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J's Oyster

5 Portland Pier
Portland , ME , United States
(207) 772-4828

This tantalizingly retro white cement block of a restaurant enjoys a great waterside location off Commercial Street. Simply emblazoned on the outside with a bright blue J, this lively sports bar has been a favorite hangout since 1978, and not much has changed, including the staff. Here, it’s all about good drinks and fresh seafood, especially Blue Point oysters, which are bionicly shucked in the round behind the bar and served raw with horseradish-heavy cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. When it doubt, follow the locals’ lead: angle for an outdoor table (if weather permits), order a perfect martini or draft beer, and get your fill of sweet bivalves—preferably within earshot of a Red Sox game.

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