A venture out to Hog Island Oyster Co. in Marshall needs to be on your Northern California road trip itinerary. Located right on Highway 1, tucked behind golden rolling hills, overlooking Tomales Bay, this little oyster shack has all the elements of a perfect afternoon. With a glass of Sauvignon blanc in hand and a tray of oysters on its way, Mark and I snagged a picnic table at The Boat Oyster Bar and settled in.
From the sharable family-style dishes to the wine glass tumblers, everything at Hog Island Oyster Co. has elements of a fancy rustic picnic. Their food matches the scene, which are world-class oysters served at picnic tables on the water. Not wanting to miss a single dish, we ordered up a storm! The Boat Oyster Bar menu is small but spectacular, with the perfect selection of elevated picnic dishes. We ordered a charcuterie board with prosciutto, soppressata (basically a thin salmi), olive oil crackers, and a dollop of tangy whole grain mustard. The cheese plate also caught our eye with quite a few soft and hard local cheeses and was accompanied by crunchy fruit and nut crackers.
Now, what Mark and I came here for – Hog Island Oysters! We ordered oysters two ways, raw and barbecued. I love raw oysters and today their Hog Island Kumamotos were on the menu. Kumamoto oysters are my absolute favorite oyster because they are small, briny, mild, and almost sweet in flavor. I have a certain oyster eating technique that I wrote about in this article which helps elevate my oyster eating experience! Our dozen oyster order came with lemon slices their ‘Hog Wash’ house cilantro and jalapeño mignonette sauce. We also ordered barbecued oysters, which were larger in size and cooked in a smoky chipotle butter. The oyster platters were incredible and I was in oyster heaven. I could eat a whole tray of raw oysters in record time, but I chose to slow it down and take a more leisurely approach to my oyster eating. The view, the wine, my hot date .. what’s the rush?
The Boat Oyster Bar is not only an awesome place to hang out for the afternoon but their amazing oysters are the freshest catch you can get. Hog Island Oyster Co.’s famous oysters are farmed in the waters right in front of our picnic tables! Throughout the day, bags of oysters are brought to shore, scrubbed, then either sent off to restaurants or walked over to The Boat Oyster Bar for lunch. These oysters are literally as fresh as it gets, with the shore and oyster sorting happening literally within feet from our table!
After another round of wine, we explored the rest of the farm. The oyster farm is pretty small with the restaurant, oyster cleaning station, and shop all within feet from each other. They have a pick-up window where you can bring bags of oysters home or buy shucking tools straight from the source. I wish we had signed up for a tour, I would have loved to know more about their farming practices and operations. Maybe next time!
Hog Island Oyster Co. in Marshall is the best little spot to get swept away for the afternoon. Bring good company, order everything, and stay awhile. You might also want to bring a hat and sunscreen, haha. When heading to Hog Island Oyster Co., the destination is worth the trek .. the juice is worth the squeeze.. or the oyster is worth the shuck.. you get the point. You have to try this place!
If you do end up going out to the Marshall Hog Island Oyster Co. location, know that there is no cell service (aka ride share apps will not work!), and you need a reservation. It’s a popular place and chances of a walk-in reservation opening are slim. But remember – the oyster is worth the shuck!