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Four UK oysters bars that should be on your radar

The UK has some of the world’s finest oysters. Here are four of the best places to try them.

Published 21 Jan 2020, 06:00 GMT
Opened in Covent Garden in 2017, Oystermen gives diners the chance to pick and mix individual oysters from a selection of British bivalves.
Photograph by Chris Coulson

1. Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen, London
Opened in Covent Garden in 2017, this restaurant gives diners the chance to pick and mix individual oysters from a selection of British bivalves. Also on offer are dishes such as tempura oysters with champagne aioli and smoked herring caviar. Half a dozen oysters from £12.

2. Hix Oyster & Chop House, London
Chef Mark Hix has long championed oysters, and here at his Farringdon restaurant they take centre stage. A smart, marble-topped oyster bar serves a rotating selection of molluscs from the British Isles. The Hix Oyster Ale makes for a perfect pairing. Half a dozen from £18.

3. The Royal Native Oyster Stores, Kent
Bivalves have been synonymous with the town of Whitstable since Roman times. This seafood restaurant is the best place to try local varieties, including the Whitstable native oyster, a rare breed cultivated at the restaurant’s nearby oyster grounds. Half a dozen from £16.

4. West Mersea Oyster Bar, Essex
Prized Mersea Island oysters appear on menus worldwide, so a trip here is a pilgrimage for seafood connoisseurs. The restaurant serves Colchester natives and Mersea Island rock oysters, which thrive in the nearby creeks. It’s no-frills, but with a waterside location and wine from Mersea Island Vineyard, it’s hard to beat. Half a dozen from £5.50.

Printed in the Jan/Feb issue of National Geographic Traveller Food. 

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