Champagne and oyster bars, $2 silky morsels at happy hour and freshly shucked snacks on a silver platter. Here’s where to get your oyster fix in Melbourne. 

New Orleans–style oyster bar 

Take a foray into the French Quarter of New Orleans at Pearl Diver. This chic bar dishes up modern tropical cocktails and the freshest Australian oysters. They’re served natural with mignonette and lemon, cooked kilpatrick or dressed in creme fraiche or salmon caviar. Can't decide? Go all-in with the Pearl Diver tower, a stacked tasting platter with 18 oysters. Pair them with a martini and bites from the aptly-named 'not oysters' menu.

People dining on high tables in a glamourous restaurant with pendant lights.
Pearl Diver Cocktails and Oysters

New York–style oyster bar 

Inspired by New York’s iconic Grand Central Station Oyster Bar, you’ll find Oyster Bar and Grill at the entrance to The Atlantic. Linger over a drink and light bites. Or head into the main restaurant for the full ocean-fresh seafood experience. Choose from natural, kilpatrick or steamed with ponzu dressing. The selection changes daily to reflect the best produce from Australian estuaries, inlets and bays. 

Seafood and Champagne bar 

Don’t let the crustaceans steal the limelight at Pinchy’s lobster and champagne bar. The Moonlight Flat rock oysters are a showstopper. While the oysters are worthy of a visit of their own, you’ll want to try several of the small dishes, inspired by Spanish bite-sized dining. Your vegan pals are catered for too, with Pinchy’s ‘made friendlier’ menu. 

French wine and Aussie oysters

A swish speakeasy from the team behind Pinchy’s, Pearl Chablis & Oyster Bar is small but mighty. French wine and premium oysters are the heroes at this intimate spot, a marriage it calls nature’s perfect pairing. Pull up a velvet stool at the bar, where a display of the day’s fresh selection will tempt you. Try rock oysters sourced from around Australia. And order a glass from the country’s (and perhaps the world’s) largest Chablis library.  

A bar with blue velvet stools, wine bottles and a large oyster display cabinet.
Pearl Chablis & Oyster Bar

$2 oysters

You don’t have to spend big to have a bougie oyster feast. Otōto is an underground speakeasy below Japanese restaurant Akaiito. Where upstairs is all about fine-dining and Robatayaki grill, Otōto favors cocktails and Asian tapas. Pop in during the Shop the City festival and enjoy freshly shucked oysters for just $2 a pop. Available from 5pm to 7pm, 3 to 5 June.

Sake and Japanese-style oysters

Sake on tap, whisky highballs and seasoned oysters with ponzu lemon. Sakedokoro Namara is one of many new hidden neighborhood gems you need to discover in North Melbourne. Pair your oysters with a sake flight. And try more Japanese bites in the chef’s ‘omakase’ box.

Happy hour at Chancery Lane 

Knock-off drinks just got a whole lot classier with happy hour in the courtyard at Chancery Lane. Enjoy a $15 glass of Champagne or $6 Moon Dog lager. Snack on $3 Southern Rock oysters, $8 pomme frites, or a $40 charcuterie plate to share. Happy hour lasts from 5pm to 7pm, Wednesday to Friday.

A woman holding a glass of white wine with a tray of oysters topped with colourful garnishes.
Chancery Lane

Whisky-infused oysters 

If you love whisky, cheese and charcuterie as much as oysters, Boilermaker House is your new best friend. Choose from two styles on the ‘poppin oysters’ menu. Will it be natural oysters with lemon and IPA mignonette? Or served kilpatrick with whisky and bacon? Pair a half dozen with a dram from Boilermaker’s collection of more than 900 whiskies.

Oysters two ways 

Whether it’s your first date or 10th anniversary, Melbourne’s new supper-club Society promises a night to remember. Dine on pacific and rock oysters beneath the crystal chandeliers in the glamorous Dining Room. They're served with a crisp cucumber and green apple dressing. Or venture into the Euro-style Lillian Brasserie for delicate shucked oysters with lime and rice wine vinegar.

A tray of oysters on ice with a gin bottle in the foreground.
Society

All-day oysters

Oysters: made by the ocean, perfected by the French. Luxe French restaurant and wine bar Philippe showcases ethically sourced and organic local ingredients. Ask for a seat at the raw bar. You'll have the perfect view as the chef prepares your oysters, shucked fresh to order. At lunchtime they come with shallots, vinegar and lemon. But dinner brings pacific and southern rock oysters served with lemon and a mignonette sauce.

Oysters al naturale 

This little slice of Venice in Little Collins Street is pure, understated style. White linen tablecloths frame sensationally plated food at Il Bacaro. Get your oysters ‘al naturale’, served with white wine vinegar and shallots. They’re prepared with simplicity and elegance, Italian style.  

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