3601 Chestnut Ave., (443) 853-1952, dylansoyster.com
We first wandered into Dylan’s Oyster Cellar when it was actually in a cellar, kinda: the small basement space now occupied by Sugarvale. Now located in a highly visible corner spot in Hampden, Dylan’s oysters are still a treat. Sit at the bar and be inquisitive about what you’re slurping and you might be lucky enough to have the ear of owner/shucker Dylan Salmon who’ll tell you what he knows about certain regions’ oysters’ brine or meatiness or shape (noting our eagerness he once recommended that we read up on the subject, starting with Rowan Jacobsen’s “The Essential Oyster” and Mark Kurlansky’s “The Big Oyster”). Also, don't let anyone tell you otherwise: It’s totally fine to chew them.