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 #1 Charleston Caterer from 2001-2014. 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/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Smoked Salmon, Capers And Arugula
Salmon Tartare
Beef Bolognese
Duck
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
Tilefish Special
Barbeque Beef Brisket & Four Cheese Macaroni
Grilled Portabello Sandwich
Berkshire Pulled Pork Burrata With Mozzarella
tomato and mozzerella
General Tso's Chicken
Coconut Fried Oysters
Duck Confit Arugula Salad
General Tso's Chicken Caeser Wrap With Truffle Fries
Bbq Brisket Sandwich With Mac And Cheese
Pan-Seared Tilapia With Tasso Ham Okra Stew
Poblano And Mozzarella Fried Chicken
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
Pablano And Mozzorella Fried Chicken
Pecan Fried Brie
Tilapia
Carrot, Coconut And Ginger Soup
Special

Cru Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.6

ambience

4.3

noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Fit for Foodies
South Carolina
Great for Lunch
South Carolina
Best Food
Charleston
3 More
Best Value
Charleston
Fit for Foodies
Charleston
Neighborhood Gem
Charleston
Best Restaurants in Downtown Charleston ›

fit for foodies (247)
neighborhood gem (197)
great for lunch (167)
See All
great for outdoor dining (97)
special occasion (95)
romantic (56)
hot spot (54)
great for brunch (35)
good for groups (25)
notable wine list (25)
kid-friendly (10)
scenic view (7)
late-night find (7)
vibrant bar scene (2)
Sort By:
Newest
2405 reviews
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

The noise level was so high that my frie ...

Dined 2 days ago

The noise level was so high that my friend and I couldn't talk to each other.

Tags: fit for foodies
food3
ambience4
service4
value4

Never fails for great food! The wreck f ...

Dined 4 days ago

Never fails for great food! The wreck fish wasn't my favorite dish but the flourless choc cake is divine and so was the coffee! Cru has rare attentiveness to detail on all their offerings.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Wonderful dining experience , great food

Dined 4 days ago

Wonderful dining experience , great food

food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Dined at Cru Cafe in June 2016 for lunch ...

Dined 4 days ago

Dined at Cru Cafe in June 2016 for lunch. My husband had the soup-of-the-day and I had the tomato. We each had a burger. All was delicious with the burgers prepared to the desired temperature. I highly recommend Cru.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We stayed 3 days in Charleston. Best foo ...

Dined 7 days ago

We stayed 3 days in Charleston. Best food we found. Delicious sauces.

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Second time eating at CRU Cafe, and had ...

vip
Dined on June 18, 2016

Second time eating at CRU Cafe, and had another great meal. We have only been for lunch, but next time ,y wife and I are in Charleston I will definitely try dinner. The food is amazing, and the prices are very reasonable. You're not going to find a better lunch anywhere in Charleston, which is why you'd better have reservations because this place fills up in advance. If you just walk in expect at least a 2 hour wait (if anything).

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

Outstanding food and excellent service. ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

Outstanding food and excellent service. Casual environment.

food4
ambience4
service5
value4

A charming small place with an innovativ ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

A charming small place with an innovative contemporary menu. Recommend the duck breast and pork roulade main courses. Moderately priced wines with several popular brands.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always great food. We always stop here ...

Dined on June 16, 2016

Always great food. We always stop here when in town. Good beer and wine list.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food3
ambience3
service4
value4

Nice place with good food. My chicken wa ...

Dined on June 16, 2016

Nice place with good food. My chicken was tasty and my wife's duck was very well cooked.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
food5
ambience5
service5

Best restaurant we visited on our trip t ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

Best restaurant we visited on our trip to Charleston! The duck confit salad and fried green tomatoes were amazing!!! The basil shrimp will melt in your mouth! Shout out to our server Johnie- best service ever:)

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

On a 3-day trip to Charleston, this was ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

On a 3-day trip to Charleston, this was our best meal without doubt - and we enjoyed a number of fine restaurants. We're very anxious to return. Excellent!

