It’s North Carolina Oyster Week

Or Fortnight, or Month . . .

A tray of fresh-shucked North Carolina oysters from Locals in Raleigh's Transfer Co. Food Hall
A tray of fresh-shucked North Carolina oysters from Locals in Raleigh's Transfer Co. Food Hall (Dispatch Staff)

By Dispatch Staff

We here at The Dispatch declared the week of September 19th to be our Oyster Week, but we neglected to sync our calendars with the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources. It turns out DNR has decided that October 11th through 15th is when we should all "shellebrate" (their pun, not ours) the history, culture, economy, and ecology of oysters in North Carolina.


We certainly don’t want to get on the wrong side of the government. We thought about revising our declaration to make it an “Oyster Fortnight” or maybe an “Oyster Month” that somehow spans mid-September to mid-October, but those seemed clumsy. So let’s just declare it Oyster Week all over again, at least for those of you in the Tarheel State.

In case you missed our first Oyster Week, you’ll want to read up on the history of oyster bars in the Carolinas, which were one of the earliest forms of restaurant in the state. And, Stephanie Burt took a deep dive into the theory and practice of oyster bar design and discovered that there’s a lot of thought behind all that ice and stainless steel.

The goal of NC Oyster Week is to promote the state’s shellfish industry, and to help in that effort the North Carolina Coastal Federation has created the NC Oyster Trail, which maps out shellfish farms offering tours, educational sites, and restaurants and seafood markets that sell North Carolina oysters available year-round (yes, even in months without an ‘R’!)

For those of you whose prefered method of commemorating Oyster Week is to scarf down as many fresh North Carolina shellfish as you can, here’s a selection of restaurants and oyster bars running specials for this week of celebration:

  • St. Roch Fine Oysters & Bar in Raleigh is offering a special week-long Oyster Happy Hour from 4 - 6 p.m., with $1.50 oysters
  • Blue Water Grill in Manteo will be using North Carolina oysters in their signature oyster shooters and offering $1 North Carolina oysters from 4 - 6 p.m, October 11-15.
  • On October 13 the Locals Oyster Bars inside Transfer Co. Food Hall in Raleigh and Durham Food Hall in Durham will be selling $1.50 North Carolina oysters all day (and they’ll do it on the rest of the Wednesdays in October, too.)
  • Mandolin in Raleigh already offers a regular NC Oyster Happy Hour, with $1.50 oysters Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. For Oyster Week, Chef Sean Fowler will adding a special baked North Carolina oysters with bacon and pink Peppercorn Butter
  • At Seabird in downtown Wilmington, Chef Dean Neff has collaborated with his oyster man, Matt Schwab of Hold Fast Oyster Company, to source the restaurant’s own “Seabirdie oysters,” and from 5 - 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 11, 14, and 15 you can get them for just $1 each
  • On Friday, October 15, the Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar in Surf City will hold its first oyster roast of the season from 5 - 8 p.m., with proceeds benefiting the North Carolina Coastal Federation and featuring local Permuda Island oysters from Three Little Spats Oyster Company

About the Author

Dispatch Staff

The hardworking team behind the Southeastern Dispatch

Related Reading

A History of Oysters Bars in the Carolinas

Freshly shucked oysters are a long-standing Carolina tradition

The Idea of the Oyster Bar

The secrets behind the ice and stainless steel