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

4.7

ambience

4.3

value

4.4

noise

Moderate

98% 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
Best Restaurants in Downtown Charleston ›

fit for foodies (254)
neighborhood gem (204)
great for lunch (176)
See All
special occasion (101)
great for outdoor dining (80)
romantic (63)
hot spot (55)
great for brunch (44)
good for groups (29)
notable wine list (25)
kid-friendly (14)
scenic view (7)
late-night find (6)
vibrant bar scene (2)
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Loved Cru Cafe! Definitely one of the be ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined 5 days ago

Loved Cru Cafe! Definitely one of the best meals we had in Charleston! The waiter made the experience! Had our 3 yr old son with us and they were so inviting and personable towards him! A must try when on Charleston!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
ambience5
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value5

Cru Café was probably not the best choic ...

 
 (Charlotte)
·Dined 5 days ago

Cru Café was probably not the best choice for a special occasion. While cozy and kind of cool with having the kitchen at the front of the restaurant, it's not quiet and patrons are all very close. We had the tuna appetizer; many different flavors! I had the chicken with mozzarella and poblano peppers; my boyfriend had the ribeye steak with a fig demi-glaze. I'd recommend you pass on dessert. The food was good, but certainly not phenomenal, and pricey at that. We did have a great server and, in fact, everyone seemed to hustle at Cru Café and wanted to make sure that everyone was being accommodated and enjoying their meal. I wouldn't plan to eat outside...Cru Café is located across the street from the horse and carriage stables. Enough said. I might go back, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

We had an early dinner at Cru based on a ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined 5 days ago

We had an early dinner at Cru based on a recommendation from a friend and we are so happy we did! We started with the friend green tomatoes (possibly best we've ever had) and the tuna sashimi (incredible, served with fried brussels sprouts) and salads. My husband had the fish special which was tumeric sea bass, it was fresh, flaky and delicious. I had the scallops, despite only two of them (cut in half so it seemed like more) I though they were incredible. We also got the Mac and cheese, also delish. My only disappointment...only beer and wine. We will be back!

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food5
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Once again our lunch at Cru was deliciou ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined 5 days ago

Once again our lunch at Cru was delicious! The staff is always to great and service impeccable. The manager is personable with guests and makes you feel right at home. The Shrimp BLT continues to be consistently delicious with the shrimp cooked perfectly with ripe tomatoes, crispy bacon and pepper jack cheese! My husband's favorite is the General Tso Chicken which is the perfect combination of tangy, sweet and spicy. The variety of the menu is impressive and you have to try the Duck Confit Salad with sugar pecans. Great item to share before a meal.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
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Cru is an excellent restaurant. My first ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined 6 days ago

Cru is an excellent restaurant. My first time there and the food was amazing! Would recommend to friends/family.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
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Heard about Cru Cafe from a Charlston to ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined 6 days ago

Heard about Cru Cafe from a Charlston tour guide a couple of years ago and was at that time unsuccessful in getting a table for lunch. This year we made a reservation (a nice option for those of us from out of town) and were seated immediately. We had the Pastrami sandwich and the Shrimp BLT. Both were very good! Bring a sweater though.

Tags: great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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Rated Number 4 on Trip Advisor for Charl ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

Rated Number 4 on Trip Advisor for Charleston dining, my daughter and I booked a reservation for lunch. We were in town for a job interview for her. We were very excited to dine at Cru from reviews we read and locals we met that morning giving it kudos. That said, we were not blown away by the food. Maybe it was what we choose to order.....fried green tomato appetizer was the best thing we had, but we've had better. We also split the Chinese Chicken salad, also had better, and the General Tso Chicken with fried rice and veggies. It was basically the same dish as the CCSalad, just the chicken was prepared differently, and the addition of the rice. The veggies were the same as the salad. The Orange Dream Cycle Cake was delicious! The Rose wine good and cold. Our server was adorable, the place was hoppin' and has a good vibe, but I wouldn't go running back for the food that we had. I would go back though and try a few other things.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food3
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cru is mine and my friends' favorite pla ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

cru is mine and my friends' favorite place to go for lunch whenever we get a chance. duck confit salad is the best. shrimp blt also grout and fried green tomatoes. really everything ive had there is fabulous but I like those the most. good idea to make resos to make it easier on you and the staff.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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The food was excellent and the wait staf ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

The food was excellent and the wait staff attentive. We both had the short rib pastrami sandwich with truffle fries that were absolutely incredible.

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food5
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I call the restaurant to find out if the ...

vip
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 20, 2016

I call the restaurant to find out if they were wheelchair accessable. The apologized but asked if my Mom could walk up four steps with assistance and I said yes. They told me they had several men to get her in and out the restaurant. When we arrived, I went in and asked for help and they sent out two people to help.

We started off with fried green tomatoes and they were outstanding. The duck breast was delicous and very tender. We were full and did not try the desserts. Our waiter went out of his way to make my Mom comfortable. Mom was cold, so he covered the vent, then he brought her hot water to warm her hands.

