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Free oysters and other ways to eat for cheap or free this week

What's better than free oysters?

What's better than free oysters? Oceanaire Seafood Room

Because back-to-school is almost upon us and because we need a beer and because we're always in the mood for free oysters, here are a handful of great drinking and dining deals (and some other free stuff, too!) 

Buy a lunch or dinner entree at Oceanaire on August 5, National Oyster Day, and they'll give you a gratis half dozen oysters. Can't make it? Dine at Oceanaire any given Sunday and get oysters for a buck apiece. 

50 S. 6th St., Minneapolis 
612-333-2277
theoceanaire.com

From August 1 to September 25 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, kids eat free at IHOP (kid's menu only). It's their way of saying "Back to school is a bummer." (Well, that's what we say, but IHOP is trying to make the transition a little easier.)

Multiple locations
ihop.com

All you can eat crawfish and all you can drink Hurricanes and beer? This is the closest you'll get to Louisiana-style les bons temps.

On Saturday, August 20 from noon to 8 p.m., Smack Shack presents Crayfest 2016 where $50 gets you all you can consume of the above, plus live music by a half dozen bands including the Suburbs. 

603 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis
smack-shack.com

Every third Tuesday of the month, Grand Cafe presents a four-course family-style meal for $38 per person. Sample menus could include wild salmon, the first Heirloom tomatoes of the season and lots more. Reservations are recommended. 

3804 Grand Ave., Minneapolis
612-822-8260
grandcafempls.com

Breaking Bread Cafe has some of the best dining deals in either city. A towering grilled cheese on Texas toast is $3, a tuna melt is 50 cents more. Scratch-made cookies are a buck. Now they've got brand new weekend hours, so there's yet more time in the week to get over there and take advantage of all of it. 

Weekend hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. 

1210 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis
612-529-9346
breakingbreadfoods.com