This restaurant added safety precaution details

This includes info about cleaning, sanitizing, social distancing, and usage of personal protective equipment. Learn more.

Public Fish & Oyster

4.8
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1166 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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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
Social Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
What 1166 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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monicap
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Nice ambiance but service was a bit slow and the server made us put our masks on every time she came to table so it was overly annoying (and I'm a masker!). Service was also slow - first round of drinks took 10+ minutes. Raw oysters were off the charts good, but pass on the oyster rock...very mediocre for the state of VA. Can't remember which mussels dish we ordered but they were insanely good. Desserts were 5 star with the chocolate mousse my personal favorite.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food! Great service!

CW
vipChrisW
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dinner, get the carrots and the calamari! Would definitely go back.

BT
vipBigTasty
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service and food were great

s
samanthaw
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Only issue was "outside" seating requested - and thats where we sat - but it was enclosed in plastic tenting material - enclosed to prevent all breeze/ air circulation) ( except in front of the brick walls) - so not really the covid save environment i was thinking about - wont go again - unless some air flow is present -

CV
CarolV
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The key lime pie is a revelation. The mixed drinks are sooo solid. The oysters were delicious and the variety wide.

The service was kind and informative. I appreciated the strict adherence to mask wearing.

WC
WhitneyC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We had a lovely dinner of raw oysters, shrimp cocktail, fried oysters, hash, and calamari. The food was fresh and delish. We didn't want a heavy traditional meal so this was perfect. The waitstaff was very friendly, pleasant, and attentive.

F
vipFoodie1092
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect as expected.

LL
LLBW16
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. Felt very safe , all waiters wearing masks and everything was very clean.

JM
JuliaM
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Public is our new favorite restaurant in all of Charlottesville! The service is excellent, even during the pandemic, the drinks are incredible, and the food is awesome! Such fresh, delicious seafood!

SB
SamB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful place to spend our 10th anniversary. We were greeted with champagne and finished off a yummy meal with delicious key lime pie.

MF
MarkF
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The food was terrific, it was a shot in the dark as we were having a quick trip to the area. All Covid 19 recommendations were followed. They are trying to turn the tables and I understand . Did put on reservation it was our anniversary and that was missed.

Q
Quinn
Baltimore
12 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food was very good, we ended up sitting outside under umbrella while it was raining. Was actually very comfortable despite the weather. Will go again when in Charlottesville.

DH
vipDaveH
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always fabulous, our go-to place in Charlottesville. Fantastic cocktails courtesy of John the bartender, food is always scrumptious and the service by Ros was great. Great wine selections too. See you soon PFO!

TA
TomA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our go to in Charlottesville. Love it. Looking forward to next time!

L
vipLincoln7
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Public Fish and Oyster is my go to place for oysters and fresh fish in a casual, every day setting. The oysters are wonderfully fresh and the other seafood is very well prepared. This time, in addition to oysters, a wonderful oyster po-boy. The lobster rolls are wonderful and the mussels make one remember Brussels. The restaurant is also handling the pandemic as well as can be. They are very careful both to protect the public and their own staff. The outside seating, under a tent, is socially distanced. They even ask that you put on a mask when the server comes over to deliver food or drinks or take you order. This place is a real joy. It is not fancy in the Inn at Little Washington sense, but it is among the best of every day/any occasion places to eat at. We drive a bit over an hour to get there and are glad we did,

TA
TonyAndKate
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very fresh shellfish and other seafood, all well prepared and presented. Good service; attentive and not rushed.

MH
MargaretH
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2020
Overall5food4service3ambience3

Happy hour is my favorite time to go to Public. Wonderful drinks, delicious ($1 off) oysters, and the lobster roll is not to be missed!

a
annar
Pittsburgh
15 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We planned ahead and made dinner reservations before leaving home. With Public Fish & Oyster, we hit a home run. We had a table in one of the front window alcoves which was perfect in this COVID 19 era. We enjoyed mussels, oysters Rockefeller, and sea bass. All were outstanding. Our friend who visits the area more frequently has added this gem to her “must return” list.

