Rodney’s Oyster House in Yaletown
1228 Hamilton Street
Mondays to Sundays 11:30am – 11:00pm
There’s no denying that oysters are an acquired taste; the slippery, slimy, ocean-infused seafood is certainly not for everyone. Yet for those of us who have taken to this ocean delight, when the craving hits you, it hits you. You want the freshest, meatiest, perfectly chilled oyster, doused with a squeeze of lemon, topped with freshly grated horseradish, and of course, finished with a shot of spicy Tabasco. This here, is exactly what we dream of:
In the words of one of my family’s old Food Network favourites, Emeril Lagasse, “BAM!”
With front-row seats on the West Coast, Vancouver is spoiled with premium seafood offerings. Yet don’t be fooled into thinking any ol’ place in Vancity will have great oysters – there’s no fooling your way around an oyster that’s fresh. If you’ve got an oyster craving and aren’t in the mood to mess around, Rodney’s Oyster House is the place to go.
I’d guess that I’ve been to Rodney’s Oyster House over 15 times, and I can honestly say that every, single time, they knock it out of the park. I would recommend the Yaletown location for it’s one-of-a-kind ambiance, that consists of high ceilings, loft and bar seating, and coastal décor. Calling it lively would be an understatement, but hey, enjoying fantastic seafood is a noisy affair!
Rodney’s consistently has an impressive selection of oysters, which you can order by name or by size. I’m a big fan of the BC oysters (nothing beats home grown!) You can ask the bartenders to shuck any number of oysters and they’ll always come with all the fixings. Better yet, Rodney’s has their own fleet of sauces that range from a “Shallot Vinaigrette,” to “White Boy Soul Sauce,” to the ultimate kicker, “Back from Hell.”
Though it certainly is the signature event, it doesn’t just stop at oysters. The freshly steamed mussels are to die for. I repeat, to die for! Steamed in dill butter, garlic and white wine, it won’t be enough to soak up the sauce with the freshly baked sourdough…you’ll need to shamelessly slurp that up with a spoon. The mussels are plump (see below for exactly how plump,) juicy, and beautifully marinated.
The plump-est mussel I have ever seen.
On my most recent visit, they were featuring a generous 2-Piece Halibut Fish & Chips, served on a bed of fries and with a side salad. The breaded outside was crispy, slightly salted, and not overly greasy. One bite of the halibut and you’ll be praising the heavens for bringing you to Vancouver: the land of fresh seafood!
*My foodie tip to you is to visit Rodney’s during “Low Tide” (3-6pm Monday-Saturday). Oysters go for $1.50/ea, and fan favourites like the Mussels and Haida Gwaii Candy will have a few bucks knocked off their regular price. But, it’s a very busy time, so get your party there early!
Other honorable mentions:
- The New England Clam Chowder – I have just as much love for this dish as the Steamed Mussels. It’s thick, creamy, and made-to-order. A sincerely hearty bowl of goodness.
- Crab Cakes – It’s the quality of the crab that makes all the difference!
- Haida Gwaii Candy – Cold strips of cured salmon. A sweet and salty salmon jerky – a great way to start off the meal!
The more I think about it, the fact that Rodney’s Oyster House can promise excellence – in their food, service, and ambiance – is a truly impressive feat. To bring a foodie back, over and over again, in a culinary wonderland like Vancouver, speaks to their quality of food and evident passion for what they do. Summer or winter, rain or shine, you can always know the “surf’s up” at Rodney’s Oyster House!