Liv's Oyster Bar

4.7
1557 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 1557 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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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Was a great dinner - excellent dood

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P
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

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

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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
40 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
164 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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LD
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another great meal and dining experience at Liv's. The fish tacos were perfection, outstanding service, overall great evening!

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PM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Other than the noise, it was a lovely evening. We have been before but sat in the front area. much quieter

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LB
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. A place to dine as you are not rushed. Definitely a place to meet with friends.

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DG
Naples
50 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappointed. They get it ALL right!

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OS
New England
58 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another great meal, Asian short ribs and broccoli w noodles, and the salmon which they covered w sesame seeds, as a special request. Best of all Brian was our server and as always, was perfect. The whole place has been redone w new tables and seating, fresh paint and new fixtures, all beautifully done. The owner actually made all the tables himself and they are nice. I don’t eat seafood, my wife does, but I can always find great apps and entrees to enjoy.

You just have to go, they will always make you happy.

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R
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Love that we get the table for two next to the wall in the back. It was busier than usual because of a large crowd at one table. Food was great as always. Everything is always fresh. LOVE the raw oysters. Noiser than normal because of that large party. Waite staff is always friendly and accommodating.

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C
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

I don’t know what has happened but the food has gone downhill! This is our 3rd time back since we noticed the poor quality food. We only went back because they sent a $20 coupon to come back. We USED TO LOVE Liv’s but no more. I will be going to Aspen around the corner. Not only was the food just ok, but it took forever to get our main course. Others had come in well after us and were on dessert and we still hadn’t received our meals. The server kept apologizing but we knew it was not her fault. The menu has not changed much in the past few years either. They used to have amazing desserts like sweet potato donuts served warm - not any longer. It is run of the mill creme brulee and brownie sundae to name a few. We definitely will not be going back.

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded on April 8, 2019

Connie, Thank you for visiting us on Friday we havent seen you since 2017. We do change our menu with each season as well as our desserts and cocktails. Of course we do have some favorite items that stay on. I will email you regarding timing but every table can be very differnt accoring to what they order.

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C
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this restaurant - always consistency in the meals - worth the price.

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R
New England
40 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very popular spot! We only need a table for two, which there aren’t many of however this is our second visit and got the same table again. It’s Table Ni e, in the back left side of the dining room. Kind of cramped and only one of us could see anything. Service was good! Maybe when we return, we will ask to NOT sit at Table Nine, maybe.

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded on April 8, 2019

Thank you for Choosing Liv's!

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JM
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came here for the first time we met relatives from Rhode Island halfway as I am from Southbury Connecticut about an hour away. Have been there three more times since then and the service and food is unbelievable we don't mind driving me our. We have taken several couples there to experience it as well. Can't wait to come again

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded on April 8, 2019

Thank you for Choosing Liv's!

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DD
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an excellent dinner tonight celebrating my husbands birthday. The food was delicious and our server Kristin was attentive and lovely. Liv’s is one of our favorite restaurants on the Shore Lune.

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded on April 8, 2019

Thank you for Choosing Liv's!

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CC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant by far. Birthdays, anniversary’s, we always end up at Liv’s

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded on April 8, 2019

Thank you for Choosing Liv's!

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

Always great service. Warm mushroom salad was great. Seared tuna was good but could have been a little hotter (on outside...I get that rare is way to serve it).

Liv's Oyster Bar
Responded on April 8, 2019

Thank you for Choosing Liv's!

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great atmosphere!!

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JC
France
9 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant for oysters. Went with family to celebrate a birthday. The food is always exceptional. We had the grill octopus, seasoned french fries, fresh pasta with clams and a few other dishes. All were delicious. Our waitress was wonderful. Julie came out to greet us. Thanks Julie for the wonderful experience. We'll be back soon. Come see us at French Press:)

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A
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The Oysters, Broiled Oysters and Risotto were very good and the Fish Tacos were okay. My burger was overdone and was on a stale bun. Dessert portions were very small. My wife was served a glass of Pinot Noir which was undrinkable while my Alberino was quite good. Ne w decor is nice but still very noisy.

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JJ
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The service and food were outstanding. The price is on the upper scale. The raw bar is great and come early to get a seat. The only downside to Liv's, noise level is high and tables are very close to each other.

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TF
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food and the service was very good,

will definitely be back

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