Woman enjoying oysters at the Oyster Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

Much like the city of Las Vegas, oysters are unique and exoctic creatures that most people enjoy partaking in. For anyone who is searching for the best oysters in Las Vegas, Hard Rock is here to help! And with oyster season right around the corner, oyster bars have become a mainstay at resorts and casinos across Las Vegas. However, restaurant goers still have so many questions about this seafood cuisine that can be found in Las Vegas. How do you know if you’re getting fresh oysters? Is there an oyster season? What’s the proper way to eat oysters? Where should you go for the best oysters in Las Vegas? At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, we have all the answers when it comes to one of the ocean’s most flavorful offerings. Read on and start planning!

Is there an oyster season?

The answer is yes! The original rule goes, you should only eat fresh oysters in the eight months of the year that contain the letter “R”, starting in September, which marks the beginning of the native oyster season. Even though September through April provides the tastiest oysters, these rules go back to the days before refrigeration. Now you can eat and enjoy cool-water oysters throughout the year! However, it’s important to be aware of these creatures reproductive cycle and formal season to get only the best of the best cuisine. Oysters spawn in the summer months, May through August, and are the most flavorful and fatty starting in September.

How can you tell if an oyster is fresh?

A fresh oyster should smell of the seashore or ocean breeze, while a bad oyster might smell a bit more on the fishy side. In addition to this seashore scent, a fresh oyster is easy to determine by the temperature. You’ll know that they are “ripe” and ready to harvest if they are ice cold rather than bone dry. And if all else fails, you can tell what the freshest of the sea is by the oyster’s liquor, a.k.a, the oyster juice. Once you know exactly what to look for in a fresh oyster, you’ll never be fooled again!

How should you eat oysters?

The first and most important rule of thumb when eating oysters is to never pour out it’s liquor. When a fresh oyster is masterfully shucked, a small pool of clear liquid will remain with the oyster, located in the bottom half shell. This liquor is actually filtered sea water in which the oyster lives, holding a robust amount of flavor. If you don’t see any liquid or liquor, this may be a sign that you aren’t getting super fresh oysters or that the oyster shucker isn’t trained at retaining the liquor. After you’ve determined if your oysters have the liquor still within the shell, all you have to do is use your fork to detach the oyster meat and then you can easily slurp the oyster from the wide end of the shell. You’ll want to chew the meat to release its sweetness, rather than just swallowing it. If you’re an oyster newbie, we recommend trying each kind of oyster without the condiments first. Enjoying fresh oysters this way will allow you to get a better taste for the oyster’s unique flavor. However, if you must have a condiment included, we recommend drizzling lemon juice before enjoying

What kind of oysters should you order on the menu?

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Many first timers choose to start small with an oyster that is two inches in size. These smaller oysters are less intimidating and easier to eat. While at first oysters may seem confusing, there are really only five types of fresh oysters in the world:

  1. Atlantic
  2. Pacific
  3. Kumamoto
  4. Olympias
  5. Belon

As you may have guessed, oysters are traditionally named based on their location or bay. East Coast varieties are salty and mild, while West Coast varieties tend to be creamy and sweet. The most common of them all are the Atlantic and Pacific oysters because they are easier to get. On the other hand, Belon oysters are the hardest of all the varieties to track down and enjoy. When vacationing in Las Vegas, you can expect to find a selection of East and West Coast oysters to satisfy your seafood cravings!

Where can you find the best oysters in Las Vegas?

When you dine at the Oyster Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel you will have a wide-ranging menu and a bar area with plenty of seating to enjoy. The raw bar has a selection of East and West Coast oysters that change daily so you can try a good variety no matter when you go. The Oyster Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel also offers specialties like fried oysters and pickles, shrimp and grits, calamari “fries”, and more. Plus, Backstage Pass members can get $1 oysters every Tuesday and Thursday with the purchase of a beverage. Stop by Hard Rock Las Vegas to enjoy some of the freshest oysters any day of the week!