The Original Oyster House | November 2021

Ask any Pittsburgher which foods their hometown is known for and you might get answers like: pierogies, chip-chopped ham, or French fries on everything. What you probably won’t hear is oysters. And yet, since 1870 the Original Oyster House has been serving up golden-fried oysters and other sea-faring delicacies from their Market Square location.

The tavern is now a historic landmark as designated by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and officially the oldest bar and restaurant in the city. Over 150 years ago when the Oyster House first opened, oysters sold for a penny and beers were 10 cents a glass. Beside the oysters, patrons flock to the bar for the colossal fish sandwiches introduced by Louis “Silver Dollar Louie” Americus, proprietor from 1916 until 1970. The fried batter on the fish and oysters was created by Mrs. Americus, and the recipe is still used today.

Beside the must-have food, the Oyster House is known for its interior décor sporting memorabilia of past Miss America pageants and has become a popular shooting location for Hollywood movies like “Innocent Blood,” “Three Rivers,” starring Bruce Willis, and “Night of the Living Dead,” the George Romero classic.

Between the famous fish sandwiches & fried oysters, iconic décor, and 150-year history, the Oyster House is a classic Pittsburgh landmark we hope will be around for another century and a half.

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