Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

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Grand Central Oyster Bar & RestaurantGrand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
11 Ratings
Grand Central Oyster Bar & RestaurantGrand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

Type: Bar, Eatery

89 East 42nd Street
New York, New York, 10017
United States

(212) 490-6650 | map

Located on the Lower Level of the Grand Central Terminal.

Added by rdrummer

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by rdrummer:
Photo of rdrummer
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Normally, I would avoid a restaurant in a train station in the middle of a city like the plague. The oyster-loving side of me overpowered the skeptical side, and we went to the Oyster Bar for dinner. I had no real idea what to expect, but was surprised from start to finish.

The atmosphere is hard for me to describe. I expected a place that would be crawling with tourists (like myself), jam packed, and with no beer other than the usual suspects. Instead, the restaurant had a large number of people who were obviously New Yorkers, or appeared to be, some train passengers, and obvious tourists gawking at the beautiful architecture. That would have included the wife and I. It is a real gem with columns, arches that separate eating areas to give the room a smaller feeling than it really is. I wish I had the words to describe the beauty of the place.

The paper menu came with a beer list printed on it. There were a dozen drafts, including Turbo Dog, Chimay, SNPA, Red Hook Sunrye, Bluepoint Pale Ale, Brooklyn Lager and Pilsner, the usual imports (Bass, Guiness, Stella, Heineken) and Bud Light. The bottle list was small with about 20 beers but they included Chimay Blue and Red, Duvel, Dupont Farmhouse, La Chouffe, Magic Hat #9, Paulaner Hefe, Sam Smith Pale Ale, Schneider Weisse, and Whale's Tale Pale Ale. There were, of course, a few macros and a couple ciders that made the list.

The food was excellent from start to finish. First, they had 30 different oysters on the menu. That took me a while to narrow down, but the ones I got were served cold and with the usual accompaniments. The NE Chowder was excellent with lots of chunky clams. I had the sauteed soft shells, which were perfect. My wife had a lobster stew, which was basically a whole lobster in a large soup bowl. The menu is huge with loads of fried shellfish, cold seafood platters, lots of stews and panroasts, crab, live lobsters, lots of fish, etc. The back of the menu contained their wine list with about 50 wines by the glass, and probably 250 bottles, not to mention sake, sherries, dessert wines, and ports.

The only real drawback to the experience was service, and I hesitate to mention it because the waiter was doing the best he could considering the number of tables that he was handling. There should have been more waiters on duty to handle the crowd. The waiter made suggestions that helped us decide what we should get from the huge menu, which was appreciated. I will definitely be returning next time in New York.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Act25
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

If you like oysters with your beer, the Oyster bar is for you. A NYC / GCT fixture now with a full selection of 15 taps and ample bottled list. Sit at the bar.

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Photo of Redrover
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

I was lucky enough to have a late and slightly liquid lunch here on my most recent visit to NYC.

It was packed at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon. Lots of hustle and bustle by the wait staff but they do a good job of keeping on top of the service.

I really liked the ambiance and the cool old vaulted ceilings, well-worn subway tiles, etc. This place is loaded with history as is the whole station.

I thought that given their location, the beer selection was pretty solid. Most of the taps were local and the bottle selection was pretty well balanced.

Food was great but as expected a little pricey…. Beers were $7 for most drafts and I don’t think that is too bad.

If you find yourself in the neighborhood or waiting for a train, this is a pretty solid option.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

The wife and I were meeting a friend in Grand Central and we thought for a minute or two about where to go for lunch… the food court? Nah… some chain spot outside, probably packed with office workers on lunch break? No, thanks.

What about the Oyster Bar? We lived in the city for ten years and never once ate there, despite the landmark it is.

The place is incredibly beautiful- you can’t beat those Guastavino vaults and the old-style dining room with uniformed waiters. The whole thing feels pretty legit, unlike many famous spots around NYC overrun with tourists and bullshit.

