Our Oysters

Ever wonder where our oysters come from? How many oysters are consumed in a season?
Let’s take a look at the Wellfleet Oysters featured at Pearl!

Why are Wellfleet Oysters so famously delicious?
A number of factors play into the exclusively delicious taste Wellfleet oysters have. Water salinity, strong tides, and cold clean water play a major role. Our local waters supply nutrients and phytoplankton the oysters feed on making their taste genuinely unique.

Wellfleet SPAT

Wellfleet SPAT, Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc., is a non-profit organization chartered in 2002 – the year after Wellfleet’s first OysterFest. SPAT is devoted to sustaining Wellfleet’s shellfishing and aquaculture industries. Even the name honors the oyster. The acronym SPAT is also the name for a newly attached baby oyster.
To learn more about Wellfleet Oysters visit S.P.A.T Shellfish Promoting and Tasting at wellfleetspat.org.

Billingsgate Farm

Pearl’s number one, primary supplier is Billingsgate Shellfish. Started in 1982 by Bob Wallace, Billingsgate is located on two different sites and covers 7.5 acres on the intertidal flats in Wellfleet.

For over 40 years Billingsgate Shellfish has been selling its exceptional product to distributors all along the East coast. A family-owned and operated farm, you can see Bob, his son John, and his crew delivering oysters to the Pearl every day.

Billingsgate Shellfish grows a natural, “free range” oyster. The abundance of diatoms in the water makes the oysters and clams exceptionally sweet. Billingsgate collects its seed oysters from natural growing spat. These oysters are 100% born and raised in Wellfleet waters.

You can see one of Billingsgate’s shellfish grants from the top deck of the Pearl.
Check out billingsgateshellfish.com.

In 2022 Pearl’s guests enjoyed over 94K Billingsgate Wellfleet Oysters! Wow, that’s a lot of oysters!

Pearl sells Billingsgate oysters and clams every day. We offer a discount on oysters and clams daily, from 3-5 pm during our “Fresh Seafood, Live Music” Happy Hour. Don’t forget we also have some of the best live entertainment around! https://wellfleetpearl.com/live-music/

So, what do you do with all those oyster shells??
We don’t chuck your shuck! The Pearl has partnered up with The Massachusetts Oyster Project’s (Mass Oyster) Shell Recycling Program to get the shells back in the water. massoyster.org

In 2022 the Shell Recycling Program was a huge success. Mass Oyster Shell Squad collected 2147 buckets of shells from 17 local restaurants – imagine a pile of oyster shells 12’ x 12’ x 12’. The Pearl recycled 3,000 pounds of those oyster shells- a bit more than what a great white shark weighs! That’s a lot of recycled shells.

The shell collected on Cape Cod will be utilized by the Town of Wellfleet as cultch, or natural
bed, for oysters to spawn and grow and become natural oyster habitat. Oyster shell from
restaurants ordinarily ends up in landfills. Mass Oyster program returns them to MA waters where they create a foundation for growing new oysters.

Why should I recycle my shells?

  • Shells are a natural product; recycling them keeps them out of landfills!
  • Baby oysters like to grow on other oyster shells. Similar to coral reefs, oysters grow on
    top of each other to form large structures called reefs, beds, or bars.
  • Oysters are important for our environment. They filter the water, protect the shoreline
    from wave action, and their beds are home to many different kinds of creatures,
    fostering biodiversity.
  • Wellfleet has a significant wild oyster harvest. It will help bring in valuable revenue each

We hope to see you (eating oysters) at the Pearl soon!