How to Have a Fantastic Day at Tomales Bay

This past Saturday was a very good Saturday because it consisted of some of my most favorite things.

Friends. Sun. Wine.


My love of oysters began a mere four years ago. Prior to that point, the boogery slimy things were not something I was interested in trying. No desire whatsoever. I’ll pass, thank you very much.

Then one lovely afternoon everything changed. Kevin was shocked to learn that someone that loves food as much as I do could possibly be an oyster virgin. He doused one up with some delicious mignonette and despite my protests and gagging faces, forced me to eat it.

Lo and behold, the oyster was like a party in my mouth and a new obsession was brought forth. My oyster fanaticism was born.

I was thrilled to spend this past Saturday celebrating my friend Andrea‘s birthday at Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay is an oyster heaven. They have multiple kinds of oysters and everything you could possibly need to have an oyster feast. For oyster lovers such as myself, it is like going to Oyster Disneyland.

When the weather is nice (and oh, the weather was glorious), it is truly one of the best ways to spend a day. You sit in the sun and eat the most mouthwatering fresh oysters you could possibly imagine and you drink crisp white wine and you eat all day long.

Going to Tomales Bay is one of my favorite ways to spend a nice day, so to ensure that you have nothing less than a stellar oyster experience, here are some tips:

How to Have a Fantastic Day at Tomales Bay

Go to Tomales Bay Oyster Company instead of Hog Island. It’s more fun and the people are cooler.

Arrive no later than 10:30 am to make sure you get a table and grill.

If you arrive later than noon, this is what you will be left with.

Plan to go with friends that are good at this kind of stuff so you don’t have to do much. Our friends Tim and Mimi had everything you could possibly need (and by everything, I really mean everything…mignonette, pots, pans, butter, shucking knives, gloves, coolers, tablecloths, horseradish, cocktail sauce, garlic, wine, beer… they even brought a canopy in case it got too hot!).

Purchase your oysters and wait for someone to shuck them for you.

Once you realize that no one is going to do this for you, find a master shucker and ask them to teach you how to shuck. In my case, this master was Mimi.

After mastering the shucking craft, proceed to brag to everyone within earshot about how good you are at shucking. Proudly display your instruments (shucking knives) and declare that you are oyster shucking queens!

Make sure to bring a lot of delicious white wine to enjoy with the oysters.  My favorite was the St. Francis Sauvignon Blanc. It was spectacular, and is my new go-to wine for oyster eating.

Shuck, eat, drink. Repeat all day long.

Find an oyster that looks like a part of of the female anatomy and act like an immature 12 year old, giggling hysterically and showing it off to everyone.


Convince adorable five year old twins to try the oysters. Try not to laugh at their cute faces.

Have a friend that makes linguini the night before, so that you can purchase some super fresh mussels and enjoy some of the best linguini of your life.

Once officially sauced up, be weird and laugh with friends.

Walk to the bay and attempt to get some good frame worthy photos.

Make sure to get at least one group shot before calling it a day.

On your way out, see a tree and decide to climb up it, just because.

Pass out in car ride home. Arrive like magic back in SF one hour later. Thank your friends for being so awesome and apologize for passing out. Give extra thanks to the designated driver (Tim) and promise that next time is on you.

And there you have my guide to a fantastic day in Tomales Bay.

It’s fool proof, I tell you. Fool proof.

P.S. Thanks to Tim and Mimi for taking care of everything, and thanks to Andrea for being born and for giving us a reason to celebrate! Happy Birthday, friend!

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Happy Friday! » SpillerenaNovember 9, 2012 - 6:10 am

[…] down anytime soon. My weekend is already packed with birthdays and concerts and trips and friends (Tomales Bay, I’m coming for you!), on Monday morning I go to LA for work, and then on Friday night I go […]

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