Liv's Oyster Bar

4.7
1575 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Opening in 2006, Liv’s Oyster Bar quickly became a dining destination in Old Saybrook. Inspired by his daughter, Olivia, and years of experience in the restaurant industry, owner John Brescio set out with a desire to welcome the community to his family’s table. Dining at Liv’s, whether in the main room, at the bar, or on the patio, is an experience to be savored with friends and family long after summer on the shoreline has past.
John Brescio also serves as Liv’s Executive Chef, creating simple, focused dishes with an emphasis on local ingredients, and the stunning seafood that the area provides. The menu at Liv’s changes with the seasons, bringing guests a true taste of the pristine environment. John works closely with Liv’s partners to make sure only the best produce is used, as he would serve nothing less to his family.
Together with his exceptional staff, John welcomes you to the special experience he’s created at Liv’s Oyster Bar.
What 1575 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.4
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JM
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We keep coming back because we have never had a less than great meal at Liv’s, and this time was no different.

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MF
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

It’s usually the same at Liv’s...excellent food but often the service is spotty and uneven. On Saturday, waited a bit too long for wine to be served, had to ask the hostess who was passing by our table to clear our dinner plates after finishing our dinner 10 minutes earlier, and had to flag down our waitress to ask for a check. Have never figured out if there’s simply not enough staff, if the wait staff isn’t trained properly, or if it’s a combination of both.

All of the above call outs are not egregious but if Liv’s service qualify matched the quality of its food this would be a GREAT rather than good restaurant!

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DJ
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to this restaurant for my birthday. The food was fantastic! We had mussels and the sauce was excellent and we would definitely recommend this dish. In lieu of a main course we had the fried shrimp appetizer and the dumplings, both were delicious. For dessert we had the beignets which came with a birthday candle even though we didn’t tell the waitress. The restaurant read the Open Table information on the reservation and surprised us! I was also given a restaurant gift card as a birthday gift from the restaurant. An excellent restaurant and we look forward to returning there!!

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G
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed dinner recently at Liv’s. The dinner was exceptional. I had the halibut and my husband had the spcial branzino. They were both excellent. My husband also had the oyster sampler which he said was awesome. He also had creme brûlée for dessert and said it was terrific. The service was also excellent as was the overall ambiance. We would highly recommend Liv’s.

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OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Long time patron that loves this place!

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F
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed the meal. The room got a little noisy as the evening went on. Well worth coming back to.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s our favorite date night venue.

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EJ
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My sister and I had reservations for dinner before a show at The Kate (a five minute walk from Liv's). We both loved Liv's - from the start, our server was a wealth of information on the menu (the entire menu). No matter what our questions were, he had answers and checked in on us, throughout the meal, regularly to make sure our expectations were on point. The food, moreover, was exquisite - perfect! We did four courses and we were impressed with how consistently amazing every dish was. There is something for everyone on the menu - and even though it is a pricier restaurant, it is far from the most expensive - especially for fresh seafood (for the quality of each dish, I thought the prices were fair). Overall, I would DEFINITELY recommend Liv's Oyster Bar to anyone looking for a fabulous dining experience.

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OT
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Anniversary dinner. Excellent spot!

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JD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is prepared to perfection! If you are reluctant to order fish at restaurants for fear of it arriving over cooked, order away at Liv’s. The chef and crew know what they are doing. The raw oysters are incredibly fresh and clean. And the staff is attentive, professional, friendly. Enjoy!!!!

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P
Miami
96 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Liv's proves the adage that you get what you pay for. While somewhat higher in price than some other restaurants in the area, the quality of the food, beverages and service place it far ahead of any nearby eating establishment. The cocktails are crafted in a unique manner to each requested taste. For our tastes, the Liv's martini is one of the best there is. The octopus appetizer mixes tender grilled octopus with broccoli rabe and polenta - a great combination. Both the salmon (with spicy noodles) and the tuna (with mashed potatoes) were cooked to our requested temperature. Our server, Melanie, seemed not only to anticipate our needs, she also made us feel that we were more than patrons - we were guests at her table. An overall wonderful experience.

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AS
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Always enjoy our visits to Liv’s. The oyster variety is a good mix of local and “imported” and are always fresh. Both of our meals were very flavorful but could have been a little hotter. Service, as always, was attentive and not overbearing. If you’re in Old Saybrook.... go there.

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MP
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A delightful place for a meal, especially just before going to The Kate.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, drinks and dessert were all great. Wonderful flavor combinations. Would go back if in the area already.

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BR
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Continued excellence.... I so love this place. Thanks to GM Julie for always having a smile on her face. This is a must visit.

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3
Orlando
22 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Food was fresh and tasty. Prices a little high but enjoyed our meal. Started with raw bar. Both oysters and shrimp were delicious. Wedge salad huge and very good. Grilled asparagus was phenomenal. Lobster roll was delicious and fish tacos were tasty but not spectacular.
Very little atmosphere and good service until the end when we felt a little rushed

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JS
New England
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it. Will be back in August next time I go to a show at The Kate!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Was a great dinner - excellent dood

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P
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Always great, always a pleasure. Outstanding food and cocktails.