C
vipColumbus4547
Cleveland
59 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

There was a mix up by a server. He brought me someone else’s meal. Then we had to wait about 20 minutes for my husbands meal to arrive. By that time my lobster roll was room temperature at best. My husbands appetizer arrived with his entree.

SJ
SusanJ
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and food were outstanding. They were also very strict with COVID regulations which was fantastic. Highly recommend the lobster rolls and oysters.

SB
SusanB
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Service was great. The food was over seasoned with salt.

UV
vipUVAParents
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The oysters Never disapoint. Just get one of each!

TG
TedG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, great food, parking can be a challenge for those who don't utilize Star Hill Park just behind Shenanigans toy shop.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

2nd time there visiting Charlottesville. Both times have been excellent. Sat outside both times however this time was raining but acceptable. Food and service excellent. Will return next time for sure.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was great and accommodating!
Food was spectacular. I think we tried almost everything on the menu. Staff gave great recommendations. Oyster selection was huge and did not disappoint.

DM
DougM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

YOU ARE NEVER DISAPPOINTED WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE FRESH OYSTERS, SHRIMP /& ANY SEAFOOD. THE BEST AROUND THE CHARLOTTESVILLE AREA.

CM
CharlesM
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

You must get the crispy fried oysters. Outstanding,
The selection of raw oysters was good and our waiter John suggested some great ones. Would definitely return.

DP
DonP
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Excellent food and friendly service. They are doing their best under the covis restrictions to make everyone comfortable.

CA
CAnne
Charleston
10 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Excellent seafood dinner for four. Tables distanced, everyone wore face masks & the area was very clean. Our bartender/waiter was so great. Helpful with out questions & makes some wonderful cocktails. We were all apprehensive eating out but had a wonderful meal. Absolutely recommend it and would go back!!

R
Rachel
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and food with killer happy hour deals; continue to provide excellent attention while maintaining a comfortable social distance.

JH
JessicaH
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We visited from out of town, out table was ready on time and the food was amazing. My boyfriend got the steam pot and was very satisfied - the crab legs were awesome! I got the crab cake sandwich and it was very delicious and pretty large.

C
Charlottesville
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience3

This is the place to go for oysters: raw, baked, pickled or fried, all are fresh and fantastic. Shrimp are also an excellent choice. There is a changing menu, seafood entrees, salads and sandwiches, including po' boys and a burger, and the french fries are consistently crisp, hot and not greasy at all. They sometimes have a hanger steak frites, cooked sous vide, and finished on the grill, that is superb, but it is only available occasionally so check the menu online daily. I hope that the new chef will continue to offer this meat option. Cocktails and beer selection are also top notch, and the wine list is surprisingly deep.

EV
EmilyV
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a wonderful experience!! Great food, excellent cocktails, and Daniel was a great server! We highly reccomend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was delicious, we got sat right away and the service was quick, the waitress knew a lot about the menu items and recommended some amazing stuff. We got the brussel sprouts, the mussels and fries, an assortment of oysters and finished with some key lime pie. We will definitely be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Manager was great with perfect recommendations for entire family.

LM
LilMissSunshine
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server, Roz, was an absolute delight. She was very attentive and made us feel safe and cared for. In these uncertain times, that was very appreciated. The lobster roll is an absolute must have. The oyster selection is outstanding. The outdoor seating was well spaced and is wonderful for people watching! We appreciate the attention to detail and safety, but especially the outstanding service.

SB
vipSpoiledByJimsCooking
Greensboro
16 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal and safe and helpful service! I hope they get a few more patio heaters for the winter and we will be back!

C
Cateats
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Oysters were great! Happy hour wine very good! Nice dinner.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The oyster selection was amazing!

FAQs

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

Public Fish & Oyster is rated 4.8 stars by 1166 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.