About Cru Cafe

18 Pinckney Street
Charleston, SC 29401
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It's the Holy City's Hidden Gem! Cru Café is Charleston's home to some of the best gourmet comfort food in the Lowcountry. Cru Café is the culinary creation of renowned Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Chef John Zucker. Opened in 2002 in response to overwhelming demand, Cru Café is a culinary destination off the beaten path in in a classic 18th century Charleston single-style home. Cru Café and its award-winning Cru Catering division are consistently ranked as top eateries by locals and tourists alike. From our famous Four Cheese Macaroni to our tasty Thai Seafood Risotto, we feature something for everyone. And if you're in the mood for lighter fare, try our Chinese Chicken Salad or Duck Confit Salad. Guests of the restaurant can enjoy daily specials, indoor and outdoor porch seating, a wine list tailored to the varied menu and rich, mouthwatering desserts. We invite to stop in and enjoy a delicious meal with us today.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Comfort Food, Fusion / Eclectic, Southern

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
East Bay St

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(843) 534-2434

Website:
http://www.crucafe.com/

Entertainment:
Private Upstairs Dinning Room available for up to 18 people.

Catering:
Voted Charleston's best caterer consecutively since 2001 by the Charleston City Paper, our Cru Catering branch offers full service customized catering, in-house personal chefs, corporate catering, receptions, weddings and private parties. Please contact us at 843-534-2433.
www.crucatering.com

Parking Details:
Cru Cafe does NOT offer parking. The gravel lot across the street is owned and operated by Palmetto Carriage Company. There is a public parking deck located off Pinckney Street behind the Bank of America building. The address is 200 Meeting Street.

Executive Chef:
John Zucker

Additional:
Banquet, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Smoked Salmon, Capers And Arugula
Duck
Salmon Tartare
Beef Bolognese
strawberry shortcake
Chinese Chicken Salad
Cheeseburger
Mesclun Salad With Fried Goat Cheese Balls
General Tso's Chicken Caesar Wrap
Fried Green Tomatoes With Pork Belly Croutons
Barbeque Beef Brisket & Four Cheese Macaroni
Grilled Portabello Sandwich
Berkshire Pulled Pork Burrata With Mozzarella
tomato and mozzerella
General Tso's Chicken
Duck Confit Arugula Salad
General Tso's Chicken Caeser Wrap With Truffle Fries
Coconut Fried Oysters
Tilefish Special
Bbq Brisket Sandwich With Mac And Cheese
Poblano And Mozzarella Fried Chicken
Pan-Seared Tilapia With Tasso Ham Okra Stew
Fried Green Tomatoes
Basil Marinated Shrimp
Orange Rosemary Bread
Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Gnocchi
Orange Sherbert Cake
Four Cheese Macaroni
Butter Lettuce Salad
Portobello Wrap With Fruit
Double Cheeseburger
Napa Cabbage Asian Salad
Pecan Fried Brie
Pablano And Mozzorella Fried Chicken
Special
Carrot, Coconut And Ginger Soup
Tilapia

Cru Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.3

value

4.4

noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Great for Lunch
South Carolina
Best Overall
Charleston
Best Food
Charleston
3 More
Best Value
Charleston
Fit for Foodies
Charleston
Neighborhood Gem
Charleston
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Fit for Foodies (222)
Neighborhood Gem (181)
Great for Lunch (155)
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Special Occasion (99)
Great for Outdoor Dining (69)
Romantic (54)
Hot Spot (45)
Great for Brunch (41)
Good for Groups (23)
Notable Wine List (20)
Kid-friendly (13)
Scenic View (7)
Late-night Find (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
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2525 reviews
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The food at CRU Cafe was amazing. I lov ...

 
 (New England)
·Dined 4 days ago

The food at CRU Cafe was amazing. I loved the shrimp BLT and my husband's hamburger was perfectly seasoned and cooked.

Tags: Hot Spot, Sunday Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Historic, Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Always a pleasure to take guests to Cru ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined 5 days ago

Always a pleasure to take guests to Cru Cafe! We enjoyed the Fried Oyster Salad and Duck Entrees. The chocolate cake and peach/blueberry bread pudding were also great desserts. We come back to this restaurant over and over and it never disappoints.

Tags: Open Kitchen, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

One of my favorite restaurants. Always g ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined 5 days ago

One of my favorite restaurants. Always great food and service.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Vegetarian options were poor. The portob ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined 5 days ago

Vegetarian options were poor. The portobello wrap was soggy and not very tasty. Truffle fries were delicious. Service was ordinary with the waitress forgetting the specifics of our order. Overall, underwhelmed by the flavors.

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food3
ambience3
service3

Great intro Charleston. Would love to go ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined 5 days ago

Great intro Charleston. Would love to go back for dinner.

