Shell Life

The best raw bars in Miami

Miami is abuzz with excitement anticipating Blue Collar's Danny Serfer and blogger Ryan Roman's opening of the Edgewater New Orlean's inspired oyster bar and restaurant, Mignonette. We took the time to revisit some of our already favorite spots to shuck, slurp, pinch, peel and repeat.

The River Seafood and Oyster Bar in Brickell

Kumamoto, Hama Hama, Fanny Bay, Cotuit, Flying Point, Beaver Tail. Name the oyster, chances are they've got it. If you're looking for a little heat, the clams casino ($6) or fire-roasted oysters ($11) will hit the hot spot.

Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill in Midtown

The only thing that enhances the already-blissful experience of dining at this luscious, tropical, bright cabana space is ordering a seafood tower ($70)—two levels of stacked mixed oysters, king crab legs, clams and octopus-miso salad.

Lure Fishbar in Miami Beach

Josh Capon's raw bar offers plateaus in varying sizes, which include littlenecks ($1.75 each), mussels escabeche ($12) and king crab legs (M.P. per half pound). When in doubt, the clever staff recommends what they like to refer to as "Tupac meets Biggie" ($16)—a selection of four of the dressed oysters, such as the Kukomotos with wasabi leaf and lemon or Blue Points with shallot mignonette.

Tarpon Bend in Coral Gables

This happy hour staple on the Mile offers one of our favorite after-work snacks: oyster shooters ($2.25 each, $11.5 for half a dozen). The briny bivalves are shucked and served with lemon and cocktail sauce in a double shot glass. Go ahead, add the Grey Goose floater ($1.50 each); you've earned it.

Prime Fish in South Beach

The seafood-heavy menu offers one of the best raw selections in town. It's so luxe, in fact, that the restaurant has only one size of stone crabs—go big or go home with a Colossal (M.P). And make sure you ask for your oysters dressed à la Moscow ($6), with a dash of caviar on top.

Oceanaire Seafood Room in Brickell

Twelve different styles of oysters may only be upstaged by American Hackleback caviar ($74.95) served with hardboiled egg, capers and toast. We also go for the spicy tequila shrimp ceviche ($15.95) with avocado, served on chile-dusted tortillas.

Monty's in Coconut Grove

This is the closest you'll get to feeling like you're in the Keys without taking the Overseas Highway—not only because of the open deck and live tropical steel drum performers, but because of "the bounty": six oysters, six clams, three jumbo shrimp, three medium stone crab claws and a serving of the conch ceviche salad with sweet onion and roasted red peppers (M.P).

A Fish Called Avalon in South Beach 

Locals and tourist alike have made this Ocean Drive institution a destination. The raw bar, while simple, has all the classics: oysters ($9), shrimp ($16), stone crabs, lobster ($22) and Alaskan king crab legs (M.P).

Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish in Overtown

Garcia's is Miami's seafood market of choice, so it only makes sense that its sister restaurant, which has an open deck on top of the Miami river, has only the freshest fish, beginning with an extensive stone crab selection.