Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

I think I might have mentioned that my husband Casey started a wine tasting group. Did I mention that? I think I was supposed to show you pictures of our first tasting party but I never did that. Must remedy that soon. Please forgive. Anyways! A few weeks ago we went to Tomales Bay Oyster Company for a white wine-themed get together/lunch with oysters & the like. As a person who doesn’t care for white wine (I know! I KNOW. It doesn’t matter what white wine I try, I still don’t/won’t like it), I chose to focus on the food for our little get-together; it’s what I do best!  For those of you seeking fun/unique places to go in the Bay Area, I highly suggest checking out The Tomales Bay Oyster Company.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

So how does it work? The Tomales Bay Oyster Company is located in Tomales Bay (who would have thought?). It’s a section of land right along the coast where they rent out picnic tables (for up to 10 people) with BBQs attached. They sell oysters, clams & mussels (if they have them) and you make a day of it!

Here’s the info from their website:

  • Group rate is $75 per table and includes the oyster shucker’s starter package! Each Table is provided; one shucking knife, set of shucking gloves, fresh lemons or limes, Ice,Tabasco or Tapatio Hot Sauce and One Dozen Farm Fresh Oysters!

Here’s what our day looked like:

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

This is where you get your oysters/clams/mussels & check in for your reservation. You might not need a reservation if you come in the afternoon when people have left. I say that it’s better to be safe than sorry. You could always stop by and pick up some goodies and hit the road. Parking is kind of scarce so carpooling is advised!

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

Here was the lineup that day. I brought a pot to steam mussels in case they had them, but alas! Nope.

Oh well.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

We ended up getting the “Best Seller” Tomales Bay Oysters-Small, the Medium  & the Kumamoto.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

My favorite part of any endeavor?!  Setting up camp! I’ve been camping like three times in my life and this is always my favorite part.  Gee…I wonder why!  I love an excuse to gather supplies & pack things into the car..it’s just the unpacking that I dread. Tabasco sent me a caddy (filled with different Tabasco flavors!) and I brought that along with.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

If you plan on using the BBQ at your table, bring some charcoal. Say hello to my friend Matthew! He got the fire started.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

I brought ingredients to make a mignonette.  It was awesome on the raw oysters we ate.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

In addition to that, we have lemons, limes, Tabasco and Tabasco butters for the BBQ oysters. I’ll share that recipe soon. It was a real winner!

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

I also decided that garlic bread would be JUST the thing for our oysters. So, I brought a loaf of ciabatta and a tub of my garlic bread butter with us. I cut into the bread and smeared the butter on top. Off to the grill it went…

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

We also put together a cheese plate with fruits, crackers, nuts & sliced cured meats. I took apart a brown paper grocery bag and it turned into a makeshift cheeseboard.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

One of the best parts of Tomales Bay Oyster Company is that their staff is super friendly. They’ll teach you all about oysters & give you a demo on how to shuck them– if you ask. Once I got the hang of it, I became quite obsessed with opening them.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

As you can see, at each table you’ll find a cutting board. Perfect place to get to work on your oysters. I would suggest bring another cutting board if you want to cut food so you’re guaranteed it’s clean.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

Here are the gloves they supply with your reservation.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

One thing I wasn’t expecting? The awesome people watching. Some guys brought a bean bag toss setup. At one point it felt like we were watching that volleyball scene from Top Gun. You know what I’m talking about, don’t lie. It was pretty competitive!

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

Here’s a fancy group next to us. We gave them A LOT of charcoal.  They offered us beer. We traded paper plates for birthday cake at one point. People are friendly! And it’s also cool to walk around and see what other people brought as their oyster outing staples.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

Our table in action!

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

Here we are grilling oysters AND garlic bread.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

We found it helped to put the bigger oysters on the grill for a few minutes before trying to open them.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

Delicious Tabasco butter….

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

The whole area is charming. Here’s the office. Our table was right next to it (#14). It turned out to be the best table in the area. There was a perfect amount of shade & sun so that all of our friends had what they wanted. We also didn’t have any tables to the left of us so it felt like we were pretty secluded.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

Throughout the day, the tide slowly came in so there was a nice moment where we were able to venture out near the water.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

I think out of all of the oysters we tried that day, the Kumamotos were my favorite.

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean


Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

Here are the wines that were tasted!

Out & About: Tomales Bay Oyster Company // shutterbean

  • 2008 Williams Selyem Limestone Ridge Chenin Blanc
  • 2007 Domaine Thomas Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot
  • 2010 Château de Puligny-Montrachet Bourgogne Blanc Clos du Château
  • 2010 J.M. Boillot Rully La Chatalienne
  • 2010 Paul Pernot Bourgogne Blanc
  • 2002 Henri Boillot Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes
  • 2008 Domaine Vincent and Sophie Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Baudines
  • 2006 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre
  • 1983 Paul Anheuser Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Auslese.


