Public Fish & Oyster

4.8
1273 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 1273 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
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JP
JoPaci
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always special. My never fail go to spot for fresh fish, especially all things oysters. I have never had a bad dish or experience. Does not matter if you're alone, in a group or on a date. The ratings can't be high enough.

KM
KarenM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Calamari was the absolute best. Waiter had fantastic recommendations. I’m still savoring our meal

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really enjoyed our apps and wine with server Daniel! He was phenomenal and very knowledgeable about everything.

MR
vipMistyRiverLady
Richmond
52 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice environment right on Main Street - outside tent was heated nicely. Great waiter, and always great food. Thank you, Public, for a lovely evening.

RE
RafaelE
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service, great ambience. Cannot go wrong with this seafood based restaurant.

NZ
NickZ
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, decent drink choices, nice little boutique restaurant

KB
KristinB
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific experience! During the time of Covid, we felt very safe as the social distancing and masking was in place... well enforced but did not interfere with our experience at all. Highly recommend!

JM
JessicaM
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! Great food & service! Our favorite place in Cville!

F
vipFoodie1092
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is the best in Charlottesville.

AB
AmyB
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Our waiter was friendly, professional, knowledgeable and efficient. He made our son's 21st birthday feel like the special occasion it was.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Best seafood meal I’ve ever had

JP
JulienP
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We spent a very nice evening for Saint Valentine. We ate 2 starters and 2 mains and each of them was amazing. I will definitely come back there! Special mention for the duck breasts that were unique!

CT
CaitlinT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Delicious, innovative food experience and great service— on the pricy side, would recommend going during their happy hour.

MK
MichaelK
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great oyster and fresh seafood options. They have a rotating menu for seasonal freshness. Really enjoyed the cocktails as well!

GM
GeorgeM
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Best meal I've had in a long time. Service staff was personable and helpful.

ND
NicoleD
Poconos
6 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic happy hour drinks and lobster roll. The staff the is always so kind and knowledgeable with great recommendations. We enjoy every time we visit there.

L
Lono
Columbus
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall3food5service5ambience3

If the outdoor temperature is cold, I do not recommend the outside seating. The tented area is quite cold. The heater which is situated in the middle, top area of the tent, has a hard time emitting enough heat to tables that are not directly underneath.

O
2Octboys
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for date night! Great oysters and lobster rolls for happy hour!

SS
vipSarahS
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service. We saw how they sanitize each table in between diners and were really impressed. Tables were well spaced out. Great gluten free options too that normally are not GF (crab cakes, clam chowder, oysters rockafeller, fried oysters). We will be back!

c
colindougherty
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Simple and perfectly executed! The entire team just shines during this difficult age they are currently operating - Paul, the waiter extraordinaire, was outstanding!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was fantastic!

AP
AlexanderP
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Good dinner. Good osyter really enjoyed them. I got a swordfish which was superb as well. Totally Recommend it.

RS
vipRogerS
Richmond
75 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best crab cakes in Virginia.. The special of the day is always good too- the fresh seared rockfish this week was exceptional. Happy hour specials on oysters and wine are a bonus!

L
vipLiz68
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The owner John was so hospitable and knowledgeable about wine and food. Highly recommend!!!

SD
vipSDCarlat
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience2

Had to sit outside in January due to Covid. Very cold and no space heaters.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall2food4service4ambience1

I am all about keeping everyone safe and to enjoy dining at a safe level. However, we were seated outside and it was a cold night. The heat lamps did nothing and the waiter brought us blankets which helped some. If I would have known the outdoor seating situation, I would have not dined at this restaurant. Note, don’t go if it is cold and there is only outdoor seating! Food was great!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Great exoeriece

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food, fantastic service, fantastic drinks! My favorite place in town!

SL
SeafoodLover
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We don't go for "value." A $400 seafood-fest for 5 was just what we wanted and expected and received! :) The server was awesome, as was the food. They DO need to either stop opening the outside door so much (and seating people outside in the winter) OR significantly increase the heat in the main dining room/restaurant. That has been my only gripe in the past few months.

Amazing place for great seafood/oyster bar and drinks!

d
dine2gether
Nashville
15 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Excellent food in unique atmosphere. Shrimp and crab legs were terrific.

TF
TimF
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food, service, and ambience (under the tent). Black points, irish points, and Rockefeller, all great. Black points were the winner for me. Plus managed to be there early enough for a lobster roll (Connecticut style). My only complaint is they should fire up the outdoor heater a little earlier. Had a 4PM Saturday res, didn't turn the heater on till we got seated, so it wasn't till about ten minutes later that it warmed up nicely. Can't wait to make a return trip.

MP
MPCL
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dined here on 1/22 with my family for our daughter's birthday. Because it was chilly, we ate inside. They do have a large tent with heaters (I believe) outside. Indoors, there are only a few tables and they have spread apart, with everyone masked (except when eating/drinking). We felt safe. Oysters were the best ever. It truly was a great oyster bar experience and the dinner menu was nice too. It's a fairly simple menu but can easily appeal to all tastes (if oysters are not your thing). Friendly, professional service, and a must-visit place in Cville.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service We had a lobster roll that was about the best we’ve had. John our server was very informative and friendly

WH
WendyH
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Lovely evening on the outdoor patio. Great service, presentation and an overall good experience.

TG
TedG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

In these strange times, if you can, or dare, to dine out, it sure is nice to support your favorite local restaurant. The food was spot on and service was excellent. Shout out to John, our server and the restaurant manager. His attention to details were impeccable. We comfortably dined inside with other socially distanced customers. We will be back!

AG
AndyG
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Remains one of our favorite restaurants overall - anywhere. The service is always excellent and the food is a great combo of specials and great favorites. Always go for the oyster selection, it's always awesome. Early dinner gives you a shot at lobster rolls during happy hour - truly worth going in before 6. John runs the front and the bar and is one of the best hosts we have ever had - always remembers a return customer.

SR
SamiR
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to this cozy spot for happy hour.
Our server John was knowledgeable and helped us pick from the wide variety of oysters, and prepared us some awesome old fashioned cocktails.
We didn’t get dinner, but from what we could see on the menu, we’re hoping to make a trip back for dinner.

P
vipPetera123
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a hidden jewel of a restaurant. We found it indirectly through Opentable but it should be highly rated for its food, ambience and attentive service. We had the special cod entree, and it was superb, along with sprouts and oysters rockefeller - we would try the fresh oysters next time. We would also try the wine list -- cocktails were special here too.

KG
KathyG
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We continue to support local restaurants during COVID especially so we can refer them to our B&B guests and to know if they are doing things right and the food and service are on par. Public knocked it out of the park! Paul is a very experienced server and it showed. We were there at the tail end (literally last 5 minutes) of happy hour and he didn't fail to mention and secure for us a lobster roll. The food and drinks were on point and the safety measures were both sufficient and enforced which we appreciated. We'll be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a treat to go here! Oysters are amazing . Happy hour lobster rolls with fries are always good.

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 1273 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.