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Image: Chad Spencer

Jack Dusty

The raw bar at Jack Dusty is a huge draw and has been since the restaurant opened in 2013--it even boasts a live mermaid on the weekends. You can't go wrong with any of the seafood here, but don't miss the oysters on the half shell, which pair perfectly with a crisp glass of wine and our gorgeous Gulf Coast sunsets. $3 each; $15 for a half-dozen; $28 for a dozen

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar

Oysters are in the name of this popular spot, and for good reason. The restaurant serves up a bunch of different oyster options, from oven-roasted bacon oysters to Buffalo-style ones--but the good old oysters on the half shell are always a solid pick. Ask for a table by the window or outside, where you might even catch a manatee or two swimming lazily by. Market price

Veronica Fish & Oyster

Like Phillippi Creek, it makes sense that oysters are in the name of this new Southside Village spot. The sister restaurant to Owen's Fish Camp, Veronica boasts an impressive raw bar that's filled with a variety of oysters from all over the U.S. (Hama Hama, Blue Point, James River and more). Order up a dozen any time--but if you go at Happy Hour, from 5-7 p.m., you can get a plate of these tasty bivalves for just $7. Worth it. $15 for a half-dozen; $30 for a dozen

Crab & Fin

This venerable St. Armands Circle fish house has been a Sarasota staple for years, with its fresh seafood attracting locals and visitors alike. And you can get a variety of raw oysters--from Prince Edward Island malpeques to Rhode Island beaver tails to Massachusetts rip tides. Our recommendation: order the grand oyster tasting, which comes with a dozen oysters (two of each variety). $2.95 each; $35.50 for the grand tasting.

Owen's Fish Camp

We at Sarasota have been known to stroll down Burns Court to Owen's Fish Camp for a drink and a 'tizer post-work--you just can't beat the casual, Old Florida atmosphere (we're particularly partial to the "back yard," where there's often live music). We like settling into a spot at a picnic table and ordering raw oysters from the outside bar. (And if you're not in the mood for raw, go for the grilled oysters, cooked right in front of you.) Market price

The Sandbar

The Sandbar is a paragon of Southwest Florida dining because it's one of the few spots in our region where you can actually dine on the beach. We recommend starting your meal there with an order of oysters on the half shell, which come with mignonette and horseradish--basically all you need. Those fresh mollusks plus the sand between your toes? Pretty much our version of heaven. Market price

Monk's Steamer Bar

This Gulf Gate spot, which opened in 2001, has been a favorite of locals since its inception. The oysters "Monkafeller"--a take on the popular oysters Rockefeller--is this spot's signature dish, but we suggest sidling up to the bar and ordering a dozen raw oysters and a beer. $17.95 for a dozen

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