Public Fish & Oyster

4.7
1607 Reviews
$31 to $50
Seafood
Public Fish and Oyster serves only the freshest and responsible sourced seafood. We believe in the complete dining experience and our knowledgeable staff is eager to provide you with the best dining experience Charlottesville has to offer.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1607 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
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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RD
RickD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful selection of oysters, fresh fish, well prepared, and an excellent wine list. A gem in Charlottesville!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best oysters that I have ever tried. Very tasty appetizers. We had 10 years wedding anniversary and everything was splendid! We even received a complimentary drink, which was very sweet. This place worth ordering a table in advance

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was outstanding food outstanding

w
wenb
Miami
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Small place, so make a reservation. Food is fantastic, and service was too. Small menu, so check website to make sure they have what you like. The vibe here is a neighborhood vibe, which I find very appealing.

G
Greatfood
Austin
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good was awesome and staff was great!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love Public! Food is always amazing and service is excellent!

NC
NoCoBoy1941
Richmond
13 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Menu is heavy on oysters.

Would be nice to have more sea food options.

Food is delicious!

Service wonderful!

BR
vipBrendanR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Public Oyster always has great food and attentive, thoughtful service. have not been disappointed here once!

BS
BruceS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience2

The food and service were very good but the inside dining area is too noisy.

PM
PrepMom17
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience5

I decided to try Public Fish after seeing good reviews. Did I just happen to visit on an off night? New chef?

I’ve had many lobster rolls, and this one was meh. Lobster a tad rubbery, no flavor added by seasoning (I got the Maine style) and the bun was toasted too hard. I’ve actually never had a Maine style toasted. Maybe he confused the bun with their warm selection? Left it broiling too long? Then I had to send back the lobster bisque, and I overheard another gentleman do the same. It tasted like milky water. The waitress said the staff tasted it due to having two returns and all agreed it was bad. Hadn’t the cook tasted it before sending out? Is he a lost-taste-from-Covid victim?

My waitress was good, the hostess was sweet, and they had a nice outside area. However, I can’t recommend this place based on my visit.

JR
JoelR
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was wonderful and our server was extraordinary.

WO
WoodyO
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

This is our go to place for seafood, especially their selection of raw oysters! Indoor seating is intimate; outdoors is street side and can get a bit noisy with traffic. Service is always impeccable!

PN
vipPaulN
Naples
3 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The oysters were fresh, the service was great(Thanks John) and the entrees were delicious. Can't wait to go again and try the Lobster Rolls.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Don't go to this place bc you will take a table that I will want that evening... PF & A is a consistent high performer... Great fresh ingredients, a short well manage menu of excellence that begins with beauty on the half shell... It doesn't end there however... The bar has knowledge and uses it and I have never had less than stellar service.

NV
NashVegasNative
Nashville
4 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great restaurant. Oysters were excellent as were the main fish courses. Server was very knowledgeable and friendly. Definitely recommend it.

TS
TamaraS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing dinner. Had the oyster. Every single one was perfect. Then lobster rolls. I will be back over and over again

TH
THEBESTFORGF
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is the BEST in Charlottesville in every way. I have been coming for years and the quality has never diminished. The hosts and the servers are knowledgable, kind and caring. The bartenders John and Danny remember what you drink and have it to you before you can order! The wine selection is exquisite and diverse. The kitchen with head chef Lee is just amazing. Never had fresher fish made with such delicious sauces and flavors. He puts his unique creative spin on all the food! And the oysters are as fresh as if they just came out of the water. My hat is off to the shuckers too! Thank you to all of you for all you do for our community and travelers visiting from out of town. Thank you Daniel, for this wonderful restaurant.

MS
MelS
Orlando
10 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience5

We LOVED the ambiance and the service was some of the best we have seen. The food, however, was a disappointment. The salt content hid the natural flavors of the food being served.

SW
SallyW
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Our waitress Ross was excellent! We were celebrating my mother’s 85th birthday and she made it very special.

T
Tach
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food is great. Service was fine, they're under staffed, so the servers are working hard, but still doing a good job. Only down side was the noise level. Been there before and will go again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our servers were amazing as well as the food!

BG
BrendaG
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience5

Typically this is my favorite place to dine in Charlottesville. The staff on this night were inexperienced. It took an extremely long time to receive our drinks. Food was delivered before drinks. The waiter did not check back in a timely manner. The other nights I have gone have been awesome and I am sure they will get the staff up to par in no time.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had the rainbow carrots, followed by the moules and frites. Yummy!!!

AT
ArubaTuesday
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Didn't try oysters which is there primary offering. Other main course offerings were nicely prepared but with one major shortcoming; way, way, way too much salt in everything from their bisque to the main entre. If you don't mind a ton of salt then, you'll probably love it.

RC
vipRichardC
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

very good food and amazing service at his restaurant

ES
ElaineS
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The bartender John waited on us. He was great, very personable. He made us some great drinks. Yucatán mussels, calamari, and the flounder special were fantastic. Will definitely be back.

BJ
BillJ
Kansas City
30 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Lobster Roll overpriced at $28 and was chewy.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding. Food, service, ambiance.

d
vipdkreview
London
45 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience3

We ordered the crab cakes. They arrived burnt. The manager let us order something else, but contended that they were supposed to be crusted black on the outside. Our waiter was very nice. The fried oysters were excellent. The key lime pie was delicious.

KF
KathyF
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We had the lobster roll with butter, 1/2 # shrimp and the fried Brussel sprouts. I would have given the food 5 stars except the fries were a little too crispy and my friend was not fond of her vodka and tonic. The bartender was our waiter and we had excellent service. I would definitely go here again.

L
Loulou
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Oyster selection was great and the ones I chose were delicious! Shrimp po-boy was really tasty. Tables are close to each other though. Next time I make reservations I’m going to request a table with the window views of W. Main Street. Lots of foot traffic!
Looking forward to going back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

absolutely impeccable experience. live in new orleans so we always have access to decent oysters but love to sample others on our driving trips. very tasty as were the moules in the yucatan sauce which is rather spicy. had great conversation with our server who was from florida. looking forward to returning, f’sure.

R
Rva13
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food as always, great drinks and solid service. A little loud for a date, but still wonderful!

KH
KenH
Philadelphia
34 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

John, our waiter, anticipated our interests and was superb.

BC
BethC
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonderful find. The raw oysters were so fresh and plump we had to order more. And the lobster bisque was heavenly. We went there for their crab cakes and loved those too.

LF
LFJewel
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fabulous food cooked to perfection! Our waitperson was attentive and informative. The selection was excellent. The oysters were superb . the beet and pear salad was memorable. Worth every penny. Can't wait to return .

VJ
vipVirtualJSK
New England
7 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it. The oysters were absolutely fresh, cleanly shucked and presented on ice with plenty of brine left. And our waiter was awesome. We went next door to Oakheart Social for dessert, which I also recommend wholeheartedly. Great spot!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Great atmosphere. Food took too long to bring out. Fries were burnt abd vet greasy and mouses sauce was salty. Calamari was chewy. A bit disappointed with the meal considering it was a special occasion, husband’s birthday.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Louisville
6 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always have a great time at public fish!

FAQs

Public Fish & Oyster offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (434) 995-5542.

Public Fish & Oyster is rated 4.7 stars by 1607 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.