Where in the world is Apalachicola? If you sang this to the tune of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, you and I are of the same generation! Or maybe you heard of Apalachicola from Tim McCraw’s song, Southern Voice, “Smooth as the hickory wind, that blows from Memphis to Apalachicola.” Apalachicola, Florida, found on the Florida Gulf Coast, is the absolute best place to eat oysters in the United States. It is a quaint town, sitting on the Apalachicola Bay, on the Florida Panhandle.
Fresh and Local
Apalachicola Bay oysters are fresh. When driving along the Apalachicola Bay on a weekday morning, you will see oystermen harvesting the oysters into their boats. The local area does plenty of work to make sure the Apalachicola Bay is protected. One rule is mechanical instruments are not allowed for the removal of the oysters. Therefore, you will see the oystermen using these long tongs or rakes to pull the oysters up into their boats. It is hard work, and if you have a chance to watch these folks at work, you will be impressed. I can only imagine how big their biceps must be!
How to Eat an Oyster
If you have never eaten an oyster, you are in for a real treat. I remember the first time I ate an oyster, and the thought was appalling. Why on earth would anyone eat one of these slimy creatures? For your first time, I recommend eating the oysters cooked. There are numerous ways to eat an oyster, my favorites being Oysters Rockefeller or anything with Old Bay seasoning and horseradish. Local Apalachicola and nearby St. George Island restaurants often come up with their own creative concoctions to suit any taste buds.
My favorite way to eat an oyster is raw on the half shell. Not gonna lie, it took me some time to get to this preference. And for the record, I will not eat raw oysters from just anywhere. I have to trust where my oysters come from if eating them raw, and I trust the oysters from Apalachicola Bay. The standard for raw oysters is to be served as a dozen, served on ice, with a side of lemons, crackers, cocktail sauce, and horseradish. Raw oysters are also delicious with hot sauce sprinkled over them. You can visit several restaurants in the area for “Oyster Hour” for deals on raw oysters.
There are other popular ways to eat an oyster in Apalachicola, including in a shot of alcohol. This is fun for those wimps who cannot stomach an oyster any other way! Personally, I prefer my lemon juice and horseradish, but hey, to each their own. Another popular way to eat an oyster is an oyster po’boy. An oyster po’boy is out of this world when done right. The trick is to not overcook them, and the restaurants in Apalachicola and on nearby St. George Island have figured it out.
Oyster Favorite Restaurants in Apalachicola
Our favorite restaurants to try in Apalachicola are Boss Oyster, The Owl Café, and Up the Creek Raw Bar. Any of these restaurants can serve up oysters a number of ways to make your mouth water. If you are in downtown Apalachicola, you should also check out Oyster City Brewing Company. They have a fun atmosphere and great beer. Bring your cash, as they do not take cards.
There is a general rule of thumb when it comes to eating oysters in the warm south, eat them only in the months that have an “r” in them. Lucky for us, Apalachicola uses a different calendar. They have the months of “Mayr”, “Jurne”, “Jurly”, and “Argust”. I’ve had oysters in all these months, and they were delicious. If you are concerned about oysters being too warm, eat them cooked, but don’t miss out on them!
One of our favorite ways to do oysters if we are in town for a week is to buy a bag of oysters. You can get a box at Lynn’s Quality Oysters. They sell them by the dozen, bag, half bag, and party box. They will be sure to help you out if you are unsure how many to get. Nothing beats sitting on the beach on St. George Island with a fresh cooler of ice-cold oysters with a shucking knife, a bottle of hot sauce and another cooler full of ice cold beverages. You can have your own raw bar oyster paradise.
If you are ever on the gulf coast, make a day trip, or even better, a week-long trip to Apalachicola. You can also stay on St. George Island, just across the Apalachicola Bay. This small city has so much to offer. You will find live music, amazing restaurants, good beer, and of course, the best oysters.[mailerlite_form form_id=11]