Living in our mountainous landscape has its carnivorous perks, from grass-fed steaks to tender Colorado lamb chops. Despite the fact that the nearest ocean is hundreds of miles away, however, Denver also happens to have plenty to offer when it comes to fresh seafood. And for great deals on fresh shellfish, oyster happy hour is the move. (As an added incentive, oysters tend to be one of the most sustainable seafood options around.) Here’s where to get the best bivalves on discount—along with an adult beverage or two for toasting the end of the workday.
Neighborhood: Cherry Creek
Happy hour: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Deals: Oysters ranging from 99 cents to $2, $6 cocktails and martinis and $4 rotating drafts
Those searching for the briny goods should swim on over to Cherry Creek’s Blue Island Oyster Bar. Daily happy hour features $2 select oysters, while on Shuck Mondays the nautical-themed eatery offers $1.25 premium oysters (such as the buttery Arrowhead Petites from the Virginia coast) from open to close. If you’re more of a night owl, you can take advantage of 99-cent oyster specials on Friday and Saturday nights after 8:30 p.m. Pair your shellfish with the refreshing What the Dill, a vodka-based old fashioned with a pop of fresh dill. 2625 E. Second Ave., 303-333-2462
Neighborhood: Alamo Placita
Happy hour: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. to close daily
Deals: Oysters ranging from $1 to $2, $1 off drafts, $2 off wine on tap and $2 off well drinks
Guests at Angelo’s Taverna’s two locations can get happy twice daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and again from 9 p.m. until close. Revelers will find dollar oysters on the half-shell (currently 38 Degrees North bivalves from Maryland) and $2 char-grilled oysters up for grabs, along with plenty of discounted drinks. If you’re going the grilled route, wash down the smoky delights with a glass of Carboy Chenin Blanc, a crisp white vino made right at the Littleton location. 620 E. Sixth Ave., 303-744-3366; 6885 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, 720-532-1389
Neighborhood: LoDo and Glendale
Happy hour: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and all night Mondays
Deals: $1.50 oysters, $1 off drafts and $3 oyster shooters
Oyster-lovers will find a very special treat awaiting at Jax’s happy hour: $1.50 Emersums. These boutique specimens are sourced from Rappahannock River Oyster Company out of Virginia and their sweet, salty, and creamy flavors are perfectly balanced. Available at both the LoDo and Glendale locations, these oysters can be transformed into shooters upon request, where you’ll find them swimming in house-made bloody Mary mix and vodka. Cheers to that. Multiple locations, but the Emersums are available at the LoDo (1539 17th St., 303-292-5767) and Glendale (650 S. Colorado Blvd., 303-756-6449) outposts.
Happy hour: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Deals: $1.50 shucked oysters and $1 off beer, wells and wine
LoDo’s newest comfort food and beer outpost offers oysters for every palate. With West Coast, East Coast and Gulf Coast options, the chef’s daily selections are priced at $1.50 a pop during happy hour. Oskar’s oyster offerings also go above and beyond raw bar. Take down a round of the wood-grilled, garlic-and-parmesan-butter-topped Chesapeake’s alongside the Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red IPA. The velvety suds are a great foil to the rich, briny dish. 1624 Market St., 720-502-3535
Happy hour: Monday through Friday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Deals: $2 East Coast oysters
The Regional, a homegrown eatery located inside Avanti Food & Beverage, recently debuted its take on oyster happy hour. Enjoy $2 East Coasters topped with cocktail sauce or with chef-owner Kevin Grossi’s dill pickle mignonette. Since happy hour is a celebratory occasion, your chilled indulgence goes best with glass of LaMarca Prosecco from Avanti’s bar—dry, subtle, and still plenty effervescent, it’s just right alongside the oysters. 3200 N. Pecos St., 720-269-4778