Austin is known by many as the Live Musical Capital of the World, and its lively streets are lined with great bars and exciting clubs. It is also developing a reputation for being home to some of the nation’s finest restaurants. In fact, one of its chefs, the very talented Paul Qui of the innovative restaurant Uchiko, just won season nine of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” reality television cooking competition show.
While landlocked Austin may not be the first city people think of when they are looking for great oysters, the capital of Texas actually boasts a number of restaurants that serve up tantalizing versions of these supposed aphrodisiacs.
Trace Austin, which is located in the W Hotel on Lavaca Street, prides itself on serving delicious sustainable dining. This organic restaurant also delights in serving only Texas oysters from the Gulf Coast when they are available. Unfortunately, because oysters are sensitive creatures that need both salt and fresh water to survive, things like droughts and conditions such as red tide can really affect the availability and quality of these native mollusks.
The recent disastrous BP oil spill also seriously damaged the Texas oyster population. However, it is hoped that these mollusks will soon make a full recovery.
The aforementioned restaurant Uchiko, which is located on 4200 North Lamar, bills itself as a Japanese farmhouse and strives to use sustainable seafood. Uchiko typically offers oysters to its diners, including its Shigoku Oysters, which featured the little mollusks paired with a watermelon sorbet. In the past, Uchiko has also offered the shellfish topped with an icy cilantro-spiked sorbet.
Trulucks Seafood Steak and Crab House
This restaurant has two locations in Austin; one in the Warehouse District and another in the Arboretum. Trulucks made Zagat’s list of top-five seafood restaurants in Texas and offers some of the area's best oysters for appetizers.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
For diners looking for more than your standard raw oysters, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen serves up the little mollusks in a variety of ways, including mixed with other seafood on skewers or baked or fried. Of course, Pappadeaux also serves the always popular raw oysters, as well. This restaurant tries to serve Gulf Coast oysters when they are available, and if a diner sits at the seafood bar, the mollusks are shucked in front of them.
Shoal Creek Saloon
Diners who enjoy their oysters in a Po’ boy sandwich should head over to Shoal Creek Saloon, which is located on North Lamar Street in Austin. Locals rave about this restaurant’s version of the New Orleans classic, which features fried oysters stuffed into a crusty French bread sandwich. Shoal Creek also serves tasty raw oysters, as well.
These are just a few of the wonderful dining establishments that you can find serving oysters in Austin. Of course, there are a number of other great eateries in Austin that also serve these delightful mollusks.
Lisa Billion writes for Delivery.com, a site she recommends for finding the best delivery options from Austin TX.