Tags: Historic, Great for Lunch, Casual, Quick Bite
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Great place to eat as always... I apprec ...

 
 (Greensboro)
·Dined 5 days ago

Great place to eat as always... I appreciate you always taking great care of me and my guests.. Thank you for the experience!!!!

Tags: Business Meals, Fun, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We love food, so our bar is set rather h ...

 
 (Orlando)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

We love food, so our bar is set rather high when we are eating out. The food at Cru was amazing & so was out waiter Johnnie! The attention to detail was obvious. We were visiting with our daughter and her friend. We ordered a variety of different appetizers and entrees, & everything was outstanding. The fried oyster salad could be a dinner, the short ribs were amazing (thank you for recommending them Johnnie). My husband had the chicken dish, our daughter & friend shared mussels, etc. Everything was outstanding. The atmosphere is comfortable, it's like talking with an old friend. We will be back the next time we are in Charleston

Tags: Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

This is a small very busy restaurant wit ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

This is a small very busy restaurant with great food. Fun to observe the kitchen.

Food was fantastic

Tags: Open Kitchen, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Casual, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The reviews of this restaurant was my de ...

vip
 (Charlotte)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

The reviews of this restaurant was my deciding factor in choosing it. I was very disappointed. I ordered the swordfish, the portion was very generous. The swordfish was not cooked through. I really did not want to send it back and didn't want to cause a scene because the dining room is very small and everyone can hear what you're saying. My husband got the attention of our server and she took it back to have the kitchen finish cooking it. By the time they brought it back my husband was done eating and I had lost my appetite. They gave me the bill, I paid it and we left. Although they apologized they did nothing to try to make it right. I guess they don't need my positive review. I would not recommend this restaurant - besides it's not in a great area and there's no main entrance.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value3

Love sitting at the kitchen bar area, wa ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

Love sitting at the kitchen bar area, watching the very talented chefs!

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Small place with great food. Reservation ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

Small place with great food. Reservations highly recommended. Can be noisy due to the small space. It is a little hard to find and not very eye-appealing on the outside. Once the meat is served you understand why it is rated one of the 10 best in Charleston. I would advise taking a jacket or sweater along. Some of the tables are located directly in front of the wall air conditioner.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

I so enjoy Cru for it's authentically ta ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

I so enjoy Cru for it's authentically tasty food. One of my favorite Charleston gems.

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Late-night Find, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Excellent and creative food! We visited ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Excellent and creative food! We visited Charleston, SC for a week and eat at Cru's three days in a row.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Absolutely Excellent from start to finis ...

 
 (Las Vegas)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Absolutely Excellent from start to finish. A true Gem

Tags: Great for Brunch, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fantastic dining experience in Charlesto ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Fantastic dining experience in Charleston would highly recommend. Entrees were amazing and very reasonably priced. Small place that fills up quickly so would recommend an early dinner or a reservation!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

My wife and I were in Charleston celebra ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

My wife and I were in Charleston celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary and wanted to try Cru for lunch. We had excellent service(I believe Kerry).

My wife thoroughly enjoyed her shrimp Caesar salad. I enjoyed my pastrami sandwich. I wish you were open Monday's!

We will return to Cru on subsequent visits. We reside in Myrtle Beach and love to visit Charleston. Thank you again for the great

experience!

Marv & Dianne Holdren

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A nice small plates election. Oysters we ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

A nice small plates election. Oysters were awesome. Brussel Sprouts outstanding. Great bread.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My husband and I dined at Cru Cafe last ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

My husband and I dined at Cru Cafe last evening. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and our server, Johnny, was fantastic! The poblano fried chicken, fried oysters and mac n cheese is out of this world! We love the energy in Cru Cafe and will definitely return!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Try the Fried Green Tomatoes, they are d ...

vip
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

Try the Fried Green Tomatoes, they are delicious!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Food was absolutely delicious! Fried gr ...

 
 (Charlotte)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

Food was absolutely delicious! Fried green tomatoes were fantastic. So was the two pepper soup. Dinner were excellent! We had Thai seafood risotto, swordfish with chimichurri, short ribs and poblano chicken. All outstanding!

Tags: Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Had a delicious lunch, fried green tomat ...