Tags: special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This event marked my return after being ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

This event marked my return after being in Charleston two years ago with my family. Back then, we were fortunate enough to sit at the table directly in front of the kitchen. Not only only did we have the most delicious meal of our vacation, it was also the most interesting - as we really enjoyed our exchange with the kitchen staff. This time I came back with my son only. Again, we sat in front of the kitchen. Some of the staff was new and many of the skilled staff were still there. The food was outstanding as it had been before and the overall experience is something you will have to search long and hard if you can even find it elsewhere. This one is an absolute winner - a "Must" for any serious foodie. Congratulations to Johnny - one of the owners - who was so accommodating to us and who, in my opinion, has earned " good ole " as a worthy description of the service and as a general characterization of every item on the menu. We'll be back again for sure.

Tags: fit for foodies
food4
ambience4
service5

Fantastic dinner. Oyster salad is not to ...

Dined on June 12, 2016

Fantastic dinner. Oyster salad is not to be missed. Server Johnnie made our night - funny, thoughtful and wise.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food and service as always. We alw ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

Great food and service as always. We always make it a point to visit Cru Cafe when we come to Charleston

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great find off the beaten path in Charleston

Dined on June 11, 2016

Looking for something new in Charleston for us (done Magnolia's, SNOB, The Ordinary etc.). This was a gem. Service was incredible. Food outstanding. Ate on the porch. Noise level inside (small area) would be high for someone with any hearing difficulties. Out on the porch no problem.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience2
service2

I guess we coughs them on a bad night bu ...

Dined on June 10, 2016

I guess we coughs them on a bad night but with early reservations (6;30) we had to wait approximately 20 minutes before we could be seated. Then had to wait for water service and the harried waiter to calm down. A full house and VERY noisy!! Could not hear across the table! Later it cleared out and calmed down. Food was delicious but by the glass wine selection needs a revamp.

food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent meal for the 2 of us. Fried g ...

vip
Dined on June 10, 2016

Excellent meal for the 2 of us. Fried green tomato app fantastic.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always great

Dined on June 10, 2016

My wife and I eat at cru cafe often , we live a short walk away. Cru cafe's food and service is excellent on a consistent basis! Make reservations ,relax and have a great experience !

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch
food5
ambience3
service4
value5

Cru was a great find. The food was excel ...

Dined on June 10, 2016

Cru was a great find. The food was excellent, fresh and great presentation. Dined on the porch which was very pleasant and much quieter than the inside dining area. Adequate wine list and local beers. Staff was friendly and helpful. Reservations are a must. Good value! I would highly recommend.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5

Great lunch! Will definitely go again!

Dined on June 10, 2016

Great lunch! Will definitely go again!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Cru is better than ever!

vip
Dined on June 10, 2016

We have been going to Cru for many years and always love it. We took two friends from Beaufort to lunch before a Spoleto event, and everyone loved their food - soft shell crab salad, smoked salmon salad, and a side of mushrooms. It was my birthday and a perfect way to start the day. We had reservations and I called to say we were running about 10 minutes late. The staff was very helpful got us on our way in plenty of time.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Just amazing, our group of four went bac ...

vip
Dined on June 10, 2016

Just amazing, our group of four went back for a second night in a row ~ soo delicious. Top on our list when we return to Charleston from the west coast!!!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We loved the atmosphere- how fun to eat ...

Dined on June 9, 2016

We loved the atmosphere- how fun to eat in a renovated house! The food was absolutely delicious too! It was perfect to finish our carriage tour and head right across the street for a lovely lunch.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Unique experience

Dined on June 8, 2016

This is a very small place, so you must have reservations. We sat at the bar looking into the kitchen, which was fun! Every bite we ate was delicious and beautifully presented. It is not a fancy place, or stuffy. Prices were reasonable for the quality of food. The menu was varied with lots of good choices. I wish we did not live 800 miles away,

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food2
ambience3
service3
value3

New chef and she is taking my favorites ...

vip
Dined on June 8, 2016

New chef and she is taking my favorites off the menu! The smoked salmon was my absolute favorite and her "updated" version was awful. Who serves farmers cheese with salmon?? No dill, few capers no cream cheese. UGH

food5
ambience4
service5

Great food in a home setting (old Charle ...

