Lee & Rick’s Oyster Bar - Gastro Obscura

Lee & Rick’s Oyster Bar

One of the oldest restaurants in Orlando is a no-frills seafood shack still shucking fresh oysters by the bucket. 

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In a suburban pocket of West Orlando, there’s a restaurant with a façade resembling a red-and-white ship, named the “USS Lee & Ricks.” Inside, wooden walls are lined with historic photos and the jukebox plays nothing but classic rock. If it seems like a vestige of another time, that’s because it is—with a loyal following after 75 years in business, Lee and Rick’s Oyster Bar is the oldest original family-run restaurant in Orlando.

When Lee and Rick’s Oyster Bar opened in 1950, it was a nine-stool eatery shucking fresh oysters for locals over a small concrete bar. Husband-and-wife team Lee and Rick Richter ran the restaurant up front while raising their family in the back (including today’s owner, Gene), with Rick making weekly drives to Apalachicola for fresh oysters and Lee keeping BYO beers cold in the ice box. The restaurant has today expanded to house an 80-foot concrete bar, air conditioning, and table service, but the spirit of a no-frills, family-owned seafood shack remains.

The menu includes steamed seafood like mussels served with corn and butter as well as fried options like crab cakes and gator bites. The star of Lee and Rick’s is, of course, its oysters. They’re harvested wild from around the Gulf (primarily Louisiana and Texas) and shucked to order over the concrete bar. Rather than order by the dozen or half-dozen, customers at the counter can choose to order by the bucket (and at wildly affordable prices, to boot). For those sitting at the bar, they’re served on the half-shell straight on the counter—no plate needed—before customers slurp them down and toss the shells into a trough. Oysters are served with a sleeve of crackers and can be ordered “ice cold raw” or “piping hot steamed.”

Of course, you can’t go wrong with any of Lee and Rick’s seafood dinners to round out the meal, with options like fried fantail shrimp, clam strips, catfish fillets, and more. And it wouldn’t be old-school Florida without a key lime pie on the dessert menu. 

Know Before You Go

If the front lot is full, there is parking along the side and rear of the restaurant as well.

This post is sponsored by Visit Orlando. Learn more and plan your getaway here.

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