The Absolute Best Oysters in the United States

Hog Island Oyster is one of the most famous names in the shellfish game. This is likely due in part to the fact that this Californian institution has its own oyster nursery and farm. According to the oyster bar, Hog Island Oyster operates a 160-acre farm in Tomales Bay, a waterway on California’s northern coast, as well as a hatchery and nursery in nearby Humboldt Bay. These places constitute the main part of the company’s activity. But Hog Island also operates several restaurants across the state, with locations in Marshall, San Francisco, and Napa, California.

The company harvests many of these most popular American oysters – Atlantics, Kumamotos, Olympias and French Hogs (aka European Flats or Belons) – as well as rarer varieties like Earthquake Bays. The typical Hog Island oysters are called Sweetwaters. These are harvested all year round, while the others are harvested seasonally.

Although Hog Island has two restaurants in San Francisco, the one inside the Ferry Building Marketplace is the one that catches the eye of the Michelin guide. Even though Hog Island has no stars – Michelin says it has “some of the sweetest, freshest bivalves on the west coast”. On Tripadvisor, reviews attest that the Ferry Building’s long lines, incredible views, and great oysters are worth the trip.

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