  • plenty of ice & a cooler
  • water
  • drinks of choice & a designated driver (in this case, ME!)
  • charcoal for the grill
  • a salad– I brought my Farro Salad because it could easily withstand the heat
  • an extra oyster shucking knife (if you have one!)
  • mignonette & butter
  • garlic bread, crackers, cheese, fruits/snacks
  • sunblock & hat
  • wet wipes (they became essential when we wanted to easily wash our hands)
  • salt & pepper
  • a sharp knife
  • bottle opener
  • plates/napkins/cups/utensils for eating & serving
  • cutting board
  • dishtowels & beach towels


Tomales Bay Oyster Company

15479 Highway One

Marshall, CA 94940


  • Sarah

    I want to go to there.

    T. Shutts, you sure know how to throw a party.

  • Amy

    Do you know I’ve never eaten an oyster? I might be a little scared.

    I wanna get all up in that cheese plate. I’m sure you’re shocked.

    • Stacey

      I haven’t either! I don’t know how – well, yes I do. I love fish, crabs, shrimp, lobster, etc., and my dad was super into seafood and fishing. I’ve never had an oyster or a mussel because all my life I’ve thought they looked disgusting. But this post – THIS ONE RIGHT HERE! – made me want to remedy this situation. Now I feel desperate to try one. With Tabasco butter. Because YUM.

  • Violeta

    YOUR DRESS! I WANT YOUR DRESS! Ahem. Where did your dress, please?

  • Christina @ Scaredy Cat Kitchen

    Looks like such an amazing day and I’m loving the idea of tabasco butter…sounds like a winner 🙂

  • cindy

    I want to be invited to all the oyster/wine tasting parties in the universe. I love this! Also, Kumamotos are so good, I love the size and if I am recalling correctly their “deep cup”. Ps, I feel like a total weirdo for writing that just now.

  • Mrs. ManyHats

    Umm…yes! I’m messaging this post to Mr. Mister asap for when we make a trip to your area. A shucking we will go!

  • Kasey

    I love heading up to Tomales Bay! Such a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon. Love all your pics!

  • Denise

    Hey – this is a great thing to do. We took friends from Brussels yesterday. Grabbed a couple French whites and slurped back three dozen oysters while the kids played on the beach. Was the perfect day.

  • Nicole

    I have wanted to go there since Kimberley from The Year in Food talked about it! What a fantastic place! My idea of vacation is eating myself silly in oysters. Your shucking action shot is killer.

  • Jen

    This looks like so much fun, even though I’ve never had oysters. I get weirded out about the thought of eating raw oysters in Ohio – they’re not fr here at all! Next time I’m in Northern California I’ll keep Tomales Bay in mind.

    • Tracy

      Ah! I can imagine that they seem weird. I’ve had them since I was a kid so I’m pretty used to them. You should check them out!

  • Laura@ FoodSnobSTL

    I’m so jealous. The midwest has nothing like this. Looks like so much fun!

  • Kim

    Tracy, I’m not a fan of white wine either. Can’t stand it for the most part. I do love prosecco and a good vinho verde.

    Oysters look fantastic though!

  • Molly

    I’ve officially lived in the SF Bay for over a year now and haven’t made it out here (or to Hog Island) yet — time to remedy, STAT. also great call on the garlic bread!

  • Olivia

    This looks awesome!

  • Jillian

    I don’t eat meat or fish but this seriously seems like the most fun ever. I would love to eat here so much. I wish we had a spot like this in Philly!

  • Jayne

    I love fresh oysters! This would be a paradise for me. Over here, raw oysters cost a bomb. If I could find somewhere that serves up like this, so much fun!

  • Alexandra

    This is my favorite place in the whole entire world. This was my home away from home when I was at Cal. So jealous. SO JEALOUS!!! 🙂 🙁

  • Tara

    I was just there a month ago! It was probably our favorite spot on our tour of the San Francisco area. Unfortunately, we weren’t as prepared as you were with the cheese board, etc.

  • Chrystina

    A wine tasting group, this is brilliant. I feel like I want to start one of these. Maybe along with a raunchy book club…

  • Margaret

    This looks like a tons of fun. I don’t really like oysters (I know, I know), but I LOVE shucking them. Its so weirdly gratifying. We buy a couple dozen at farmer’s market and have friends over to hangout in the garden and to slurp oysters a lot during the summer. Its kind of perfect.

  • Caroline

    This sounds like such a cool experience! We got a crazy gigantic platter of oysters when we visited Seattle last week – Taylor Shellfish Farm I believe was the name of the place. I’ve never seen a restaurant/picnic set up like this – so neat.

  • Martin Seiler

    thanks for sharing your experience at TBOC! Next time you visit make sure you find me and say Hi, I love the pictures and the tips you gave.


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