 
 (Baltimore)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

Had a delicious lunch, fried green tomatoes,shrimp blt sandwich was prepared with a mustard spread which was delicious,my husband had the meatloaf special,melted in your mouth. Be sure to make a reservation, you wont be disappointed!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Have eaten here a few times when visitin ...

vip
 (Dallas)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

Have eaten here a few times when visiting Charleston. Unfortunately this past visit was not the best dining experience. After calling the restaurant to let them know we were running a few minutes late we arrived (indeed 10 min late) and were seated in the corner by the entrance to the bathrooms. After seeing a walk in party of three get a better table we asked why when we had a reservation and were promptly told by the manager "that's what happens when you are late"....we ordered lunch and the manager brought out a "peace offering" of truffle fries out after my friend once again voiced her dissatisfaction being seated in the corner and they were very yummy. Also it was so loud we could not have a conversation.... .considering that the restaurant has no available parking I think I will just look to the other dozens of fabulous restaurants in Charleston.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience2
service3
value3

We visit Cru Cafe anytime we are in Char ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

We visit Cru Cafe anytime we are in Charleston. It never disappoints. The fried green tomato appetizer is a must try. The short rib was awesome - and a very large portion. Don't miss dessert either!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Loud, simple, uncomfortable atmosphere w ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 11, 2016

Loud, simple, uncomfortable atmosphere with mediocre food at slightly higher than average pricing.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

Food is consistently great. Burger was ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

Food is consistently great. Burger was a bit over cooked last visit, but typically it is not. One waitress that I seem to have gotten last 3 or 4 visits is lacking in personality and customer service. All other wait staff has been awesome. This one girl is not friendly at all - almost rude.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

Wonderfully prepared dishes, both fresh ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 9, 2016

Wonderfully prepared dishes, both fresh and flavorful! Excellent service and attention to details by the staff. Nice wine selection enhanced the meal and overall experience.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Cru never disappoints - our waitress was ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on August 9, 2016

Cru never disappoints - our waitress was a bit kooky/over the top, but otherwise it was a great meal.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

I eat here each time I come to Charlesto ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

I eat here each time I come to Charleston. Reservations highly recommended. Love this place!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Good food. Not so good service. We have ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

Good food. Not so good service. We have to wait more than 30 minutes for our food. Great location in the heart of the French quarter.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

Outstanding neighborhood gem. Menu is e ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

Outstanding neighborhood gem. Menu is exciting, innovative and local. Every item order was absolutely delicious.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wanted a nice meal before Friday's Frank ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

Wanted a nice meal before Friday's Frankie Valle concert and Cafe Cru did not disappoint. It was our first time there but certainly not our only meal; we will be back. We had the fish special, a delicious firm fleshed white fillet of Wahoo which we would order again, and the vegetable pasta with parmesan cream. Sublime, superb. Service was attentive but not intrusive and recommendations were spot on.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

We would highly recommend the Cru Cafe . ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

We would highly recommend the Cru Cafe . The entire staff made us feel right at home, seating us right at the chef's table. We not only watched the kitchen magic, but had some of the best food in Charleston. Siting next to us, a young women, originally from Paris, recommended the mussels. They were so incredible that we asked for some bread just to dip into the marvelous broth. We finished with a wonderful salad and a great dessert. I'd definitely go back again.

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food5
ambience5
service5

My first experience at Cru cafe happened ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

My first experience at Cru cafe happened three years ago and at that time the mussels had blown my mind. I came back to Charleston and had my second lunch at cru cafe, and it did not disappoint me: the mussels were even better than my memory of it !!! There will be a third visit and many more hopefully.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Unique dining spot in an old house. We ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

Unique dining spot in an old house. We were thankful to be seated indoors because of the heat/humidity even though the porch seating looked more appealing. The dining room is tight to the point that you can easily hear and almost participate in the adjacent tables' conversations. The Fried Green Tomatoes app was spectacular. The entrees we ordered - local fish and vegetable tagliatelle - were also incredible.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

Wonderful food and service!! I recommend ...

 
 (Western NC)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

Wonderful food and service!! I recommend the truffled mussels they were awesome!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Our favorite restaurant in Charleston. ...

vip
 (Jacksonville)
·Dined on August 3, 2016

Our favorite restaurant in Charleston. We always make it a point to have dinner at Cru when returning home from New England. The food is delicious and the menu choice is wonderful, whether you prefer fish, fowl or meat. The staff is efficient, friendly and remembers you from previous visits. Cru is small, intimate and locally owned. Although parking is difficult, Harris Teeter Grocery is just a block away and has lots of hassle free parking.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Foods good but I'm not sure we will go b ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 3, 2016

Foods good but I'm not sure we will go back anymore. Even when u have a reservation u still wait. Everything takes forever but staff is friendly

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food4
ambience2
service1

We had an early reservation, and arrived ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

We had an early reservation, and arrived early. Our table was ready, and the service was prompt and the food great.

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food5
ambience4
service5

A nice, quiet and quaint spot to eat in ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

A nice, quiet and quaint spot to eat in downtown Charleston. My daughter and I enjoyed a nice meal in this cozy atmosphere. The service was welcoming and great.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

Awesome experience - fried green tomatoe ...

 
 (New England)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

Awesome experience - fried green tomatoes are a must

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food5
ambience5
service5

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