Perusing the menu, I was surprised to see fifteen beers on tap. This joint is serious about beer! Allagash White, Hoptical Illusion, Toasted Lager, Ballantine IPA, Chimay, Duvel, Kuka, Sierra, Ommegang Rare Vos…. not bad at all. There are also twenty bottles, mostly of the lager/light variety.

The food was much better than I expected. Of course you can’t go wrong with raw oysters (Chincoteague!), and what about a caviar sandwich, simple on white bread? Pretty ingenious indeed.

While not cheap, it didn’t strike me as a terribly expensive or overpriced place either. The only negative is that our venerable server forgot the Ballantine IPA drafts we ordered, but other than that, this was a surprisingly happy experience.

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Photo of LoveStout
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of misternebbie
1.4/5  rDev -61.9%

Photo of Bigeter
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I was home from school for break and my parents decided to take a family trip to NY. My Dad wanted to give me an exciting place to eat at after seeing a Broadway production and needless to say he came through. I'm not seafood guy by a long shot nor am I into crowds, but after arriving at the oyster bar I just blended right in.

I sat down and I was surprised to notice a larger than normal beer list and boy was I excited. Then again I am from MD, and going to a place that really takes advantage of a liquor license is a treat. They had around forty beers in total split between the tap and bottles. Being the cheesy tourist that I was, I ordered two locals on tap and I was not disappointed. The six point righteous rye and the bluepoint toasted lager were both good for their own reasons. Though you might be finding yourself paying 7 or 8 dollars a pint your entree will cover the cost. You may ask yourself why you're paying some 20 odd dollars for a piece of fish. To put it in simple terms the servings are really big and it is extremely fresh.

Needless to say the beer and food were great, and if you wanted to go to one of the more decorated local restaurants I suggest you check it out. (Theres a full menu online if you're curious)

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I stopped here with a coworker while waiting for a train, not having beerfly'd, and was really surprised and impressed. They had about 10 draft beers including Stone Arrogant Bastard, Chimay Cinq Cents, and a handful of entry-level to near-luxury craft beers (Widmers hefeweizen, Blue Point Toasted Lager, etc). The bottle list was only about 10, but included the other Chimays (red, blue), Nantucket Whale Tale Pale Ale, Wiehanstephaner hefeweizen, and others. Very nice for a restaurant on the lower level of a railway station.

The atmosphere was cool, arched and bricked ceilings, relatively darker lighting, no sound of trains, etc. The food was good too, we had $100 in raw oysters (they had almost ~30 types), which paired well with my Arrogant Bastard and Whale Tale pale ale. Beer prices are $6-$7 in general, with Chimays going up to $10.

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Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Located in the bowels of Grand Central Station. Service was good other than the host who was a complete ass. We showed up for a really early dinner so there was only two parties seated at the time … the host through a fit because we did not have reservations and then seated us right on top of another party. Needless to say I relocated our table and our server said that the host is notorious for doing that.

This place is all about seafood … thankfully they have a decent selection of beer. Decent meaning a spotty selection with some gems like 22oz bombers of Stone Smoke Porter and Stone Arrogant Bastard on tap, both were very fresh. The food was great … the raw oysters were fresh and went great with the smoked porter. My broiled striped sea bass was perfect … no fancy sauce, just broiled with butter, salt and pepper which paired nicely with the Arrogant Bastard. If you are looking for a great seafood restaurant that serves some good beer give this place a try.

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Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This is not the first place that comes to mind when talking Beer in NYC, h/e the room is very cool, the location could not be more central, the oysters are fresh and tasty and they have a respectable beer list. The main drawback is the expense, have your cash ready or your expense account up and running. This place will set you back quickly. Worth a visit to check this place out and enjoy a nice cold brew from chimay or blue point or one of the other 12 or so qual. drafts or 20-25 bottle selections.

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Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant in New York, NY
Place rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 11 ratings