Not to Miss Oyster Bars Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
April 12, 2023
The best way to truly experience New England cuisine is to visit one of the many raw oyster bars found along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. There is nothing better than enjoying seriously fresh seafood right by the water! Read on to learn more about some cool spots to grab a dozen (or two) oysters while exploring this beautiful coastal route through Boston’s North Shore.
Sea Level Oyster Bar
Salem Location: 94 Wharf Street, Salem, MA 01970
Newburyport Location: 1 Market Square, Newburyport, MA 01950
The Newburyport location offers breathtaking views of the water and the surroundings because it sits along the Merrimack River. The Salem restaurant is located right on the water in Salem harbor. You can take in the sights and sounds of the river while eating, whether inside the restaurant or outside on the patio.
The Sea Level Oyster Bar offers a variety of oysters that are fresh and shucked to order.
Address: 33 River Road, Gloucester, MA 01930
Owned by Joshua and Ariel Smith, Talise is a restaurant they hope will capture their passion for hosting, cooking for people, and celebrating life while embodying a feeling of location on Lobster Cove in the seaside community of Annisquam.
One of Talise’s top seafood selections are their Wellfleet oysters, which are best enjoyed with a homemade cocktail sauce or mignonette. You’ll also appreciate the constantly changing menu of wonderfully fresh fish, locally sourced meats, and regionally caught lobster and tuna.
1606 Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Address: 55 Commercial Street, Gloucester, MA 01930
Gloucester, Massachusetts, a lovely coastal town along the Byway, is home to the 1606 Restaurant & Oyster Bar. This elegant restaurant is located in the Beauport Hotel and offers ocean views and a stylish setting that draws tourists from all over. They offer live music entertainment on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as weekly specials.
Nevertheless, it’s not just the food, drinks, and entertainment that set 1606 Restaurant & Oyster Bar apart; it’s also the beautiful surroundings. The restaurant’s dining room provides a spectacular view of Gloucester Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean, while the outside terrace is an ideal location for al fresco dining in the warmer months.
Address: 81 Front Street, Marblehead, MA 01945
The Landing has been serving fresh seafood and exquisite drinks in Marblehead since 1972 and is located right on Marblehead harbor, considered by many to be the most beautiful harbor in New England. Customers find this spot relaxing as they can enjoy their drink and meal by the water, taking in the ocean breeze, and watch boats pass by. You can see what they offer for brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as their bar menu options here.
Address: 17 State Street, Newburyport, MA 01950
Brine in Newburyport is one of the best spots in northern Essex County for a great raw bar and dining experience. Its stylish and inviting interior design, which blends rustic and modern elements, creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
It has all of your seafood needs covered. The restaurant provides a variety of over a dozen different oysters, each with a distinctive flavor and texture. Not only serving up oysters, the cuisine at Brine always has something intriguing, from succulent tuna and Hamachi crudo to oysters, grilled octopus, and creatively cooked filets. Plan your next day trip to Newburyport and make sure to stop by Brine!
Address: 112 Main Street, Essex, MA 01929
CK Pearl is a popular restaurant located in the heart of the charming town of Essex, Massachusetts. This family-owned restaurant is right on the Essex river and offers an authentic view of the town from the dining room to the deck.
While CK Pearl is one of the best oyster bars along the Byway, they also offer an impressive selection of drinks. The restaurant’s bar features a wide range of craft beers, wines, and cocktails, including several signature drinks that are sure to please any palate. You can check out their food and drinks menu here.
Feather & Wedge
Address: 5 Main Street, Rockport, MA 01966
Feather & Wedge is the ideal place to start your evening before seeing a live performance because it is only a few doors down from the spectacular Shalin Liu Performance Center. Next time you’re on Cape Ann, stop into Feather & Wedge to experience one of Massachusetts’ best oyster bars.
To give some history about the restaurant, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a vibrant granite industry developed in Rockport and Gloucester. High-quality Cape Ann granite was sought out nationwide for the construction of prominent buildings and bridges, historical monuments, sculptures, street pavers, and curb stones. Feather & Wedge celebrates Rockport’s history as a quarry town. They carefully prepare their seafood using ingredients sourced from neighboring waters and fields.
Plan a visit to Feather & Wedge and enjoy some seafood right on the Rockport Harbor.
While you enjoy some of the Byway’s seafood, make a day trip out of it and visit some of the historic landmarks along the Byway as well!