Philadelphia, PA - The history of oysters in Philadelphia starts with the earliest oyster vendors, who began selling the fresh catch from their carts on the streets. By 1881, there were 379 oyster bars in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Use To Be The Oyster Capital
One of these, Kelly's on Mole Street, was the spiritual forerunner of the Oyster House we know today. The evolution of the restaurant industry grew out of the local industry. In the 19th century, many of these establishments became popular spots for people who loved to eat seafood.
Oyster Culture in Philadelphia
Oyster culture in Philadelphia stretches back to the Colonial era. During the American Revolution, there were many oyster bars throughout the city. These restaurants were a common sight. By the 1950s, oyster-centric restaurants were increasingly popular in the city, making them a staple of the dining scene. During that period, they were also sold on the half-shell or on a plate. The food was also sold on the half-shell, with crackers and pepper.
The oyster-sellers were small vendors, carrying a wheelbarrow with their small stock and accompanying salt-cellar and a table. Some of these vendors were independent and brought their wares to a local house. Moreover, the oyster-sellers would make stops at the door of an unsuspecting citizen to sell the fresh seafood.
History of Philly Oysters
However, the history of oysters in Philadelphia is not as well documented as many think. Before the early 1800s, oyster bars were regarded as inexpensive, unattractive, and limited in variety. By 1850, almost every town in the U.S. had an oyster bar. Nowadays, the selection of oysters in the United States has expanded to include both local and foreign ones.
While the history of oysters in Philadelphia continues to change, there are far fewer in Philadelphia today, many seafood restaurants offer a menu that includes classic oyster dishes. Despite the lack of traditional oyster bars today, the region is experiencing a renaissance in the seafood industry and oysters.
Share This Article on Social Media
Food and Event Writer
My joy is aimed at food and foodie lovers. I enjoy covering trends, issues, and all things Philly