Merchant Oyster Co.

4.4
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75 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood

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Fun
Casual
WALKINS ALWAYS WELCOME!!!
Your Neighborhood Oyster Bar and Chowder House -- Merchant Oyster Co, serves the best East and West coast oysters on the half shell, raw clams, Peel N eat shrimp, mussels and more.. alongside a selection of four different chowders. Brown Butter Lobster Rolls and Chef Dennis’ famous crab cakes are house specialties.
Get in vacation mode and grab a cocktail and an oyster shooter. We have a local beer list, Narragansett on draft, wine by the can, draft or glass, along with fun cocktails like our take on the hurricane - the Nor'easter. Come visit us in Lawrenceville!
What 75 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and great food. Would definitely eat there again!

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great drinks and excellent food made for an experience that will definitely bring us back!

h
Pittsburgh
76 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

one of my wife's and my favorite restaurants. A pound each of peel 'n' eat shrimp and a margarita. It doesn't get much better.

TW
Western NC
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

Service was absolutely horrible . I was embarrassed . At one point in the middle of ordering , my server literally walked away , began multiple other tasks , and returned ten minutes later like nothing ever happened . Also, when asked simple questions about the menu , my server had absolutely no information and said “ he didn’t know .” It was very unprofessional and embarrassing . The food was good, but it really didn’t matter at that point.

HB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat down right away and our server offered us the happy hour special even though it was ending in 5 minutes. It was a great way to start the night! And it only went up from there. Such a great evening with amazing food!

B
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a must try! The service was amazing. All the staff was so attentive. The food was phenomenal. I can't wait to go back for the clam boil. My husband loved his lobster roll as well. Kids enjoyed their hot dog. And, my non-pescatarian brother-in-law loved his burger and the spinach artichoke dish. We tried all their fresh oysters and it was a wonderful experience tasting through them. My new fave restaurant!

BC
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very Good. Have to go back for a Taylor Pork Roll sandwich.

OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the beer to the crab BLT, my food and overall experience was a 10/10. I’ll be going back to the Merchant Oyster, for sure!

c
Pittsburgh
7 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect, as usual! This place is a true gem in our neighborhood! The food, drinks, and service are always exceptional and the atmosphere is just awesome. Couldn’t recommend Merchant Oyster more!

x
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent menu very nicely rendered by the kitchen, and served by a very pleasant and engaging front of house team. We will look forward to returning!

OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 4

15 mins - for the waitress to come to my table
20 mins - to have my drink brought to me
70 mins - for my entree to arrive

Overall - service was painful and slow... take WAY LONGER than it needed to do. Food was good though.

MB
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

The oysters here a joke unfortunately. I know that Pittsburgh is landlocked but I've been to other restaurants (for example, Muddy Waters, where the oysters are large and tasty). Here, the oysters were pathetically small and tasteless. The owners attempted to make us feel comfortable (although the A/C was blasting and we were freezing - so they had to open the windows to let in some warm air). The waitress was totally disinterested and had nothing of interest to tell us. Sorry to say - we won't be back. We've been here several times and we keep hoping it'll get better and it hasn't. It's a shame because the ambience is great but the food is simply inferior compared to Pittsburgh standards today. Sorry for the bad review - not something I do at all - but this was simply a very bad experience when we had guests in town and were embarrassed by the experience.

JS
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best seafood I’ve had in pittsburgh, at a better price than the high end restaurants.

TL
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome! Merchant Oyster is a favorite - it was the first Brunch experience though and it did not disappoint. Can't wait to go back!

SP
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything and everyone was wonderful. Wish we could have thanked the chef personally, but we were having such a great experience that we lost track of time and had to hurry to make it to our next stop.

The oyster shooters were transcendental.

OT
Pittsburgh
4 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Thought server was very good and knowledgeable, and overall service was great. Crab cake a little salty but other dishes well seasoned. Oysters awesome and fresh.

b
Pittsburgh
10 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Relaxed atmosphere. Nice selection of oysters. Definitely a place to return to with a group of friends.

TH
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere! Would highly recommend to anyone looking for great seafood in Pittsburgh.

SR
New England
11 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Had dinner with my son while visiting him in Pittsburgh. We were excited to check out Merchant oyster company because it had come highly recommended. We started with 16 oysters to share. Several different types and all were fresh and delicious. We then shared the Seafood tower, both styles of shrimp were delicious, as well as the clams and oysters. Unfortunately the lobster was undercooked actually almost not cooked at all we didn't eat the claw which was very large but Raw. Maybe ordering seafood in Pittsburgh was unwise, and maybe I'm spoiled because I live in New England. We ate at Muddy Waters the next night, which is a Cajun seafood and raw bar place. It did not disappoint. So, as we discovered, you can get good seafood in Pittsburgh.

