The 2023 Austin Oyster Festival returns for its 10th year honoring the sea’s most delicious offering of Oysters. The festival will also showcase innumerable iterations of oysters–grilled, roasted and fried, alongside chef-prepared seafood dishes, cocktail pairings and live music. All of this will benefit the Central Texas Food Bank and the HOPE Campaign. The festival takes place Saturday, February 25, 2023 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Republic Square.
Guests can belly up to the bar for cocktails and oysters. The Austin Oyster Festival will feature four bars. The Raw Bar is for the serious oyster lover. Austin Seafood will present a fresh selection of premiere small harvest East and West Coast Oysters and pristine northeastern coast oysters.
Guests looking for gumbo can head to the Grill Bar for oyster-and-rock-shrimp gumbo with Andouille sausage. It will also feature over-the-top smoked bacon Oysters Rockefeller. These are fresh-grilled oysters with roasted garlic and anchovy butter, and Creole barbecue butter shrimp on grilled garlic bread.
The Fry Bar includes crispy spiced pomme frites, crispy oyster banh mi sandwiches, New Orleans-style oyster and shrimp po’boys and as a sweet treat, Bananas Foster Bread Pudding topped with Banana ice cream from Amy’s Ice Cream.
It wouldn’t be the Austin Oyster Festival without the outrageous Bloody Mary Bar sponsored by Austin’s own Bloody Revolution paired with Austin favorite, Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Guests can choose from a variety of extra fixin’s to create their own personalized cocktail. Guests can also imbibe from a selection of wine and bubbles from Brÿt, as well as craft beer from Fredericksburg’s Altstadt Brewery, mineral water from Topo Chico, seltzer from Blue Norther and flavored n/a Polar seltzer.
The VIP Lounge includes tasty bites by lauded local chef Chef Shane Stark of Mongers Market + Kitchen. Additional offerings will be provided by the talented culinary teams of 1417 Bistro, Modern Blue, Keepers Coastal Kitchen, Shore ATX and Salt Traders Coastal Cooking. Each VIP guest will receive a private oyster tasting, complemented by cocktail pairings from Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
The festival welcomes back the bluegrass sounds of Blue Mist and The Lost Pines, as well as Cajun tunes by Chansons Et Soulards, and amazing raffle prizes. (Winners will be announced all day long.) Guests can buy raffle tickets for prizes to some of Austin’s favorite dining establishments like Mongers Market, Salt Traders, Shore ATX and Bloody Revolution. This year, the festival partners with The Texas Surf Conservancy and Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s Sink Your Shucks Oyster Shell Recycling Program. Volunteers will be on hand at the Austin Oyster Festival to pick up more than 5,000 pounds of oyster shells and return them to local waters, providing substrates to form new reefs and habitat for fish, crabs and other organisms.
VIP admission is $125 per person and Includes entrance fee, nine festival vouchers (valued at $5 each) private restroom access, private oyster tastings, a craft bar, and a perk-filled VIP lounge. VIP admission also includes a raffle ticket for the Central Texas Food Bank Raffle table.
General Admission is $70 per person and includes entrance fee, entertainment and seven festival vouchers (valued at $5 each). Additional $5 vouchers may be purchased inside the festival as needed. There is no fee for children under 8 years of age.
2023 marks 10 years for the Austin Oyster Festival and 787 Productions co-founders Emily Horvath and Chris Bauer. Hovarth is the co-owner of Primizie Catering and Bauer is the chef at Lost Creek Country Club. Bauer was the executive chef of Eddie’s V’s Restaurant for 11 years, during the festival’s conception. Advanced tickets for the Austin Oyster Festival are available at AustinOysterFestival.com, and may be purchased at the door on the day of the event, as available. This event generally sells out in advance.
The festival will be held at Republic Square, 422 Guadalupe St, Austin TX 78701. For more information visit www.AustinOysterFestival.com or their social platforms: Facebook and Instagram.