, lively spot with top-notch beef, but its oyster game is also on point. Swing by from 3:30 to 5 p.m. (or until 5:30 p.m. at the bar) to slurp on selected oysters of the day for $2.50 each during happy hour. Pair them with A5's signature wagyu beef and a wedge salad for a truly indulgent meal.
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Grilled and raw oysters at Angelo's.
Molly Martin
Angelo's Taverna
620 East Sixth Avenue
6885 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
The original Angelo's on Sixth Avenue has been a landmark of Italian dining for over forty years. More recently, along with the housemade limoncello that lines a wall in the bar area, the best reason to visit is the oysters — and the same goes for the second Angelo's in Littleton. The selection of raw oysters changes regularly, and you can nab the house variety for $1 each during happy hour (3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close daily). The garlicky, buttery "original" chargrilled oysters are $2.50 during happy hour, or you can opt for one of the other flavors like chipotle bourbon butter or bacon Gorgonzola.
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Oysters are one of many reasons to visit Annette.
Molly Martin
2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
This restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef/owner Caroline Glover has impressed diners since opening at Stanley Marketplace in 2017. Last year, it added oysters to its lineup, served simply with honey lemon mignonette, fresh horseradish and sourdough crackers. During happy hour, which is all night on Tuesdays and from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, they are $1 off.
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Go to Cart-Driver for oysters and pizza.
Molly Martin
2500 Larimer Street
2239 West 30th Avenue
One of the ten best pizza places in town is also one of the best places to enjoy oysters. Head to either location to load up on the current oyster selection, served with fresh horseradish, lemon and a rotating mignonette. You can (and should) also double down on the seafood by adding some tinned fish, served with hot and steamy piada bread, black olive butter and sambal pepper relish.
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Wood-fired is the way to go at Fish N Beer.
Molly Martin
Fish N Beer
3510 Larimer Street
With a rotating selection from both coasts, this seafood spot from Tacos Tequila Whiskey owner Kevin Morrison has its oyster game on point. You can go for raw, but there's something special about snagging a seat at the bar in front of the wood-fired grill and watching the action as you enjoy grilled oysters with garlic or "devil" (spicy) butter. Both raw and grilled varieties are $2.50 for happy hour (Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 6:30 p.m.)
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Emersum oysters at Jax Fish House taste as fresh in Denver as they do just feet from where they're grown in Virginia.
Molly Martin
Jax Fish House
Multiple locations
One of the OGs of Denver's seafood scene, Jax remains a go-to for all things tasty from the ocean, but it's particularly passionate about oysters. Along with its signature Emersums and newer addition, Crackerjax, all of its locations offer a variety of oyster options daily, available raw or chargrilled with Creole butter. During happy hour (3:30 to 5 p.m. daily), raw Crackerjax are $2 each, or opt for a $6 oyster shooter.
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