When we were ready to leave, the chef and two other employees helped Mom down the stairs and to the car. Thank you for helping us give Mom a wonderful night out.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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Another good dinner at Cru - but I wish ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on July 20, 2016

Another good dinner at Cru - but I wish they would space out the food presentation a letter longer. In and out in an hour with wine, starter, and entree. Much prefer a slower dinner and not having them turn tables so rapidly.

Tags: fit for foodies
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food4
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service4
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One of my favorites for years!

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 20, 2016

One of my favorites for years!

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food5
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On our annual family trip to Charleston, ...

 
 (Greensboro)
·Dined on July 20, 2016

On our annual family trip to Charleston, we were finally able to get a reservation at Cru Cafe. So glad we did. All six of us enjoyed our meals; they were innovative, made with fresh ingredients, and plated nicely. Our server was friendly and professional. Two thumbs up!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
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food4
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Great place for a special dinner. The f ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 20, 2016

Great place for a special dinner. The food was delicious and our waitress was very attentive and made excellent suggestions. The pasta dishes were fabulous as were our starter salads. Small intimate setting. Would definitely recommend.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
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Wonderful meal, innovative & top quality ...

vip
 (Baltimore)
·Dined on July 19, 2016

Wonderful meal, innovative & top quality. Absolutely exceeded our expectations!!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
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First time there. Will go back often. ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 19, 2016

First time there. Will go back often. Food was excellent and the service personal despite a bustling crowd. Really outstanding.

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food5
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Small, but comfortable restaurant with g ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Small, but comfortable restaurant with good service and good food. Nice-sized portions and attractive presentation. Very popular with both the locals and tourists; highly recommended by most online and printed travel guides and lives up to it's reputation! Definitely worth a visit if you travel to Charleston, SC.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food4
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Our dinner was delicious. Very fresh. We ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Our dinner was delicious. Very fresh. We had a wonderful time. Service was exceptional. Wait time for table was too long but it was worth the wait.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
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Arrived at our reserved time and was sea ...

 
 (Orlando)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Arrived at our reserved time and was seated promptly.

We have visited Cru several times and have never left disappointed. The staff are friendly, helpful and timely.

The food is well prepared and delicious. Our light lunch included the salad of the day, fried green tomatoes and their famous four cheese macaroni.

The fried green tomatoes is a must try as the combination of sheep feta, tomato caramel sauce and the pork belly croutons is flavor packed and really nice... which comes from one who generally is not a fried green tomato fan.

The four cheese macaroni is the epitome of comfort food and should be tried.

A variety of wines and beer are offered.

The menu is varied and online at the restaurant's website.

Another excellent lunch at Cru and again, we leave very satisfied.

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Cru has a great chef who creates some un ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Cru has a great chef who creates some unique and tasty dishes. The food was fresh and well prepared. Service was quick, professional and helpful with suggestions (and accurate with their suggestions). All in all, a delightful dining experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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service5
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Best cheeseburger in CHS by a long shot! ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Best cheeseburger in CHS by a long shot!

They take good care of me!

Tags: great for lunch
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food5
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Absolutely delicious!! The duck was outs ...

 
 (Orlando)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Absolutely delicious!! The duck was outstanding! Service was phenomenal!

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food5
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Great find! We had a lunch reservation, ...

 
 (Atlanta)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

Great find! We had a lunch reservation, but iwe were so hot from walking around and sightseeing that we showed up early. The staff was very accommodating and seated us as soon as they were able. But they brought us cold drinks while we were waiting. The food was incredible. The service was prompt and friendly. Would definitely ear here again!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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value4

Loved the food and service. Unfortunatel ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 13, 2016

Loved the food and service. Unfortunately the smell from the neighboring horse carriage businesses intrudes into your lovely restaurant, and made our dining experience less than perfect.

Tags: fit for foodies
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food5
ambience3
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Cru Cafe food is excellent. The fried gr ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 13, 2016

Cru Cafe food is excellent. The fried green tomatoes were the best I have ever had - anywhere. The service was superb. We sent a dish back because it was too salty and the staff's response/recovery was excellent. They comped us on wine and desert and made personal apologies - and corrected the food immediately so there was no long wait for a replacement. I consider that the sign of a true great restaurant. I have eaten here several times and every experience has been outstanding.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food5
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We had a really nice dinner here while o ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

We had a really nice dinner here while on vacation. Fried green tomatoes, an Asian salad and a Thai risotto dish were all really good. Service was friendly too. Recommended!

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food4
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Cru Cafe Has it all down - even though i ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

Cru Cafe Has it all down - even though it was a busy weekday at the end of lunch time, staff were all cheerful, helpful and eager to serve. House- made moussaka, a special, was perfectly delicious. A great experience and will continue to patronize this great restaurant.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, notable wine list
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food5
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The food was very good! Although the com ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

The food was very good! Although the community table at the door was not so good cause of the front door constantly being opened so it felt like we were seated at an outside table. I'm sure they get tourists in there all the time, but we are locals and didnt get the best service this time from our waiter. I have been to Cru many times before and have always had great food and service.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food4
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Cru was recommended by a friend who used ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Cru was recommended by a friend who used to work there and who mentioned, luckily, that reservations would be a good idea, even to stop by for lunch. That was advice I'm glad I took, but it was well worth the wait, the four cheese macaroni was spectacular, as was the calamari and all the food I saw walking by while we were there looked amazing. Highly recommended.