KG
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was fresh and outstanding quality. We hail from Boston and were surprised with the exceptional oysters and shrimp. The artichoke dip was a treat, creative and delicious with the crab. The place is casual, almost too much so and a little noisy, but a nice soundtrack. We will definitely be back for the food!

OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 4

Had a reservation, showed up and they had no tables available so we had to find a different restaurant. Not great.

JP
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Waitress brought me the wrong drink. Food was extremely cold and diluted. Completely overpriced. My date received the wrong soup. Will never return again.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family in town ~ awesome music and food!

GH
Orlando
9 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great New England feel and even better oysters

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you like shellfish, it is unlikely you will be disappointed. Just lovely flavors.

ES
New York Area
78 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Their crab grilled cheese sandwich and NE clam chowder are amazing.

OT
Pittsburgh
7 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great seafood, very fresh raw bar. Very well done seafood dishes, soups etc. Wide beer selection, great Bloody Mary. Knowledgeable waitstaff. Casual atmosphere

JV
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved the hot lobster roll and the beer selection was good. The staff was very good at describing the various oysters. I know this is a fish place but I wished there was more options for vegetarian/vegan besides a salad. Garden burger would fit the bill.

BF
Pittsburgh
30 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place quickly become one our favorites in Lawrenceville. Casual, moderately priced, but has great "cool/hip" vibe to it, kinda of New England coast atmosphere. Food is always fresh and absolutely delicious. Oysters are fantastic. So are the drinks - cocktails and extensive list of draft beers. M/O offers outside sitting, so weeknights and weekends this place is packed and for a good reason!

h
Pittsburgh
77 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

If you want outstanding peel 'n' eat shrimp with good margaritas in a completely casual environment, this is the place to go. Add really fresh oysters and great soups for a delicious dinner.
The friendly, helpful staff makes it even better.
Parking can be a problem but one can usually find a spot in a side street.

AF
San Francisco
75 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I have no way of knowing as Open Table allowed a booking when the restaurant was not open that night!!!!

OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food but you must love seafood. Amazing lobster roll and whole lobster.

BB
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great bartender, Jake! Great drinks! Loved the food and overall ambiance! Can’t wait to go back!

R
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Food was good, specifically lobster roll and red Rhode Island chowder. Old bay shrimp wasn’t the best and we were told no Mussels but the table next to us got them after? I feel like mussels are a must in addition to oysters. Original server wasn’t very nice and seemed really busy when the place wasn’t that busy. Other servers that helped we’re better. Would cautiously recommend to a friend, may or may not be back.

KS
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

I’m prefacing this review by saying the service was outstanding. Our server was friendly and food came out quickly. My husband and I went this past Friday for the first time at 5:30pm, and were told that they were already out of clams. Okkkk, dinner hour hasn’t really started yet, and there were plenty of other options to choose from. We both ended up getting the lobster sandwich and split the shrimp cocktail app. The shrimp was delicious, as well as the cocktail sauce. The sandwiches with chips were a VERY small portion for $23 a piece. After 2 drinks, an app, and 2 entrees, we paid over $100. If I’m spending $100 at a restaurant, I could at least have cloth napkins rather than cheap paper. It almost felt like I was at a picnic at times. We actually went to another restaurant for have another app and dessert. Service: 5 stars! Food/price/decor: 2 stars. We won’t be back.

OT
Pittsburgh
7 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fresh seafood, well prepared, knowledgeable staff

JA
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

While the food was good - not great - I would not recommend this restaurant. The first table we were given was just a wood pillar without a tabletop. This made sitting very difficult as there was no overhang of a tabletop which meant you were at least a foot away from the table unless you sat “sidesaddle “. On top of this, the chairs did not have a back. Far from comfortable. Fine for a drink but not for a dinner (which we made reservations for). So we asked to move to the bar, which was better, however the chairs there were cheap directors stools that were very wobbly. I was afraid to shift in my chair as I thought I would break it. As for the food, it was fine, nothing spectacular. We had oysters, shrimp, chowder, and the lobster Cuban. The Cuban was very good, so I will recommend that. However, the bill was quite high and I did not feel it was worth the cost. I recommend Muddy Waters or Off the Hook if you are looking for a raw bar. I won’t be back.

b
Pittsburgh
21 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Wonderful service and great oysters. We enjoyed the rose on tap and the house-made hot sauce and cocktail sauce.

m
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

If you like oysters and seafood, this is probably the place for you. Oysters were good but a bit overpriced. Happy hour is probably the best value for your money where some oysters are half off. Other couple of dishes ordered were good too but nothing special. But we did come for the oysters and they were very good. Service was also excellent. Overall, if you like raw oysters, I'd definitely recommend.

HA
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is definitely one to visit for select seafood. Our oysters were delicious, The soup was homemade. This was the best lobster roll I have ever had. The crab roll was also delicious. Definitely try their homemade hot sauce. We purchased it for us to go. Thank you. Parking is a bit crazy, but you should be able to find a spot.

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