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m
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent, be sure to have dinner here but make a reservation. the food and service were outstanding.

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BC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely outstanding. From apps to dessert - could not have been better! We’ll be back for sure.

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JD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is first rate and the service attentive. Good value for money.

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SS
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first time there. The bar staff as well as wait staff were excellent! The food was over the top good! We definitely will be back!

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a
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and drinks are great! love this place! Staff is very attentive and friendly.

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C
New England
96 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is so nice to know when you go out to pay for a fabulous meal, that you are going to get a fabulous meal. We can always count on that at Liv's. This team is top notch, from the minute you enter the door and are greeted with warm welcomes until you are leaving....totally satisfied. It's always a wonderful experience. We decided to go a second time in a week when we heard our favorite....soft shell crabs, would be on the menu. We asked if we could each add an extra crab to our entrée....and the answer was "of course...we are always flexible". Love it! It was a delicious end to the work week or a delightful beginning to the weekend...either way, it was perfect. The professional servers here are always right on point, but Rachel was especially good...just the right amount of on top of things without hovering, friendly and timely. We started with an appetizer special of Key West shrimp that was buttery and luscious and then moved on to perfectly prepared soft shell crabs....coming from mid-atlantic people who can't wait for that season every year. Thanks Liv's! The answer is yes....what is the question?

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G
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Never disappoints. Best restaurant in Old Saybrook

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IM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good food and very fresh seafood! The restaurant was busy and fairly loud, but we could definitely converse with our table. Everyone who helped us was very nice.

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MB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

I felt like the atmosphere was very nice and clean but the food was not anything that shocked me or would make me want to come there again, which was disappointing because the food was expensive. I also got a feeling that the waitress was a bit pushy and wanted us to order quick when we weren’t ready. Overall not the best restaurant experience.

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded on May 13, 2019

Hi ManB, I'm sorry that you did not have the best experience on Saturday. We take great pride in our food and our courteous service. Please email me for more details so I can understand where we went wrong and how we can fix it.

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MG
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Once again excellent meal a and service. Highly recommended

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B
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always , excellent service fresh varied oysters, a varied menus and excellent wine choices.

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HD
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We were there on $1 clam and oyster night, and we had some, and they were delicious! Beautifully prepared and presented. My wife had the oyster stew, which she said was delicious, though not abundant. My fried fish dinner was OK, I think a bit overcooked. We enjoyed ourselves, but I have had better fish at Liv's.

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Y
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We love Livs, almostbperfect but it’s so crowded and the noise level does dampen the whole experience. Maybe we’ll try an earlier dining time.
But the food was fabulous, the gals that waited on us were wonderful and thank you for the special requests for our food allergy grandson, well done!

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R
New England
41 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We really love Liv’s: service, food and the layout. Unfortunately the acoustics are awful and the noise level very annoying.

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g
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

Been to Liv's many times. Really like the restaurant. DO NOT like sitting in the area as you come into the restaurant. It's small, tables are to close, and cold in cold weather. I ask in the reservation to be seated in the dinning room. Didn't happen. Will we come back? Yes. BUT not happy with this visit!!

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded on May 12, 2019

Hi George, thank you for taking the time to write a review. We do try to accommodate all requests but we unfortunately we do have a small dining room that fills up fast on most nights. We reiterate that it is difficult to assign specific tables or waitstaff requests this when we confirm reservations. We hope to see you again soon!

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JL
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great experience. We’ve had Brian as a server before and he is always on top of things.

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EL
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are never disappointed, and I cannot recommend this place enough.

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S
New York Area
165 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had not been there for a while but found it as good as ever.
Our waitress (Zeida?) was excellent, attentive and on top pf things.
Our cocktails were very good.
Oysters were awesome as were the warm mushroom and grilled asparagus salads.
Our entrees were also great, the halibut as well as the fried fish w/arugula.
The beignets were a great ending to our meal.
I was disappointed bin 206 Pinot Noir was not in stick but the Jadot (205) was a good wine as well.
The one drawback was that the tap water had an off taste (maybe iodine or alike from the ice cubes?).
If you don't already have one it might be good to add a filter to the water tap that is used for service to the tables, be it at the bar and/or service area. Next time I would order still bottled water instead but prefer tap water when possible.
Thanks and i look forward to our next visit.

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C
New England
97 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed a lovely dinner on a fabulous spring night. The menu was perfect with spring veggies to accent the fresh seafood. Christin usually mixes wonderful drinks behind the bar and tonight she was part of the professional wait staff. It was fun! Loved the oysters, spring pea soup with maitake mushrooms, halibut with asparagus, beets, farro and smoked tomato vinaigrette and thighs with fresh peas, carrots and spring onions.

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c
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Dinner was delicious...Amazing Oyster selection & Mussels that will make you swoon. Service was friendly & attentive. It was, as always, a wonderful treat to enjoy a special meal with family or friends at Liv's!

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HF
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious raw bar. Incredible cocktails and fresh seafood prepared with inventive twists. You won't be disappointed.

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