Tags: great for brunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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A friend and I were visiting Charleston ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

A friend and I were visiting Charleston and made a reservation for lunch on a Saturday. We arrived on time and checked in. It's in a house and the dining areas are small. After we checked in, we weren't shown to a table (there were none available) or told where to wait until it was ready. Meanwhile, other people were trying to check in or ask for a table and the entry was very crowded. I told the host our name again and he said we were checked in so I asked where we should wait and he directed us to the seats outside. We waited 10 minutes or so before we were called back in and seated at the "chef's table," which is a bar overlooking the kitchen, where we watched everyone's food being prepared in a small, but very organized area. At one time there were at least 6 people in the prep area. We each had the pick two - mine the soup and salad and hers the salad and sandwich. They were both very good. They have different soups each day. The macaroni and cheese looked scrumptious and our neighbors at the table said it was good. It is listed as a side, but is big enough for an entree or to share. The mushroom soup and duck confit salad were excellent.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
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food5
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Cru Cafe is consistent in terms of quali ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Cru Cafe is consistent in terms of quality and service. They are outstanding. The waitress and the host were very friendly. The food is always super. We dine at Cru often and have always satisfied with their food and service.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
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food5
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Fortunately someone we spoke to recommen ...

 
 (Greensboro)
·Dined on July 8, 2016

Fortunately someone we spoke to recommended a reservation. Without one it was highly likely we would not have been able to get a table. The place is small so it can get loud but it has great energy. We had a reservation at 9pm and were seated within minutes at the "chef's table", basically a bar overlooking (and interacting with) the kitchen. My wife and I love to cook so it was an adventure. We were basically able to talk with the sous chef about everything she was preparing which was very cool. The food was all delicious. We started with the fried green tomatoes topped with goat cheese. For our entrees we had the Fried Chicken with Poblano and Mozzarella and the Thai Seafood Risotto. Both were nice portions, beautifully plated and incredibly tasty. We finished the night with one of their bread puddings. That night it was flavored with peach and served with a homemade whipped cream...really more of a foam it was so light.

Put it this way, the meal was so good we attempted to get another reservation for Friday night so we could try something different. Unfortunately that meal will have to wait for another trip to Charleston. They were already booked solid. This place rates five stars.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
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GREAT JOB. LAST NIGHT IN CHARLESTON. ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 8, 2016

GREAT JOB. LAST NIGHT IN CHARLESTON. CHEF'S TABLE WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
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food5
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Gem - great food, lovely service and rel ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

Gem - great food, lovely service and relaxed atmosphere!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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Delicious food-great choices for all pal ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

Delicious food-great choices for all palettes. Excellent wine as well.

This was our second time eating at Cru. We will return again.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
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food5
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The food here is always awesome! First ...

 
 (Richmond)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

The food here is always awesome! First time having lunch here and it was delicious. I highly recommend this restaurant and the pork belly croutons.

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food5
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An overall outstanding experience. Shor ...

 
 (Richmond)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

An overall outstanding experience. Short wait for just the right table. Waiter, Johnny, was friendly and helpful without being overwhelming. The food did not disappoint - if Orange Dreamsicle Cake is on the menu, order it! A reasonably priced wine list. Be warned - they are located in an old house. Space is tight no matter where you are seated. We felt we got our money's worth and would definitely go again. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED....

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Really innovative menu at a place that s ...

 
 (London)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

Really innovative menu at a place that seems to be a favorite of the locals. When our cab driver didn't know about the place I knew we were in for a good dinner. The service and food was excellent.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food4
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service5
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Food was outstanding and we had eaten at ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

Food was outstanding and we had eaten at SNOB and Magnolia's the other two nights in Charleston and this was the best. I had the duck and my wife had the scallops. Duck was cooked perfect and same with the scallops. The scallop sauce paired very well and did not overpower the scallops. Dessert special was a peach and strawberry bread pudding. Not heavy but light and lots of flavor. Staff was super friendly and helpful and knew the menu very well so were able to guide you towards what worked best for you.

Not a big place, situated into a old victorian right near market. If you are looking for a local experience and want a personalized experience then go.

I would eat there again and again.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
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I went to Cru Cafe for the first time la ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

I went to Cru Cafe for the first time last Wednesday with a girlfriend for lunch. My experience was so great that this Wednesday I came back with another one of my girlfriends for lunch. The turkey and avocado sandwich was great this time around. The manager spoke with us during our visit, and I explained I was just there last week. On my way out he said, "see you next week!" But little does he know I'm already making dinner plans for there next week! I would definitely recommend Cru Cafe to everyone!

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food5
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