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Baltimore Dining

Best Raw Bar

Nick’s Oyster Bar at Cross Street Market

1065 S. Charles St., (410) 685-2020,

On a rainy, hurricane-filled Saturday in late August, a group of friends weren’t the only ones drifting through a long afternoon at the Cross Street Market eating oysters and drinking $6 32-ounce plastic cups of beer. Two barrels pushed together were covered with plates of Chincoteagues covered with horseradish, hot sauce, and lemon and Blue Points so salty they needed just a hit of hot sauce to ride a wave of pure sea flavor down the hatch. The joint was humid and lively, televisions trained on hurricane news instead of sports, and folks staying put for a while as the rain poured down. But you don’t need a weather emergency to anoint Nick’s the best; the shuckers have mad skills and work quickly on the freshest oysters, and that’s the reason there’s always a hum at the west end of the market.

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