Dined on June 8, 2016

Great food in a home setting (old Charleston charm). Definitely try the short rib pastrami. Portions are small which makes it great for a light lunch.

food5
ambience5
service5

One of the best places I've ever eaten l ...

vip
Dined on June 7, 2016

One of the best places I've ever eaten lunch at!! So delicious!!

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

ALWAYS the most consistent food in Charleston

Dined on June 4, 2016

Nate and the crew are alway spot on! Food is always consistent and great! Try the specials!

Tags: great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

CHARLESTONS BEST

Dined on June 4, 2016

No doubt about it. Best restaurant in Charleston. Every time we visit, Cru Café is our must dining destination. Our favorite spot is the chef's kitchen seating: dinner and a show! The staff always seems so happy to see us. Beautiful food presentations, delicious menu choices. Real food served by real folks. When in doubt, just order anything with risotto!!!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent all around!

Dined on June 3, 2016

We were a party of 2 and went on a busy night on a very busy weekend in Charleston. We had a waitress who was very attentive and friendly. The restaurant was crowded but noise was well managed and getting to our table was no problem. The food choices and quality as well as presentation were really good. We loved the fried green tomatoes with pork belly croutons so much that we shared the dish as an appetizer and ordered it again for dessert ! (We didn't want a really sweet dish to end the meal.)

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great food and service!

Dined on June 3, 2016

Friends brought us to Cru several months ago and we loved it! It is small and cozy and beautiful With wonderful food and drink! The menu has something for everyone and the staff is exceptional. Our wait person Sarah was very good, and helpful explaining things on the menu and guiding us in the right direction. They were very busy the evening we were there (Spoleto) But the manager went to great lengths to accomadate us. We will be back soon, all 5 of us loved our dinners. Reservations are a must.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5

Fabulous recommendation from local frien ...

Dined on June 3, 2016

Fabulous recommendation from local friends and now Cru Cafe will be a repeat trip. We were told that you couldn't go wrong with the daily special and they were right. The Mahi Mahi dish was fantastic as was the orange sherbet cake with coconut frosting. And for a double delight, try the bread pudding!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Extraordinary!

Dined on June 3, 2016

We visit Charleston three or four times each year and never miss an opportunity to eat at the Cru Café. The regional fare and fun twists are always delicious, the beverages are craft, and the staff (Johnny et al) are the friendliest lot in town. There is no pretension here - just great food in a fun and lively atmosphere.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service4

Had the fried green tomatoes with goat c ...

Dined on June 3, 2016

Had the fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and a sweet sauce-- was excellent . Also enjoyed the General Tso's chicken.-- salty and sweet with fresh ingredients.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious Food

Dined on June 3, 2016

Food is consistently delicious. Everyone that I take here wants a repeat visit when they come to town. Only complaint is that it is hard to get a reservation.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service4

Food is always amazing and love the staf ...

vip
Dined on June 3, 2016

Food is always amazing and love the staff at this place. Our waitress wasn't as friendly as others we've had in the past, but she was prompt. Can't wait to come back!

food5
ambience4
service5

Well worth booking early and locating. O ...

vip
Dined on June 3, 2016

Well worth booking early and locating. Open truly late with full menu being served. Creative dishes. Had the scallops special with lobster sauce over chard , etc. Scallops very large and perfectly cooked, that is very lightly. Ribeye also cooked to our request, medium rare, a good size and thickness. Would have liked it to come with a side rather than a la cart. Waitress very knowledgeable and attentive.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Another delicious meal here

Dined on June 2, 2016

I had the butter leaf salad with grilled shrimp. My friend had the salmon. Both were wonderful. The orange chiffon cake was fabulous with coconut frosting!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Cru is my favorite restaurant in Charleston !

vip
Dined on June 2, 2016

Great staff and amazing food - our friends from Montreal loved it too!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem

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