“Where can I go to eat good local oysters?”


That’s the question authors Susan and Bill Wade heard repeatedly while researching their crab and tiki books. So, they began an oyster investigation.

They talked to watermen, oyster growers, chefs, restaurant owners ̶ anyone who gave a shuck about Bay bivalves. The Wades discovered that Chesapeake oysters are making a colossal comeback and their population is on the rise, thanks to new aquafarming methods.

Oyster houses are back in style, with new places opening at a dazzling rate in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. Shuckers open shells with wood-handled knives, chalkboards list scores of new oyster brands and people lick their lips at the sight of Chesapeake Bay oysters embedded in trays laden with ice.

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What’s Inside the New Book?

The new travel guide, Chesapeake Oyster Lovers’ Handbook, explores this vibrant oyster renaissance and takes readers on a journey to 130+ oyster houses in locations from city docks on the waterfront to hidden gems in rural retreats.

The also book charts oyster brands and aquafarms, so readers can order like a pro and make selections that match their flavor preferences.

Interviews with experts in the oyster field shed light on trends and traditions in the Chesapeake oyster scene. Also included are listings of oyster events, museums and festivals to make your bivalve expeditions complete.



Chesapeake Oyster Lovers’ Handbook is divided into four main sections


Chesapeake Oyster Houses & Raw Bars

We present in-depth profiles of oyster houses, raw bars and seafood restaurants that are committed to serving fresh local bivalves year-round. To help chart your next oyster crawl, the book breaks down the Bay into specific regions:


  •      Baltimore
  •      Northern Maryland
  •      Annapolis
  •      DC’s Maryland Suburbs & Southern Maryland
  •      The Eastern Shore



  •      Northern Virginia
  •      Virginia Peninsulas
  •      Virginia Beach & Norfolk



Chesapeake Oyster Brands & Aquafarms


Many people have heard of the world famous Chincoteague and Chesapeake Bay oysters. But newer names, such as Skinny Dipper, Sweet Jesus, Hollywood, Rappahannock and Barren Island, are earning accolades and claiming their place on oyster bar lists.

Chesapeake Oyster Lovers’ Handbook charts brand names and aquafarms that are players in the emerging oyster scene and gives flavor profiles to help readers choose the right bivalves to match their taste.


Pearls of Wisdom

This part of the book offers expert insight on topics that matter to oyster connoisseurs, such as:

  • Craft beers, cocktails and condiments that pair perfectly when ordering a dozen fresh-shucked Chesapeake oysters
  • The story of how oysters play an essential role in Chesapeake culture and community
  • The dramatic tale about the past glory days, decline and recent resurrection of Bay oysters
  • And more …